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How accurately can we age-date solar-type dwarfs using activity/rotation diagnostics?

  • Eric E. Mamajek (a1)

Abstract

It is well established that activity and rotation diminishes during the life of sun-like main sequence (~F7-K2V) stars. Indeed, the evolution of rotation and activity among these stars appears to be so deterministic that their rotation/activity diagnostics are often utilized as estimators of stellar age. A primary motivation for the recent interest in improving the ages of solar-type field dwarfs is in understanding the evolution of debris disks and planetary systems. Reliable isochronal age-dating for field, solar-type main sequence stars is very difficult given the observational uncertainties and multi-Gyr timescales for significant structural evolution. Observationally, significant databases of activity/rotation diagnostics exist for field solar-type field dwarfs (mainly from chromospheric and X-ray activity surveys). But how well can we empirically age-date solar-type field stars using activity/rotation diagnostics? Here I summarize some recent results for F7-K2 dwarfs from an analysis by Mamajek & Hillenbrand (2008), including an improved “gyrochronology” [Period(color, age)] calibration, improved chromospheric (RHK) and X-ray (log(LX/Lbol)) activity vs. rotation (via Rossby number) relations, and a chromospheric vs. X-ray activity relation that spans four orders of magnitude in log(LX/Lbol). Combining these relations, one can produce predicted chromospheric and X-ray activity isochrones as a function of color and age for solar type dwarfs.

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