Volume 616, August 2018
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||31 August 2018|
Transition from axi- to nonaxisymmetric dynamo modes in spherical convection models of solar-like stars
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research,
2 ReSoLVE Centre of Excellence, Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, PO Box 15400, 00076 Aalto, Finland
3 Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
4 NORDITA, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University, Roslagstullsbacken 23, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
5 Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a, PO Box 64, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
6 Department of Astronomy, AlbaNova University Center, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
7 JILA and Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado Box 440, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
8 Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, 3665 Discovery Drive, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
Accepted: 23 April 2018
Context. Both dynamo theory and observations of stellar large-scale magnetic fields suggest a change from nearly axisymmetric configurations at solar rotation rates to nonaxisymmetric configurations for rapid rotation.
Aims. We seek to understand this transition using numerical simulations.
Methods. We use three-dimensional simulations of turbulent magnetohydrodynamic convection in spherical shell wedges and considered rotation rates between 1 and 31 times the solar value.
Results. We find a transition from axi- to nonaxisymmetric solutions at around 1.8 times the solar rotation rate. This transition coincides with a change in the rotation profile from antisolar- to solar-like differential rotation with a faster equator and slow poles. In the solar-like rotation regime, the field configuration consists of an axisymmetric oscillatory field accompanied by an m = 1 azimuthal mode (two active longitudes), which also shows temporal variability. At slow (rapid) rotation, the axisymmetric (nonaxisymmetric) mode dominates. The axisymmetric mode produces latitudinal dynamo waves with polarity reversals, while the nonaxisymmetric mode often exhibits a slow drift in the rotating reference frame and the strength of the active longitudes changes cyclically over time between the different hemispheres. In the majority of cases we find retrograde waves, while prograde waves are more often found from observations. Most of the obtained dynamo solutions exhibit cyclic variability either caused by latitudinal or azimuthal dynamo waves. In an activity-period diagram, the cycle lengths normalized by the rotation period form two different populations as a function of rotation rate or magnetic activity level. The slowly rotating axisymmetric population lies close to what in observations is called the inactive branch, where the stars are believed to have solar-like differential rotation, while the rapidly rotating models are close to the superactive branch with a declining cycle to rotation frequency ratio and an increasing rotation rate.
Conclusions. We can successfully reproduce the transition from axi- to nonaxisymmetric dynamo solutions for high rotation rates, but high-resolution simulations are required to limit the effect of rotational quenching of convection at rotation rates above 20 times the solar value.
Key words: convection / Sun: activity / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / dynamo / turbulence / Sun: rotation
© ESO 2018
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