Volume 590, June 2016
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||04 May 2016|
The Solar Twin Planet Search
III. The [Y/Mg] clock: estimating stellar ages of solar-type stars⋆
1 Universidade de São PauloDepartamento
de Astronomia do IAG/USP, Rua do Matão 1226, Cidade
Universitária, 05508-900 São
Paulo, SP, Brazil
2 University of Texas, McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3 University of Chicago, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, IL 60637, USA
4 The Australian National University, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Cotter Road, Weston, ACT 2611, Australia
Accepted: 16 March 2016
Context. Solar twins are stars with similar stellar (surface) parameters to the Sun that can have a wide range of ages. This provides an opportunity to analyze the variation of their chemical abundances with age. Nissen (2015, A&A, 579, A52) recently suggested that the abundances of the s-process element Y and the α-element Mg could be used to estimate stellar ages.
Aims. This paper aims to determine with high precision the Y, Mg, and Fe abundances for a sample of 88 solar twins that span a broad age range (0.3–10.0 Gyr) and investigate their use for estimating ages.
Methods. We obtained high-quality Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) spectra and determined Y and Mg abundances using equivalent widths and a line-by-line differential method within a 1D LTE framework. Stellar parameters and iron abundances were measured in Paper I of this series for all stars, but a few (three) required a small revision.
Results. The [Y/Mg] ratio shows a strong correlation with age. It has a slope of −0.041 ± 0.001 dex/Gyr and a significance of 41σ. This is in excellent agreement with the relation first proposed by Nissen (2015). We found some outliers that turned out to be binaries where mass transfer may have enhanced the yttrium abundance. Given a precise measurement of [Y/Mg] with typical error of 0.02 dex in solar twins, our formula can be used to determine a stellar age with ~0.8 Gyr precision in the 0 to 10 Gyr range.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: evolution / Galaxy: evolution
© ESO, 2016
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