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Slowly Cooling White Dwarfs in NGC 6752

Chen, J, Ferraro, FR, Cadelano, M, Salaris, M, Lanzoni, B, Pallanca, C, Althaus, LG, Cassisi, S and Dalessandro, E (2022) Slowly Cooling White Dwarfs in NGC 6752. Astrophysical Journal, 934 (2). ISSN 0004-637X

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Recently, a new class of white dwarfs (“slowly cooling WDs”) has been identified in the globular cluster M13. The cooling time of these stars is increased by stable thermonuclear hydrogen burning in their residual envelope. These WDs are thought to be originated by horizontal branch (HB) stars populating the HB blue tail that skipped the asymptotic giant branch phase. To further explore this phenomenon, we took advantage of deep photometric data acquired with the Hubble Space Telescope in the near-ultraviolet and investigate the bright portion of the WD cooling sequence in NGC 6752, another Galactic globular cluster with a metallicity, age, and HB morphology similar to M13. The normalized WD luminosity function derived in NGC 6752 turns out to be impressively similar to that observed in M13, in agreement with the fact that the stellar mass distribution along the HB of these two systems is almost identical. As in the case of M13, the comparison with theoretical predictions is consistent with ∼70% of the investigated WDs evolving at slower rates than standard, purely cooling WDs. Thanks to its relatively short distance from Earth, NGC 6752 photometry reaches a luminosity 1 order of a magnitude fainter than the case of M13, allowing us to sample a regime where the cooling time delay, with respect to standard WD models, reaches ∼300 Myr. The results presented in this paper provide new evidence for the existence of slowly cooling WDs and further support to the scenario proposing a direct causal connection between this phenomenon and the HB morphology of the host stellar cluster.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Astronomy & Astrophysics; 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences; 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics; 0306 Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society; IOP Publishing
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2022 11:46
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 12:00
DOI or ID number: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac7a45
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18065
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