Lithium abundance in solar-type stars with low chromospheric activity: application to the search for Maunder minimum analogs.
LUBIN D., TYTLER D. and KIRKMAN D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use measurements of lithium abundance to examine the evolutionary history of stars frequently believed to be in a Maunder minimum (MM) state due to their low chromospheric activity. In a sample whose main-sequence membership has been verified using Hipparcos parallax data, we find that stars with very low chromospheric activity log R'HK≤ -5.0 have substantially depleted lithium compared with the full sample, with half of these lithium abundances lying more than one standard deviation below the sample mean for their range of color index. One interpretation is that these stars are near the end of their main-sequence lifetime, and therefore their low activity does not necessarily signify a transient MM state in a solar-age star. Conversely, using information in published activity time series for some stars, and combined lithium and activity measurements from the Ursa Major moving group and M67, we find limited evidence that a low-activity star having lithium abundance in the normal range for its color index may be a viable MM candidate. Thus, lithium abundance, which can be readily observed or even retrieved from some of the spectroscopic data collected by recent planet-search surveys, may have value for expanding and refining the program star lists for long-term MM searches. Finally, we find that the use of Hipparcos parallax data to ascertain main-sequence membership sharpens the distinction in sample-mean lithium abundance between stars with planet detections and comparison stars.