Polarimetric variations of binary stars. IV. Pre-main-sequence spectroscopic binaries located in Taurus, Auriga, and Orion.
MANSET N. and BASTIEN P.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present polarimetric observations of 14 pre-main-sequence (PMS) binaries located in the Taurus, Auriga, and Orion star-forming regions. The majority of the average observed polarizations are below 0.5%, and none are above 0.9%. After removal of estimates of the interstellar polarization, about half the binaries have an intrinsic polarization above 0.5%, even though most of them do not present other evidences for the presence of circumstellar dust. Various tests reveal that 77% of the PMS binaries have or possibly have a variable polarization. LkCa 3, Par 1540, and Par 2494 present detectable periodic and phase-locked variations. The periodic polarimetric variations are noisier and of a lesser amplitude (∼0.1%) than for other types of binaries, such as hot stars. This could be due to stochastic events that produce deviations in the average polarization, a nonfavorable geometry (circumbinary envelope), or the nature of the scatterers (dust grains are less efficient polarizers than electrons). Par 1540 is a weak-line T Tauri star but nonetheless has enough dust in its environment to produce detectable levels of polarization and variations. A fourth interesting case is W134, which displays rapid changes in polarization that could be due to eclipses. We compare the observations with some of our numerical simulations and also show that an analysis of the periodic polarimetric variations with the Brown, McLean, & Emslie (BME) formalism to find the orbital inclination is for the moment premature: nonperiodic events introduce stochastic noise that partially masks the periodic low-amplitude variations and prevents the BME formalism from finding a reasonable estimate of the orbital inclination.