INAF – Catania Astrophysical Observatory, via S. Sofia 78, 95127 Catania, Italy e-mail: [sergio.messina;massimo.turatto]@oact.inaf.it
2 INAF – Padova Astronomical Observatory, vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
3 University of Catania, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, via S. Sofia 78, 95127 Catania, Italy e-mail: Alessandro.Lanzafame@oact.inaf.it
4 Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Villanova University, Villanova, 19085 PA, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 14 April 2010
Context. Examining the angular momentum of stars and its interplay with their magnetic fields represent a promising way to probe the stellar internal structure and evolution of low-mass stars.
Aims. We attempt to determine the rotational and magnetic-related activity properties of stars at different stages of evolution.We focused our attention primarily on members of clusters and young stellar associations of known ages. In this study, our targets are 6 young loose stellar associations within 100 pc and with ages in the range 8–70 Myr: TW Hydrae (~8 Myr), β Pictoris (~10 Myr), Tucana/Horologium, Columba, Carina (~30 Myr), and AB Doradus (~70 Myr). Additional rotational data for α Persei and the Pleiades from the literature are also considered.
Methods. Rotational periods of stars exhibiting rotational modulation due to photospheric magnetic activity (i.e., starspots) were determined by applying the Lomb-Scargle periodogram technique to photometric time-series data obtained by the All Sky Automated Survey (ASAS). The magnetic activity level was derived from the amplitude of the V lightcurves. The statistical significance of the rotational evolution at different ages was inferred by applying a two-sided Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to subsequent age-bins.
Results. We detected the rotational modulation and measured the rotation periods of 93 stars for the first time, and confirmed the periods of 41 stars already known from the literature. For an additional 10 stars, we revised the period determinations by other authors. The sample was augmented with periods of 21 additional stars retrieved from the literature. In this way, for the first time we were able to determine the largest set of rotation periods at ages of ~8, ~10 and ~30 Myr, as well as increase by 150% the number of known periodic members of AB Dor.
Conclusions. The analysis of the rotation periods in young stellar associations, supplemented by Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) and NGC 2264 data from the literature, has allowed us to find that in the 0.6–1.2 range the most significant variations in the rotation period distribution are the spin-up between 9 and 30 Myr and the spin-down between 70 and 110 Myr. Variations of between 30 and 70 Myr are rather doubtful, despite the median period indicating a significant spin-up. The photospheric activity level is found to be correlated with rotation at ages greater than ~70 Myr and to show some additional age dependence besides that related to rotation and mass.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: late-type / stars: rotation / starspots / open clusters and associations: general / stars: pre-main sequence
Tables 1.1–1.7 and Figs. 1.1–1.22 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2010