NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0144

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0144


PI: Jonathan Irwin, Harvard University, jirwin@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: College Observatory, 60 Garden Street MS-16, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

CoI: Jerome Bouvier, LAOG, Grenoble, France
CoI: Leslie Hebb, University of St Andrews
CoI: Aleks Scholz, University of St Andrews
CoI: Keivan Stassun, Vanderbilt University

Title: Rotation periods of solar-mass stars in NGC 2547 and NGC 2516

Abstract: The rotation rate of a star can be measured to high precision by direct observation, and yet is a fundamental stellar property which can be used to probe evolutionary scenarios, including poorly-understood mechanisms such as magnetically-driven stellar winds and star-disc interaction on the pre-main-sequence. Although the available database of rotation periods has grown substantially in recent years, even for solar-mass stars the evolution in rotation rates is still poorly constrained in age range from ~ 10 to a few 100 \rm Myr. The proposed observations aim to supplement this database by measuring periods for 100s of solar-type stars in the young open clusters NGC 2547 (~ 40 \rm Myr) and NGC 2516 (~ 150 \rm Myr). The resulting samples of periods will be ``cleaned'' of field contamination using proper motion measurements, and should place stringent constraints on rotational evolution models. The recently- proposed technique of ``gyrochronology'' is a particularly interesting application of these models, and promises to yield reasonably precise age estimates for field stars given only a measured color and rotation period.


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