Planetary tidal interactions and the rotational evolution of low-mass stars. The Pleiades' anomaly
Astronomy and Astrophysics
The surface angular velocity evolution of low-mass stars is now globally understood and the main physical mechanisms involved in it are observationally quite constrained. Additionally, recent observations showed anomalies in the rotation period distribution of open clusters main sequence early K-type stars that cannot be reproduced by current angular momentum evolution model. In this work, we study the parameter space of star-planet system's configurations to investigate if including the tidal
... tar-planet interaction in angular momentum evolution models could reproduce these rotation period distribution's anomalies. To study this effect, we use a parametric angular momentum evolution model that allows for core-envelope decoupling and angular momentum extraction by magnetized stellar wind that we coupled to an orbital evolution code where we take into account the torque due to the tides raised on the star by the planet. We explore different stellar and planetary configurations (stellar mass from 0.5 to 1.0 M_ and planetary mass from 10 M_⊕ to 13 M_ jup) to study their effect on the planetary orbital and stellar rotational evolution. The stellar angular momentum is the most impacted by the star-planet interaction when the planet is engulfed during the early main sequence phase. Thus, if a close-in Jupiter mass planet is initially located around 50% of the stellar corotation radius, a kink in the rotational period distribution opens around late and early K-type stars during the early main sequence phase. Tidal star-planet interactions can create a kink in the rotation period distribution of low-mass stars, which could possibly account for unexpected scatter seen in the rotational period distribution of young stellar clusters.