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19th of September 2022
Discovery of radio emission from the binary star system KQ Vel
by Leto et al.
Ap stars are peculiar A-type stars, which generally have higher magnetic fields, higher abundances of metals, and rotate more slowly thtan regular A-type stars. KQ Vel is an optically bright Ap star system estimated to be only about 260 million years old (compared to the Sun's age of 4.6 billion years) and lying about 520 light years away. Optical observations indicate a rotation period of around 7.7 years (compared to the Sun's 26 days!). Leto et al. have recently reported the detection of radio emission from Kq Vel, using ATCA observations in the 16cm, 4cm, and 15mm bands. The most obvious explanation for the radio emission is that it originates in the magnetosphere of the Ap star, but this is shown to be unfeasible as the predicted radio luminosity for this model is more than 100,000 times lower than the measured one. The authors favour an alternative model involving the companion star (of as yet unknown type) which orbits the Ap star every ~840 days. The plots above show the detections of the KQ Vel system at four frequencies. The elliptical synthesized beams of the ATCA from these observations are shown in the bottom-left corner of each plot.

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