Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


An approach is introduced for incorporating the concept of stellar pollution into stellar evolution models. The approach involves enhancing the metal content of the surface layers of stellar models. In addition, the surface layers of stars in the mass range of 0.5-2.0 M are mixed to an artificial depth motivated by observations of lithium abundance. The behavior of polluted stellar evolution models is explored assuming the pollution occurs after the star has left the fully convective pre-main-sequence phase. Stellar models polluted with a few Earth masses (M) of iron are significantly hotter than stars of the same mass with an equivalent bulk metallicity. Polluted stellar evolution models can successfully reproduce the metal-rich, parent star τ Bootis and suggest a slightly lower mass than standard evolution models. Finally, the possibility that stars in the Hyades open cluster have accreted an average of 0.5 M of iron is explored. The results indicate that it is not possible to rule out stellar pollution on this scale from the scatter of Hyades stars on a color-magnitude diagram. The small amount of scatter in the observational data set does rule out pollution on the order of ~1.5 M of iron. Pollution effects at the low level of 0.5 M of iron do not produce substantial changes in a star's evolution.