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White dwarfs in the Gaia era

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 March 2018

P.-E. Tremblay
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL, Coventry, UK email: P-E.Tremblay@warwick.ac.uk
N. Gentile-Fusillo
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL, Coventry, UK email: P-E.Tremblay@warwick.ac.uk
J. Cummings
Affiliation:
Center for Astrophysical Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
S. Jordan
Affiliation:
Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
B. T. Gänsicke
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL, Coventry, UK email: P-E.Tremblay@warwick.ac.uk
J. S. Kalirai
Affiliation:
Center for Astrophysical Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
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Abstract

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The vast majority of stars will become white dwarfs at the end of the stellar life cycle. These remnants are precise cosmic clocks owing to their well constrained cooling rates. Gaia Data Release 2 is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of white dwarfs, which can then be observed spectroscopically with WEAVE and 4MOST. By employing spectroscopically derived atmospheric parameters combined with Gaia parallaxes, white dwarfs can constrain the stellar formation history in the early developing phases of the Milky Way, the initial mass function in the 1.5 to 8 M range, and the stellar mass loss as well as the state of planetary systems during the post main-sequence evolution.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2018 

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