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Detection of White Dwarf companions to Blue Stragglers in the open cluster NGC 188: direct evidence for recent mass transfer

Detection of White Dwarf companions to Blue Stragglers in the open cluster NGC 188: direct evidence for recent mass transfer
Detection of White Dwarf companions to Blue Stragglers in the open cluster NGC 188: direct evidence for recent mass transfer
Several possible formation pathways for blue straggler stars have been developed recently, but no one pathway has yet been observationally confirmed for a specific blue straggler. Here we report the first findings from a Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys/Solar Blind Channel far-UV photometric program to search for white dwarf companions to blue straggler stars. We find three hot and young white dwarf companions to blue straggler stars in the 7 Gyr open cluster NGC 188, indicating that mass transfer in these systems ended less than 300 Myr ago. These companions are direct and secure observational evidence that these blue straggler stars were formed through mass transfer in binary stars. Their existence in a well-studied cluster environment allows for observational constraints of both the current binary system and the progenitor binary system, mapping the entire mass transfer history.
binaries: spectroscopic, blue stragglers, open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 188, ultraviolet: stars, white dwarfs
2041-8205
Gosnell, Natalie M.
ca36477c-cf40-44c0-a70e-b4921b383780
Mathieu, Robert D.
f8406264-e1b5-41be-9074-b612cd9e967f
Geller, Aaron M.
358fcd0f-def3-47e2-8595-ab16cdb12f3a
Sills, Alison
2f7067f6-89a0-4738-b60e-a25e8b7a434d
Leigh, Nathan
90069e68-a317-4cce-92e3-2401e3518751
Knigge, Christian
ac320eec-631a-426e-b2db-717c8bf7857e
Gosnell, Natalie M.
ca36477c-cf40-44c0-a70e-b4921b383780
Mathieu, Robert D.
f8406264-e1b5-41be-9074-b612cd9e967f
Geller, Aaron M.
358fcd0f-def3-47e2-8595-ab16cdb12f3a
Sills, Alison
2f7067f6-89a0-4738-b60e-a25e8b7a434d
Leigh, Nathan
90069e68-a317-4cce-92e3-2401e3518751
Knigge, Christian
ac320eec-631a-426e-b2db-717c8bf7857e

Gosnell, Natalie M., Mathieu, Robert D., Geller, Aaron M., Sills, Alison, Leigh, Nathan and Knigge, Christian (2014) Detection of White Dwarf companions to Blue Stragglers in the open cluster NGC 188: direct evidence for recent mass transfer. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 783 (1). (doi:10.1088/2041-8205/783/1/L8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Several possible formation pathways for blue straggler stars have been developed recently, but no one pathway has yet been observationally confirmed for a specific blue straggler. Here we report the first findings from a Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys/Solar Blind Channel far-UV photometric program to search for white dwarf companions to blue straggler stars. We find three hot and young white dwarf companions to blue straggler stars in the 7 Gyr open cluster NGC 188, indicating that mass transfer in these systems ended less than 300 Myr ago. These companions are direct and secure observational evidence that these blue straggler stars were formed through mass transfer in binary stars. Their existence in a well-studied cluster environment allows for observational constraints of both the current binary system and the progenitor binary system, mapping the entire mass transfer history.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 13 February 2014
Published date: 1 March 2014
Keywords: binaries: spectroscopic, blue stragglers, open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 188, ultraviolet: stars, white dwarfs

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413690
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413690
ISSN: 2041-8205
PURE UUID: 1d0509df-452d-406c-8033-17a57703513c

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Date deposited: 31 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 08:21

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Contributors

Author: Natalie M. Gosnell
Author: Robert D. Mathieu
Author: Aaron M. Geller
Author: Alison Sills
Author: Nathan Leigh

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