Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


STARS2 — Result In Brief

Project ID: 207430
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

Stars as big physics labs

Stars can be seen as modern physics laboratories where fundamental physical processes as diverse as atomic physics, magnetism and turbulence can be studied and understood.
Stars as big physics labs
The STARS2 (Simulations of turbulent, active and rotating suns and stars) project worked towards unravelling solar and stellar turbulence, magnetism and rotation by developing realistic multi-D (either 2D or 3D) numerical simulations.

A 3D time-dependent integrated model of the Sun, coupling non-linearly, thermally, mechanically and magnetically the radiative interior to the convective envelope, was developed. This permitted study in a self-consistent way of how the Sun as a whole (from its nuclear core up to its surface) is operating and transporting heat, energy and angular momentum and is generating and maintaining its magnetic field via dynamo action.

Integrated models also allowed progress on the dynamics of the tachocline, which is a narrow shear layer at the base of the convective envelope, thought to be the origin of the solar large-scale magnetic field and cyclic activity. These models further allowed 3D simulation for the first time of internal waves forming and propagating in a realistic radiative solar interior, which can help guide future searches for such waves in the real Sun via solar helioseismology. Having access to solar mean field dynamo models with cyclic activity allowed an investigation of how such variability influences the global properties of the solar corona and the solar wind of particles that impact Earth, and that might affect the early evolutionary phases of stars.

Models of other spectral types of stars were computed within the project. These simulations considered how a convective core in massive stars influences the extended radiative envelope and surface magnetism. They also showed how the extended convective envelope of red giant stars (i.e. old Suns) rotate and transport angular momentum and how fast rotating young stars develop intense magnetic fields that may form loops and starspots.

This wealth of data has provided insight into how Sun-like stars and solar analogues behave, and the differences and common properties with respect to our Sun. Access to fully non-linear dynamical models of stars can improve our understanding of such fascinating and diverse objects.

Related information


Stars, physics, magnetism, turbulence, STARS2, helioseismology
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