From CoRoT 102899501 to the Sun. A time evolution model of chromospheric activity on the main sequence
Aims: The present study reports measurements of the rotation period of a young solar analogue, estimates of its surface coverage by photospheric starspots and of its chromospheric activity level, and derivations of its evolutionary status. Detailed observations of many young solar-type stars, such as the one reported in the present paper, provide insight into rotation and magnetic properties that may have prevailed on the Sun in its early evolution.
Methods: Using a model based on the rotational modulation of the visibility of active regions, we analysed the high-accuracy CoRoT lightcurve of the active star CoRoT 102899501. Spectroscopic follow-up observations were used to derive its fundamental parameters. We compared the chromospheric activity level of Corot 102899501 with the R'HK index distribution vs age established on a large sample of solar-type dwarfs in open clusters. We also compared the chromospheric activity level of this young star with a model of chromospheric activity evolution established by combining relationships between the R'HK index and the Rossby number with a recent model of stellar rotation evolution on the main sequence.
Results: We measure the spot coverage of the stellar surface as a function of time and find evidence for a tentative increase from 5 - 14% at the beginning of the observing run to 13-29% 35 days later. A high level of magnetic activity on Corot 102899501 is corroborated by a strong emission in the Balmer and Ca ii H and K lines (R'HK ~ -4). The starspots used as tracers of the star rotation constrain the rotation period to 1.625 ± 0.002 days and do not show evidence for differential rotation. The effective temperature (Teff = 5180 ± 80 K), surface gravity (log g = 4.35 ± 0.1), and metallicity ([M/H] = 0.05 ± 0.07 dex) indicate that the object is located near the evolutionary track of a 1.09 ± 0.12 M⊙ pre-main sequence star at an age of 23 ± 10 Myr. This value is consistent with the "gyro-age" of about 8-25 Myr, inferred using a parameterization of the stellar rotation period as a function of colour index and time established for the I-sequence of stars in stellar clusters.
Conclusions: We conclude that the high magnetic activity level and fast rotation of CoRoT 102899501 are manifestations of its stellar youth consistent with its estimated evolutionary status and with the detection of a strong Li i λ6707.8 Å absorption line in its spectrum. We argue that a magnetic activity level comparable to that observed on CoRot 102899501 could have been present on the Sun at the time of planet formation.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- December 2012
- stars: activity;
- stars: atmospheres;
- stars: late-type;
- stars: magnetic field;
- stars: rotation;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- Accepted for publication in A&