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    A significant fraction of isolated white dwarfs host magnetic fields in excess of a MegaGauss. Observations suggest that these fields originate in interacting binary systems where the companion is destroyed thus leaving a singular, highly magnetized white dwarf. In post-main-sequence evolution, radial expansion of the parent star may cause orbiting companions to become engulfed. During the common envelope phase, as the orbital separation rapidly decreases, low-mass companions will tidally disrupt as they approach the giant’s core. We hydrodynamically simulate the tidal disruption of planets and brown dwarfs, and the subsequent accretion disc formation, in the interior of an asymptotic giant branch star. Compared to previous steady-state simulations, the resultant discs form with approximately the same mass fraction as estimated but have not yet reached steady state and are morphologically more extended in height and radius. The long-term evolution of the disc and the magnetic fields generated therein require future study.


    It has long been speculated that jet feedback from accretion on to the companion during a common envelope (CE) event could affect the orbital evolution and envelope unbinding process. We present global 3D hydrodynamical simulations of CE evolution (CEE) that include a jet subgrid model and compare them with an otherwise identical model without a jet. Our binary consists of a 2-M⊙ red giant branch primary and a 1- or 0.5-M⊙ main sequence (MS) or white dwarf (WD) secondary companion modelled as a point particle. We run the simulations for 10 orbits (40 d). Our jet model adds mass at a constant rate $\dot{M}_\mathrm{j}$ of the order of the Eddington rate, with maximum velocity vj of the order of the escape speed, to two spherical sectors with the jet axis perpendicular to the orbital plane. We explore the influence of the jet on orbital evolution, envelope morphology and envelope unbinding, and assess the dependence of the results on the jet mass-loss rate, launch speed, companion mass, opening angle, and accretion rate. In line with our theoretical estimates, jets are choked around the time of first periastron passage and remain choked thereafter. Subsequent to choking, but not before, jets efficiently transfermore »energy to bound envelope material. This leads to increases in unbound mass of up to $\sim 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, as compared to the simulations without jets. We also estimate the cumulative effects of jets over a full CE phase, finding that jets launched by MS and WD companions are unlikely to dominate envelope unbinding.

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    The role of charge exchange in shaping exoplanet photoevaporation remains a topic of contention. Exchange of electrons between stellar wind protons from the exoplanet’s host star and neutral hydrogen from the planet’s wind has been proposed as a mechanism to create ‘energetic neutral atoms’ (ENAs), which could explain the high absorption line velocities observed in systems where mass-loss is occurring. In this paper, we present results from three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the mass-loss of a planet similar to HD 209458b. We self-consistently launch a planetary wind by calculating the ionization and heating resulting from incident high-energy radiation, inject a stellar wind into the simulation, and allow electron exchange between the stellar and planetary winds. We predict the potential production of ENAs by the wind–wind interaction analytically, and then present the results of our simulations, which confirm the analytic limits. Within the limits of our hydrodynamic simulation, we find that charge exchange with the stellar wind properties examined here is unable to explain the absorption observed at high Doppler velocities.

