ST ScI Preprint #1361

The Evolution of the Lithium Abundances of Solar Type Stars. IX. High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Low-Mass Stars in NGC 2264

Authors: David R. Soderblom,1 Jeremy R. King,1 Lionel Siess,1 Burton F. Jones,2 Debra Fischer3
We have obtained Keck HIRES spectra of 35 objects in the pre-main sequence cluster NGC 2264 in order to determine their radial velocities, rotation rates, activity levels, and Li abundances. Our precise radial velocities indicate that the eight objects we observed that lie below a 5 Myr isochrone are non-members. This means the age spread within NGC 2264 is only about 4 Myr, a factor of two less than found previously, although this is a lower limit to the true age spread because star formation is still taking place in the cluster.

After correction for non-LTE effects, our Li abundances are consistent with no depletion having yet occurred and a uniform value of log N( Li) = 3.2, provided that the uncertainty in Teff values is about 250 K. This is high, but this cluster appears to have varying extinction that could lead to large temperature errors.

Stars in NGC 2264 have spun up compared to the younger Orion Nebula Cluster. Current models suggest disk-locking timescales of 1 to 2 Myr to account for the most rapidly rotating stars. By combining rotation periods and vsini values we show that the distribution of sin i is not in accord with a random distribution of rotation axes. The reason for this is not known, but is probably due to a selection against equator-on objects that still have obscuring material around them.

Appeared in: The Astronomical Journal

1) Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
2) University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory Board of Studies in Astronomy, Astrophysics University of California Santa Cruz CA 95064
3) Dept. of Physics, Astronomy San Francisco State University San Francisco CA 94132

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Last updated:  10/16/2000