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A massive white dwarf member of the Coma Berenices open cluster


Dobbie, PD and Casewell, SL and Burleigh, MR and Boyce, DD, A massive white dwarf member of the Coma Berenices open cluster, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 395, (3) pp. 1591-1598. ISSN 0035-8711 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation copyright 2009 RAS

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14645.x


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:white dwarfs; open clusters and associations: individual: Melotte 111; open clusters and associations: individual: Coma Berenices
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dobbie, PD (Dr Paul Dobbie)
ID Code:81031
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-11-21
Last Modified:2013-06-27

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