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Title: A Comparison between Physics-based and Polytropic MHD Models for Stellar Coronae and Stellar Winds of Solar Analogs

Abstract

The development of the Zeeman–Doppler Imaging (ZDI) technique has provided synoptic observations of surface magnetic fields of low-mass stars. This led the stellar astrophysics community to adopt modeling techniques that have been used in solar physics using solar magnetograms. However, many of these techniques have been neglected by the solar community due to their failure to reproduce solar observations. Nevertheless, some of these techniques are still used to simulate the coronae and winds of solar analogs. Here we present a comparative study between two MHD models for the solar corona and solar wind. The first type of model is a polytropic wind model, and the second is the physics-based AWSOM model. We show that while the AWSOM model consistently reproduces many solar observations, the polytropic model fails to reproduce many of them, and in the cases where it does, its solutions are unphysical. Our recommendation is that polytropic models, which are used to estimate mass-loss rates and other parameters of solar analogs, must first be calibrated with solar observations. Alternatively, these models can be calibrated with models that capture more detailed physics of the solar corona (such as the AWSOM model) and that can reproduce solar observations in a consistentmore » manner. Without such a calibration, the results of the polytropic models cannot be validated, but they can be wrongly used by others.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA 01854 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663897
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 835; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; CALIBRATION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DOPPLER EFFECT; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; MASS TRANSFER; PLANETS; RECOMMENDATIONS; SATELLITE ATMOSPHERES; SATELLITES; SIMULATION; SOLAR CORONA; SOLAR WIND; STARS; SURFACES; ZEEMAN EFFECT

Citation Formats

Cohen, O. A Comparison between Physics-based and Polytropic MHD Models for Stellar Coronae and Stellar Winds of Solar Analogs. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/220.
Cohen, O. A Comparison between Physics-based and Polytropic MHD Models for Stellar Coronae and Stellar Winds of Solar Analogs. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/220.
Cohen, O. Wed . "A Comparison between Physics-based and Polytropic MHD Models for Stellar Coronae and Stellar Winds of Solar Analogs". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/220.
@article{osti_22663897,
title = {A Comparison between Physics-based and Polytropic MHD Models for Stellar Coronae and Stellar Winds of Solar Analogs},
author = {Cohen, O.},
abstractNote = {The development of the Zeeman–Doppler Imaging (ZDI) technique has provided synoptic observations of surface magnetic fields of low-mass stars. This led the stellar astrophysics community to adopt modeling techniques that have been used in solar physics using solar magnetograms. However, many of these techniques have been neglected by the solar community due to their failure to reproduce solar observations. Nevertheless, some of these techniques are still used to simulate the coronae and winds of solar analogs. Here we present a comparative study between two MHD models for the solar corona and solar wind. The first type of model is a polytropic wind model, and the second is the physics-based AWSOM model. We show that while the AWSOM model consistently reproduces many solar observations, the polytropic model fails to reproduce many of them, and in the cases where it does, its solutions are unphysical. Our recommendation is that polytropic models, which are used to estimate mass-loss rates and other parameters of solar analogs, must first be calibrated with solar observations. Alternatively, these models can be calibrated with models that capture more detailed physics of the solar corona (such as the AWSOM model) and that can reproduce solar observations in a consistent manner. Without such a calibration, the results of the polytropic models cannot be validated, but they can be wrongly used by others.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/220},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 835,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • Stellar winds are believed to be the dominant factor in the spin-down of stars over time. However, stellar winds of solar analogs are poorly constrained due to observational challenges. In this paper, we present a grid of magnetohydrodynamic models to study and quantify the values of stellar mass loss and angular momentum loss rates as a function of the stellar rotation period, magnetic dipole component, and coronal base density. We derive simple scaling laws for the loss rates as a function of these parameters, and constrain the possible mass loss rate of stars with thermally driven winds. Despite the successmore » of our scaling law in matching the results of the model, we find a deviation between the 'solar dipole' case and a real case based on solar observations that overestimates the actual solar mass loss rate by a factor of three. This implies that the model for stellar fields might require a further investigation with additional complexity. Mass loss rates in general are largely controlled by the magnetic field strength, with the wind density varying in proportion to the confining magnetic pressure B {sup 2}. We also find that the mass loss rates obtained using our grid models drop much faster with the increase in rotation period than scaling laws derived using observed stellar activity. For main-sequence solar-like stars, our scaling law for angular momentum loss versus poloidal magnetic field strength retrieves the well-known Skumanich decline of angular velocity with time, Ω{sub *}∝t {sup –1/2}, if the large-scale poloidal magnetic field scales with rotation rate as B{sub p}∝Ω{sub ⋆}{sup 2}.« less
  • The Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETG) spectra of the coronally active binary stars {sigma} Gem and HR 1099 are among the highest fluence observations for such systems taken at high spectral resolution in X-rays with this instrument. This allows us to compare their properties in detail to solar flare spectra obtained with the Russian CORONAS-F spacecraft's RESIK instrument at similar resolution in an overlapping bandpass. Here we emphasize the detailed comparisons of the 3.3-6.1 A region (including emission from highly ionized S, Si, Ar, and K) from solar flare spectra to the corresponding {sigma} Gem and HR 1099more » spectra. We also model the larger wavelength range of the HETG, from 1.7 to 25 A - having emission lines from Fe, Ca, Ar, Si, Al, Mg, Ne, O, and N-to determine coronal temperatures and abundances. {sigma} Gem is a single-lined coronally active long-period binary which has a very hot corona. HR 1099 is a similar, but shorter period, double-lined system. With very deep HETG exposures we can even study emission from some of the weaker species, such as K, Na, and Al, which are important since they have the lowest first ionization potentials, a parameter well known to be correlated with elemental fractionation in the solar corona. The solar flare temperatures reach Almost-Equal-To 20 MK, comparable to the {sigma} Gem and HR 1099 coronae. During the Chandra exposures, {sigma} Gem was slowly decaying from a flare and its spectrum is well characterized by a collisional ionization equilibrium plasma with a broad temperature distribution ranging from 2 to 60 MK, peaking near 25 MK, but with substantial emission from 50 MK plasma. We have detected K XVIII and Na XI emission which allow us to set limits on their abundances. HR 1099 was also quite variable in X-rays, also in a flare state, but had no detectable K XVIII. These measurements provide new comparisons of solar and stellar coronal abundances, especially at the lowest first ionization potential (FIP) values. The low FIP elements do not show enhancement in the stellar coronae as they do in the Sun, except perhaps for K in {sigma} Gem. While {sigma} Gem and HR 1099 differ in their emission measure distributions, they have very similar elemental abundances.« less
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