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Upper limits to the magnetic field in central stars of planetary nebulae

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Type
Preprint
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Submission Date
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DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/787/2/111
Source
arXiv
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Yellow
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Abstract

More than about twenty central stars of planetary nebulae (CSPN) have been observed spectropolarimetrically, yet no clear, unambiguous signal of the presence of a magnetic field in these objects has been found. We perform a statistical (Bayesian) analysis of all the available spectropolarimetric observations of CSPN to constrain the magnetic fields on these objects. Assuming that the stellar field is dipolar and that the dipole axis of the objects are oriented randomly (isotropically), we find that the dipole magnetic field strength is smaller than 400 G with 95% probability using all available observations. The analysis introduced allows integration of future observations to further constrain the parameters of the distribution, and it is general, so that it can be easily applied to other classes of magnetic objects. We propose several ways to improve the upper limits found here.

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