Turbulent dynamo action and its effects on the mixing at the convective boundary of an idealized oxygen-burning shell

Abstract:
          Convection is one of the most important mixing processes in stellar interiors. Hydrodynamic mass entrainment can bring fresh fuel from neighboring stable layers into a convection zone, modifying the structure and evolution of the star. Because flows in stellar convection zones are highly turbulent, multidimensional hydrodynamic simulations are fundamental to accurately capture the physics of mixing processes. Under some conditions, strong magnetic fields can be sustained by the action of a turbulent dynamo, adding another layer of complexity and possibly altering the dynamics in the convection zone and at its boundaries. In this study, we used our fully compressible S
          EVEN
          -L
          EAGUE
          H
          YDRO
          code to run detailed and highly resolved three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations of turbulent convection, dynamo amplification, and convective boundary mixing in a simplified setup whose stratification is similar to that of an oxygen-burning shell in a star with an initial mass of 25
          M
          ⊙
          . We find that the random stretching of magnetic field lines by fluid motions in the inertial range of the turbulent spectrum (i.e., a small-scale dynamo) naturally amplifies the seed field by several orders of magnitude in a few convective turnover timescales. During the subsequent saturated regime, the magnetic-to-kinetic energy ratio inside the convective shell reaches values as high as 0.33, and the average magnetic field strength is ∼10
          10
          G. Such strong fields efficiently suppress shear instabilities, which feed the turbulent cascade of kinetic energy, on a wide range of spatial scales. The resulting convective flows are characterized by thread-like structures that extend over a large fraction of the convective shell. The reduced flow speeds and the presence of magnetic fields with strengths up to 60% of the equipartition value at the upper convective boundary diminish the rate of mass entrainment from the stable layer by ≈20% as compared to the purely hydrodynamic case.

SEEK ID: https://publications.h-its.org/publications/1824

DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202347621

Research Groups: Physics of Stellar Objects

Publication type: Journal

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Citation: A&A 679:A132

Date Published: 1st Nov 2023

Registered Mode: by DOI

Authors: G. Leidi, R. Andrassy, J. Higl, P. V. F. Edelmann, F. K. Röpke

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Citation
Leidi, G., Andrassy, R., Higl, J., Edelmann, P. V. F., & Röpke, F. K. (2023). Turbulent dynamo action and its effects on the mixing at the convective boundary of an idealized oxygen-burning shell. In Astronomy & Astrophysics (Vol. 679, p. A132). EDP Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/202347621
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Created: 19th Mar 2024 at 12:26

Last updated: 19th Mar 2024 at 12:26

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