Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 453, 2070-2074 (2015/October-3)
Apparent age spreads in clusters and the role of stellar rotation.
NIEDERHOFER F., GEORGY C., BASTIAN N. and EKSTROM S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use the Geneva syclist isochrone models that include the effects of stellar rotation to investigate the role that rotation has on the resulting colour-magnitude diagram of young and intermediate age clusters. We find that if a distribution of rotation velocities exists within the clusters, rotating stars will remain on the main sequence for longer, appearing to be younger than non-rotating stars within the same cluster. This results in an extended main sequence turn-off (eMSTO) that appears at young ages ( ∼ 30 Myr) and lasts beyond 1 Gyr. If this eMSTO is interpreted as an age spread, the resulting age spread is proportional to the age of the cluster, i.e. young clusters (<100 Myr) appear to have small age spreads (tens of Myr) whereas older clusters ( ∼ 1 Gyr) appear to have much large spreads, up to a few hundred Myr. We compare the predicted spreads for a sample of rotation rates to observations of young and intermediate age clusters, and find a strong correlation between the measured `age spread' and the age of the cluster, in good agreement with models of stellar rotation. This suggests that the `age spreads' reported in the literature may simply be the result of a distribution of stellar rotation velocities within clusters.