Rotation in the Pleiades with K2. III. Speculations on Origins and Evolution - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles The Astronomical Journal Year : 2016

Rotation in the Pleiades with K2. III. Speculations on Origins and Evolution

John Stauffer
  • Function : Author
Luisa Rebull
  • Function : Author
Lynne A. Hillenbrand
  • Function : Author
Andrew Collier-Cameron
  • Function : Author
Marc Pinsonneault
Suzanne Aigrain
David Barrado
Herve Bouy
  • Function : Author
David Ciardi
Ann Marie Cody
  • Function : Author
Trevor David
  • Function : Author
Giusi Micela
  • Function : Author
David Soderblom
  • Function : Author
Garrett Somers
  • Function : Author
Keivan G. Stassun
  • Function : Author
Jeff Valenti
  • Function : Author
Frederick J. Vrba
  • Function : Author


We use high-quality K2 light curves for hundreds of stars in the Pleiades to better understand the angular momentum evolution and magnetic dynamos of young low-mass stars. The K2 light curves provide not only rotational periods but also detailed information from the shape of the phased light curve that was not available in previous studies. A slowly rotating sequence begins at {(V-{K}{{s}})}0 ∼ 1.1 (spectral type F5) and ends at {(V-{K}{{s}})}0 ∼ 3.7 (spectral type K8), with periods rising from ∼2 to ∼11 days in that interval. A total of 52% of the Pleiades members in that color interval have periods within 30% of a curve defining the slow sequence; the slowly rotating fraction decreases significantly redward of {(V-{K}{{s}})}0 = 2.6. Nearly all of the slow-sequence stars show light curves that evolve significantly on timescales less than the K2 campaign duration. The majority of the FGK Pleiades members identified as photometric binaries are relatively rapidly rotating, perhaps because binarity inhibits star-disk angular momentum loss mechanisms during pre-main-sequence evolution. The fully convective late M dwarf Pleiades members (5.0 < {(V-{K}{{s}})}0 < 6.0) nearly always show stable light curves, with little spot evolution or evidence of differential rotation. During pre-main-sequence evolution from ∼3 Myr (NGC 2264 age) to ∼125 Myr (Pleiades age), stars of 0.3 {M} shed about half of their angular momentum, with the fractional change in period between 3 and 125 Myr being nearly independent of mass for fully convective stars. Our data also suggest that very low mass binaries form with rotation periods more similar to each other and faster than would be true if drawn at random from the parent population of single stars.

Dates and versions

insu-03691484 , version 1 (09-06-2022)



John Stauffer, Luisa Rebull, Jerome Bouvier, Lynne A. Hillenbrand, Andrew Collier-Cameron, et al.. Rotation in the Pleiades with K2. III. Speculations on Origins and Evolution. The Astronomical Journal, 2016, 152, ⟨10.3847/0004-6256/152/5/115⟩. ⟨insu-03691484⟩
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