Stellar granulation as seen in disk-integrated intensity. II. Theoretical scaling relations compared with observations

Research paper by R. Samadi, K. Belkacem, H. -G. Ludwig, E. Caffau, T. L. Campante, G. R. Davies, T. Kallinger, M. N. Lund, B. Mosser, A. Baglin, S. Mathur, R. Garcia

Indexed on: 05 Sep '13Published on: 05 Sep '13Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


A large set of stars observed by CoRoT and Kepler shows clear evidence for the presence of a stellar background, which is interpreted to arise from surface convection, i.e., granulation. These observations show that the characteristic time-scale (tau_eff) and the root-mean-square (rms) brightness fluctuations (sigma) associated with the granulation scale as a function of the peak frequency (nu_max) of the solar-like oscillations. We aim at providing a theoretical background to the observed scaling relations based on a model developed in the companion paper. We computed for each 3D model the theoretical power density spectrum (PDS) associated with the granulation as seen in disk-integrated intensity on the basis of the theoretical model. For each PDS we derived tau_eff and sigma and compared these theoretical values with the theoretical scaling relations derived from the theoretical model and the Kepler measurements. We derive theoretical scaling relations for tau_eff and sigma, which show the same dependence on nu_max as the observed scaling relations. In addition, we show that these quantities also scale as a function of the turbulent Mach number (Ma) estimated at the photosphere. The theoretical scaling relations for tau_eff and sigma match the observations well on a global scale. Our modelling provides additional theoretical support for the observed variations of sigma and tau_eff with nu_m max. It also highlights the important role of Ma in controlling the properties of the stellar granulation. However, the observations made with Kepler on a wide variety of stars cannot confirm the dependence of our scaling relations on Ma. Measurements of the granulation background and detections of solar-like oscillations in a statistically sufficient number of cool dwarf stars will be required for confirming the dependence of the theoretical scaling relations with Ma.