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Astron. Astrophys. 321, 151-158 (1997)

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Magnetic field generation in close binary systems

David Moss 1 and Ilkka Tuominen 2

1 Mathematics Department, The University, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
2 Department of Geosciences and Astronomy, P.O. Box 333, University of Oulu, FIN-90571 Oulu, Finland

Received 24 January 1996 / Accepted 6 September 1996


A simple mean field dynamo model is developed and applied to two `dynamo-active' components of a close or contact binary system. Tidal interaction is assumed to reduce differential rotation to such a degree that the dynamo action is of ` [FORMULA] ' type. A variety of nonaxisymmetric magnetic fields are produced, steady and unsteady, of both odd, even and mixed parity with respect to the equatorial plane. The relevance of the solutions to evidence for large-scale fields in close and contact binary systems is discussed.

Key words: MHD – binaries: close – stars: late type – stars: magnetic fields

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998