SCYON Abstract

Received on: 23 02 2021

Binary-driven stellar rotation evolution at the main-sequence turn-off in star clusters

Authors:W. Sun 1,2,3,4, R. de Grijs 3,4,5, L. Deng 2,6,7, M. D. Albrow 8
Affiliations:(1) Department of Astronomy, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China; (2) Key Laboratory for Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; (3) Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; (4) Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; (5) International Space Science Institute – Beijing, Beijing, China; (6) School of Astronomy and Space Science, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huairou, China; (7) Department of Astronomy, China West Normal University, Nanchong, China; (8) School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Accepted by: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

The impact of stellar rotation on the morphology of star cluster colour-magnitude diagrams is widely acknowledged. However, the physics driving the distribution of the equatorial rotation velocities of main-sequence turn-off (MSTO) stars is as yet poorly understood. Using Gaia Data Release 2 photometry and new Southern African Large Telescope medium-resolution spectroscopy, we analyse the intermediate-age (∼1Gyr-old) Galactic open clusters NGC 3960, NGC 6134 and IC 4756 and develop a novel method to derive their stellar rotation distributions based on SYCLIST stellar rotation models. Combined with literature data for the open clusters NGC 5822 and NGC 2818, we find a tight correlation between the number ratio of slow rotators and the clusters' binary fractions. The blue-main-sequence stars in at least two of our clusters are more centrally concentrated than their red-main-sequence counterparts. The origin of the equatorial stellar rotation distribution and its evolution remains as yet unidentified. However, the observed correlation in our open cluster sample suggests a binary-driven formation mechanism.

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