Inverting Color-Magnitude Diagrams To Access Precise Star Cluster Parameters: A New White Dwarf Age For The Hyades

Degennaro, Steven
von Hippel, Ted
Jefferys, William H.
Stein, Nathan
van Dyk, David
Jeffery, Elizabeth
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We have extended our Bayesian modeling of stellar clusters-which uses main-sequence stellar evolution models, a mapping between initial masses and white dwarf (WD) masses, WD cooling models, and WD atmospheres-to include binary stars, field stars, and two additional main-sequence stellar evolution models. As a critical test of our Bayesian modeling technique, we apply it to Hyades UBV photometry, with membership priors based on proper motions and radial velocities, where available. Under the assumption of a particular set of WD cooling models and atmosphere models, we estimate the age of the Hyades based on cooling WDs to be 648 +/- 45 Myr, consistent with the best prior analysis of the cluster main-sequence turnoff (MSTO) age by Perryman et al. Since the faintest WDs have most likely evaporated from the Hyades, prior work provided only a lower limit to the cluster's WD age. Our result demonstrates the power of the bright WD technique for deriving ages and further demonstrates complete age consistency between WD cooling and MSTO ages for seven out of seven clusters analyzed to date, ranging from 150 Myr to 4 Gyr.

DeGennaro, Steven, Ted Von Hippel, William H. Jefferys, Nathan Stein, David van Dyk, and Elizabeth Jeffery. "Inverting Color-Magnitude Diagrams to Access Precise Star Cluster Parameters: A New White Dwarf Age for the Hyades." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 696, No. 1 (May., 2009): 12.