Blue supergiants as descendants of magnetic main sequence stars
Argelander Institut für Astronomie der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Received: 13 April 2015
Accepted: 5 July 2015
About 10% of the massive main sequence stars have recently been found to host a strong, large scale magnetic field. Both, the origin and the evolutionary consequences of these fields are largely unknown. We argue that these fields may be sufficiently strong in the deep interior of the stars to suppress convection near the outer edge of their convective core. We performed parametrised stellar evolution calculations and assumed a reduced size of the convective core for stars in the mass range 16M⊙ to 28M⊙ from the zero age main sequence until core carbon depletion. We find that such models avoid the coolest part of the main sequence band, which is usually filled by evolutionary models that include convective core overshooting. Furthermore, our “magnetic” models populate the blue supergiant region during core helium burning, i.e., the post-main sequence gap left by ordinary single star models, and some of them end their life in a position near that of the progenitor of Supernova 1987A in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Further effects include a strongly reduced luminosity during the red supergiant stage, and downward shift of the limiting initial mass for white dwarf and neutron star formation.
Key words: stars: massive / supergiants / stars: magnetic field / stars: evolution / supernovae: individual: SN 1987A
© ESO, 2015