Intrinsic spectral blueshifts in rapidly rotating stars?

Søren Madsen, Dainis Dravins, Hans-Günter Ludwig, Lennart Lindegren

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Spectroscopic radial velocities for several nearby open clusters suggestthat spectra of (especially earlier-type) rapidly rotating stars aresystematically blueshifted by 3 km s<SUP>-1</SUP> or more, relative tothe spectra of slowly rotating ones. Comparisons with astrometricallydetermined radial motions in the Hyades suggests this to be an absoluteblueshift, relative to wavelengths naively expected from stellar radialmotion and gravitational redshift. Analogous trends are seen also inmost other clusters studied (Pleiades, Coma Berenices, Praesepe, alphaPersei, IC 2391, NGC 6475, IC 4665, NGC 1976 and NGC 2516). Possiblemechanisms are discussed, including photospheric convection, stellarpulsation, meridional circulation, and shock-wave propagation, as wellas effects caused by template mismatch in determining wavelengthdisplacements. For early-type stars, a plausible mechanism is shock-wavepropagation upward through the photospheric line-forming regions. Suchwavelength shifts thus permit studies of certain types of stellaratmospheric dynamics and - irrespective of their cause - may influencededuced open-cluster membership (when selected from common velocity) anddeduced cluster dynamics (some types of stars might show fortuitousvelocity patterns).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-586
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • methods: data analysis
  • techniques: astrometry
  • spectroscopy
  • radial velocities
  • stars: rotation
  • open clusters and associations: general


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