Detection of magnetic field in the B2 star ρ Oph A with ESO FORS2

Pillitteri, I.; Fossati, L.; Castro Rodriguez, N.; Oskinova, L.; Wolk, S. J.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that magnetism and enhanced X-ray emission are likely correlated in early B-type stars: similar fractions of them ($\sim$ 10 %) are strong and hard X-ray sources and possess strong magnetic fields. It is also known that some B-type stars have spots on their surface. Yet up to now no X-ray activity associated with spots on early-type stars was detected. In this Letter we report the detection of a magnetic field on the B2V star $\rho$ Oph A. Previously, we assessed that the X-ray activity of this star is associated with a surface spot, herewith we establish its magnetic origin. We analyzed FORS2 ESO VLT spectra of $\rho$ Oph A taken at two epochs and detected a longitudinal component of the magnetic field of order of $\sim500$ G in one of the datasets. The detection of the magnetic field only at one epoch can be explained by stellar rotation which is also invoked to explain observed periodic X-ray activity. From archival HARPS ESO VLT high resolution spectra we derived the fundamental stellar parameters of $\rho$ Oph A and further constrained its age. We conclude that $\rho$ Oph A provides strong evidence for the presence of active X-ray emitting regions on young magnetized early type stars.

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