Characterising the surface magnetic fields of T Tauri stars with high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy
Aims: In this paper, we aim to characterise the surface magnetic fields of a sample of eight T Tauri stars from high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy. Some stars in our sample are known to be magnetic from previous spectroscopic or spectropolarimetric studies. Our goals are firstly to apply Zeeman broadening modelling to T Tauri stars with high-resolution data, secondly to expand the sample of stars with measured surface magnetic field strengths, thirdly to investigate possible rotational or long-term magnetic variability by comparing spectral time series of given targets, and fourthly to compare the magnetic field modulus ⟨B⟩ tracing small-scale magnetic fields to those of large-scale magnetic fields derived by Stokes V Zeeman Doppler Imaging (ZDI) studies.
Methods: We modelled the Zeeman broadening of magnetically sensitive spectral lines in the near-infrared K-band from high-resolution spectra by using magnetic spectrum synthesis based on realistic model atmospheres and by using different descriptions of the surface magnetic field. We developped a Bayesian framework that selects the complexity of the magnetic field prescription based on the information contained in the data.
Results: We obtain individual magnetic field measurements for each star in our sample using four different models. We find that the Bayesian Model 4 performs best in the range of magnetic fields measured on the sample (from 1.5 kG to 4.4 kG). We do not detect a strong rotational variation of ⟨B⟩ with a mean peak-to-peak variation of 0.3 kG. Our confidence intervals are of the same order of magnitude, which suggests that the Zeeman broadening is produced by a small-scale magnetic field homogeneously distributed over stellar surfaces. A comparison of our results with mean large-scale magnetic field measurements from Stokes V ZDI show different fractions of mean field strength being recovered, from 25-42% for relatively simple poloidal axisymmetric field topologies to 2-11% for more complex fields.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- October 2019
- stars: pre-main sequence;
- stars: magnetic field;
- line: profiles;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 14 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics