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Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
Testing a scaling relation between coherent radio emission and physical parameters of hot magnetic stars
Coherent radio emission via electron cyclotron maser emission (ECME) from hot magnetic stars was discovered more than two decades ago, but the physical conditions that make the generation of ECME favourable remain uncertain. Only recently was an empirical relation, connecting ECME luminosity with the stellar magnetic field and temperature, proposed to explain what makes a hot magnetic star capable of producing ECME. This relation was, however, obtained with just 14 stars. Therefore, it is important to examine whether this relation is robust. With the aim of testing the robustness, we conducted radio observations of five hot magnetic stars. This led to the discovery of three more stars producing ECME. We find that the proposed scaling relation remains valid after the addition of the newly discovered stars. However, we discovered that the magnetic field and effective temperature correlate for Teff ≲ 16 kK (likely an artefact of the small sample size), rendering the proposed connection between ECME luminosity and Teff unreliable. By examining the empirical relation in light of the scaling law for incoherent radio emission, we arrive at the conclusion that both types of emission are powered by the same magnetospheric phenomenon. Like the incoherent emission, coherent radio emissionmore »
How the breakout-limited mass in B-star centrifugal magnetospheres controls their circumstellar H α emissionABSTRACT Strongly magnetic B-type stars with moderately rapid rotation form ‘centrifugal magnetospheres’ (CMs) from the magnetic trapping of stellar wind material in a region above the Kepler co-rotation radius. A long-standing question is whether the eventual loss of such trapped material occurs from gradual drift and/or diffusive leakage, or through sporadic ‘centrifugal breakout’ (CBO) events, wherein magnetic tension can no longer contain the built-up mass. We argue here that recent empirical results for Balmer-α emission from such B-star CMs strongly favour the CBO mechanism. Most notably, the fact that the onset of such emission depends mainly on the field strength at the Kepler radius, and is largely independent of the stellar luminosity, strongly disfavours any drift/diffusion process, for which the net mass balance would depend on the luminosity-dependent wind feeding rate. In contrast, we show that in a CBO model, the maximum confined mass in the magnetosphere is independent of this wind feeding rate and has a dependence on field strength and Kepler radius that naturally explains the empirical scalings for the onset of H α emission, its associated equivalent width, and even its line profile shapes. However, the general lack of observed Balmer emission in late-B and A-type stars couldmore »