The radius and entropy of a magnetized, rotating fully-convective star: analysis with depth-dependent mixing length theories
American Astronomical Society / IOP Publishing
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Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by IOP Publishing. No embargo required on publication
Some low-mass stars appear to have larger radii than predicted by standard 1D structure models; prior work has suggested that inefficient convective heat transport, due to rotation and/or magnetism, may ultimately be responsible. We examine this issue using 1D stellar models constructed using Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA). First, we consider standard models that do not explicitly include rotational/magnetic effects, with convective inhibition modeled by decreasing a depth-independent mixing length theory (MLT) parameter αMLT (following Cox et al. 1981; Chabrier et al. 2007). We provide formulae linking changes in αMLT to changes in the interior specific entropy, and hence to the stellar radius. Next, we modify the MLT formulation in MESA to mimic explicitly the influence of rotation and magnetism, using formulations suggested by Stevenson (1979) and MacDonald & Mullan (2014) respectively. We find rapid rotation in these models has a negligible impact on stellar structure, primarily because a stars adiabat, and hence its radius, is predominantly affected by layers near the surface; convection is rapid and largely uninfluenced by rotation there. Magnetic fields, if they influenced convective transport in the manner described by MacDonald & Mullan (2014), could lead to more noticeable radius inflation. Finally, we show that these non-standard effects on stellar structure can be fabricated using a depth-dependent αMLT: a non-magnetic, non-rotating model can be produced that is virtually indistinguishable from one that explicitly parameterizes rotation and/or magnetism using the two formulations above. We provide formulae linking the radially-variable αMLT to these putative MLT reformulations.
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