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Asteroseismic tuning of the magnetic star HR 1217 : understanding magnetism and stellar structure through MOST spacebased photometry

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Title: Asteroseismic tuning of the magnetic star HR 1217 : understanding magnetism and stellar structure through MOST spacebased photometry
Author: Cameron, Christopher J.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy - PhD
Program Astronomy
Copyright Date: 2010
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2010-08-23
Abstract: The chemically peculiar A (Ap) stars show extreme examples of astrophysical processes that have only recently been studied in detail in one other star—the Sun. These stars exhibit spectral anomalies caused by diffusion of some ionic species in a stellar atmosphere threaded by a strong (~ kG), organized magnetic field. A subset of the Ap stars rapidly oscillate (roAp) with periods ranging from 5 to 25 minutes. One of these roAp stars, HR 1217, is well studied with data from two global (ground-based) photometric campaigns that led to asteroseismic evidence of magnetically perturbed oscillation modes. This was the motivation to make HR 1217 a MOST space mission target. Our analysis of the almost 30 days of near-continuous MOST photometry on HR 1217 reveals a number of new periodicities that show spacings of ~ 15, 2.5, and 1.5 μHz. These new frequencies can be interpreted as magnetically perturbed oscillations and potentially second order spacings that could constrain the age and the magnetic interior of the star for the first time. These data are collected with a 95% duty cycle and reach a precision of 6 μmag, making this by far the best photometric data set on HR 1217. In addition, we present a grid of almost 52,000 stellar pulsation models including a large range of magnetic dipole field strengths (1-10 kG). This is the largest grid of stellar pulsation models of any Ap star to date and is critical to the interpretation of the MOST photometry. Our models can match the MOST observations to a fractional accuracy of about 0.05% with a mean deviation between theory and observation of a few μHz. A unique model match to the MOST observations could not be found. The results highlight the sensitivity to physics that has not been usually incorporated in Ap interior models, and the complex nature of the interaction of globally organized magnetic fields with stellar pulsation eigenmodes.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/27647
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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