High-resolution optical spectroscopy of Praesepe white dwarfs

S.L. Casewell, P.D. Dobbie, R. Napiwotzki, M.R. Burleigh, M.A. Barstow, R.F. Jameson

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We present the results of a high-resolution optical spectroscopic study of nine white dwarf candidate members of Praesepe undertaken with the VLT and Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph. We find, contrary to a number of previous studies, that WD0836+201 (LB390, EG59) and WD0837+199 (LB393, EG61) are magnetic and non-magnetic white dwarfs, respectively. Subsequently, we determine the radial velocities for the eight non-magnetic degenerates and provide compelling evidence that WD0837+185 is a radial velocity variable and possibly a double-degenerate system. We also find that our result for WD0837+218, in conjunction with its projected spatial location and position in initial mass–final mass space, argues it is more likely to be a field star than a cluster member. After eliminating these two white dwarfs, and WD0836+199 which has no clean Sloan Digital Sky Survey photometry, we use the remaining five stars to substantiate modern theoretical mass–radius relations for white dwarfs. In light of our new results, we re-examine the white dwarf members of Praesepe and use them to further constrain the initial mass–final mass relation (IFMR). We find a near-monotonic IFMR, which can still be adequately represented by simple linear function with only one outlier which may have formed from a blue straggler star.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-1804
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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