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Published October 2008 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Age-related observations of low mass pre-main and young main sequence stars


This overview summarizes the age dating methods available for young sub-solar mass stars. Pre-main sequence age diagnostics include the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram, spectroscopic surface gravity indicators, and lithium depletion; asteroseismology is also showing recent promise. Near and beyond the zero-age main sequence, rotation period or vsini and activity (coronal and chromospheric) diagnostics along with lithium depletion serve as age proxies. Other authors in this volume present more detail in each of the aforementioned areas. Herein, I focus on pre-main sequence HR diagrams and address the questions: Do empirical young cluster isochrones match theoretical isochrones? Do isochrones predict stellar ages consistent with those derived via other independent techniques? Do the observed apparent luminosity spreads at constant effective temperature correspond to true age spreads? While definitive answers to these questions are not provided, some methods of progression are outlined.

Additional Information

© 2009 International Astronomical Union. Published online by Cambridge University Press 01 Jun 2009. This presentation has included results established by my collaborators on various projects: Massimo Robberto and the HST Orion Treasury team plus Aaron Hoffer on the ONC, Adam Kraus on multiplicity and Taurus scattered light sources, Catherine Slesnick plus Davy Kirkpatrick on young star surface gravities, Russel White plus Amber Bauermeister on HR diagram simulations, and Ann Marie Cody on brown dwarf pulsations.

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