Global 3D radiation-hydrodynamics models of AGB stars
Effects of convection and radial pulsations on atmospheric structures
Division of Astronomy and Space Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Received: 26 August 2016
Accepted: 5 February 2017
Context. Observations of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars with increasing spatial resolution reveal new layers of complexity of atmospheric processes on a variety of scales.
Aims. To analyze the physical mechanisms that cause asymmetries and surface structures in observed images, we use detailed 3D dynamical simulations of AGB stars; these simulations self-consistently describe convection and pulsations.
Methods. We used the CO5BOLD radiation-hydrodynamics code to produce an exploratory grid of global “star-in-a-box” models of the outer convective envelope and the inner atmosphere of AGB stars to study convection, pulsations, and shock waves and their dependence on stellar and numerical parameters.
Results. The model dynamics are governed by the interaction of long-lasting giant convection cells, short-lived surface granules, and strong, radial, fundamental-mode pulsations. Radial pulsations and shorter wavelength, traveling, acoustic waves induce shocks on various scales in the atmosphere. Convection, waves, and shocks all contribute to the dynamical pressure and, thus, to an increase of the stellar radius and to a levitation of material into layers where dust can form. Consequently, the resulting relation of pulsation period and stellar radius is shifted toward larger radii compared to that of non-linear 1D models. The dependence of pulsation period on luminosity agrees well with observed relations. The interaction of the pulsation mode with the non-stationary convective flow causes occasional amplitude changes and phase shifts. The regularity of the pulsations decreases with decreasing gravity as the relative size of convection cells increases. The model stars do not have a well-defined surface. Instead, the light is emitted from a very extended inhomogeneous atmosphere with a complex dynamic pattern of high-contrast features.
Conclusions. Our models self-consistently describe convection, convectively generated acoustic noise, fundamental-mode radial pulsations, and atmospheric shocks of various scales, which give rise to complex changing structures in the atmospheres of AGB stars.
Key words: convection / shock waves / methods: numerical / stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: atmospheres / stars: oscillations
© ESO, 2017