Implications of the generation of internal gravity waves by penetrative convection for the internal rotation evolution of low-mass stars
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Paris Diderot, 92195 Meudon, France
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Published online: 27 October 2017
Due to the space-borne missions CoRoT and Kepler, noteworthy breakthroughs have been made in our understanding of stellar evolution, and in particular about the angular momentum redistribution in stellar interiors. Indeed, the high-precision seismic data provide with the measurement of the mean core rotation rate for thousands of low-mass stars from the subgiant branch to the red giant branch. All these observations exhibit much lower core rotation rates than expected by current stellar evolution codes and they emphasize the need for an additional transport process. In this framework, internal gravity waves (herefater, IGW) could play a signifivative role since they are known to be able to transport angular momentum. In this work, we estimate the effciency of the transport by the IGW that are generated by penetrative convection at the interface between the convective and the radiative regions. As a first step, this study is based on the comparison between the timescale for the waves to modify a given rotation profile and the contraction/expansion timescale throughout the radiative zone of 1.3M⊙ stellar models. We show that IGW, on their own, are ineffcient to slow down the core rotation of stars on the red giant branch, where the radiative damping becomes strong enough and prevent the IGW from reaching the innermost layers. However, we find that IGW generated by penetrative convection could effciently modify the core rotation of subgiant stars as soon as the amplitude of the radial differential rotation between the core and the base of the convective zone is high enough, with typical values close to the observed rotation rates in these stars. This result argues for the necessity to account for IGW generated by penetrative convection in stellar modeling and in the angular momentum redistribution issue.
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