CAOSP abstracts, Volume: 27, No.: 3, year: 1998

Abstract: We present preliminary results from a programme aimed at acquiring linear spectropolarimetry of magnetic A and B stars. Linear polarization in the spectral lines of these objects is due to the Zeeman effect, and should provide detailed new information regarding the structure of their strong magnetic fields. To illustrate the impact of these new data, we compare observed circular and linear polarization line profiles of 53 Cam with the profiles predicted by the magnetic model by Landstreet. Linear polarization in the spectral lines of all stars studied is extremely weak; in most cases, below the threshold of detectability even for very high SNRs. In order to overcome this problem, we employ the Least-Squares Deconvolution (LSD) multi-line analysis technique in order to extract low-noise mean line profiles and polarization signatures from our echelle spectra. Tests show that these mean signatures can be modelled as real spectral lines, and have the potential to lead to high-resolution maps of the magnetic and chemical abundance surface distributions.

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