The Angular Momentum Evolution of Very Low Mass Stars Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • We present theoretical models of the angular momentum evolution of very low mass stars (0.1 - 0.5 M_sun) and solar analogues (0.6 - 1.1 M_sun). We investigate the effect of rotation on the effective temperature and luminosity of these stars. We find that the decrease in T_eff and L can be significant at the higher end of our mass range, but becomes negligible below 0.4 M_sun. Formulae for relating T_eff to mass and v_rot are presented. We compare our models to rotational data from young open clusters of different ages to infer the rotational history of low mass stars, and the dependence of initial conditions and rotational evolution on mass. We find that the qualitative conclusions for stars below 0.6 M_sun do not depend on the assumptions about internal angular momentum transport, which makes these low mass stars ideal candidates for the study of the angular momentum loss law and distribution of initial conditions. We find that neither models with solid body nor differential rotation can simultaneously reproduce the observed stellar spin down in the 0.6 to 1.1 M_sun mass range and for stars between 0.1 and 0.6 M_sun. The most likely explanation is that the saturation threshold drops more steeply at low masses than would be predicted with a simple Rossby scaling. In young clusters there is a systematic increase in the mean rotation rate with decreased temperature below 3500 K (0.4 M_sun). This suggests either inefficient angular momentum loss or mass-dependent initial conditions for stars near the fully convective boundary. (abridged)

publication date

  • May 2000