Simulations of Dynamo Action in Fully Convective Stars
Browning, Matthew K.
American Astronomical Society / IOP Publishing
We present three-dimensional nonlinear magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the interiors of fully convective M dwarfs. Our models consider 0.3 solar-mass stars using the Anelastic Spherical Harmonic code, with the spherical computational domain extending from 0.08 to 0.96 times the overall stellar radius. Like previous authors, we find that fully convective stars can generate kG-strength magnetic fields (in rough equipartition with the convective flows) without the aid of a tachocline of shear. Although our model stars are everywhere unstably stratified, the amplitudes and typical pattern sizes of the convective flows vary strongly with radius, with the outer regions of the stars hosting vigorous convection and field amplification while the deep interiors are more quiescent. Modest differential rotation is established in hydrodynamic calculations, but-unlike in some prior work-strongly quenched in MHD simulations because of the Maxwell stresses exerted by the dynamo-generated magnetic fields. Despite the lack of strong differential rotation, the magnetic fields realized in the simulations possess significant mean (axisymmetric) components, which we attribute partly to the strong influence of rotation on the slowly overturning flows.
Copyright © 2008 American Astronomical Society / IOP Publishing
Vol. 676 (2), pp. 1262 - 1280