Enhanced rotational mixing in the radiative zones of massive stars
Convection in the cores of massive stars becomes anisotropic when they rotate. This anisotropy leads to a misalignment of the thermal gradient and the thermal flux, which in turn results in baroclinicity and circulation currents in the upper radiative zone. We show that this induces a much stronger meridional flow in the radiative zone than previously thought. This drives significantly enhanced mixing, though this mixing does not necessarily reach the surface. The extra mixing takes on a similar form to convective overshooting, and is relatively insensitive to the rotation rate above a threshold, and may help explain the large overshoot distances inferred from observations. This has significant consequences for the evolution of these stars by enhancing core-envelope mixing.
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