RACE-OC project: rotation and variability in the open cluster NGC 2099 (M 37)
INAF-Catania Astrophysical Observatory, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy e-mail: [sergio.messina;elisa.distefano]@oact.inaf.it
2 Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Block II, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034, India e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Department of Astronomy and Space Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
4 Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Daejeon, Korea
5 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Accepted: 26 February 2008
Context. Rotation and solar-type magnetic activity are closely related to each other in main-sequence stars of G or later spectral types. The presence and level of magnetic activity depend on star's rotation, and rotation itself is strongly influenced by strength and topology of the magnetic fields. Open clusters represent especially useful targets to investigate the connection between rotation and activity.
Aims. The open cluster NGC 2099 has been studied as a part of the RACE-OC project (Rotation and ACtivity Evolution in Open Clusters), which is aimed at exploring the evolution of rotation and magnetic activity in the late-type members of open clusters of different ages.
Methods. We collected time series CCD photometric observations of this cluster in January 2004, and we determined the presence of periodicities in the flux variation related to the stellar rotation by Fourier analysis. We investigate the relations between activity manifestations, such as the light curve amplitude, and global stellar parameters.
Results. We have discovered 135 periodic variables, 122 of which are candidate cluster members. Determination of rotation periods of G- and K-type stars has allowed us to better explore the evolution of angular momentum at an age of about 500 Myr. In our analysis, we have also identified 3 new detached eclipsing binary candidates among cluster members.
Conclusions. A comparison with the older Hyades cluster (~625 Myr) shows that the newly-determined distribution of rotation periods is consistent with the scenario of rotational braking of main-sequence spotted stars as they age. However, a comparison with the younger M 34 cluster (~200 Myr) shows that the G8-K5 members of these clusters have the same rotation period distribution. That is, G8-K5 members in NGC 2099 seem to have experienced no significant braking in the age range from ~200 to ~500 Myr. Finally, NGC 2099 members have a smaller level of photospheric magnetic activity, as measured by light curve amplitude, than in younger stars of the same mass and rotation, suggesting that the activity level also depends on some other age-dependent parameters.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: binaries: close / stars: late-type / stars: rotation / stars: starspots / Galaxy: open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 2099
© ESO, 2008