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Convection and differential rotation properties of G and K stars computed with the ASH code

Abstract : The stellar luminosity and depth of the convective envelope vary rapidly with mass for G-and K-type main sequence stars. In order to understand how these properties influence the convective turbulence, differential rotation, and meridional circulation , we have carried out 3D dynamical simulations of the interiors of rotating main sequence stars, using the anelastic spherical harmonic (ASH) code. The stars in our simulations have masses of 0.5, 0.7, 0.9, and 1.1 M , corresponding to spectral types K7 through G0, and rotate at the same angular speed as the sun. We identify several trends of convection zone properties with stellar mass, exhibited by the simulations. The convective velocities, temperature contrast between up-and downflows, and meridional circulation velocities all increase with stellar luminosity. As a consequence of the trend in convective velocity, the Rossby number (at a fixed rotation rate) increases and the convective turnover timescales decrease significantly with increasing stellar mass. The 3 lowest mass cases exhibit solar-like differential rotation, in a sense that they show a maximum rotation at the equator and minimum at higher latitudes, but the 1.1 M case exhibits anti-solar rotation. At low mass, the meridional circulation is multi-cellular and aligned with the rotation axis; as the mass increases, the circulation pattern tends toward a unicellular structure covering each hemisphere in the convection zone.
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S.P. Matt1, O. Do Cao, B.P. Brown, A.S. Brun. Convection and differential rotation properties of G and K stars computed with the ASH code. Astronomical Notes / Astronomische Nachrichten, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2011, 332 (9-10), pp.897-906. ⟨10.1002/asna.201111624⟩. ⟨cea-00828207⟩

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