H alpha spectropolarimetry of the Herbig Ae star AB Aurigae
We present spectropolarimetric observations, obtained at Hα, of the Herbig Ae star AB Aurigae. Changes in linear polarization across the Hα line probe structure in the immediate circumstellar environment of the central star, down to scales of the order of one to a few stellar radii. In the case of AB Aurigae the observed polarimetric signature is complex. After applying a correction for foreground continuum polarization, we find that there is a linear-polarized Hα emission component intrinsic to the source. Rotation of the angle of polarization through the emission-line profile suggests scattering in a rotating circumstellar disc. The magnetic accretor model commonly applied to T Tauri stars shows promise of explaining these data.