Document Type

Journal Article



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Journal Title

Astrophysical Journal





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Open clusters are collections of stars with a single, well-determined age, and can be used to investigate the connections between angular-momentum evolution and magnetic activity over a star's lifetime. We present the results of a comparative study of the relationship between stellar rotation and activity in two benchmark open clusters: Praesepe and the Hyades. As they have the same age and roughly solar metallicity, these clusters serve as an ideal laboratory for testing the agreement between theoretical and empirical rotation-activity relations at 600 Myr. We have compiled a sample of 720 spectra—more than half of which are new observations—for 516 high-confidence members of Praesepe; we have also obtained 139 new spectra for 130 high-confidence Hyads. We have also collected rotation periods (P rot) for 135 Praesepe members and 87 Hyads. To compare Hα emission, an indicator of chromospheric activity, as a function of color, mass, and Rossby number Ro , we first calculate an expanded set of χ values, with which we can obtain the Hα to bolometric luminosity ratio, L Hα/L bol, even when spectra are not flux-calibrated and/or stars lack reliable distances. Our χ values cover a broader range of stellar masses and colors (roughly equivalent to spectral types from K0 to M9), and exhibit better agreement between independent calculations, than existing values. Unlike previous authors, we find no difference between the two clusters in their Hα equivalent width or L Hα/L bol distributions, and therefore take the merged Hα and P rot data to be representative of 600 Myr old stars. Our analysis shows that Hα activity in these stars is saturated for . Above that value activity declines as a power-law with slope , before dropping off rapidly at Ro 0.4. These data provide a useful anchor for calibrating the age-activity-rotation relation beyond 600 Myr.


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