EAS Publications Series
Volume 65, 2014The Ages of Stars
|Page(s)||289 - 325|
|Published online||14 November 2014|
Y. Lebreton, D. Valls-Gabaud and C. Charbonnel (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 65 (2014) 289-325
Using rotation, magnetic activity and lithium to estimate the ages of low mass stars
Astrophysics Group, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK
The rotation rate, level of magnetic activity and surface lithium abundance are age-dependent quantities in stars of about a solar mass and below. The physical reasons for the evolution of these phenomena are qualitatively understood, but accurate quantitative models remain dependent on empirical calibration using the Sun and stars of known age, chiefly in clusters. In this work I review the status of these “empirical age indicators”, outlining the astrophysics of their time dependence, describing the measurements, assessing the precision (and accuracy) of age estimates when applied to individual stars, and identifying their principle limitations in terms of the mass and age ranges over which they are useful. Finally, I discuss the “lithium depletion boundary” technique which, in contrast to the empirical methods, appears to provide robust, almost model-independent ages that are both precise and accurate, but which is only applicable to coeval groups of stars.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2014
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