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Title: Revealing the Field Sub-subgiant Population Using a Catalog of Active Giant Stars and Gaia EDR3

Sub-subgiant stars (SSGs) fall below the subgiant branch and/or red of the giant branch in open and globular clusters, an area of the color–magnitude diagram (CMD) not populated by standard stellar evolution tracks. One hypothesis is that SSGs result from rapid rotation in subgiants or giants due to tidal synchronization in a close binary. The strong magnetic fields generated inhibit convection, which in turn produces large starspots, radius inflation, and lower-than-expected average surface temperatures and luminosities. Here we cross-reference a catalog of active giant binaries (RS CVns) in the field with Gaia EDR3. Using the Gaia photometry and parallaxes, we precisely position the RS CVns in a CMD. We identify stars that fall below a 14 Gyr, metal-rich isochrone as candidate field SSGs. Out of a sample of 1723 RS CVn, we find 448 SSG candidates, a dramatic expansion from the 65 SSGs previously known. Most SSGs have rotation periods of 2–20 days, with the highest SSG fraction found among RS CVn with the shortest periods. The ubiquity of SSGs among this population indicates that SSGs are a normal phase in evolution for RS CVn-type systems, not rare by-products of dynamical encounters found only in dense star clusters as more » some have suggested. We present our catalog of 1723 active giants, including Gaia photometry and astrometry, and rotation periods from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and International Variable Star Index (VSX). This catalog can serve as an important sample to study the impacts of magnetic fields in evolved stars.

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The Astrophysical Journal
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Article No. 222
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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