Volume 558, October 2013
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Published online||04 October 2013|
Three-dimensional simulations of near-surface convection in main-sequence stars⋆
I. Overall structure
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Planck-Straße 2, 37191
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Accepted: 16 August 2013
Context. The near-surface layers of cool main-sequence stars are structured by convective flows, which are overshooting into the atmosphere. The flows and the associated spatio-temporal variations of density and temperature affect spectral line profiles and thus have an impact on estimates of stellar properties such as effective temperature, gravitational acceleration, and abundances.
Aims. We aim at identifying distinctive properties of the thermodynamic structure of the atmospheres of different stars and understand their causes.
Methods. We ran comprehensive 3D radiation hydrodynamics simulations of the near-surface layers of six simulated stars of spectral type F3V to M2V with the MURaM code. We carry out a systematic parameter study of the mean stratifications, flow structures, and the energy flux in these stars.
Results. We find monotonic trends along the lower main sequence in granule size, flow velocity, and intensity contrast. The convection in the M-star models differs substantially from that of the hotter stars, mainly owing to the more gradual transition from convective to radiative energy transport.
Conclusions. While the basic mechanisms driving surface convection in cool stars are the same, the properties of the convection vary along the main sequence. Apart from monotonic trends in rms velocity, intensity contrast, granule size, etc., there is a transition between “naked” and “hidden” granulation around spectral type K5V caused by the (highly non-linear) temperature dependence of the opacity. These variations have to be taken into account when stellar parameters are derived from spectra.
Key words: convection / hydrodynamics / stars: late-type / stars: low-mass
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013
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