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A comparison of gyrochronological and isochronal age estimates for transiting exoplanet host stars

Maxted, P.F.L.; Serenelli, A.M.; Southworth, J.

A comparison of gyrochronological and isochronal age estimates for transiting exoplanet host stars Thumbnail


P.F.L. Maxted

A.M. Serenelli


Previous studies suggest that tidal interactions may be responsible for discrepancies between the ages of exoplanet host stars estimated using stellar models (isochronal ages) and age estimates based on the stars' rotation periods (gyrochronological ages). We have compiled a sample of 28 transiting exoplanet host stars with measured rotation periods. We use a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to determine the joint posterior distribution for the mass and age of each star in the sample, and extend this method to include a calculation of the posterior distribution of the gyrochronological age. The gyrochronological age ($\tau_{\rm gyro}$) is significantly less than the isochronal age for about half of the stars in our sample. Tidal interactions between the star and planet are a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy in some cases, but not all. The distribution of $\tau_{\rm gyro}$ values is evenly spread from very young ages up to a maximum value of a few Gyr. There is no clear correlation between $\tau_{\rm gyro}$ and the strength of the tidal force on the star due to the innermost planet. There is clear evidence that the isochronal ages for some K-type stars are too large, and this may also be the case for some G-type stars. This may be the result of magnetic inhibition of convection. There is currently no satisfactory explanation for the discrepancy between the young age for CoRoT-2 estimated from either gyrochronology or its high lithium abundance, and the extremely old age for its K-type stellar companion inferred from its very low X-ray flux. There is now strong evidence that the gyrochronological ages of some transiting exoplanet host stars are significantly less than their isochronal ages, but it is not always clear that this is good evidence for tidal interactions between the star and the planet.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 31, 2015
Online Publication Date May 8, 2015
Publication Date 2015-05
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics
Print ISSN 0004-6361
Publisher EDP Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 577
Article Number A90
Keywords astrophysics, stars, solar-type, planet-star interactions
Publisher URL


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