3D simulations of rising magnetic flux tubes in a compressible rotating interior: The effect of magnetic tension
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 1 November 2016
Accepted: 4 July 2017
Context. Long-term variability in solar cycles represents a challenging constraint for theoretical models. Mean-field Babcock-Leighton dynamos that consider non-instantaneous rising flux tubes have been shown to exhibit long-term variability in their magnetic cycle. However a relation that parameterizes the rise-time of non-axisymmetric magnetic flux tubes in terms of stellar parameters is still missing.
Aims. We aim to find a general parameterization of the rise-time of magnetic flux tubes for solar-like stars.
Methods. By considering the influence of magnetic tension on the rise of non-axisymmetric flux tubes, we predict the existence of a control parameter referred as Γα1α2. This parameter is a measure of the balance between rotational effects and magnetic effects (buoyancy and tension) acting on the magnetic flux tube. We carry out two series of numerical experiments (one for axisymmetric rise and one for non-axisymmetric rise) and demonstrate that Γα1α2 indeed controls the rise-time of magnetic flux tubes.
Results. We find that the rise-time follows a power law of Γα1α2 with an exponent that depends on the azimuthal wavenumber of the magnetic flux loop.
Conclusions. Compressibility does not impact the rise of magnetic flux tubes, while non-axisymmetry does. In the case of non-axisymmetric rise, the tension force modifies the force balance acting on the magnetic flux tube. We identified the three independent parameters required to predict the rise-time of magnetic flux tubes, that is, the stellar rotation rate, the magnetic flux density of the flux tube, and its azimuthal wavenumber. We combined these into one single relation that is valid for any solar-like star. We suggest using this generalized relation to constrain the rise-time of magnetic flux tubes in Babcock-Leighton dynamo models.
Key words: stars: magnetic field / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / magnetic fields / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2017