Name/Affiliation: Ofer Cohen (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)
A Grid of MHD Models for Stellar Mass Loss and Spin-down Rates of Solar Analogs
Stellar winds are believed to be the dominant factor in the spin-down of stars over time. However, stellar winds of solar analogs are poorly constrained due to observational challenges. In this paper, we present a grid of magnetohydrodynamic models to study and quantify the values of stellar mass loss and angular momentum loss rates as a function of the stellar rotation period, magnetic dipole component, and coronal base density. We derive simple scaling laws for the loss rates as a function of these parameters, and constrain the possible mass loss rate of stars with thermally driven winds. Despite the success of our scaling law in matching the results of the model, we find a deviation between the "solar dipole" case and a real case based on solar observations that overestimates the actual solar mass loss rate by a factor of three. This implies that the model for stellar fields might require a further investigation with additional complexity. Mass loss rates in general are largely controlled by the magnetic field strength, with the wind density varying in proportion to the confining magnetic pressure B^2. We also find that the mass loss rates obtained using our grid models drop much faster with the increase in rotation period than scaling laws derived using observed stellar activity. For main-sequence solar-like stars, our scaling law for angular momentum loss versus poloidal magnetic field strength retrieves the well-known Skumanich decline of angular velocity with time if the large-scale poloidal magnetic field scales with with the square of the rotation rate.