X-ray emission regimes and rotation sequences in M 35 ⋆
An updated model of stellar activity evolution on the main sequence
European Space Agency, ESTEC − Postbus 299,
Accepted: 27 May 2013
Context. Late-type stars in young open clusters show two kinds of dependence of their X-ray emission on rotation. They also tend to group into two main sub-populations that lie on narrow sequences in diagrams where their rotation periods are plotted against their (B − V) colour indices. A correlation between these two regimes of X-ray emission and the rotation sequences has been recently observed in the M 34 open cluster. Sun-like M 34 stars also show a drop of their X-ray to bolometric luminosity ratio by about one order of magnitude at a Rossby number of about 0.3.
Aims. The present study looks for similar connections between X-ray activity and rotation in an other open cluster. The aim is to consolidate a model of X-ray activity evolution on the main sequence and to provide observational constraints on dynamo processes in the interiors of late-type stars.
Methods. The paper compares XMM-Newton measurements of X-ray stellar emission in M 35 with X-ray luminosity distributions derived from rotation period measurements assuming either an X-ray regime transition at a critical Rossby number or a correlation between X-ray emission regimes and rotation sequences.
Results. This second hypothesis could account for the low number of M 35 stars detected in X-rays. A model of X-ray activity evolution is proposed based on the correlation. One major output is that the transition from saturated to non-saturated X-ray emission occurs at Rossby numbers between about 0.13 and 0.4 for each star depending on its mass and initial period of rotation on the ZAMS. This prediction agrees with observations of stellar X-ray emission in M 34. It explains the large range of X-ray luminosities observed among Sun-like stars in young open clusters.
Conclusions. I conclude that the correlation between X-ray emission regimes and rotation sequences could be a fundamental property of the early evolution of stellar magnetic activity on the main sequence. I argue that the angular momentum redistribution mechanism(s) responsible for the transition between rotation sequences could result in a changing mixture of dynamo processes occurring side by side, possibly including a turbulent dynamo at high rotation rate and an interface-type dynamo whose efficiency decreases progressively at later stage of stellar evolution when rotation dies away.
Key words: open clusters and associations: general / stars: activity / stars: coronae / stars: evolution / stars: rotation / magnetic fields
© ESO, 2013