Long-term magnetic field monitoring of the Sun-like star ξ Bootis A

A. Morgenthaler, P. Petit, S. Saar, S. K. Solanki, J. Morin, S. C. Marsden, M. Aurière, B. Dintrans, R. Fares, T. Gastine, J. Lanoux, F. Lignières, F. Paletou, J. C.Ramírez Vélez, S. Théado, V. Van Grootel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. We aim to investigate the long-term temporal evolution of the magnetic field of the solar-type star ξ Bootis A, both from direct magnetic field measurements and from the simultaneous estimate of indirect activity indicators. Methods. We obtained seven epochs of high-resolution, circularly-polarized spectra from the NARVAL spectropolarimeter between 2007 and 2011, for a total of 76 spectra. Using approximately 6100 photospheric spectral lines covering the visible domain, we employed a cross-correlation procedure to compute a mean polarized line profile from each spectrum. The large-scale photospheric magnetic field of the star was then modelled by means of Zeeman-Doppler Imaging, allowing us to follow the year-to-year evolution of the reconstructed magnetic topology. Simultaneously, we monitored the width of several magnetically sensitive spectral lines, the radial velocity, the line asymmetry of intensity line profiles, and the chromospheric emission in the cores of the Ca II H and Hα lines. Results. During the highest observed activity states, in 2007 and 2011, the large-scale field of ξ Bootis A is almost completely axisymmetric and is dominated by its toroidal component. The toroidal component persists with a constant polarity, containing a significant fraction of the magnetic energy of the large-scale surface field through all observing epochs. The magnetic topologies reconstructed for these activity maxima are very similar, suggesting a form of short cyclicity in the large-scale field distribution. The mean unsigned large-scale magnetic flux derived from the magnetic maps varies by a factor of about 2 between the lowest and highest observed magnetic states. The chromospheric flux is less affected and varies by a factor of 1.2. Correlated temporal evolution, due to both rotational modulation and seasonal variability, is observed between the Ca II emission, the Hα emission and the width of magnetically sensitive lines. The rotational dependence of polarimetric magnetic measurements displays a weak correlation with other activity proxies, presumably due to the different spatial scales and centre-to-limb darkening associated with polarimetric signatures, as compared to non-polarized activity indicators. Better agreement is observed on the longer term. When measurable, the differential rotation reveals a strong latitudinal shear in excess of 0.2 rad d -1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA138
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • stars: activity
  • stars: atmospheres
  • stars: chromospheres
  • stars: imaging
  • stars: magnetic field
  • stars: solar-type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term magnetic field monitoring of the Sun-like star ξ Bootis A'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this