New Insights into Stellar Magnetism from the Spectropolarimetry in All Four Stokes Parameters


Development of high-resolution spectropolarimetry has stimulated a major progress in our understanding of the magnetism and activity of late-type stars. During the last decade magnetic fields were discovered and mapped for various types of active stars using spectropolarimetric methods. However, these observations and modeling attempts are inherently incomplete since they are based on the interpretation of the stellar circular polarization alone. Taking advantage of the recently commissioned HARPS polarimeter, we obtained the first systematic observations of cool active stars in all four Stokes parameters. Here we report detection of the magnetically induced linear polarization in the RS CVn binary HR 1099 and phase-resolved full Stokes vector observations of varepsilon Eri. For the latter star we measured the field strength with the precision of ensuremath∼0.1 G over a complete rotation cycle and reconstructed the global field topology with the help of magnetic Doppler imaging. Our observations of the inactive solar-like star ensuremathα Cen A indicate the absence of the global field stronger than 0.2 G.

16th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun