Journal Article

Spin-down of massive rotating stars

Herbert H. B. Lau, Adrian T. Potter and Christopher A. Tout

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 415, issue 1, pages 959-963
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18766.x
Spin-down of massive rotating stars

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Models of rapidly rotating massive stars at low metallicities show significantly different evolution and higher metal yields compared to non-rotating stars. We estimate the spin-down time-scale of rapidly rotating non-convective stars supporting an α–Ω dynamo. The magnetic dynamo gives rise to mass-loss in a magnetically controlled stellar wind and hence stellar spin-down owing to loss of angular momentum. The dynamo is maintained by strong horizontal rotation-driven turbulence which dominates over the Parker instability. We calculate the spin-down time-scale and find that it could be relatively short, a small fraction of the main-sequence lifetime. The spin-down time-scale decreases dramatically for higher surface rotations suggesting that rapid rotators may only exhibit such high surface velocities for a short time, only a small fraction of their main-sequence lifetime.

Keywords: stars: evolution; stars: general; stars: mass-loss; stars: rotation

Journal Article.  3151 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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