An infrared diagnostic for magnetism in hot stars

M. E. Oksala, J. H. Grunhut, M. Kraus, M. Borges Fernandes, C. Neiner, C. A. H. Condori, J. C. N. Campagnolo, T. B. Souza

Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, ESO, Astronomical Institute ASCR, Tartu Observatory, Observatorio Nacional

Magnetospheric observational proxies are used for indirect detection of magnetic fields in hot stars in the X-ray, UV, optical, and radio wavelength ranges. To determine the viability of infrared (IR) hydrogen recombination lines as a magnetic diagnostic for these stars, we have obtained low-resolution (R~1200), near-IR spectra of the known magnetic B2V stars HR 5907 and HR 7355, taken with the Ohio State Infrared Imager/Spectrometer (OSIRIS) attached to the 4.1m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope. Both stars show definite variable emission features in IR hydrogen lines of the Brackett series, with similar properties as those found in optical spectra, including the derived location of the detected magnetospheric plasma. These features also have the added advantage of a lowered contribution of stellar flux at these wavelengths, making circumstellar material more easily detectable. IR diagnostics will be useful for the future study of magnetic hot stars, to detect and analyze lower-density environments, and to detect magnetic candidates in areas obscured from UV and optical observations, increasing the number of known magnetic stars to determine basic formation properties and investigate the origin of their magnetic fields.

Reference: A&A, in press
Status: Manuscript has been accepted