  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  5. Abstract We present the results of a comprehensive, near-UV-to-near-IR Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) imaging study of the young planetary nebula (PN) NGC 6302, the archetype of the class of extreme bilobed, pinched-waist PNe that are rich in dust and molecular gas. The new WFC3 emission-line image suite clearly defines the dusty toroidal equatorial structure that bisects NGC 6302's polar lobes, and the fine structures (clumps, knots, and filaments) within the lobes. The most striking aspect of the new WFC3 image suite is the bright, S-shaped 1.64 μ m [Fe ii ] emission that traces the southern interior of the east lobe rim and the northern interior of the west lobe rim, in point-symmetric fashion. We interpret this [Fe ii ] emitting region as a zone of shocks caused by ongoing, fast (∼100 km s −1 ), collimated, off-axis winds from NGC 6302's central star(s). The [Fe ii ] emission and a zone of dusty, N- and S-rich clumps near the nebular symmetry axis form wedge-shaped structures on opposite sides of the core, with boundaries marked by sharp azimuthal ionization gradients. Comparison of our new images with earlier HST/WFC3 imaging reveals that the object previously identifiedmore »as NGC 6302's central star is a foreground field star. Shell-like inner lobe features may instead pinpoint the obscured central star’s actual position within the nebula’s dusty central torus. The juxtaposition of structures revealed in this HST/WFC3 imaging study of NGC 6302 presents a daunting challenge for models of the origin and evolution of bipolar PNe.« less
  6. ABSTRACT Collisional self-interactions occurring in protostellar jets give rise to strong shocks, the structure of which can be affected by radiative cooling within the flow. To study such colliding flows, we use the AstroBEAR AMR code to conduct hydrodynamic simulations in both one and three dimensions with a power-law cooling function. The characteristic length and time-scales for cooling are temperature dependent and thus may vary as shocked gas cools. When the cooling length decreases sufficiently and rapidly, the system becomes unstable to the radiative shock instability, which produces oscillations in the position of the shock front; these oscillations can be seen in both the one- and three-dimensional cases. Our simulations show no evidence of the density clumping characteristic of a thermal instability, even when the cooling function meets the expected criteria. In the three-dimensional case, the nonlinear thin shell instability (NTSI) is found to dominate when the cooling length is sufficiently small. When the flows are subjected to the radiative shock instability, oscillations in the size of the cooling region allow NTSI to occur at larger cooling lengths, though larger cooling lengths delay the onset of NTSI by increasing the oscillation period.
  7. ABSTRACT The shear-current effect (SCE) of mean-field dynamo theory refers to the combination of a shear flow and a turbulent coefficient β21 with a favourable negative sign for exponential mean-field growth, rather than positive for diffusion. There have been long-standing disagreements among theoretical calculations and comparisons of theory with numerical experiments as to the sign of kinetic ($\beta ^u_{21}$) and magnetic ($\beta ^b_{21}$) contributions. To resolve these discrepancies, we combine an analytical approach with simulations, and show that unlike $\beta ^b_{21}$, the kinetic SCE $\beta ^u_{21}$ has a strong dependence on the kinetic energy spectral index and can transit from positive to negative values at $\mathcal {O}(10)$ Reynolds numbers if the spectrum is not too steep. Conversely, $\beta ^b_{21}$ is always negative regardless of the spectral index and Reynolds numbers. For very steep energy spectra, the positive $\beta ^u_{21}$ can dominate even at energy equipartition urms ≃ brms, resulting in a positive total β21 even though $\beta ^b_{21}\lt 0$. Our findings bridge the gap between the seemingly contradictory results from the second-order-correlation approximation versus the spectral-τ closure, for which opposite signs for $\beta ^u_{21}$ have been reported, with the same sign for $\beta ^b_{21}\lt 0$. The results also offer anmore »explanation for the simulations that find $\beta ^u_{21}\gt 0$ and an inconclusive overall sign of β21 for $\mathcal {O}(10)$ Reynolds numbers. The transient behaviour of $\beta ^u_{21}$ is demonstrated using the kinematic test-field method. We compute dynamo growth rates for cases with or without rotation, and discuss opportunities for further work.« less
  8. ABSTRACT Despite spatial and temporal fluctuations in turbulent astrophysical systems, mean-field theories can be used to describe their secular evolution. However, observations taken over time scales much shorter than dynamical time scales capture a system in a single state of its turbulence ensemble. Comparing with mean-field theory can falsify the latter only if the theory is additionally supplied with a quantified precision. The central limit theorem provides appropriate estimates to the precision only when fluctuations contribute linearly to an observable and with constant coherent scales. Here, we introduce an error propagation formula that relaxes both limitations, allowing for non-linear functional forms of observables and inhomogeneous coherent scales and amplitudes of fluctuations. The method is exemplified in the context of accretion disc theories, where inhomogeneous fluctuations in the surface temperature are propagated to the disc emission spectrum – the latter being a non-linear and non-local function of the former. The derived precision depends non-monotonically on emission frequency. Using the same method, we investigate how binned spectral fluctuations in telescope data change with the spectral resolving power. We discuss the broader implications for falsifiability of a mean-field theory.
  9. ABSTRACT Many stars harbour multiplanet systems. As these stars expand late in their evolutions, the innermost planet may be engulfed, leading to a common envelope (CE) event. Even if this is insufficient to eject the envelope, it may expand the star further, causing additional CE events, with the last one unbinding what remains of the envelope. This multiplanet CE scenario may have broad implications for stellar and planetary evolution across a range of systems. We develop a simplified version and show that it may be able to explain the recently observed planet WD 1856 b.
  10. Abstract The association of starspots with magnetic fields leads to an expectation that quantities which correlate with magnetic field strength may also correlate with starspot coverage. Since younger stars spin faster and are more magnetically active, assessing whether starspot coverage correlates with shorter rotation periods and stellar youth tests these principles. Here we analyze the starspot covering fraction versus stellar age for M-, G-, K-, and F-type stars based on previously determined variability and rotation periods of over 30,000 Kepler main-sequence stars. We determine the correlation between age and variability using single and dual power law best fits. We find that starspot coverage does indeed decrease with age. Only when the data are binned in an effort to remove the effects of activity cycles of individual stars, do statistically significant power law fits emerge for each stellar type. Using bin averages, we then find that the starspot covering fraction scales with the X-ray to bolometric ratio to the power λ with 0.22 ± 0.03 < λ < 0.32 ± 0.09 for G-type stars of rotation period below 15 days and for the full range of F- and M-type stars. For K-type stars, we find two branches of λ separated by variabilitymore »bins, with the lower branch showing nearly constant starspot coverage and the upper branch λ ∼ 0.35 ± 0.04. G-type stars with periods longer than 15 days exhibit a transition to steeper power law of λ ∼ 2.4 ± 1.0. The potential connection to previous rotation-age measurements suggesting a magnetic breaking transition at the solar age, corresponding to period of 24.5 is also of interest.« less