On a new formulation for energy transfer between convection and fast tides with application to giant planets and solar type stars
Abstract:All the studies of the interaction between tides and a convective flow assume that the large scale tides can be described as a mean shear flow which is damped by small scale fluctuating convective eddies. The convective Reynolds stress is calculated using mixing length theory, accounting for a sharp suppression of dissipation when the turnover timescale is larger than the tidal period. This yields tidal dissipation rates several orders of magnitude too small to account for the circularization periods of late–type binaries or the tidal dissipation factor of giant planets. Here, we argue that the above description is inconsistent, because fluctuations and mean flow should be identified based on the timescale, not on the spatial scale, on which they vary. Therefore, the standard picture should be reversed, with the fluctuations being the tidal oscillations and the mean shear flow provided by the largest convective eddies. We assume that energy is locally transferred from the tides to the convective flow. Using this assumption, we obtain values for the tidal Q factor of Jupiter and Saturn and for the circularization periods of PMS binaries in good agreement with observations. The timescales obtained with the equilibrium tide approximation are however still 40 times too large to account for the circularization periods of late–type binaries. For these systems, shear in the tachocline or at the base of the convective zone may be the main cause of tidal dissipation.
The circularization timescales of late–type binary stars
Abstract:We examine the consequences of, and apply, the formalism developed in Terquem (2021) for calculating the rate DR at which energy is exchanged between fast tides and convection. In this previous work, DR (which is proportional to the gradient of the convective velocity) was assumed to be positive in order to dissipate the tidal energy. Here we argue that, even if energy is intermittently transferred from convection to the tides, it must ultimately return to the convective flow and transported efficiently to the stellar surface on the convective timescale. This is consistent with, but much less restrictive than, enforcing DR > 0. Our principle result is a calculation of the circularization timescale of late-type binaries, taking into account the full time evolution of the stellar structure. We find that circularization is very efficient during the PMS phase, inefficient during the MS, and once again efficient when the star approaches the RGB. These results are in much better agreement with observations than earlier theories. We also apply our formalism to hot Jupiters, and find that tidal dissipation in a Jupiter mass planet yields a circularization timescale of 1 Gyr for an orbital period of 3 d, also in good overall agreement with observations. The approach here is novel, and the apparent success of the theory in resolving longstanding timescale puzzles is compelling.
Comments on Barker and Astoul (2021)
Abstract:The tidal evolution of interacting binaries when the orbital period is short compared to the primary star's convective time scale is a problem of long-standing. Terquem (2021) has argued that, when this temporal ordering scheme is obeyed, the rate of energy transfer from tides to convection (denoted $D_R$) is given by the product of the averaged Reynolds stress associated with the tidal velocity and the mean shear associated with the convective flow. In a recent response, Barker and Astoul (2021, hereafter BA21) claim to show that $D_R$ (in this form) cannot contribute to tidal dissipation. Their analysis is based on a study of Boussinesq and anelastic models. Here, we demonstrate that BA21 misidentify the correct term responsible for energy transfer between tides and convection. As a consequence, their anelastic calculations do not prove that the $D_R$ formulation is invalidated as an energy-loss coupling between tides and convection. BA21 also carry out a calculation in the Boussinesq approximation. Here, their claim that $D_R$ once again does not contribute is based on boundary conditions that do not apply to any star or planet that radiates energy from its surface, which is a key dissipational process in the problem we consider.
Tidally induced stellar oscillations: converting modelled oscillations excited by hot Jupiters into observables
Non–adiabatic tidal oscillations induced by a planetary companion
We calculate the dynamical tides raised by a close planetary companion on non–rotating stars of 1 M⊙ and 1.4 M⊙. Using the Henyey method, we solve the fully non–adiabatic equations throughout the star. The horizontal Lagrangian displacement is found to be 10 to 100 times larger than the equilibrium tide value in a thin region near the surface of the star. This is because non–adiabatic effects dominate in a region that extends from below the outer edge of the convection zone up to the stellar surface, and the equilibrium tide approximation is inconsistent with non–adiabaticity. Although this approximation generally applies in the low frequency limit, it also fails in the parts of the convection zone where the forcing frequency is small but larger than the Brunt-Väisälä frequency. We derive analytical estimates which give a good approximation to the numerical values of the magnitude of the ratio of the horizontal and radial displacements at the surface. The relative surface flux perturbation is also significant, on the order of 0.1% for a system modelled on 51 Pegasi b. Observations affected by the horizontal displacement may therefore be more achievable than previously thought, and brightness perturbations may be the result of flux perturbations rather than due to the radial displacement. We discuss the implication of this on the possibility of detecting such tidally excited oscillations, including the prospect of utilising the large horizontal motion for observations of systems such as 51 Pegasi.