Ap and Bp stars are chemically peculiar stars (hence the "p") of types A and B which show overabundances of some metals, such as strontium, chromium and europium. In addition, larger overabundances are often seen in praseodymium and neodymium. These stars have a much slower rotation than normal for A and B-type stars, although some exhibit rotation velocities up to about 100 kilometers per second.

Magnetic fields

They also have stronger magnetic fields than classical A- or B-type stars in the case of HD 215441, reaching 33.5 kG (3.35 T).[1] Typically the magnetic field of these stars lies in the range of a few kG to tens of kG. In most cases a field which is modelled as a simple dipole is a good approximation and provides an explanation as to why there is an apparent periodic variation in the magnetic field, as if such a field is not aligned with the rotation axis—the field strength will change as the star rotates. In support of this theory it has been noted that the variations in magnetic field are inversely correlated with the rotation velocity.[2] This model of a dipolar field, in which the magnetic axis is offset to the rotation axis, is known as the oblique rotator model.

The origin of such high magnetic fields in Ap stars is problematic and two theories have been proposed in order to explain them. The first is the fossil field hypothesis, in which the field is a relic of the initial field in the interstellar medium (ISM). There is sufficient magnetic field in the ISM to create such high magnetic fields—indeed, so much so that the theory of ambipolar diffusion has to be invoked to reduce the field in normal stars. This theory does require the field to remain stable over a long period of time, and it is unclear whether such an obliquely rotating field could do so. Another problem with this theory is to explain why only a small proportion of A-type stars exhibit these high field strengths. The other generation theory is dynamo action within rotating cores of Ap stars; however, the oblique nature of the field cannot be produced, as yet, by this model, as invariably one ends up with a field either aligned with the rotation axis, or at 90° to it. It is also unclear whether it is possible to generate such large dipole fields using this explanation, due to the slow rotation of the star. While this could be explained by invoking a fast rotating core with a high rotation gradient to the surface, it is unlikely that an ordered axisymmetric field would result.[3]
Abundance spots

The spatial locations of the chemical overabundances have been shown to be connected with the geometry of the magnetic field. Some of these stars have shown radial velocity variations arising from pulsations of a few minutes. For studying these stars high-resolution spectroscopy is used, together with Doppler imaging which uses the rotation to deduce a map of the stellar surface. These patches of overabundances are often referred to as abundance spots.
Rapidly oscillating Ap stars

A subset of this class of stars, called rapidly oscillating Ap (roAp) stars, exhibit short-timescale, millimagnitude photometric variations and variations in radial velocities of spectral lines. These were first observed in the highly peculiar Ap star HD 101065 (Przybylski's star).[4] These stars lie at the bottom of the delta Scuti instability strip, on the main sequence. There are currently 35 known roAp stars. The pulsation periods of these oscillators lie between 5 and 21 minutes. The stars pulsate in high overtone, non-radial, pressure modes.
See also

Peculiar star
Stellar classification
Doppler imaging


Babcock, Horace W (1960). "The 34-KILOGAUSS Magnetic Field of HD 215441". Astrophysical Journal. 132: 521. Bibcode:1960ApJ...132..521B. doi:10.1086/146960.
Landstreet, J. D; Bagnulo, S; Andretta, V; Fossati, L; Mason, E; Silaj, J; Wade, G. A (2007). "Searching for links between magnetic fields and stellar evolution: II. The evolution of magnetic fields as revealed by observations of Ap stars in open clusters and associations". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 470 (2): 685. arXiv:0706.0330. Bibcode:2007A&A...470..685L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20077343. S2CID 15591645.
David F. Gray (17 November 2005). The Observation and Analysis of Stellar Photospheres. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-0-521-85186-2.

Kurtz, D. W (1978). "12.15 Minute Light Variations in Przybylski's Star, HD 101065". Information Bulletin on Variable Stars. 1436: 1. Bibcode:1978IBVS.1436....1K.



Accretion Molecular cloud Bok globule Young stellar object
Protostar Pre-main-sequence Herbig Ae/Be T Tauri FU Orionis Herbig–Haro object Hayashi track Henyey track


Main sequence Red-giant branch Horizontal branch
Red clump Asymptotic giant branch
super-AGB Blue loop Protoplanetary nebula Planetary nebula PG1159 Dredge-up OH/IR Instability strip Luminous blue variable Blue straggler Stellar population Supernova Superluminous supernova / Hypernova

Spectral classification

Early Late Main sequence
O B A F G K M Brown dwarf WR OB Subdwarf
O B Subgiant Giant
Blue Red Yellow Bright giant Supergiant
Blue Red Yellow Hypergiant
Yellow Carbon
S CN CH White dwarf Chemically peculiar
Am Ap/Bp HgMn Helium-weak Barium Extreme helium Lambda Boötis Lead Technetium Be
Shell B[e]


White dwarf
Helium planet Black dwarf Neutron
Radio-quiet Pulsar
Binary X-ray Magnetar Stellar black hole X-ray binary


Blue dwarf Green Black dwarf Exotic
Boson Electroweak Strange Preon Planck Dark Dark-energy Quark Q Black Gravastar Frozen Quasi-star Thorne–Żytkow object Iron Blitzar

Stellar nucleosynthesis

Deuterium burning Lithium burning Proton–proton chain CNO cycle Helium flash Triple-alpha process Alpha process Carbon burning Neon burning Oxygen burning Silicon burning S-process R-process Fusor Nova
Symbiotic Remnant Luminous red nova


Core Convection zone
Microturbulence Oscillations Radiation zone Atmosphere
Photosphere Starspot Chromosphere Stellar corona Stellar wind
Bubble Bipolar outflow Accretion disk Asteroseismology
Helioseismology Eddington luminosity Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism


Designation Dynamics Effective temperature Luminosity Kinematics Magnetic field Absolute magnitude Mass Metallicity Rotation Starlight Variable Photometric system Color index Hertzsprung–Russell diagram Color–color diagram

Star systems

Contact Common envelope Eclipsing Symbiotic Multiple Cluster
Open Globular Super Planetary system


Solar System Sunlight Pole star Circumpolar Constellation Asterism Magnitude
Apparent Extinction Photographic Radial velocity Proper motion Parallax Photometric-standard


Proper names
Arabic Chinese Extremes Most massive Highest temperature Lowest temperature Largest volume Smallest volume Brightest
Historical Most luminous Nearest
Nearest bright With exoplanets Brown dwarfs White dwarfs Milky Way novae Supernovae
Candidates Remnants Planetary nebulae Timeline of stellar astronomy

Related articles

Substellar object
Brown dwarf Sub-brown dwarf Planet Galactic year Galaxy Guest Gravity Intergalactic Planet-hosting stars Tidal disruption event

Physics Encyclopedia



Hellenica World - Scientific Library

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License