Towards a new generation of multi-dimensional stellar evolution models: development of an implicit hydrodynamic code
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Copyright © ESO 2011
This paper describes the first steps of development of a new multidimensional time implicit code devoted to the study of hydrodynamical processes in stellar interiors. The code solves the hydrodynamical equations in spherical geometry and is based on the finite volume method. Radiation transport is taken into account within the diffusion approximation. Realistic equation of state and opacities are implemented, allowing the study of a wide range of problems characteristic of stellar interiors. We describe in details the numerical method and various standard tests performed to validate the method. We present preliminary results devoted to the description of stellar convection. We first perform a local simulation of convection in the surface layers of a A-type star model. This simulation is used to test the ability of the code to address stellar conditions and to validate our results, since they can be compared to similar previous simulations based on explicit codes. We then present a global simulation of turbulent convective motions in a cold giant envelope, covering 80% in radius of the stellar structure. Although our implicit scheme is unconditionally stable, we show that in practice there is a limitation on the time step which prevent the flow to move over several cells during a time step. Nevertheless, in the cold giant model we reach a hydro CFL number of 100. We also show that we are able to address flows with a wide range of Mach numbers (10^-3 < Ms< 0.5), which is impossible with an anelastic approach. Our first developments are meant to demonstrate that the use of an implicit scheme applied to a stellar evolution context is perfectly thinkable and to provide useful guidelines to optimise the development of an implicit multi-D hydrodynamical code.
French “Programme National de Physique Stellaire” (PNPS)
Vol. 531 (July 2011) A86