Impact of central mixing scheme and nuclear reaction network on the extent of convective cores


Convective cores are the hydrogen reservoirs of main sequence stars that are more massive than around 1.2 solar masses. The characteristics of the cores have a strong impact on the evolution and structure of the star. However, such results rely on stellar evolution codes, in which simplistic assumptions are often made on the physics in the core. Indeed, mixing is commonly considered to be instantaneous and the most basic nuclear networks assume beryllium at its equilibrium abundance. Those assumptions lead to significant differences in the central composition of the elements for which the timescale to reach nuclear equilibrium is lower than the convective timescale. In this work, we show that those discrepancies impact the nuclear energy production and, therefore, the size of convective cores in models computed with overshoot. We find that cores computed with instantaneous mixing are up to 30% bigger than those computed with diffusive mixing. Similar differences are found when using basic nuclear networks. Additionally, we observed an extension of the duration of the main sequence due to those core size differences. We then investigated the impact of those structural differences on the seismic modeling of solar-like oscillators. Modeling two stars observed by Kepler, we find that the overshoot parameter of the best models computed with a basic nuclear network is significantly lower, compared to models computed with a full nuclear network. This work is a necessary step in improving the modeling of convective cores, which is key to determining accurate ages in the framework of future space missions such as Plato.


DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202245710

Projects: Theory and Observations of Stars

Publication type: Journal

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Citation: A&A 676:A70

Date Published: 1st Aug 2023

Registered Mode: by DOI

Authors: Anthony Noll, Sébastien Deheuvels

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Noll, A., & Deheuvels, S. (2023). Impact of central mixing scheme and nuclear reaction network on the extent of convective cores. In Astronomy & Astrophysics (Vol. 676, p. A70). EDP Sciences.

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Created: 19th Sep 2023 at 14:27

Last updated: 19th Sep 2023 at 14:30

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