Monthly notices of the royal astronomical society vol:369 issue:1 pages:L61-L65
We present the results of a magnetic survey of a sample of eight beta Cephei stars and 26 slowly pulsating B (SPBs) stars with the FOcal Reducer low dispersion Spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope. A weak mean longitudinal magnetic field of the order of a few hundred Gauss is detected in the beta Cephei star xi(1) CMa and in 13 SPB stars. The star xi(1) CMa becomes the third magnetic star among the beta Cephei stars. Before our study, the star zeta Cas was the only known magnetic SPB star. All magnetic SPB stars for which we gathered several magnetic field measurements show a field that varies in time. We do not find a relation between the evolution of the magnetic field with stellar age in our small sample. Our observations imply that beta Cephei and SPB stars can no longer be considered as classes of non-magnetic pulsators, but the effect of the fields on the oscillation properties remains to be studied.