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Preprint 11a/04


Discovery of magnetic fields in CPNs

S. Jordan (1), K. Werner (2), S.J. O'Toole (3)

(1) Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
(2) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
(3) Dr.-Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany

To be published in: 14th European Workshop on White Dwarfs, eds. D. Koester, S. Moehler, ASP Conf. Ser.

Abstract. For the first time we have directly detected magnetic fields in central stars of planetary nebulae by means of spectro-polarimetry with FORS1 at the VLT. In all four objects of our sample we found kilogauss magnetic fields, in NGC 1360 and LSS 1362 with very high significance, while in Abell 36 and EGB 5 the existence of a magnetic field is probable but with less certainty. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the non-spherical symmetry of most planetary nebulae is caused by magnetic fields in AGB stars. Our high discovery rate demands mechanisms to prevent full conservation of magnetic flux during the transition to white dwarfs.


astro-ph/0410509


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