Sunday, October 11, 2015

On the Rotation Period Distribution of CoRoT and Kepler Sun-like stars

On the rotation period distribution of CoRoT and Kepler Sun-like stars


Leao et al


We study the distribution of the photometric rotation period (Prot), which is a direct measurement of the surface rotation at active latitudes, for three subsamples of Sun-like stars: one from CoRoT data and two from Kepler data. We identify the main populations of these samples and interpret their main biases particularly for a comparison with the solar Prot. Prot and variability amplitude (A) measurements were obtained from public CoRoT and Kepler catalogs, which were combined with public data of physical parameters. Because these samples are subject to selection effects, we computed synthetic samples with simulated biases to compare with observations, particularly around the Sun's HR-diagram location. Theoretical grids and empirical relations were used to combine physical parameters with Prot and A. Biases were simulated by performing cutoffs on the physical and rotational parameters in the same way as in each observed sample. A crucial cutoff is related with the detectability of the rotational modulation, which strongly depends on A. The synthetic samples explain the observed Prot distributions of Sun-like stars as having two main populations: one of young objects (group I, with ages below ~1 Gyr) and another of main-sequence and evolved stars (group II, with ages above ~1 Gyr). The proportions of groups I and II in relation to the total number of stars range within 64-84% and 16-36%, respectively. Hence, young objects abound in the distributions, producing the effect of observing a high number of short periods around the Sun's HR-diagram location. Differences in the Prot distributions between the CoRoT and Kepler Sun-like samples may be associated with different Galactic populations. Overall, the synthetic distribution around the solar period agrees with observations, which suggests that the solar rotation is normal with respect to Sun-like stars within the current data accuracy.

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