The distances to open clusters from main-sequence fitting. III. Improved accuracy with empirically calibrated isochrones

Deokkeun An, Donald M. Terndrup, Marc H. Pinsonneault, Diane B. Paulson, Robert B. Hanson, John R. Stauffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

We continue our series of papers on open cluster distances with a critical assessment of the accuracy of main-sequence fitting using isochrones that employ empirical corrections to the color-temperature relations. We use four nearby open clusters with multicolor photometry and accurate metallicities and present a new metallicity for Praesepe ([Fe/H] = +0.11 ± 0.03) from high-resolution spectra. The internal precision of distance estimates is about a factor of 5 better than the case without the color calibrations. After taking into account all major systematic errors, we obtain distances accurate to about 2%-3% when there exists a good metallicity estimate. Metallicities accurate to better than 0.1 dex may be obtained from BVICKs photometry alone. We also derive a helium abundance for the Pleiades of Y = 0.279 ± 0.015, which is equal within the errors to the Sun's initial helium abundance and that of the Hyades. Our best estimates of distances are (m - M)0 = 6.33 ± 0.04, 8.03 ± 0.04, and 9.61 ± 0.03 to Praesepe, NGC 2516, and M67, respectively. Our Pleiades distance at the spectroscopic metallicity, (m -M)0 = 5.66 ± 0.01 (internal) ± 0.05(systematic), is in excellent agreement with several geometric distance measurements. We have made calibrated isochrones for -0.3 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ +0.2 available online.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-260
Number of pages28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume655
Issue number1 I
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Hertzsprung-Russell diagram
  • Open clusters and associations: individual (M67, NGC 2516, pleiades, praesepe)
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: activity
  • Stars: distances
  • Stars: evolution

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