Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 384, 937-953 (2002/3-4)
Lithium and Hα in stars and brown dwarfs of σ Orionis.
ZAPATERO OSORIO M.R., BEJAR V.J.S., PAVLENKO Y., REBOLO R., ALLENDE PRIETO C., MARTIN E.L. and GARCIA LOPEZ R.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present intermediate- and low-resolution optical spectra around Hα and Li I λ6708Å for a sample of 25 low mass stars and 2 brown dwarfs with confirmed membership in the pre-main sequence stellar σ Orionis cluster. Our observations are intended to investigate the age of the cluster. The spectral types derived for our target sample are found to be in the range K6-M8.5, which corresponds to a mass interval of roughly 1.2-0.02M☉ on the basis of state-of-the-art evolutionary models. Radial velocities (except for one object) are found to be consistent with membership in the Orion complex. All cluster members show considerable Hα emission and the LiI resonance doublet in absorption, which is typical of very young ages. We find that our pseudo-equivalent widths of Hα and LiI (measured relative to the observed local pseudo-continuum formed by molecular absorptions) appear rather dispersed (and intense in the case of Hα) for objects cooler than M3.5 spectral class, occurring at the approximate mass where low mass stars are expected to become fully convective. The least massive brown dwarf in our sample, S Ori45 (M8.5, ∼0.02M☉), displays variable Hα emission and a radial velocity that differs from the cluster mean velocity. Tentative detection of forbidden lines in emission indicates that this brown dwarf may be accreting mass from a surrounding disk. We also present recent computations of Li I λ6708Å curves of growth for low gravities and for the temperature interval (about 4000-2600K) of our sample. The comparison of our observations to these computations allows us to infer that no lithium depletion has yet taken place in σ Orionis, and that the observed pseudo-equivalent widths are consistent with a cluster initial lithium abundance close to the cosmic value. Hence, the upper limit to the σ Orionis cluster age can be set at 8Myr, with a most likely value around 2-4Myr.
circumstellar matter - stars: abundances - stars: late-type - stars: low mass, brown dwarfs - stars: pre-main sequence - open clusters and associations: sigma Orionis
Table 1: [W96] NNNN-NNNN N=6, [W96] rJHHMMSS+DDMM N=9.
T.1: Stars from Wolk S.J. Ph.D. Thesis, 1996.
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