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Published May 2018 | Published + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

The lithium-rotation connection in the 125 Myr-old Pleiades cluster


Context. The evolution of lithium abundance over a star's lifetime is indicative of transport processes operating in the stellar interior. Aims. We revisit the relationship between lithium content and rotation rate previously reported for cool dwarfs in the Pleiades cluster. Methods. We derive new LiI 670.8 nm equivalent width measurements from high-resolution spectra obtained for low-mass Pleiades members. We combine these new measurements with previously published ones, and use the Kepler K2 rotational periods recently derived for Pleiades cool dwarfs to investigate the lithium-rotation connection in this 125 Myr-old cluster. Results. The new data confirm the correlation between lithium equivalent width and stellar spin rate for a sample of 51 early K-type members of the cluster, where fast rotating stars are systematically lithium-rich compared to slowly rotating ones. The correlation is valid for all stars over the (J–Ks) color range 0.50–0.70 mag, corresponding to a mass range from about 0.75 to 0.90 M⊙, and may extend down to lower masses. Conclusions. We argue that the dispersion in lithium equivalent widths observed for cool dwarfs in the Pleiades cluster reflects an intrinsic scatter in lithium abundances, and suggest that the physical origin of the lithium dispersion pattern is to be found in the pre-main sequence rotational history of solar-type stars.

Additional Information

© ESO 2018. Received 1 September 2017 / Accepted 13 December 2017 Based on observations made at Observatoire de Haute Provence (CNRS), France, at the Nordic Optical Telescope (IAC), Spain, and at the W. M. Keck Observatory, Hawaii, USA. We thank the referee, R. Jeffries, for constructive comments, which helped us improve the manuscript, and A. Lanzafame for useful comments. Discussions with Javier Olivares on Pleiades membership estimates are gratefully acknowledged. We thank the Director of Observatoire de Haute-Provence for the generous allocation of discretionary time after the scheduled observing run had been mostly weathered out, and we are grateful to Melissa Hobson and Flavien Kiefer for obtaining part of the observations presented here. We acknowledge the support of the Programme National de Physique Stellaire of CNRS/INSU. This project was also supported by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche program ANR 2011 Blanc SIMI 5–6 020 01 "TOUPIES: TOwards Understanding the sPIn Evolution of Stars". D.B. acknowledges the Spanish grant ESP2015-65712- C5-1-R. J.B and A.B acknowledge support from CONICYT, Programa MEC 80160028. Partly based on observations made at Observatoire de Haute Provence (CNRS), France. The Nordic Optical Telescope is operated by the Nordic Optical Telescope Scientific Association at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. The W. M. Keck Observatory is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This publication makes use of VOSA, developed under the Spanish Virtual Observatory project supported from the Spanish MICINN through grant AyA2011-24052.

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Accepted Version - 1712.06525


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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023