Rotation of Early B-type Stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud: The Role of Evolution and Metallicity
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
21(3) 310 - 317
Published: 30 September 2004
AbstractI present measurements of the projected rotational velocities of a sample of 100 early B-type main-sequence stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This is the first extragalactic study of the distribution of stellar rotational velocities. The sample is drawn from two sources: from the vicinity of the main-sequence turnoff of young clusters (ages 1–3 × 107 yr) and from the general field. I find that the cluster population exhibits significantly more rapid rotation than that seen in the field. I have drawn analogous Galactic cluster and field samples from the literature. Comparison of these samples reveals the same effect. I propose that the observed difference between cluster and field populations can be explained by a scenario of evolutionary enhancement of the surface angular momentum over the main-sequence lifetime. A comparison is made between the cluster and field populations of the LMC and the Galaxy in order to explore the effects of metallicity. This shows that the stars of the LMC are more rapid rotators than their Galactic counterparts.
Keywords: stars: evolution — stars: rotation — Magellanic Clouds
© ASA 2004