Astrophys. J., 846, 22-22 (2017/September-1)
Extended main-sequence turn-offs in intermediate-age star clusters: stellar rotation diminishes, but does not eliminate, age spreads.
GOUDFROOIJ P., GIRARDI L. and CORRENTI M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Extended main-sequence turn-off (eMSTO) regions are a common feature in color-magnitude diagrams of young- and intermediate-age star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. The nature of eMSTOs remains debated in the literature. The currently most popular scenarios are extended star formation activity and ranges of stellar rotation rates. Here we study details of differences in main-sequence turn-off (MSTO) morphology expected from spreads in age versus spreads in rotation rates, using Monte Carlo simulations with the Geneva syclist isochrone models that include the effects of stellar rotation. We confirm a recent finding of Niederhofer et al. that a distribution of stellar rotation velocities yields an MSTO extent that is proportional to the cluster age, as observed. However, we find that stellar rotation yields MSTO crosscut widths that are generally smaller than observed ones at a given age. We compare the simulations with high-quality Hubble Space Telescope data of NGC 1987 and NGC 2249, which are the two only relatively massive star clusters with an age of ∼1 Gyr for which such data is available. We find that the distribution of stars across the eMSTOs of these clusters cannot be explained solely by a distribution of stellar rotation velocities, unless the orientations of rapidly rotating stars are heavily biased toward an equator-on configuration. Under the assumption of random viewing angles, stellar rotation can account for ∼60% and ∼40% of the observed FWHM widths of the eMSTOs of NGC 1987 and NGC 2249, respectively. In contrast, a combination of distributions of stellar rotation velocities and stellar ages fits the observed eMSTO morphologies very well.
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
globular clusters: general - globular clusters: individual: (NGC 1987, NGC 2249) - Magellanic Clouds - Magellanic Clouds
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