Niederhofer, F, Georgy, C, Bastian, N and Ekström, S (2015) Apparent Age Spreads in Clusters and the Role of Stellar Rotation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 453 (2). pp. 2070-2074. ISSN 1365-2966

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We use the Geneva Syclist isochrone models that include the effects of stellar rotation to investigate the role that rotation has on the resulting colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) of young and intermediate age clusters. We find that if a distribution of rotation velocities exists within the clusters, rotating stars will remain on the main sequence (MS) for longer, appearing to be younger than non-rotating stars within the same cluster. This results in an extended main sequence turn-off (eMSTO) that appears at young ages ($\sim30$~Myr) and lasts beyond 1~Gyr. If this eMSTO is interpreted as an age spread, the resulting age spread is proportional to the age of the cluster, i.e. young clusters ($<100$~Myr) appear to have small age spreads (10s of Myr) whereas older clusters ($\sim1$~Gyr) appear to have much larger spreads, up to a few hundred Myr. We compare the predicted spreads for a sample of rotation rates to observations of young and intermediate age clusters, and find a strong correlation between the measured 'age spread' and the age of the cluster, in good agreement with models of stellar rotation. This suggests that the 'age spreads' reported in the literature may simply be the result of a distribution of stellar rotation velocities within clusters.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via OUP at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hertzsprung–Russell and colour–magnitude diagrams, stars: rotation, galaxies: individual: LMC, galaxies: star clusters: general
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2015 08:55
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:39

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