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Astron. Astrophys. 352, 217-227 (1999)

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Evolution of X-ray activity and rotation on G-K giants

P. Gondoin

Astrophysics Division, European Space Agency - Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands (pgondoin@astro.estec.esa.nl)

Received 20 July 1999 / Accepted 20 September 1999


The recent availability of stellar parallaxes provided by the Hipparcos star catalogue (ESA 1997) enables an accurate determination of the positions of single field giants in a theoretical H-R diagram and a reliable estimate of their masses. The present study combines these new astrometric data with previously published X-ray fluxes and rotational velocities. The results confirm the existence of a sharp decrease of X-ray emission at spectral type K1 for 2.5 [FORMULA] 5 [FORMULA] giants. The study shows that the rotational velocity of these stars reaches a minimum at the same location in the H-R diagram. However, no tight relationship between X-ray luminosities and projected equatorial velocities was found among the sample stars. I suggest that these results could reflect the importance of differential rotation in determining the level of coronal emission among [FORMULA] 2.5 [FORMULA] G and K giants. The restoration of rigid rotation at the bottom of the red giant branch could prevent the maintenance of large scale magnetic fields, thus explaining the sharp decrease of coronal X-ray emission at spectral type K1.

Key words: stars: activity – stars: evolution – stars: late-type

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: November 23, 1999