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Astron. Astrophys. 325, 647-663

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Optical high-resolution spectroscopy of ROSAT
detected late-type stars south of the Taurus molecular clouds*

R. Neuhäuser1, G. Torres2, M.F. Sterzik1, and S. Randich3,4

1Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, D-85740 Garching, Germany (rne@hpth03.mpe-garching.mpg.de)
2Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge MA 02138, USA
3European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany
4Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Florence, Italy

Received 16 December 1996 / Accepted 28 March 1997


We study 111 late-type stars found with optical follow-up observations of ROSAT All-Sky Survey sources south of the Taurus molecular clouds. Some 30 of them have been claimed to be weak-line T Tauri stars, low-mass pre-main sequence (PMS) stars, based mainly on the presence of strong lithium 6708Åabsorption in intermediate-resolution ( FORMULA Å) spectra. We obtained single-order echelle spectra at blue wavelengths for 106 of these stars, in order to measure their radial and rotational velocities, and investigate their angular momentum evolution and kinematic membership to the Taurus clouds. In addition, we obtained echelle spectra with high ( FORMULA Å) resolution for seven stars to measure precisely the lithium equivalent width FORMULA (Li). We find that FORMULA Å resolution is sufficient in order not to overestimate FORMULA (Li), e.g. due to blending. Of our 111 stars, 19 are located on the FORMULA Ori cloud, nine of which are K-type stars with lithium in excess of the zero-age-main-sequence (ZAMS) level, i.e. are PMS stars. At least 40 of the remaining 92 off-cloud stars display detectable lithium, 24 of which are lithium-excess stars, i.e. show lithium at least as strong as IC 2602 stars with the same spectral types. Of those 24 stars, nine ( FORMULA of the off-cloud stars with detectable lithium) are PMS stars isolated from cloud material; all have spectral type K, and three of them are spectroscopic binaries. 15 off-cloud stars have spectral type G and lithium comparable to IC 2602 stars, i.e. may have already arrived on the ZAMS just like G-type IC 2602 stars. However, all these 24 off-cloud lithium-excess stars are probably not older than IC 2602 ( FORMULA yrs). We discuss possible sites and modes of origin of the isolated PMS stars south of Taurus.

Key words: stars: formation - stars: late-type - stars: pre-main sequence - X-rays: stars

*Table 1 is also available in electronic form at CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html, Table 2 only at CDS.

Send offprint requests to: Ralph Neuhäuser

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: September 9, 1997
Last change: April 28, 1998