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Title: FIRST OBSERVATIONAL SIGNATURE OF ROTATIONAL DECELERATION IN A MASSIVE, INTERMEDIATE-AGE STAR CLUSTER IN THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS

Abstract

While the extended main-sequence turnoffs (eMSTOs) found in almost all 1–2 Gyr old star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds are often explained by postulating extended star formation histories (SFHs), the tight subgiant branches (SGBs) seen in some clusters challenge this popular scenario. Puzzlingly, the SGB of the eMSTO cluster NGC 419 is significantly broader at bluer than at redder colors. We carefully assess and confirm the reality of this observational trend. If we would assume that the widths of the features in color–magnitude space were entirely owing to a range in stellar ages, the SFHs of the eMSTO stars and the blue SGB region would be significantly more prolonged than that of the red part of the SGB. This cannot be explained by assuming an internal age spread. We show that rotational deceleration of a population of rapidly rotating stars, a currently hotly debated alternative scenario, naturally explains the observed trend along the SGB. Our analysis shows that a “converging” SGB could be produced if the cluster is mostly composed of rapidly rotating stars that slow down over time owing to the conservation of angular momentum during their evolutionary expansion from main-sequence turnoff stars to red giants.

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2];  [3]
  1. School of Physics, Peking University, Yi He Yuan Lu 5, Hai Dian District, Beijing 100871 (China)
  2. Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Department of Astronomy, Peking University, Yi He Yuan Lu 5, Hai Dian District, Beijing 100871 (China)
  3. Key Laboratory for Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22654267
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 826; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; ANGULAR MOMENTUM; EXPANSION; MAGELLANIC CLOUDS; POPULATIONS; ROTATION; SPACE; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS

Citation Formats

Wu, Xiaohan, Li, Chengyuan, De Grijs, Richard, and Deng, Licai, E-mail: grijs@pku.edu.cn. FIRST OBSERVATIONAL SIGNATURE OF ROTATIONAL DECELERATION IN A MASSIVE, INTERMEDIATE-AGE STAR CLUSTER IN THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/826/1/L14.
Wu, Xiaohan, Li, Chengyuan, De Grijs, Richard, & Deng, Licai, E-mail: grijs@pku.edu.cn. FIRST OBSERVATIONAL SIGNATURE OF ROTATIONAL DECELERATION IN A MASSIVE, INTERMEDIATE-AGE STAR CLUSTER IN THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/826/1/L14.
Wu, Xiaohan, Li, Chengyuan, De Grijs, Richard, and Deng, Licai, E-mail: grijs@pku.edu.cn. 2016. "FIRST OBSERVATIONAL SIGNATURE OF ROTATIONAL DECELERATION IN A MASSIVE, INTERMEDIATE-AGE STAR CLUSTER IN THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/826/1/L14.
@article{osti_22654267,
title = {FIRST OBSERVATIONAL SIGNATURE OF ROTATIONAL DECELERATION IN A MASSIVE, INTERMEDIATE-AGE STAR CLUSTER IN THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS},
author = {Wu, Xiaohan and Li, Chengyuan and De Grijs, Richard and Deng, Licai, E-mail: grijs@pku.edu.cn},
abstractNote = {While the extended main-sequence turnoffs (eMSTOs) found in almost all 1–2 Gyr old star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds are often explained by postulating extended star formation histories (SFHs), the tight subgiant branches (SGBs) seen in some clusters challenge this popular scenario. Puzzlingly, the SGB of the eMSTO cluster NGC 419 is significantly broader at bluer than at redder colors. We carefully assess and confirm the reality of this observational trend. If we would assume that the widths of the features in color–magnitude space were entirely owing to a range in stellar ages, the SFHs of the eMSTO stars and the blue SGB region would be significantly more prolonged than that of the red part of the SGB. This cannot be explained by assuming an internal age spread. We show that rotational deceleration of a population of rapidly rotating stars, a currently hotly debated alternative scenario, naturally explains the observed trend along the SGB. Our analysis shows that a “converging” SGB could be produced if the cluster is mostly composed of rapidly rotating stars that slow down over time owing to the conservation of angular momentum during their evolutionary expansion from main-sequence turnoff stars to red giants.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8205/826/1/L14},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 826,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}
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