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Title: TIDALLY DRIVEN DYNAMOS IN A ROTATING SPHERE

Large-scale planetary or stellar magnetic fields generated by a dynamo effect are mostly attributed to flows forced by buoyancy forces in electrically conducting fluid layers. However, these large-scale fields may also be controlled by tides, as previously suggested for the star τ-boo, Mars, or the early Moon. By simulating a small local patch of a rotating fluid, Barker and Lithwick have recently shown that tides can drive small-scale dynamos by exciting a hydrodynamic instability, the so-called elliptical (or tidal) instability. By performing global magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a rotating spherical fluid body, we investigate if this instability can also drive the observed large-scale magnetic fields. We are thus interested in the dynamo threshold and the generated magnetic field in order to test if such a mechanism is relevant for planets and stars. Rather than solving the problem in a geometry deformed by tides, we consider a spherical fluid body and add a body force to mimic the tidal deformation in the bulk of the fluid. This allows us to use an efficient spectral code to solve the magnetohydrodynamic problem. We first compare the hydrodynamic results with theoretical asymptotic results and numerical results obtained in a truly deformed ellipsoid, which confirms themore » presence of elliptical instability. We then perform magnetohydrodynamic simulations and investigate the dynamo capability of the flow. Kinematic and self-consistent dynamos are finally simulated, showing that the elliptical instability is capable of generating a dipole-dominated large-scale magnetic field in global simulations of a fluid rotating sphere.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Institut für Geophysik, Sonneggstrasse 5, ETH Zürich, Zürich CH-8092 (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365714
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 789; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DEFORMATION; DIPOLES; HYDRODYNAMICS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MARS PLANET; MOON; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION; STARS; TIDE