Are pre-main-sequence stars older than we thought?
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Oxford University Press / Royal Astronomical Society
We fit the colour–magnitude diagrams of stars between the zero-age main-sequence and terminal-age main sequence in young clusters and associations. The ages we derive are a factor of 1.5–2 longer than the commonly used ages for these regions, which are derived from the positions of pre-main-sequence stars in colour–magnitude diagrams. From an examination of the uncertainties in the main-sequence and pre-main-sequence models, we conclude that the longer age scale is probably the correct one, which implies that we must revise upwards the commonly used ages for young clusters and associations. Such a revision would explain the discrepancy between the observational lifetimes of protoplanetary discs and theoretical calculations of the time to form planets. It would also explain the absence of clusters with ages between 5 and 30 Myr. We use the τ2 statistic to fit the main-sequence data, but find that we must make significant modifications if we are to fit sequences which have vertical segments in the colour–magnitude diagram. We present this modification along with improvements to the methods of calculating the goodness-of-fit statistic and parameter uncertainties. Software implementing the methods described in this paper is available from http://www.astro.ex.ac.uk/people/timn/tau-squared/
Copyright © 2009 Royal Astronomical Society
Vol. 399 (1), pp. 432 - 442