Evidence for cluster to cluster variations in low-mass stellar rotational evolution.
COKER C.T., PINSONNEAULT M. and TERNDRUP D.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
The concordance model for angular momentum evolution postulates that star-forming regions and clusters are an evolutionary sequence that can be modeled with assumptions about protostar-disk coupling, angular momentum loss from magnetized winds that saturates in a mass-dependent fashion at high rotation rates, and core-envelope decoupling for solar analogs. We test this approach by combining established data with the large h Per data set from the MONITOR project and new low-mass Pleiades data. We confirm prior results that young low-mass stars can be used to test star-disk coupling and angular momentum loss independent of the treatment of internal angular momentum transport. For slow rotators, we confirm the need for star-disk interactions to evolve the ONC to older systems, using h Per (age 13 Myr) as our natural post-disk case. There is no evidence for extremely long-lived disks as an alternative to core-envelope decoupling. However, our wind models cannot evolve rapid rotators from h Per to older systems consistently, and we find that this result is robust with respect to the choice of angular momentum loss prescription. We outline two possible solutions: either there is cosmic variance in the distribution of stellar rotation rates in different clusters or there are substantially enhanced torques in low-mass rapid rotators. We favor the former explanation and discuss observational tests that could be used to distinguish them. If the distribution of initial conditions depends on environment, models that test parameters by assuming a universal underlying distribution of initial conditions will need to be re-evaluated.