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Bridging the Gap—The Disappearance of the Intermediate Period Gap for Fully Convective Stars, Uncovered by New ZTF Rotation PeriodsAbstract The intermediate period gap, discovered by Kepler, is an observed dearth of stellar rotation periods in the temperature–period diagram at ∼20 days for G dwarfs and up to ∼30 days for early-M dwarfs. However, because Kepler mainly targeted solar-like stars, there is a lack of measured periods for M dwarfs, especially those at the fully convective limit. Therefore it is unclear if the intermediate period gap exists for mid- to late-M dwarfs. Here, we present a period catalog containing 40,553 rotation periods (9535 periods >10 days), measured using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). To measure these periods, we developed a simple pipeline that improves directly on the ZTF archival light curves and reduces the photometric scatter by 26%, on average. This new catalog spans a range of stellar temperatures that connect samples from Kepler with MEarth, a ground-based time-domain survey of bright M dwarfs, and reveals that the intermediate period gap closes at the theoretically predicted location of the fully convective boundary ( G BP − G RP ∼ 2.45 mag). This result supports the hypothesis that the gap is caused by core–envelope interactions. Using gyro-kinematic ages, we also find a potential rapid spin-down of stars across this periodmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 16, 2023
Our view of the variety of stellar structures pervading the local Milky Way has been transformed by the application of clustering algorithms to the Gaia catalog. In particular, several stellar streams have been recently discovered that are comprised of hundreds to thousands of stars and span several hundred parsecs. We analyze one such structure, Theia 456, a low-density stellar stream extending nearly 200 pc and 20° across the sky. By supplementing Gaia astrometric data with spectroscopic metallicities from Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope and photometric rotation periods from the Zwicky Transient Facility and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, we establish Theia 456's radial velocity coherence, and we find strong evidence that members of Theia 456 have a common age (≃175 Myr), common dynamical origin, and formed from chemically homogeneous prestellar material ([Fe/H] = −0.07 dex). Unlike well-known stellar streams in the Milky Way, which are in its halo, Theia 456 is firmly part of the thin disk. If our conclusions about Theia 456 can be applied to even a small fraction of the remaining ≃8300 independent structures in the Theia catalog, such low-density stellar streams may be ubiquitous. We comment on the implications this has for themore »