New Stellar Models - Boon or Bane?

Claus Leitherer


The impact of new stellar evolution models with rotation on the predictions of population synthesis models is discussed. Massive rotating stars have larger convective cores than their non-rotating counterparts, and their outer layers are chemically enriched due to increased mixing. Together, these two effects lead to hotter and more luminous stars, in particular during later evolutionary phases. As a result, stellar populations containing massive stars are predicted to become more luminous for a given mass and to emit more ionizing photons. Depending on the assumed rotation velocity, rotation causes profound changes in the properties of young stellar populations. These changes are most noticeable at later evolutionary phases and at shorter wavelengths of the spectral energy distribution. Most strikingly, the Lyman continuum luminosity increases by up to a factor of five in O- and Wolf-Rayet stars. Care is required when comparing these models to observations, and some fine-tuning of the models is still required before recalibrations of star-formation indicators should be attempted.

Reference: Proc. "Massive Young Star Clusters Near and Far: From the Milky Way to Re-ionization", eds. D. Rosa, D. Mayya, & E. Terlevich, Puebla (2014)
Status: Conference proceedings