Simulations of winds of weak-lined T Tauri stars. II. The effects of a tilted magnetosphere and planetary interactions

Aline Vidotto, M. Opher, V. Jatenco-Pereira, T. I. Gombosi

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Based on our previous work (Vidotto et al. 2009a), we investigate the effects on the wind and magnetospheric structures of weak-lined T Tauri stars due to a misalignment between the axis of rotation of the star and its magnetic dipole moment vector. In such configuration, the system loses the axisymmetry presented in the aligned case, requiring a fully 3D approach. We perform 3D numerical MHD simulations of stellar winds and study the effects caused by different model parameters. The system reaches a periodic behavior with the same rotational period of the star. We show that the magnetic field lines present an oscillatory pattern and that by increasing the misalignment angle, the wind velocity increases. Our wind models allow us to study the interaction of a magnetized wind with a magnetized extra-solar planet. Such interaction gives rise to reconnection, generating electrons that propagate along the planet's magnetic field lines and produce electron cyclotron radiation at radio wavelengths. We find that a close-in Jupiter-like planet orbiting at 0.05AU presents a radio power that is ~5 orders of magnitude larger than the one observed in Jupiter, which suggests that the stellar wind from a young star has the potential to generate strong planetary radio emission that could be detected in the near future with LOFAR. This radio power varies according to the phase of rotation of the star. We also analyze whether winds from misaligned stellar magnetospheres could cause a significant effect on planetary migration. Compared to the aligned case, we show that the time-scale tau_w for an appreciable radial motion of the planet is shorter for larger misalignment angles. While for the aligned case tau_w~100Myr, for a stellar magnetosphere tilted by 30deg, tau_w ranges from ~40 to 70Myr for a planet located at a radius of 0.05AU. (Abridged)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1280
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jul 2010
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2010


  • Magnetic fields
  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Methods: Numerical
  • Planets and satellites: general
  • Stars: pre-main sequence
  • Stars: winds, outflows


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