Dependence of Stellar Differential Rotation on Effective Temperature and Rotation: An Analysis from Starspot Transit Mapping

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Astrophysical Journal
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© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.Stellar rotation is crucial for studying stellar evolution, since it provides information about age, angular momentum transfer, and magnetic fields of stars. In the case of the Sun, due to its proximity, detailed observation of sunspots at various latitudes and longitudes allows a precise estimation of the solar rotation period and its differential rotation. Here, we present for the first time an analysis of stellar differential rotation using starspot transit mapping as a means of detecting differential shear in solar-type and M stars. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between rotational shear, ΔΩ, and both the star's effective temperature (T eff) and its average rotation period ( P ¯ ). We present differential rotation profiles derived from previously collected spot transit mapping data for 13 slowly rotating stars (P rot ≥ 4.5 days), with spectral types ranging from M to F, which were observed by the Kepler and CoRoT satellites. Our findings reveal a significant negative correlation between rotational shear and the mean period of stellar rotation (correlation coefficient of −0.77), which may be an indicator of stellar age. On the other hand, a weak correlation was observed between differential rotation and the effective temperature of the stars. Overall, the study provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between stellar parameters and differential rotation, which may enhance our understanding of stellar evolution and magnetic dynamos.
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