The Effects of Stellar Rotation. II. A Comprehensive Set of Starburst99 Models

Claus Leitherer(1), Sylvia Ekstrom(2), Georges Meynet(2), Daniel Schaerer(2), Katerina B. Agienko(3), Emily M. Levesque(4)

(1)- STScI
(2)- Geneva Observatory
(3)- Main Astron. Obs., Kiev
(4)- Univ. of Colorado

We present a new set of synthesis models for stellar populations obtained with Starburst99, which are based on new stellar evolutionary tracks with rotation. We discuss models with zero rotation velocity and with velocities of 40% of the break-up velocity on the zero-age main-sequence. These values are expected to bracket realistic rotation velocity distributions in stellar populations. The new rotating models for massive stars are more luminous and hotter due to a larger convective core and enhanced surface abundances. This results in pronounced changes in the integrated spectral energy distribution of a population containing massive stars. The changes are most significant at the shortest wavelengths where an increase of the ionizing luminosity by up to a factor of 5 is predicted. We also show that high equivalent widths of recombination lines may not necessarily indicate a very young age but can be achieved at ages as late as 10 Myr. Comparison of these two boundary cases (0 and 40% of the break-up velocity) will allow users to evaluate the effects of rotation and provide guidance for calibrating the stellar evolution models. We also introduce a new theoretical ultraviolet spectral library built from the Potsdam Wolf-Rayet (PoWR) atmospheres. Its purpose is to help identify signatures of Wolf-Rayet stars in the ultraviolet whose strength is sensitive to the particulars of the evolution models. The new models are available for solar and 1/7th solar metallicities. A complete suite of models can be generated on the Starburst99 website ( The updated Starburst99 package can be retrieved from this website as well.

Reference: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, in press (Vol. 212, May 2014)
Status: Manuscript has been accepted


Comments: See also v7.0.0 of Starburst99 at