Rotation and magnetic activity in a sample of M-dwarfs.
BROWNING M.K., BASRI G., MARCY G.W., WEST A.A. and ZHANG J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have analyzed the rotational broadening and chromospheric activity in a sample of 123 M-dwarfs, using spectra taken at the W.M. Keck Observatory as part of the California Planet Search program. We find that only seven of these stars are rotating more rapidly than our detection threshold of v sin i ~ 2.5 km/s. Rotation appears to be more common in stars later than M3 than in the M0-M2.5 mass range: we estimate that less than 10% of early-M stars are detectably rotating, whereas roughly a third of those later than M4 show signs of rotation. These findings lend support to the view that rotational braking becomes less effective in fully convective stars. By measuring the equivalent widths of the Ca II H and K lines for the stars in our sample, and converting these to approximate LCa/Lbol measurements, we also provide constraints on the connection between rotation and magnetic activity. Measurable rotation is a sufficient, but not necessary condition for activity in our sample: all the detectable rotators show strong Ca II emission, but so too do a small number of non-rotating stars, which we presume may lie at high inclination angles relative to our line of sight. Our data are consistent with a "saturation-type" rotation-activity relationship, with activity roughly independent of rotation above a threshold velocity of less than 6 km/s. We also find weak evidence for a "gap" in LCa/L bol between a highly active population of stars, which typically are detected as rotators, and another much less active group.