The Lithium Depletion Boundary and the Age of the Hyades Cluster

Martín, E. L., Lodieu, N., Pavlenko, Y., Bejar, V. J. S. 2018. The Lithium Depletion Boundary and the Age of the Hyades Cluster. Astrophysical Journal 859, 1, DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaaeb8

Determination of the lithium depletion boundary (LDB), i.e., the observational limit below which the cores of very low-mass objects do not reach high enough temperatures for Li destruction, has been used to obtain ages for several open clusters and stellar associations younger than 200 Myr-which until now has been considered the practical upper limit on the range of applicability of this method. In this work, we show that the LDB method can be extended to significant older ages than previously thought. Intermediate resolution optical spectra of six L-type candidate members in the Hyades cluster obtained using Optical System for Imaging and Low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy at the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias are presented. The Li I 670.8. nm resonance doublet is clearly detected only in the two faintest and coolest of these objects, which are classified as L3.5 to L4 brown dwarf (BD) cluster members with luminosities around 10(-4) solar. Lithium depletion factors are estimated for our targets with the aid of synthetic spectra and they are compared with predictions from evolutionary models. An LDB age of 650 +/- 70 Myr for the Hyades provides a consistent description of our data using a set of state-of-the-art evolutionary models for BDs calculated by Baraffe et al.

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