Improved angular momentum evolution model for solar-like stars
II. Exploring the mass dependence
1 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
2 CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
Received: 14 January 2015
Accepted: 18 February 2015
Context. Understanding the physical processes that dictate the angular momentum evolution of solar-type stars from birth to maturity remains a challenge for stellar physics.
Aims. We aim to account for the observed rotational evolution of low-mass stars over the age range from 1 Myr to 10 Gyr.
Methods. We developed angular momentum evolution models for 0.5 and 0.8 M⊙ stars. The parametric models include a new wind braking law based on recent numerical simulations of magnetised stellar winds, specific dynamo and mass-loss rate prescriptions, as well as core-envelope decoupling. We compare model predictions to the distributions of rotational periods measured for low-mass stars belonging to star-forming regions and young open clusters. Furthermore, we explore the mass dependence of model parameters by comparing these new models to the solar-mass models we developed earlier.
Results. Rotational evolution models are computed for slow, median, and fast rotators at each stellar mass. The models reproduce reasonably well the rotational behaviour of low-mass stars between 1 Myr and 8−10 Gyr, including pre-main sequence to zero-age main sequence spin up, prompt zero-age main sequence spin down, and early-main sequence convergence of the surface rotation rates. Fast rotators are found to have systematically shorter disk lifetimes than moderate and slow rotators, thus enabling dramatic pre-main sequence spin up. They also have shorter core-envelope coupling timescales, i.e., more uniform internal rotation. As for the mass dependence, lower mass stars require significantly longer core-envelope coupling timescales than solar-type stars, which results in strong differential rotation developing in the stellar interior on the early main sequence. Lower mass stars also require a weaker braking torque to account for their longer spin-down timescale on the early main sequence, while they ultimately converge towards lower rotational velocities than solar-type stars in the longer term because of their reduced moment of inertia. We also find evidence that the mass dependence of the wind braking efficiency may be related to a change in the magnetic topology in lower mass stars.
Conclusions. We have included in parametric models the main physical processes that dictate the angular momentum evolution of low-mass stars. The models suggest that these processes are quite sensitive to both mass and instantaneous rotation rate. We have worked out and reported here the main trends of these mass and rotation dependencies, whose origin still have to be addressed through a detailed modelling of magnetised stellar winds, internal angular momentum transport processes, and protoplanetary disk dissipation mechanisms.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: solar-type / stars: low-mass / stars: rotation / stars: mass-loss / stars: magnetic field
© ESO, 2015