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2017ApJ...834...85N - Astrophys. J., 834, 85-85 (2017/January-1)

The Hα emission of nearby M dwarfs and its relation to stellar rotation.


Abstract (from CDS):

The high-energy emission from low-mass stars is mediated by the magnetic dynamo. Although the mechanisms by which fully convective stars generate large-scale magnetic fields are not well understood, it is clear that, as for solar-type stars, stellar rotation plays a pivotal role. We present 270 new optical spectra of low-mass stars in the Solar Neighborhood. Combining our observations with those from the literature, our sample comprises 2202 measurements or non-detections of Hα emission in nearby M dwarfs. This includes 466 with photometric rotation periods. Stars with masses between 0.1 and 0.6 M are well-represented in our sample, with fast and slow rotators of all masses. We observe a threshold in the mass-period plane that separates active and inactive M dwarfs. The threshold coincides with the fast-period edge of the slowly rotating population, at approximately the rotation period at which an era of rapid rotational evolution appears to cease. The well-defined active/inactive boundary indicates that Hα activity is a useful diagnostic for stellar rotation period, e.g., for target selection for exoplanet surveys, and we present a mass-period relation for inactive M dwarfs. We also find a significant, moderate correlation between L/Lbol and variability amplitude: more active stars display higher levels of photometric variability. Consistent with previous work, our data show that rapid rotators maintain a saturated value of L/Lbol. Our data also show a clear power-law decay in L/Lbol with Rossby number for slow rotators, with an index of -1.7 ± 0.1.

Abstract Copyright: © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Journal keyword(s): stars: activity - stars: low-mass - stars: rotation - stars: rotation

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/ApJ/834/85): table1.dat>

Simbad objects: 2206

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