Modeling the Variable Polarization of Epsilon Aurigae
The nature of the edge-on eclipsing binary Epsilon Aurigae remains perplexing, despite notable progress since the recent 2009-2011 eclipse. The binary involves an early F supergiant with a still unknown companion enshrouded in a disk. Although the eclipse geometry produces a significant broad band polarization signature, semiregular pulsations of the F supergiant are also a source of variable polarization, with an amplitude that is commensurate with the effect of the eclipse. This fact makes use of the polarization for studying the disk of the companion far more challenging. In an effort to better understand the pulsation nature of the supergiant, we explore a simple model for the stellar contribution to the polarization signal. The model does reasonably well in characterizing the gross properties of the time-variable polarization.
Ignace, Richard; Henson, Gary D.; and Asbury, William. 2016. Modeling the Variable Polarization of Epsilon Aurigae. American Astronomical Society Meeting. https://aas.org/meetings/aas228/schedule-and-events