Magnetometry of the classical T Tauri star GQ Lup: non-stationary dynamos & spin evolution of young Suns

J. F. Donati, S. G. Gregory, S. H. P. Alencar, G. Hussain, J. Bouvier, C. Dougados, M. M. Jardine, F. Menard, M. M. Romanova, the MaPP Collaboration

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72 Citations (Scopus)


We report here results of spectropolarimetric observations of the classical T Tauri star (cTTS) GQ Lup carried out with ESPaDOnS at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in the framework of the "Magnetic Protostars and Planets" (MaPP) programme, and obtained at 2 different epochs (2009 July & 2011 June). From these observations, we first infer that GQ Lup has a photospheric temperature of 4,300+-50\^A K and a rotation period of 8.4+-0.3 d; it implies that it is a 1.05+-0.07 Msun star viewed at an inclination of ~30deg, with an age of 2-5 Myr, a radius of 1.7+-0.2 Rsun, and has just started to develop a radiative core. Large Zeeman signatures are clearly detected at all times, both in photospheric lines & in accretion-powered emission lines, probing longitudinal fields of up to 6 kG and hence making GQ Lup the cTTS with the strongest large-scale fields known as of today. Rotational modulation of Zeeman signatures is clearly different between our 2 runs, demonstrating that large-scale fields of cTTSs are evolving with time and are likely produced by non-stationary dynamo processes. Using tomographic imaging, we reconstruct maps of the large-scale field, of the photospheric brightness & of the accretion-powered emission of GQ Lup. We find that the magnetic topology is mostly poloidal & axisymmetric; moreover, the octupolar component of the large-scale field (of strength 2.4 & 1.6 kG in 2009 & 2011) dominates the dipolar component (of strength ~1 kG) by a factor of ~2, consistent with the fact that GQ Lup is no longer fully-convective. GQ Lup also features dominantly poleward magnetospheric accretion at both epochs. The large-scale dipole of GQ Lup is however not strong enough to disrupt the surrounding accretion disc further than about half-way to the corotation radius, suggesting that GQ Lup should rapidly spin up like other similar partly-convective cTTSs (abridged).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2948-2963
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012


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