EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 405, Number 2, July II 2003
Page(s) 723 - 731
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030633

A&A 405, 723-731 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030633

On the link between rotation, chromospheric activity and Li abundance in subgiant stars

J. D. do Nascimento Jr.1, B. L. Canto Martins1, C. H. F. Melo2, 1, G. Porto de Mello3 and J. R. De Medeiros1

1  Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, 59072-970 Natal, RN., Brazil
2  European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
3  Observatório do Valongo, Ladeira do Pedro Antonio, 43, 20080-090, Rio de Janeiro, RJ., Brazil

(Received 14 October 2002 / Accepted 15 April 2003 )

The connection rotation-CaII emission flux-lithium abundance is analyzed for a sample of bona fide subgiant stars, with evolutionary status determined from HIPPARCOS trigonometric parallax measurements and from the Toulouse-Geneva code. The distribution of rotation and CaII emission flux as a function of effective temperature shows a discontinuity located around the same spectral type, F8IV. Blueward of this spectral type, subgiants have a large spread of values of rotation and CaII flux, whereas stars redward of F8IV show essentially low rotation and low CaII flux. The strength of these declines depends on stellar mass. The abundance of lithium also shows a sudden decrease. For subgiants with mass lower than about 1.2  $M_{\odot}$ the decrease is located later than that in rotation and CaII flux, whereas for masses higher than 1.2  $M_{\odot}$ the decrease in lithium abundance is located around the spectral type F8IV. The discrepancy between the location of the discontinuities of rotation and CaII emission flux and $\log~n$(Li) for stars with masses lower than 1.2  $M_{\odot}$ seems to reflect the sensitivity of these phenomena to the mass of the convective envelope. The drop in rotation, which results mostly from a magnetic braking, requires an increase in the mass of the convective envelope less than that required for the decrease in $\log~n$(Li). The location of the discontinuity in $\log~n$(Li) for stars with masses higher than 1.2  $M_{\odot}$, in the same region of the discontinuities in rotation and CaII emission flux, may also be explained by the behavior of the deepening of the convective envelope. The more massive the star is, the earlier is the increase of the convective envelope. In contrast to the relationship between rotation and CaII flux, which is fairly linear, the relationship between lithium abundance and rotation shows no clear tendency toward linear behavior. Similarly, no clear linear trend is observed in the relationship between lithium abundance and CaII flux. In spite of these facts, subgiants with high lithium content also have high rotation and high CaII emission flux.

Key words: stars: activity -- stars: abundances -- stars: rotation -- stars: interiors -- stars: late-type

Offprint request: J. D. do Nascimento Jr, do.nascimento@dfte.ufrn.br

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© ESO 2003

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