Nordita Astrophysics seminars

Magnetic bipoles in rotating turbulence with coronal envelope

by Illa R. Losada (Nordita & NOT)

112:028 ()


The formation mechanism of sunspots and starspots is not fully understood. It is a major open problem in solar and stellar physics. Magnetic flux concentrations can be produced by the negative effective magnetic pressure instability (NEMPI). This instability is strongly suppressed by rotation. However, the presence of an outer coronal envelope was previously found to strengthen the flux concentrations and make them more prominent. It also allows for the formation of bipolar regions (BRs). It is important to understand whether the presence of an outer coronal envelope also changes the excitation conditions and the rotational dependence of NEMPI. We use direct numerical simulations and mean-field simulations. We adopt a simple two-layer model of turbulence that mimics the jump between the convective turbulent and coronal layers below and above the surface of a star, respectively. The computational domain is Cartesian and located at a certain latitude of a rotating sphere. We investigate the effects of rotation on NEMPI by changing the Coriolis number, the latitude, the strengths of the imposed magnetic field, and the box resolution. Rotation has a strong impact on the process of BR formation. Even rather slow rotation is found to suppress their formation. However, increasing the imposed magnetic field strength also makes the structures stronger and alleviates the rotational suppression somewhat. The presence of a coronal layer itself does not significantly reduce the effects of rotational suppression. Our mean-field simulations do not reproduce the solitary appearance of BRs, but rather result in horizontal patterns reminiscent of those found in linearized mean-field theory of NEMPI.