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λ And: a post-main-sequence wind from a solar-mass star

Abstract : We investigate the wind of λ And, a solar-mass star that has evolved off the main sequence becoming a subgiant. We present spectropolarimetric observations and use them to reconstruct the surface magnetic field of λ And. Although much older than our Sun, this star exhibits a stronger (reaching up to 83 G) large-scale magnetic field, which is dominated by the poloidal component. To investigate the wind of λ And, we use the derived magnetic map to simulate two stellar wind scenarios, namely a 'polytropic wind' (thermally driven) and an 'Alfven-wave-driven wind' with turbulent dissipation. From our 3D magnetohydrodynamics simulations, we calculate the wind thermal emission and compare it to previously published radio observations and more recent Very Large Array observations, which we present here. These observations show a basal sub-mJy quiescent flux level at ~5 GHz and, at epochs, a much larger flux density (>37 mJy), likely due to radio flares. By comparing our model results with the radio observations of λ And, we can constrain its mass-loss rate $\dot{M}$. There are two possible conclusions. (1) Assuming the quiescent radio emission originates from the stellar wind, we conclude that λ And has $\dot{M} \simeq 3 \times 10^{-9}$ M yr -1, which agrees with the evolving mass-loss rate trend for evolved solar-mass stars. (2) Alternatively, if the quiescent emission does not originate from the wind, our models can only place an upper limit on mass-loss rates, indicating that $\dot{M} \lesssim 3 \times 10^{-9}$ M yr -1.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, May 19, 2022 - 3:07:49 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 12:00:55 PM


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D. Ó Fionnagáin, A. A. Vidotto, P. Petit, C. Neiner, W. Manchester, et al.. λ And: a post-main-sequence wind from a solar-mass star. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021, 500, pp.3438-3453. ⟨10.1093/mnras/staa3468⟩. ⟨insu-03672456⟩



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