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Strong asymmetry in stellar dynamos

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul BushbyORCiD


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During the final stages of the Maunder minimum, the sunspot observations suggest that the solar dynamo exhibited high degrees of asymmetry, with the bulk of the magnetic activity being confined to one hemisphere. Such asymmetry may have occurred during other grand minima phases of the Sun and this may also be the case in other solar-type stars. A simple, illustrative, αω mean-field dynamo model is analysed in order to investigate the occurrence of asymmetric solutions. Direct numerical integration of the resulting partial differential equations shows that these highly asymmetric dynamo modes exist over a large region of parameter space and, where they do occur, they are surprisingly robust. This model is then used as the basis for the derivation of a low-order model that displays the simplest possible interaction between dipolar and quadrupolar components of the magnetic field. The implications for these results are discussed for solar-like stellar dynamos.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bushby PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Year: 2003

Volume: 338

Issue: 3

Pages: 655-664

ISSN (print): 0035-8711

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2966

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06080.x


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