Sharp-Lined and Slowly Rotating Ap Stars

Sharp-Lined and Slowly Rotating Ap Stars

G. Mathys

One of the most intriguing properties of the Ap (and Bp) stars is their slow rotation, compared to the superficially normal main-sequence stars in the same temperature range. In recent years, it has emerged that several percent of the Ap stars have rotation periods exceeding one year, and that the longest rotation periods reach several centuries. Perhaps even more puzzling is the spread of the rotation periods of the Ap stars, as some of them are as short as 0.5 d. Thus, the rotation periods of these stars span 5 to 6 orders of magnitude, with no evidence for evolution besides conservation of the angular momentum during their mainsequence lifetime. Explaining how period differentiation over such a wide range is achieved in stars that are essentially at the same evolutionary stage represents a major challenge.

Consideration of the extremely slowly rotating Ap stars is of particular importance for the understanding of the origin and the evolution of the rotational properties of Ap stars as a class. We review recent progress in the knowledge of the periods and magnetic fields of the sharpest-lined and most slowly rotating Ap stars, and discuss the prospects and concerns for future progress in their study.

Proceedings of the Polish Astronomical Society, vol. 11, 35-44 (2020)

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