noaoann11004 — Announcement
First Results from The Kepler Cluster Study
20 April 2011: The Kepler Cluster Study (PI: Søren Meibom, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) is a program to search for planets around members of 4 open star clusters in the field of view of NASA’s Kepler mission, and to study the relationships between stellar rotation, age and mass. “Ground-based observations in young (~< 600 million years) open clusters, using NOAO facilities (WIYN 3.5m, the WIYN 0.9m, the CTIO Blanco 4m, and CTIO 1m), have suggested to us that a well-defined relationship exist between the rotation periods, ages, and colors of late-type stars”, says Meibom, “and that observations of such stars in older clusters can define a surface in the 3-dimensional space of rotation, color (mass), and age (figure 1, left). Now, using Kepler, Meibom and his colleagues have extended this surface to 1 billion years by measuring the relation between rotation and color for members of the open cluster NGC6811 (figure 2, right).