Volume 627, July 2019
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||12 July 2019|
Letter to the Editor
Masses of the Hyades white dwarfs
A gravitational redshift measurement⋆
ESO, Karl Schwarzschild Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, 59078-970 Natal, RN, Brazil
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 25 June 2019
Context. It is possible to accurately measure the masses of the white dwarfs (WDs) in the Hyades cluster using gravitational redshift, because the radial velocity of the stars can be obtained independently of spectroscopy from astrometry and the cluster has a low velocity dispersion.
Aims. We aim to obtain an accurate measurement of the Hyades WD masses by determining the mass-to-radius ratio (M/R) from the observed gravitational redshift, and to compare them with masses derived from other methods.
Methods. We analyse archive high-resolution UVES-VLT spectra of six WDs belonging to the Hyades to measure their Doppler shift, from which M/R is determined after subtracting the astrometric radial velocity. We estimate the radii using Gaia photometry as well as literature data.
Results. The M/R error associated to the gravitational redshift measurement is about 5%. The radii estimates, evaluated with different methods, are in very good agreement, though they can differ by up to 4% depending on the quality of the data. The masses based on gravitational redshift are systematically smaller than those derived from other methods, by a minimum of ∼0.02 up to 0.05 solar masses. While this difference is within our measurement uncertainty, the fact that it is systematic indicates a likely real discrepancy between the different methods.
Conclusions. We show that the M/R derived from gravitational redshift measurements is a powerful tool to determine the masses of the Hyades WDs and could reveal interesting properties of their atmospheres. The technique can be improved by using dedicated spectrographs, and can be extended to other clusters, making it unique in its ability to accurately and empirically determine the masses of WDs in open clusters. At the same time we prove that gravitational redshift in WDs agrees with the predictions of stellar evolution models to within a few percent.
Key words: white dwarfs / stars: fundamental parameters / open clusters and associations: individual: Hyades
© ESO 2019
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