Volume 552, April 2013
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||20 March 2013|
Self-consistent 2D models of fast-rotating early-type stars
1 Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, IRAP, 31062 Toulouse, France
2 CNRS, IRAP, 14 avenue Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Received: 4 December 2012
Accepted: 24 January 2013
Aims. This work aims at presenting the first two-dimensional models of an isolated rapidly rotating star that include the derivation of the differential rotation and meridional circulation in a self-consistent way.
Methods. We use spectral methods in multidomains, together with a Newton algorithm to determine the steady state solutions including differential rotation and meridional circulation for an isolated non-magnetic, rapidly rotating early-type star. In particular we devise an asymptotic method for small Ekman numbers (small viscosities) that removes the Ekman boundary layer and lifts the degeneracy of the inviscid baroclinic solutions.
Results. For the first time, realistic two-dimensional models of fast-rotating stars are computed with the actual baroclinic flows that predict the differential rotation and the meridional circulation for intermediate-mass and massive stars. These models nicely compare with available data of some nearby fast-rotating early-type stars like Ras Alhague (α Oph), Regulus (α Leo), and Vega (α Lyr). It is shown that baroclinicity drives a differential rotation with a slow pole, a fast equator, a fast core, and a slow envelope. The differential rotation is found to increase with mass, with evolution (here measured by the hydrogen mass fraction in the core), and with metallicity. The core-envelope interface is found to be a place of strong shear where mixing will be efficient.
Conclusions. Two-dimensional models offer a new view of fast-rotating stars, especially of their differential rotation, which turns out to be strong at the core-envelope interface. They also offer more accurate models for interpreting the interferometric and spectroscopic data of early-type stars.
Key words: stars: rotation / stars: interiors / stars: early-type
© ESO, 2013
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