The Astrophysical Journal
The American Astronomical Society
We utilize high-resolution (R ∼ 60,000), high signal-to-noise ratio (∼100) spectroscopy of 17 cool Pleiades dwarfs to examine the confounding star-to-star scatter in the λ6707 Li i line strengths in this young cluster. Our Pleiades, selected for their small projected rotational velocity and modest chromospheric emission, evince substantial scatter in the line strengths of λ6707 Li i feature that is absent in the λ7699 K i resonance line. The Li i scatter is not correlated with that in the high-excitation λ7774 O i feature, and the magnitude of the former is greater than the latter despite the larger temperature sensitivity of the O i feature. These results suggest that systematic errors in line strength measurements due to blending, color (or color-based Teff) errors, or line formation effects related to an overlying chromosphere are not the principal source of Li i scatter in our stars. There do exist analytic spot models that can produce, via line formation effects, the observed Li scatter without introducing scatter in the K i line strengths or the color–magnitude diagram. However, these models predict factor of 3 differences in abundances derived from the subordinate λ6104 and resonance λ6707 Li i features; we ﬁnd no difference in the abundances determined from these two features. These analytic spot models also predict CN line strengths signiﬁcantly larger than we observe in our spectra. The simplest explanation of the Li, K, CN, and photometric data is that there must be a real abundance component to the Pleiades Li dispersion. We suggest that this real abundance component is the manifestation of relic differences in erstwhile pre-main-sequence Li burning caused by effects of surface activity on stellar structure. We discuss observational predictions of these effects, which may be related to other anomalous stellar phenomena.
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