Journal Article

A massive white dwarf member of the Coma Berenices open cluster

P. D. Dobbie, S. L. Casewell, M. R. Burleigh and D. D. Boyce

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 3, pages 1591-1598
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A massive white dwarf member of the Coma Berenices open cluster

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We report the identification, from a photometric, astrometric and spectroscopic study, of a massive white dwarf member of the nearby, approximately solar metallicity, Coma Berenices open star cluster (Melotte 111). We find the optical to near-infrared energy distribution of WD 1216+260 to be entirely consistent with that of an isolated DA and determine the effective temperature and surface gravity of this object to be Teff= 15 739+197−196 K and log g= 8.46+0.03−0.02. We set tight limits on the mass of a putative cool companion, M≳ 0.036 M (spatially unresolved) and M≳ 0.034 M (spatially resolved and a≲ 2500 au). Based on the predictions of CO core, thick H layer evolutionary models we determine the mass and cooling time of WD 1216+260 to be MWD= 0.90 ± 0.04 M and τcool= 363+46−41 Myr, respectively. For an adopted cluster age of τ= 500 ± 100 Myr we infer the mass of its progenitor star to be Minit= 4.77+5.37−0.97 M. We briefly discuss this result in the context of the form of the stellar initial mass–final mass relation.

Keywords: white dwarfs; open clusters and associations: individual: Melotte 111; open clusters and associations: individual: Coma Berenices

Journal Article.  6337 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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