Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP),
An der Sternwarte 16,
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
Received: 18 March 2015
Accepted: 3 September 2015
Rotation periods are increasingly being used to derive ages for cool single field stars. Such ages are based on an empirical understanding of how cool stars spin down, acquired by constructing color-period diagrams (CPDs) for a series of open clusters. Our main aims here are to construct a CPD for M 48, to compare this with other clusters of similar age to check for consistency, and to derive a rotational age for M 48 using gyrochronology. We monitored M 48 photometrically for over 2 months with AIP’s STELLA I 1.2 m telescope and the WiFSIP 4K imager in Tenerife. Light curves with 3 mmag precision for bright (V ~ 14 mag) stars were produced and then analysed to provide rotation periods. A cluster CPD has then been constructed. We report 62 rotation periods for cool stars in M 48. The CPD displays a clear slow/I-sequence of rotating stars, similar to those seen in the 625 Myr-old Hyades and 590 Myr-old Praesepe clusters, and below both, confirming that M 48 is younger. A similar comparison with the 250 Myr-old M 34 cluster shows that M 48 is older and does not possess any fast/C-sequence G or early K stars like those in M 34, although relatively fast rotators do seem to be present among the late-K and M stars. A more detailed comparison of the CPD with rotational evolution models shows that the cluster stars have a mean age of 450 Myr, and its (rotating) stars can be individually dated to ± 117 Myr (26%). Much of this uncertainty stems from intrinsic astrophysical spread in initial periods, and almost all stars are consistent with a single age of 450 Myr. The gyro-age of M 48 as a whole is 450 ± 50 Myr, in agreement with the previously determined isochrone age of 400 ± 100 Myr.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: rotation / stars: late-type / stars: evolution / open clusters and associations: individual: M 48 / stars: variables: general
Based on data obtained with the STELLA robotic telescopes in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC; this paper presents results for the STELLA Open Cluster Survey (SOCS).
Appendices A and B are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
The cluster photometry table is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/583/A73
© ESO, 2015