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Effect of Differential Rotation on the Magnetic Braking of Low-mass and Solar-like Stars: A Proof-of-concept Study

Abstract : On the main sequence, low-mass and solar-like stars are observed to spin down over time, and magnetized stellar winds are thought to be predominantly responsible for this significant angular momentum loss. Previous studies have demonstrated that the wind torque can be predicted via formulations dependent on stellar properties, such as magnetic field strength and geometry, stellar radius and mass, wind mass-loss rate, and stellar rotation rate. Although these stars are observed to experience surface differential rotation, torque formulations so far have assumed solid-body rotation. Surface differential rotation is expected to affect the rotation of the wind and thus the angular momentum loss. To investigate how differential rotation affects the torque, we use the PLUTO code to perform 2.5D magnetohydrodynamic, axisymmetric simulations of stellar winds, using a colatitude-dependent surface differential rotation profile that is solar-like (i.e., rotation is slower at the poles than the equator). We demonstrate that the torque is determined by the average rotation rate in the wind so that the net torque is less than that predicted by assuming solid-body rotation at the equatorial rate. The magnitude of the effect is essentially proportional to the magnitude of the surface differential rotation, for example, resulting in a torque for the Sun that is ~20% smaller than predicted by the solid-body assumption. We derive and fit a semianalytic formulation that predicts the torque as a function of the equatorial spin rate, magnitude of differential rotation, and wind magnetization (depending on the dipolar magnetic field strength and mass-loss rate, combined).
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03745339
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 1:16:41 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, August 6, 2022 - 3:43:21 AM

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Lewis G. Ireland, Sean P. Matt, Charlie R. Davey, Owain L. Harris, Tobias W. Slade-Harajda, et al.. Effect of Differential Rotation on the Magnetic Braking of Low-mass and Solar-like Stars: A Proof-of-concept Study. The Astrophysical Journal, 2022, 925, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac3a71⟩. ⟨insu-03745339⟩

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