Volume 566, June 2014
|Number of page(s)||18|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||25 June 2014|
Accurate age determinations of several nearby open clusters containing magnetic Ap stars⋆
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 3K7, Canada
2 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, BT61 9DG Armagh, Northern Ireland
Received: 13 March 2013
Accepted: 9 May 2014
Context. To study the time evolution of magnetic fields, chemical abundance peculiarities, and other characteristics of magnetic Ap and Bp stars during their main sequence lives, a sample of these stars in open clusters has been obtained, as such stars can be assumed to have the same ages as the clusters to which they belong. However, in exploring age determinations in the literature, we find a large dispersion among different age determinations, even for bright, nearby clusters.
Aims. Our aim is to obtain ages that are as accurate as possible for the seven nearby open clusters α Per, Coma Ber, IC 2602, NGC 2232, NGC 2451A, NGC 2516, and NGC 6475, each of which contains at least one magnetic Ap or Bp star. Simultaneously, we test the current calibrations of Te and luminosity for the Ap/Bp star members, and identify clearly blue stragglers in the clusters studied.
Methods. We explore the possibility that isochrone fitting in the theoretical Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (i.e. log (L/L⊙) vs. log Te), rather than in the conventional colour–magnitude diagram, can provide more precise and accurate cluster ages, with well-defined uncertainties.
Results. Well-defined ages are found for all the clusters studied. For the nearby clusters studied, the derived ages are not very sensitive to the small uncertainties in distance, reddening, membership, metallicity, or choice of isochrones. Our age determinations are all within the range of previously determined values, but the associated uncertainties are considerably smaller than the spread in recent age determinations from the literature. Furthermore, examination of proper motions and HR diagrams confirms that the Ap stars identified in these clusters are members, and that the presently accepted temperature scale and bolometric corrections for Ap stars are approximately correct. We show that in these theoretical HR diagrams blue stragglers are particularly easy to identify.
Conclusions. Constructing the theoretical HR diagram of a nearby open cluster makes possible an accurate age determination, with well defined uncertainty. This diagnostic of a cluster also provides a useful tool for studying unusual stars such as Ap stars and blue stragglers.
Key words: stars: chemically peculiar / Hertzsprung-Russell and C-M diagrams / open clusters and associations: general / blue stragglers
Table 3 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014
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