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Evolutionary models for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs: uncertainties and limits at very young ages

By I Baraffe, G Chabrier and F Allard


We analyse pre-Main Sequence evolutionary tracks for low mass stars with masses $m \le 1.4 \msol$ based on the Baraffe et al. (1998) input physics. We also extend the recent Chabrier et al. (2000) evolutionary models based on dusty atmosphere to young brown dwarfs down to one mass of Jupiter. We analyse current theoretical uncertainties due to molecular line lists, convection and initial conditions. Simple tests on initial conditions show the high uncertainties of models at ages $\simle$ 1 Myr. We find a significant sensitivity of atmosphere profiles to the treatment of convection at low gravity and $\te < 4000$ K, whereas it vanishes as gravity increases. This effect adds another source of uncertainty on evolutionary tracks at very early phases. We show that at low surface gravity ($\log g \simle 3.5$,) the common picture of vertical Hayashi lines with constant $\te$ is oversimplified. The effect of a variation of initial deuterium abundance is studied. We compare our models with evolutionary tracks available in the literature and discuss the main differences. We finally analyse to which extent current observations of young systems provide a good test for pre-Main Sequence tracks

Topics: Astrophysics and Astronomy
Year: 2001
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Provided by: CERN Document Server

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