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Title: THE EFFECT OF UNRESOLVED BINARIES ON GLOBULAR CLUSTER PROPER-MOTION DISPERSION PROFILES

High-precision kinematic studies of globular clusters (GCs) require an accurate knowledge of all possible sources of contamination. Among other sources, binary stars can introduce systematic biases in the kinematics. Using a set of Monte Carlo cluster simulations with different concentrations and binary fractions, we investigate the effect of unresolved binaries on proper-motion dispersion profiles, treating the simulations like Hubble Space Telescope proper-motion samples. Since GCs evolve toward a state of partial energy equipartition, more-massive stars lose energy and decrease their velocity dispersion. As a consequence, on average, binaries have a lower velocity dispersion, since they are more-massive kinematic tracers. We show that, in the case of clusters with high binary fractions (initial binary fractions of 50%) and high concentrations (i.e., closer to energy equipartition), unresolved binaries introduce a color-dependent bias in the velocity dispersion of main-sequence stars of the order of 0.1–0.3 km s{sup −1} (corresponding to 1%−6% of the velocity dispersion), with the reddest stars having a lower velocity dispersion, due to the higher fraction of contaminating binaries. This bias depends on the ability to distinguish binaries from single stars, on the details of the color–magnitude diagram and the photometric errors. We apply our analysis to the HSTPROMO datamore » set of NGC 7078 (M15) and show that no effect ascribable to binaries is observed, consistent with the low binary fraction of the cluster. Our work indicates that binaries do not significantly bias proper-motion velocity-dispersion profiles, but should be taken into account in the error budget of kinematic analyses.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ; ; ; ;  [2]
  1. Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  2. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518566
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 820; 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; ACCURACY; BINARY STARS; COLOR; CONCENTRATION RATIO; DIAGRAMS; MAIN SEQUENCE STARS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PHOTOMETRY; PROPER MOTION; SPACE; STAR CLUSTERS; TELESCOPES; VELOCITY