NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006B-0548

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Proposal Information for 2006B-0548


PI: Terry D. Oswalt, Florida Tech, toswalt@fit.edu
Address: Physics Department, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA

CoI: Merissa Rudkin, Florida Tech
CoI: Todd J. Vaccaro, Florida Tech
CoI: Nicole Silvestri, U. Washington
CoI: J. Allyn Smith, Los Alamos National Lab
CoI: Stephane Vennes, Florida Tech
CoI: Adela Kawka, Astronomicky Ustav, Czech Republic

Title: Testing the Chromospheric Activity - Age Relation for Lower Main Sequence Stars Using White Dwarf Cooling Times

Abstract: We request KPNO 4m observing time to complete an investigation of the chromospheric activity (CA) vs. age relation among dF-dM3 main sequence (MS) stars. We will use a sample of noninteracting binaries that contain a white dwarf (WD) star with a distant MS companion. In such pairs, the cooling ages of the WD components and the ages of their coeval MS companions span the entire history of the local Galactic disk (~10 Gyr). This approach will provide an independent check on, and extend by more than a factor of two, the CA-age calibration possible by other approaches. Because it is not subject to the same biases and astrophysical assumptions, we hope to help resolve strong systematic differences between MS age estimates derived from cluster membership, isochrones, rotation rates, Li abundance and UV/X-ray fluxes. It will also permit an examination of the transition region in early M stars where the canonical self-sustaining dynamo mechanism transitions to a proposed “turbulent dynamo” process that is believed to excite CA in late M stars.


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