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On the Origin of the Bimodal Rotational Velocity Distribution in Stellar Clusters: Rotation on the Pre-Main Sequence

Bastian, N, Kamann, S, Amard, L, Charbonnel, C, Haemmerlé, L and Matt, SP On the Origin of the Bimodal Rotational Velocity Distribution in Stellar Clusters: Rotation on the Pre-Main Sequence. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ISSN 0035-8711 (Accepted)

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Abstract

We address the origin of the observed bimodal rotational distribution of stars in massive young and intermediate age stellar clusters. This bimodality is seen as split main sequences at young ages and also has been recently directly observed in the $Vsini$ distribution of stars within massive young and intermediate age clusters. Previous models have invoked binary interactions as the origin of this bimodality, although these models are unable to reproduce all of the observational constraints on the problem. Here we suggest that such a bimodal rotational distribution is set up early within a cluster's life, i.e., within the first few Myr. Observations show that the period distribution of low-mass ($\la 2 M_\odot$) pre-main sequence (PMS) stars is bimodal in many young open clusters and we present a series of models to show that if such a bimodality exists for stars on the PMS that it is expected to manifest as a bimodal rotational velocity (at fixed mass/luminosity) on the main sequence for stars with masses in excess of $\sim1.5$~\msun. Such a bimodal period distribution of PMS stars may be caused by whether stars have lost (rapid rotators) or been able to retain (slow rotators) their circumstellar discs throughout their PMS lifetimes. We conclude with a series of predictions for observables based on our model.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.GA
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 10:56
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 10:56
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12904

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