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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

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Preprint 15/04

Discovery of magnetic fields in central stars of planetary nebulae

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

(1) Universität Heidelberg, Germany
(2) Universität Tübingen, Germany
(3) Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

To be published in: A&A

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 EGB 5 and Abell 36 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.
Key words: stars: central stars - stars: magnetic fields - stars: individual: NGC 1360, EGB 5, LSS 1362, Abell 36 stars: coronae - X-rays: stars

Preprint (271 kb PDF file including figures)

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