Systematic detection of magnetic fields in massive, late-type supergiants

J.H. Grunhut (1,2), G.A. Wade (2), D.A. Hanes (1), E. Alecian (3)

(1)- Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
(2)- Department of Physics, Royal Military College of Canada, P.O. Box 17000, Station Forces, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7K 7B4
(3)- LAOG, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, Universit'{e} Joseph Fourier, Grenoble Cedex, France

We report the systematic detection of magnetic fields in massive (M > 5$,$M_odot$) late-type supergiants, using spectropolarimetric observations obtained with ESPaDOnS at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Our observations reveal detectable Stokes V Zeeman signatures in Least-Squares Deconvolved mean line profiles in one-third of the observed sample of more than 30 stars. The signatures are sometimes complex, revealing multiple reversals across the line. The corresponding longitudinal magnetic field is seldom detected, although our longitudinal field error bars are typically 0.3 G ($1sigma$). These characteristics suggest topologically complex magnetic fields, presumably generated by dynamo action. The Stokes V signatures of some targets show clear time variability, indicating either rotational modulation or intrinsic evolution of the magnetic field. We also observe a weak correlation between the unsigned longitudinal magnetic field and the CaII K core emission equivalent width of the active G2Iab supergiant $beta$~Dra and the G8Ib supergiant $epsilon$~Gem.

Reference: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Status: Manuscript has been accepted


Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures