Astrophys. J., 727, 56 (2011/January-3)
On the angular momentum evolution of fully convective stars: rotation periods for field m-dwarfs from the MEarth transit survey.
IRWIN J., BERTA Z.K., BURKE C.J., CHARBONNEAU D., NUTZMAN P., WEST A.A. and FALCO E.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present rotation period measurements for 41 field M-dwarfs, all of which have masses inferred (from their parallaxes and Two Micron All Sky Survey K-band magnitudes) to be between the hydrogen burning limit and 0.35 M☉ and thus should remain fully convective throughout their lifetimes. We measure a wide range of rotation periods, from 0.28 to 154 days, with the latter commensurate with the typical sensitivity limit of our observations. Using kinematics as a proxy for age, we find that the majority of objects likely to be thick disk or halo members (and hence, on average, older) rotate very slowly, with a median period of 92 days, compared with 0.7 days for those likely to be thin disk members (on average, younger), although there are still some rapid rotators in the thick disk sample. When combined with literature measurements for M-dwarfs, these results indicate an increase in spin-down times with decreasing stellar mass, in agreement with previous work, and that the spin-down time becomes comparable to the age of the thick disk sample below the fully convective boundary. We additionally infer that the spin-down must remove a substantial amount of angular momentum once it begins in order to produce the slow rotators we observe in the thick disk candidates, suggesting that fully convective M-dwarfs may still experience strong winds.
brown dwarfs - stars: evolution - stars: low-mass - stars: rotation - starspots
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