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Title: A BAYESIAN APPROACH TO DERIVING AGES OF INDIVIDUAL FIELD WHITE DWARFS

We apply a self-consistent and robust Bayesian statistical approach to determine the ages, distances, and zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) masses of 28 field DA white dwarfs (WDs) with ages of approximately 4-8 Gyr. Our technique requires only quality optical and near-infrared photometry to derive ages with <15% uncertainties, generally with little sensitivity to our choice of modern initial-final mass relation. We find that age, distance, and ZAMS mass are correlated in a manner that is too complex to be captured by traditional error propagation techniques. We further find that the posterior distributions of age are often asymmetric, indicating that the standard approach to deriving WD ages can yield misleading results.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Siena College, Loudonville, NY 12211 (United States)
  2. Department of Physical Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 (United States)
  3. Statistics Section, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22133846
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 775; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASYMMETRY; DISTANCE; ERRORS; MASS; PHOTOMETRY; SENSITIVITY; STATISTICS; WHITE DWARF STARS