A large-scale dynamo and magnetoturbulence in rapidly rotating core-collapse supernovae

Philipp Mösta, Christian D. Ott, David Radice, Luke F. Roberts, Erik Schnetter, Roland Haas

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Abstract

Magnetohydrodynamic turbulence is important in many high-energy astrophysical systems, where instabilities can amplify the local magnetic field over very short timescales. Specifically, the magnetorotational instability and dynamo action have been suggested as a mechanism for the growth of magnetar-strength magnetic fields (of 10 15 gauss and above) and for powering the explosion of a rotating massive star. Such stars are candidate progenitors of type Ic-bl hypernovae, which make up all supernovae that are connected to long γ-ray bursts. The magnetorotational instability has been studied with local high-resolution shearing-box simulations in three dimensions, and with global two-dimensional simulations, but it is not known whether turbulence driven by this instability can result in the creation of a large-scale, ordered and dynamically relevant field. Here we report results from global, three-dimensional, general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic turbulence simulations. We show that hydromagnetic turbulence in rapidly rotating protoneutron stars produces an inverse cascade of energy. We find a large-scale, ordered toroidal field that is consistent with the formation of bipolar magnetorotationally driven outflows. Our results demonstrate that rapidly rotating massive stars are plausible progenitors for both type Ic-bl supernovae and long γ-ray bursts, and provide a viable mechanism for the formation of magnetars. Moreover, our findings suggest that rapidly rotating massive stars might lie behind potentially magnetar-powered superluminous supernovae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-379
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume528
Issue number7582
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 17 2015

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Mösta, P., Ott, C. D., Radice, D., Roberts, L. F., Schnetter, E., & Haas, R. (2015). A large-scale dynamo and magnetoturbulence in rapidly rotating core-collapse supernovae. Nature, 528(7582), 376-379. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature15755