Volume 405, Number 1, July I 2003
|Page(s)||303 - 311|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||16 June 2003|
Dynamics of magnetic flux tubes in close binary stars
II. Nonlinear evolution and surface distributions
Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS, UK
Corresponding author: V. Holzwarth, email@example.com
Accepted: 18 April 2003
Observations of magnetically active close binaries with orbital periods of a few days reveal the existence of starspots at preferred longitudes (with respect to the direction of the companion star). We numerically investigate the non-linear dynamics and evolution of magnetic flux tubes in the convection zone of a fast-rotating component of a close binary system and explore whether the tidal effects are able to generate non-uniformities in the surface distribution of erupting flux tubes. Assuming a synchronised system with a rotation period of two days and consisting of two solar-type components, both the tidal force and the deviation of the stellar structure from spherical shape are considered in lowest-order perturbation theory. The magnetic field is initially stored in the form of toroidal magnetic flux rings within the stably stratified overshoot region beneath the convection zone. Once the field has grown sufficiently strong, instabilities initiate the formation of rising flux loops, which rise through the convection zone and emerge at the stellar surface. We find that although the magnitude of tidal effects is rather small, they nevertheless lead to the formation of clusters of flux tube eruptions at preferred longitudes on opposite sides of the star, which result from the cumulative and resonant character of the action of tidal effects on rising flux tubes. The longitude distribution of the clusters depends on the initial parameters of flux tubes in the overshoot region like magnetic field strength and latitude, implying that there is no globally unique preferred longitude along a fixed direction.
Key words: stars: binaries: close / stars: activity / stars: imaging / stars: magnetic fields / stars: starspots
© ESO, 2003
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