The Solar Twin Planet Search: IV. the Sun as a typical rotator and evidence for a new rotational braking law for Sun-like stars

Leonardo A. Dos Santos, Jorge Meléndez, José Dias Do Nascimento, Megan Bedell, Iván Ramírez, Jacob L. Bean, Martin Asplund, Lorenzo Spina, Stefan Dreizler, Alan Alves-Brito, Luca Casagrande

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Context. It is still unclear how common the Sun is when compared to other similar stars in regards to some of its physical properties, such as rotation. Considering that gyrochronology relations are widely used today to estimate ages of stars in the main sequence, and that the Sun is used to calibrate it, it is crucial to assess whether these procedures are acceptable. 

Aims. We analyze the rotational velocities, limited by the unknown rotation axis inclination angle, of an unprecedented large sample of solar twins to study the rotational evolution of Sun-like stars, and assess whether the Sun is a typical rotator. 

Methods. We used high-resolution (R = 115 000) spectra obtained with the HARPS spectrograph and the 3.6 m telescope at La Silla Observatory. The projected rotational velocities for 81 solar twins were estimated by line profile fitting with synthetic spectra. Macroturbulence velocities were inferred from a prescription that accurately reflects their dependence with effective temperature and luminosity of the stars. 

Results. Our sample of solar twins include some spectroscopic binaries with enhanced rotational velocities, and we do not find any nonspectroscopic binaries with unusually high rotation velocities. We verified that the Sun does not have a peculiar rotation, but the solar twins exhibit rotational velocities that depart from the Skumanich relation. 

Conclusions. The Sun is a regular rotator when compared to solar twins with a similar age. Additionally, we obtain a rotational braking law that better describes the stars in our sample (u α t-0.6) in contrast to previous, often-used scalings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA156
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Stars: fundamental parameters
  • Stars: rotation
  • Stars: solar-type
  • Sun: rotation

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