Towards precise stellar ages: combining isochrone fitting with empirical gyrochronology

20 Aug 2019  ·  Angus Ruth, Morton Timothy D., Foreman-Mackey Daniel, van Saders Jennifer, Curtis Jason, Kane Stephen R., Bedell Megan, Kiman Rocio, Hogg David W., Brewer John ·

We present a new age-dating technique that combines gyrochronology with isochrone fitting to infer ages for FGKM main-sequence and subgiant field stars. Gyrochronology and isochrone fitting are each capable of providing relatively precise ages for field stars in certain areas of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram: gyrochronology works optimally for cool main-sequence stars, and isochrone fitting can provide precise ages for stars near the main-sequence turnoff... Combined, these two age-dating techniques can provide precise and accurate ages for a broader range of stellar masses and evolutionary stages than either method used in isolation. We demonstrate that the position of a star on the Hertzsprung- Russell or color-magnitude diagram can be combined with its rotation period to infer a precise age via both isochrone fitting and gyrochronology simultaneously. We show that incorporating rotation periods with 5% uncertainties into stellar evolution models improves age precision for FGK stars on the main sequence, and can, on average, provide age estimates up to three times more precise than isochrone fitting alone. In addition, we provide a new gyrochronology relation, calibrated to the Praesepe cluster and the Sun, that includes a variance model to capture the rotational behavior of stars whose rotation periods do not lengthen with the square-root of time, and parts of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram where gyrochronology has not been calibrated. This publication is accompanied by an open source Python package, stardate, for inferring the ages of main-sequence and subgiant FGKM stars from rotation periods, spectroscopic parameters and/or apparent magnitudes and parallaxes. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics Earth and Planetary Astrophysics