Magnetic Cycles and Buoyant Magnetic Structures in a Rapidly Rotating Sun

Type Conference Paper
Names Nicholas J. Nelson, B. P. Brown, S. Brun, M. S. Miesch, J. Toomre
Proceedings Title Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Conference Name American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #217, #155.12
Volume 43
Pages 15512
Date January 1, 2011
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract Observations of sun-like stars rotating faster than our current sun show that they exhibit solar-like magnetic cycles and features, such as star spots. Using global 3-D simulations to study the coupling of large-scale convection, rotation, and magnetism in a younger sun, we have probed the effects of more rapid rotation on stellar dynamos and the nature of magnetic cycles. Our anelastic spherical harmonics (ASH) code allows study of the convective envelope, occupying the outer 30% by radius of a sun-like star. Major MHD simulations carried out at three times the current solar rotation rate reveal magnetic dynamo action that can produce wreaths of strong toroidal magnetic field at low latitudes, often with opposite polarity in the two hemispheres. The presence of the wreaths is quite surprising, for they arise as quite persistent global structures amidst the vigorous and turbulent convection. We have recently explored behavior in systems with considerably lower diffusivities, achieved with a dynamic Smagorinsky treatment of unresolved turbulence. The lower levels of diffusion create magnetic wreaths that undergo prominent variations in field strength, even exhibiting global magnetic cycles that involve polarity reversals. Additionally, during the cycle maximum, when magnetic energies and mean magnetic fields peak, the wreaths possess buoyant magnetic structures that rise coherently through much of the convective envelope via a combination of advection by convective upflows and magnetic buoyancy. We explore aspects of these rising magnetic structures and the evolving global dynamo action which produces them.
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