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3D MHD simulations getting closer to the Sun...

Aug. 10, 2014

Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of the solar convection zone are considered nowadays one of the best tools to study the Sun. Although the parameter regime that we can simulate at the moment is still far from that found in the Sun, some of the results obtained recently indicate that some physical processes scale through parameter space.

That is the case of the millennium simulation, a 3D MHD simulation that spans for more than 1600 years done with the EULAG-MHD code. This simulation is very interesting because besides the turbulent behavior of the plasma, it develops a large scale magnetic field that changes polarity on a scale of decades. This is similar to what happens on the Sun, the solar cycle.

This simulated solar cycle is analysed in a recent paper by Passos and Charbonneau and we show that it presents many similarities (and some obvious differences) with the real solar cycle. The results are exciting as they show that 3D simulations are getting closer to capture some of the dynamics that occurs in the interior of our star.

Find out more after the break:

Astronomy and Astrophysics (forthcomming)