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The Astrophysical Journal


The Hyades open cluster presents a unique laboratory for planet formation and stellar pollution studies because all of the stars have essentially the same age and were born from the same cloud of gas. Furthermore, with an age of ~650 Myr, most of the intermediate- and low-mass stars are on the main sequence. Given these assumptions, the accretion of metal-rich material onto the surface of a star during and shortly after the formation of planetary systems should be evident via the enhanced metallicity of the star. Building on previous work, stellar evolution models that include the effects of stellar pollution are applied to the Hyades. The results of several Monte Carlo simulations, in which the amount of accreted material is drawn at random from a Gaussian distribution with standard deviation equal to half the mean, are presented. An effective temperature-[Fe/H] relation is produced and compared with recent observations. The theoretical predictions presented in this Letter will be useful in future searches for evidence of stellar pollution due to planet formation. It is concluded that stellar pollution effects at the mean level of ≥2 M⊕ of iron are ruled out by the current observational data (Paulson, Sneden, & Cochran).