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Post Info TOPIC: V374 Pegasi


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V374 Pegasi

Title: Powerful Winds from Low-Mass Stars: V374 Peg
Authors: A. A. Vidotto (1), M. Jardine (1), M. Opher (2), J.-F. Donati (3), T. I. Gombosi (4) ((1) Univ. of St Andrews - UK, (2) George Mason University - USA, (3) Obs. Midi-Pyrenees - France, (4) University of Michigan - USA)
(Version v2)

The rapid rotation (P=0.44 d) of the M dwarf V374Peg (M4) along with its intense magnetic field point toward magneto-centrifugal acceleration of a coronal wind. In this work, we investigate the structure of the wind of V374Peg by means of 3D magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) numerical simulations. For the first time, an observationally derived surface magnetic field map is implemented in MHD models of stellar winds for a low mass star. We show that the wind of V374Peg deviates greatly from a low-velocity, low-mass-loss rate solar-type wind. We find general scaling relations for the terminal velocities, mass-loss rates, and spin-down times of highly magnetized M dwarfs. In particular, for V374Peg, our models show that terminal velocities across a range of stellar latitudes reach ~(1500-2300) n_{12}^{-} km/s, where n_{12} is the coronal wind base density in units of 10^{12} cm^{-3}, while the mass-loss rates are about 4 x 10^{-10} n_{12}^{} Msun/yr. We also evaluate the angular-momentum loss of V374Peg, which presents a rotational braking timescale ~28 n_{12}^{-} Myr. Compared to observationally derived values from period distributions of stars in open clusters, this suggests that V374Peg may have low coronal base densities (< 10^{11} cm^{-3}). We show that the wind ram pressure of V374Peg is about 5 orders of magnitude larger than for the solar wind. Nevertheless, a small planetary magnetic field intensity (~ 0.1G) is able to shield a planet orbiting at 1 AU against the erosive effects of the stellar wind. However, planets orbiting inside the habitable zone of V374Peg, where the wind ram pressure is higher, might be facing a more significant atmospheric erosion. In that case, higher planetary magnetic fields of, at least, about half the magnetic field intensity of Jupiter, are required to protect the planet's atmosphere.

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