A Spectropolarimetric Atlas of 61 Northern Be Stars

K. S. Bjorkman (U. Toledo), M. R. Meade, and B. L. Babler (U. Wisconsin-Madison)

The Spectropolarimetric Atlas of 61 Bright Northern Be Stars

(Note: Current version of the Be Star Atlas on the web
This is the web version of the Be Star Atlas as of April 30, 1998. The object html pages for the 61 objects in the Atlas have been filled in but the observation html pages (eventually for the 297 observations) have been filled in only for the 15 Phi Per observations.)

We plan an ATLAS of spectropolarimetric observations of 61 bright northern Be stars obtained from 1989-94 using the halfwave polarimeter (HPOL) at the 0.9m telescope of the University of Wisconsin Pine Bluff Observatory (PBO). The data cover the wavelength range from about 3400-7600 angstroms, with a spectral resolution of about 25 angstroms. This atlas will contain all data (297 observations total) obtained as part of a survey program with HPOL when the detector in use was a dual Reticon array; the survey observations with HPOL continue, using a new CCD detector which extends the spectral coverage out to 1.05microns and improves the spectral resolution to about 12 angstroms. The CCD observations will be presented later in a second volume of the atlas.

We will summarize the findings of the survey from the first 5 years of the project. The general wavelength dependence of polarization for classical Be stars will be discussed on the basis of these observations, and results on polarimetric variability will also be presented. We find that 56% (20 of 36) of the Be stars observed 3 or more times from 1989-94 show significantly variable polarization at the level of 0.1% changes (inclusion of preliminary results from the continuing CCD survey indicates that the percentage may be even higher). The timescales for these changes range from as short as night-to-night to as long as several months. Several of the stars showed evidence for polarimetric "outbursts" during the time period covered by the observations.

FITS files will be available for each of the 297 observations of the 61 Be stars via ftp over the Web. We ask for feedback from the astronomical community for ways to present this data in a useful manner in an Atlas form and on the Web.

This work has been supported under NASA contract NAS5-26777 with the University of Wisconsin, and by NASA grant NAG5-3248 to the University of Toledo.

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This page is maintained by Marilyn Meade .
Last updated April 30, 1998