EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 482, Number 3, May II 2008
Page(s) 793 - 802
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20079043
Published online 04 March 2008

A&A 482, 793-802 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079043

Magnetohydrodynamic model of equatorial plasma torus in planetary nebulae

K. H. Tsui

Instituto de Física - Universidade Federal Fluminense Campus da Praia Vermelha, Av. General Milton Tavares de Souza s/n Gragoatá, 24.210-346, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    e-mail: tsui@if.uff.br

(Received 9 November 2007 / Accepted 29 January 2008)

Aims. Some basic structures in planetary nebulae are modeled as self-organized magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) plasma configurations with radial flow.
Methods. These configurations are described by time self-similar dynamics, where space and time dependences of each physical variable are in separable form. Axisymmetric toroidal MHD plasma configuration is solved under the gravitational field of a central star of mass M.
Results. With an azimuthal magnetic field, this self-similar MHD model provides an equatorial structure in the form of an axisymmetric torus with nested and closed toroidal magnetic field lines. In the absence of an azimuthal magnetic field, this formulation models the basic features of bipolar planetary nebulae. The evolution function, which accounts for the time evolution of the system, has a bounded and an unbounded evolution track governed respectively by a negative and positive energy density constant H.

Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- methods: analytical -- stars: AGB and post-AGB -- ISM: planetary nebulae: general

© ESO 2008