We investigate how the observed large-scale surface magnetic fields of low-mass stars (̃0.1-2 M☉), reconstructed through Zeeman-Doppler imaging, vary with age t, rotation and X-ray emission. Our sample consists of 104 magnetic maps of 73 stars, from accreting pre-main sequence to main-sequence objects (1 Myr ≲ t ≲ 10 Gyr). For non-accreting dwarfs we empirically find that the unsigned average large-scale surface field is related to age as t-0.655 ± 0.045. This relation has a similar dependence to that identified by Skumanich, used as the basis for gyrochronology. Likewise, our relation could be used as an age-dating method (`magnetochronology'). The trends with rotation we find for the large-scale stellar magnetism are consistent with the trends found from Zeeman broadening measurements (sensitive to large- and small-scale fields). These similarities indicate that the fields recovered from both techniques are coupled to each other, suggesting that small- and large-scale fields could share the same dynamo field generation processes. For the accreting objects, fewer statistically significant relations are found, with one being a correlation between the unsigned magnetic flux and rotation period. We attribute this to a signature of star-disc interaction, rather than being driven by the dynamo.
- techniques: polarimetric
- stars: activity
- stars: evolution
- stars: magnetic field, planetary systems
- stars: rotation