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Zeeman-Doppler imaging


In astrophysics, Zeeman-Doppler Imaging is a tomographic technique dedicated to the cartography of stellar magnetic fields.

This method makes use of the ability of magnetic fields at polarizing the light emitted (or absorbed) in spectral lines formed in the stellar atmosphere (the Zeeman effect). The periodic modulation of Zeeman signatures during the stellar rotation is employed to make an iterative reconstruction of the vectorial magnetic field at stellar surface. This techniques is based on the principle of maximum entropy image reconstruction; it yields the simplest magnetic field geometry (as a spherical harmonics expansion) among the various solutions compatible with the data[1].

This technique is the first to enable the reconstruction of the vectorial magnetic geometry of stars similar to the Sun. It is now offering the opportunity to undertake systematic studies of stellar magnetism and is also yielding information on the geometry of large arches that magnetic fields are able to develop above stellar surfaces. To collect the observations related to Zeeman-Doppler Imaging, astronomers use stellar spectropolarimeters like ESPaDOnS [2] at CFHT on Mauna Kea (Hawaii), as well as NARVAL [3] at Bernard Lyot Telescope (Pic du Midi de Bigorre, France).

References and links

  1. ^ Donati et al, 2006, MNRAS 370, 629, "The surprising magnetic topology of τ Sco: fossil remnant or dynamo output?"
  2. ^ ESPaDOnS
  3. ^ NARVAL
  • Zeeman-Doppler Imaging
  • Stellar tomography: when medical imaging helps astronomy
  • Recent examples of using Zeeman-Doppler Imaging
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zeeman-Doppler_imaging". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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