EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 442, Number 2, November I 2005
Page(s) 615 - 627
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053482

A&A 442, 615-627 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053482

Time scales of Li evolution: a homogeneous analysis of open clusters from ZAMS to late-MS

P. Sestito1 and S. Randich2

1  INAF/Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via C. Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
    e-mail: paola.sestito@bo.astro.it
2  INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy

(Received 20 May 2005 / Accepted 19 July 2005 )

We have performed a new and homogeneous analysis of all the Li data available in the literature for main sequence stars (spectral-types from late F to K) in open clusters. In the present paper we focus on a detailed investigation of MS Li depletion and its time scales for stars in the 6350-5500 K effective temperature range. For the first time, we were able to constrain the age at which non-standard mixing processes, driving MS Li depletion, appear. We have also shown that MS Li depletion is not a continuous process and cannot be simply described by a $t^{-\alpha}$ law. We confirm that depletion becomes ineffective beyond an age of 1-2 Gyr for the majority of the stars, leading to a Li plateau at old ages. We compared the empirical scenario of Li  as a function of age with the predictions of three non-standard models. We found that models including only gravity waves as main mixing process are not able to fit the Li vs. age pattern and thus this kind of mixing can be excluded as the predominant mechanism responsible for Li depletion. On the other hand, models including slow mixing induced by rotation and angular momentum loss, and in particular those including also diffusive processes not related to rotation, can explain to some extent the empirical evidence. However, none of the currently proposed models can fit the plateau at old ages.

Key words: stars: abundances -- stars: evolution -- open clusters and associations: general

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© ESO 2005

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