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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 1151-1156 (2000)

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Faraday rotation and polarization of light scattered in magnetized stellar wind

N.A. Silant'ev 1, Yu.N. Gnedin 2 and T.Sh. Krymski 2

1 Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Apartado Postal 51 y 216, Z.P. 72000, Pue., México (silant@inaoep.mx)
2 Main Astronomical Observatory of Russian Academy of Sciences, 196140, St. Petersburg, Russia

Received 3 December 1999 / Accepted 7 March 2000


We consider the single scattering of nonpolarized radiation of central star on the electrons of plasma outflow (stellar wind). We assume that such stellar wind is magnetized. It is shown that the scattered radiation acquires the integral linear polarization due to nonhomogeneous distribution of the Faraday rotation angles even for spherical stellar winds. For nonspherical winds, Faraday's rotation changes the spectrum of integral polarization drastically compared with the nonmagnetized case. The numerical calculations of the polarization spectra are presented for Parker's spherical model of magnetized stellar wind. Such spectra allow us to estimate the values of magnetic field and electron number density in stellar winds.

Key words: polarization – scattering – stars: mass-loss – stars: magnetic fields

Send offprint requests to: N.A. Silant'ev

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000