Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA)

Date

2011

Authors

Paxton, Bill
Bildsten, Lars
Dotter, Aaron
Herwig, Falk
Lesaffre, Pierre
Timmes, F X

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Institute of Physics Publishing

Abstract

Stellar physics and evolution calculations enable a broad range of research in astrophysics. Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) is a suite of open source, robust, efficient, thread-safe libraries for a wide range of applications in computational stellar astrophysics. A one-dimensional stellar evolution module, MESA star, combines many of the numerical and physics modules for simulations of a wide range of stellar evolution scenarios ranging from very low mass to massive stars, including advanced evolutionary phases. MESA star solves the fully coupled structure and composition equations simultaneously. It uses adaptive mesh refinement and sophisticated timestep controls, and supports shared memory parallelism based on OpenMP. State-of-the-art modules provide equation of state, opacity, nuclear reaction rates, element diffusion data, and atmosphere boundary conditions. Each module is constructed as a separate Fortran 95 library with its own explicitly defined public interface to facilitate independent development. Several detailed examples indicate the extensive verification and testing that is continuously performed and demonstrate the wide range of capabilities that MESA possesses. These examples include evolutionary tracks of very low mass stars, brown dwarfs, and gas giant planets to very old ages; the complete evolutionary track of a 1 M⊙ star from the pre-main sequence (PMS) to a cooling white dwarf; the solar sound speed profile; the evolution of intermediate-mass stars through the He-core burning phase and thermal pulses on the He-shell burning asymptotic giant branch phase; the interior structure of slowly pulsating B Stars and Beta Cepheids; the complete evolutionary tracks of massive stars from the PMS to the onset of core collapse; mass transfer from stars undergoing Roche lobe overflow; and the evolution of helium accretion onto a neutron star. MESA can be downloaded from the project Web site (http://mesa.sourceforge.net/).

Description

Keywords

Keywords: Methods: numerical; Stars: evolution; Stars: general

Citation

Source

Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1088/0067-0049/192/1/3

Restricted until

2037-12-31