CAOSP abstracts, Volume: 38, No.: 2, year: 2008

Abstract: Today, one of the greatest challenges concerning the Ap/Bp stars is to understand the origin of their slow rotation and their magnetic fields. The favoured hypothesis for the latter is the fossil field, which implies that the magnetic fields subsist throughout the different evolutionary phases, and in particular during the pre-main sequence phase. The existence of magnetic fields at the pre-main sequence phase is also required to explain the slow rotation of Ap/Bp stars. However, until recently, essentially no information was available about the magnetic properties of intermediate-mass pre-main sequence stars, the so-called Herbig Ae/Be stars. The new high-resolution spectropolarimeter ESPaDOnS, installed in 2005 at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, provided the capability necessary to perform surveys of the Herbig Ae/Be stars in order to investigate their magnetism and rotation. These investigations have resulted in the detection and/or confirmation of magnetic fields in 8 Herbig Ae/Be stars, ranging in mass from 2 to nearly 15 solar masses. In this contribution we will present the results of our survey, as well as their implications for the origin and evolution of the magnetic fields and rotation.

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Last update: April 17, 2008