Magnetic Effects and ovsersized M Dwarfs in the Young Open Cluster NGC 2516

By combining rotation periods with spectroscopic determinations of projected rotation velocity, Jackson, Jeffries & Maxted (2009) have found that the mean radii for low-mass M-dwarfs in the young, open cluster NGC 2516 are larger than model predictions at a given absolute I magnitude or I - K color and also larger than measured radii of magnetically inactive M-dwarfs. The relative radius difference is correlated with magnitude, increasing from a few per cent at MI = 7 to greater than 50 per cent for the lowest luminosity stars in their sample at MI ~ 9.5. We examine these results in terms of stellar models that include the inhibiting effects of magnetic fields on convective energy transport, with and without the effects of star spots. We find that a pure spot model is inconsistent with the color – magnitude diagram. The observations of radii versus color and radii versus absolute magnitude in NGC 2516 are consistent with models which include only magnetic inhibition or a combination of magnetic inhibition and spots.

24/01/2013 - 13:30
James MacDonald
University of Delaware