Modules for experiments in stellar astrophysics (MESA)

Planets, oscillations, rotation, and massive stars

Bill Paxton, Matteo Cantiello, Phil Arras, Lars Bildsten, Edward F. Brown, Aaron Dotter, Christopher Mankovich, M. H. Montgomery, Dennis Stello, Francis Timmes, Richard Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

750 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We substantially update the capabilities of the open source software package Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA), and its one-dimensional stellar evolution module, MESA star. Improvements in MESA star's ability to model the evolution of giant planets now extends its applicability down to masses as low as one-tenth that of Jupiter. The dramatic improvement in asteroseismology enabled by the space-based Kepler and CoRoT missions motivates our full coupling of the ADIPLS adiabatic pulsation code with MESA star. This also motivates a numerical recasting of the Ledoux criterion that is more easily implemented when many nuclei are present at non-negligible abundances. This impacts the way in which MESA star calculates semi-convective and thermohaline mixing. We exhibit the evolution of 3-8 M stars through the end of core He burning, the onset of He thermal pulses, and arrival on the white dwarf cooling sequence. We implement diffusion of angular momentum and chemical abundances that enable calculations of rotating-star models, which we compare thoroughly with earlier work. We introduce a new treatment of radiation-dominated envelopes that allows the uninterrupted evolution of massive stars to core collapse. This enables the generation of new sets of supernovae, long gamma-ray burst, and pair-instability progenitor models. We substantially modify the way in which MESA star solves the fully coupled stellar structure and composition equations, and we show how this has improved the scaling of MESA's calculational speed on multi-core processors. Updates to the modules for equation of state, opacity, nuclear reaction rates, and atmospheric boundary conditions are also provided. We describe the MESA Software Development Kit that packages all the required components needed to form a unified, maintained, and well-validated build environment for MESA. We also highlight a few tools developed by the community for rapid visualization of MESA star results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Volume208
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

astrophysics
massive stars
planets
planet
modules
oscillation
stars
oscillations
experiment
stellar composition
Kepler mission
computer programs
stellar structure
asteroseismology
M stars
kits
equation of state
angular momentum
Jupiter
reaction rate

Keywords

  • asteroseismology
  • methods: numerical
  • planets and satellites: physical evolution
  • stars: evolution
  • stars: massive
  • stars: rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Modules for experiments in stellar astrophysics (MESA) : Planets, oscillations, rotation, and massive stars. / Paxton, Bill; Cantiello, Matteo; Arras, Phil; Bildsten, Lars; Brown, Edward F.; Dotter, Aaron; Mankovich, Christopher; Montgomery, M. H.; Stello, Dennis; Timmes, Francis; Townsend, Richard.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, Vol. 208, No. 1, 4, 09.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Paxton, B, Cantiello, M, Arras, P, Bildsten, L, Brown, EF, Dotter, A, Mankovich, C, Montgomery, MH, Stello, D, Timmes, F & Townsend, R 2013, 'Modules for experiments in stellar astrophysics (MESA): Planets, oscillations, rotation, and massive stars', Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, vol. 208, no. 1, 4. https://doi.org/10.1088/0067-0049/208/1/4
Paxton, Bill ; Cantiello, Matteo ; Arras, Phil ; Bildsten, Lars ; Brown, Edward F. ; Dotter, Aaron ; Mankovich, Christopher ; Montgomery, M. H. ; Stello, Dennis ; Timmes, Francis ; Townsend, Richard. / Modules for experiments in stellar astrophysics (MESA) : Planets, oscillations, rotation, and massive stars. In: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series. 2013 ; Vol. 208, No. 1.
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