The initial-final mass relation (IFMR) of white dwarfs (WDs) plays an important role in stellar evolution. To derive precise estimates of IFMRs and explore how they may vary among star clusters, we propose a Bayesian hierarchical model that pools photometric data from multiple star clusters. After performing a simulation study to show the benefits of the Bayesian hierarchical model, we apply this model to five star clusters: the Hyades, M67, NGC 188, NGC 2168, and NGC 2477, leading to reasonable and consistent estimates of IFMRs for these clusters. We illustrate how a cluster-specific analysis of NGC 188 using its own photometric data can produce an unreasonable IFMR since its WDs have a narrow range of zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) masses. However, the Bayesian hierarchical model corrects the cluster-specific analysis by borrowing strength from other clusters, thus generating more reliable estimates of IFMR parameters. The data analysis presents the benefits of Bayesian hierarchical modelling over conventional cluster-specific methods, which motivates us to elaborate the powerful statistical techniques in this article.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Astronomical Society
Grant or Award Name
Marie-Skodowska-Curie RISE Grant (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015-691164), NSF Award AST-1715718
Scholarly Commons Citation
Si, S., van Dyk, D. A., von Hippel, T., Robinson, E., Jeffery, E., & Stenning, D. C. (2018). Bayesian Hierarchical Modelling of Initial-Final Mass Relations Across Star Clusters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 480(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty1913