Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach

Department

Department of Physical Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication/Presentation Date

3-20-2007

Abstract/Description

Currently there are two main techniques for independently determining the ages of stellar populations: main-sequence evolution theory (via cluster isochrones) and white dwarf cooling theory. Open clusters provide the ideal environment for the calibration of these two clocks. Because current techniques to derive cluster ages from white dwarfs are observationally challenging, we discuss the feasibility of determining white dwarf ages from the brighter white dwarfs alone. This would eliminate the requirement of observing the coolest (i.e., faintest) white dwarfs. We discuss our method for testing this new idea, as well as the required photometric precision and prior constraints on metallicity, distance, and reddening. We employ a new Bayesian statistical technique to obtain and interpret results.

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal

Publisher

Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.

Additional Information

Dr. von Hippel was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.

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