Physically motivated heat conduction treatment in simulations of solar-like stars: effects on dynamo transitions

M. Viviani, M. J. Käpylä

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Context. Results from global magnetoconvection simulations of solar-like stars are at odds with observations in many respects: They show a surplus of energy in the kinetic power spectrum at large scales, anti-solar differential rotation profiles, with accelerated poles and a slow equator, for the solar rotation rate, and a transition from axi- to non-axisymmetric dynamos at a much lower rotation rate than what is observed. Even though the simulations reproduce the observed active longitudes in fast rotators, their motion in the rotational frame (the so-called azimuthal dynamo wave, ADW) is retrograde, in contrast to the prevalent prograde motion in observations. Aims. We study the effect of a more realistic treatment of heat conductivity in alleviating the discrepancies between observations and simulations. Methods. We use physically-motivated heat conduction, by applying Kramers opacity law, on a semi-global spherical setup describing convective envelopes of solar-like stars, instead of a prescribed heat conduction profile from mixing-length arguments. Results. We find that some aspects of the results now better correspond to observations: The axi- to non-axisymmetric transition point is shifted towards higher rotation rates. We also find a change in the propagation direction of ADWs so that also prograde waves are now found. The transition from anti-solar to solar-like rotation profile, however, is also shifted towards higher rotation rates, leaving the models into an even more unrealistic regime. Conclusions. Although a Kramers-based heat conduction does not help in reproducing the solar rotation profile, it does help in the faster rotation regime, where the dynamo solutions now match better with observations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA141
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date1 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

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