From solar to stellar corona: the role of wind, rotation and magnetism
Brun, Allan Sacha
Matt, Sean P.
Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing
© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved
Observations of surface magnetic fields are now within reach for many stellar types thanks to the development of Zeeman-Doppler Imaging. These observations are extremely useful for constraining rotational evolution models of stars, as well as for characterizing the generation of the magnetic field. We recently demonstrated that the impact of coronal magnetic field topology on the rotational braking of a star can be parameterized with a scalar parameter: the open magnetic flux. However, without running costly numerical simulations of the stellar wind, reconstructing the coronal structure of the large-scale magnetic field is not trivial. An alternative-broadly used in solar physics-is to extrapolate the surface magnetic field assuming a potential field in the corona, to describe the opening of the field lines by the magnetized wind. This technique relies on the definition of a so-called source surface radius, which is often fixed to the canonical value of 2.5R⊙. However this value likely varies from star to star. To resolve this issue, we use our extended set of 2.5D wind simulations published in 2015 to provide a criterion for the opening of field lines as well as a simple tool to assess the source surface radius and the open magnetic flux. This allows us to derive the magnetic torque applied to the star by the wind from any spectropolarimetric observation. We conclude by discussing some estimations of spin-down timescales made using our technique and compare them to observational requirements.
Final published version. Also available from the publisher website via: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/814/2/99
Vol. 814: 99