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On the Origin of Activity in Solar-Type Stars View all abstracts by submitter

Richard Canfield   Submitted: 2002-11-19 21:03

The magnetic flux of solar coronal active regions is thought to originate in strong toroidal magnetic fields generated by a dynamo at the base of the convection zone. Once generated, this magnetic flux rises through the convection zone as discrete buoyant flux tubes, which may be formed into W-shaped loops by their interaction with convective cells and strong downdrafts. The loops are prevented from fragmentation by twist and curvature of their axes, which are writhed by the Coriolis effect and helical convective turbulence. These W-shaped loops emerge through the photosphere to form dipolar sunspot pairs and coronal active regions. These regionsí free energy, relative magnetic helicity, and tendency to flare and erupt reflect the convection zone phenomena that dominate their journey to the surface, in which helical convective turbulence appears to play a primary role. Recent research leads me to suggest a new paradigm for activity in solar-type stars with deep-seated (tachocline) dynamos. In the present paradigm, dynamo models are expected to explain the distribution of activity in the H-R diagram, as reflected in mean chromospheric emission in lower main-sequence stars. In the new paradigm, dynamo action simply generates the flux that is necessary, but not sufficient, for such activity, and the amplitude of activity depends most importantly on the kinetic helicity and turbulence of convection zone flows.

Authors: Richard C. Canfield
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Publication Status: Advances in Space Research, in press.
Last Modified: 2003-02-06 10:52
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