J. De Ridder
- Spin down of the core rotation in red giants
- Astronomy & Astrophysics
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Context. The space mission Kepler provides us with long and uninterrupted photometric time series of red giants. We are now able to probe the rotational behaviour in their deep interiors using the observations of mixed modes.
Aims. We aim to measure the rotational splittings in red giants and to derive scaling relations for rotation related to seismic and fundamental stellar parameters.
Methods. We have developed a dedicated method for automated measurements of the rotational splittings in a large number of red giants. Ensemble asteroseismology, namely the examination of a large number of red giants at different stages of their evolution, allows us to derive global information on stellar evolution.
Results. We have measured rotational splittings in a sample of about 300 red giants. We have also shown that these splittings are dominated by the core rotation. Under the assumption that a linear analysis can provide the rotational splitting, we observe a small increase of the core rotation of stars ascending the red giant branch. Alternatively, an important slow down is observed for red-clump stars compared to the red giant branch. We also show that, at fixed stellar radius, the specific angular momentum increases with increasing stellar mass.
Conclusions. Ensemble asteroseismology indicates what has been indirectly suspected for a while: our interpretation of the observed rotational splittings leads to the conclusion that the mean core rotation significantly slows down during the red giant phase. The slow-down occurs in the last stages of the red giant branch. This spinning down explains, for instance, the long rotation periods measured in white dwarfs.
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