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ASTRA Proceedings An open-access journal for refereed proceedings in extraterrestrial research
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Articles | Volume 1
ASTRA Proc., 1, 19–22, 2014
ASTRA Proc., 1, 19–22, 2014

  06 Jun 2014

06 Jun 2014

Incorporating magnetic field observations in wind models of low-mass stars

A. A. Vidotto1,2 A. A. Vidotto
  • 1School of Physics & Astronomy, Univ. of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, UK
  • 2Observatoire de Genève, Univ. de Genève, Ch. des Maillettes 51, Versoix, 1290, Switzerland

Abstract. Stellar winds of cool, main-sequence stars are very tenuous and difficult to observe. Despite carrying away only a small amount of the stellar mass, they are important for regulating the rotation of the star and, consequently, its activity and magnetism. As it permeates the interplanetary space, the stellar wind interacts with any exoplanet encountered on its way, until it reaches the interstellar medium (ISM). These interactions can result in complex physical processes that depend on the characteristics of the wind. To better constrain the wind characteristics, more realistic wind models that account for factors such as stellar rotation and the complex/diverse observationally-derived stellar magnetic field configurations of cool stars are required. In this paper, I present a three-dimensional model of the wind of cool stars, which adopt as boundary condition observationally-derived magnetic maps. I also discuss how these studies are relevant for, e.g., the characterisation of the interaction between stellar winds and planets/ISM, and the propagation of cosmic rays.

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