The magnetic strip(s) in the advanced phases of stellar evolution

C. Charbonnel, T. Decressin, N. Lagarde, F. Gallet, A. Palacios, M. Aurière, R. Konstantinova-Antova, S. Mathis, R. I. Anderson, B. Dintrans
2017 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
Recent spectropolarimetric observations of otherwise ordinary G, K, and M giants revealed localized magnetic strips in the HRD coincident with the regions where the first dredge-up and core He-burning occur. We seek to understand the origin of magnetic fields in such late-type giant stars. In analogy with late-type dwarf stars, we focus primarily on parameters known to influence the generation of magnetic fields in the outer convective envelope. We compute the classical dynamo parameters along
more » ... o parameters along the evolutionary tracks of low- and intermediate-mass stars at various metallicities using stellar models that have been extensively tested by spectroscopic and asteroseismic observations. These include convective turnover timescales and convective Rossby numbers, computed from the PMS to the tip of the RGB or the early AGB. To investigate the effects of the very extended outer convective envelope, we compute these parameters both for the entire convective envelope and locally, that is, at different depths within the envelope. We also compute the turnover timescales and corresponding Rossby numbers for the convective cores of intermediate-mass stars on the main sequence. Our models show that the Rossby number of the convective envelope becomes lower than unity in the well-delimited locations of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram where magnetic fields have indeed been detected. We show that alpha-omega dynamo processes might not be continuously operating, but that they are favored in the stellar convective envelope at two specific moments along the evolution tracks, that is, during the first dredge-up at the base of the RGB and during central helium burning in the helium-burning phase and early-AGB. This general behavior can explain the so-called magnetic strips recently discovered by dedicated spectropolarimetric surveys of evolved stars.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201526724 fatcat:wcog644ybfg2pom6lzixrycgku