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Astron. Astrophys. 361, L5-L8 (2000)

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Letter to the Editor

Helicity balance and steady-state strength of the dynamo generated galactic magnetic field

N. Kleeorin 1, D. Moss 2, I. Rogachevskii 1 and D. Sokoloff 3

1 Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Department of Mechanical Engineering, POB 653, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel
2 University of Manchester, Department of Mathematics, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
3 Moscow State University, Department of Physics, Moscow 119899, Russia

Received 5 June 2000 / Accepted 4 August 2000


We demonstrate that the inclusion of the helicity flux in the magnetic helicity balance in the nonlinear stage of galactic dynamo action results in a radical change in the magnetic field dynamics. The equilibrium value of the large-scale magnetic field is then approximately the equipartition level. This is in contrast to the situation without the flux of helicity, when the magnetic helicity is conserved locally, which leads to substantially subequipartition values for the equilibrium large-scale magnetic field.

Key words: galaxies: magnetic fields – magnetic fields – turbulence

Send offprint requests to: D. Moss

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: September 5, 2000