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3D simulations of convective shell Neon-burning in a massive star

Georgy, C; Rizzuti, F; Hirschi, R; Varma, V; Arnett, W D; Meakin, C; Mocak, M; Murphy, A StJ; Rauscher, T


C Georgy

F Rizzuti

V Varma

W D Arnett

C Meakin

M Mocak

A StJ Murphy

T Rauscher


The treatment of convection remains a major weakness in the modelling of stellar evolution with one-dimensional (1D) codes. The ever increasing computing power makes now possible to simulate in 3D part of a star for a fraction of its life, allowing us to study the full complexity of convective zones with hydrodynamics codes. Here, we performed state-of-the-art hydrodynamics simulations of turbulence in a neon-burning convective zone, during the late stage of the life of a massive star. We produced a set of simulations varying the resolution of the computing domain (from 1283 to 10243 cells) and the efficiency of the nuclear reactions (by boosting the energy generation rate from nominal to a factor of 1000). We analysed our results by the mean of Fourier transform of the velocity field, and mean-field decomposition of the various transport equations. Our results are in line with previous studies, showing that the behaviour of the bulk of the convective zone is already well captured at a relatively low resolution (2563), while the details of the convective boundaries require higher resolutions. The different boosting factors used show how various quantities (velocity, buoyancy, abundances, abundance variances) depend on the energy generation rate. We found that for low boosting factors, convective zones are well mixed, validating the approach usually used in 1D stellar evolution codes. However, when nuclear burning and turbulent transport occur on the same timescale, a more sophisticated treatment would be needed. This is typically the case when shell mergers occur.


Georgy, C., Rizzuti, F., Hirschi, R., Varma, V., Arnett, W. D., Meakin, C., …Rauscher, T. (in press). 3D simulations of convective shell Neon-burning in a massive star. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 531(4), 4293–4310.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 3, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 3, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 17, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 17, 2024
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 531
Issue 4
Pages 4293–4310
Keywords convection – hydrodynamics – nucleosynthesis – turbulence – stars: interiors – stars: evolution
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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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