Spherical-shell boundaries for two-dimensional compressible convection in a star
Astronomy and Astrophysics
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 320478. M. Viallet is funded by the European Research Council though grant ERC-AdG No. 341157-COCO2CASA. This work used the DiRAC Complexity system, operated by the University of Leicester IT Services, which forms part of the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility (www.dirac.ac.uk). This equipment is funded by BIS National E-Infrastructure capital grant ST/K000373/1 and STFC DiRAC Operations grant ST/K0003259/1. DiRAC is part of the National E-Infrastructure. This work also used the University of Exeter Supercomputer, a DiRAC Facility jointly funded by STFC, the Large Facilities Capital Fund of BIS and the University of Exeter.
Context: We study the impact of two-dimensional spherical shells on compressible convection. Realistic profiles for density and temperature from a one-dimensional stellar evolution code are used to produce a model of a large stellar convection zone representative of a young low-mass star. Methods: We perform hydrodynamic implicit large-eddy simulations of compressible convection using the MUltidimensional Stellar Implicit Code (MUSIC). Because MUSIC has been designed to use realistic stellar models produced from one-dimensional stellar evolution calculations, MUSIC simulations are capable of seamlessly modeling a whole star. Simulations in two-dimensional spherical shells that have different radial extents are performed over hundreds of convective turnover times, permitting the collection of well-converged statistics. Results: We evaluate basic statistics of the convective turnover time, the convective velocity, and the overshooting layer. These quantities are selected for their relevance to one-dimensional stellar evolution calculations, so that our results are focused toward the 321D link. The inclusion in the spherical shell of the boundary between the radiative and convection zones decreases the amplitude of convective velocities in the convection zone. The inclusion of near-surface layers in the spherical shell can increase the amplitude of convective velocities, although the radial structure of the velocity profile established by deep convection is unchanged. The impact from including the near-surface layers depends on the speed and structure of small-scale convection in the near-surface layers. Larger convective velocities in the convection zone result in a commensurate increase in the overshooting layer width and decrease in the convective turnover time. These results provide support for non-local aspects of convection.
14 pages, 9 figures, abbreviated abstract, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics, reproduced with permission, c ESO