AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 27 Open and Globular Clusters
Poster, Tuesday, May 27, 2003, 10:00am-6:30pm, West Exhbit Hall

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[27.03] Investigating the Width of the Main Sequence in Open Clusters

R.S. French, T. von Hippel (University of Texas at Austin)

The main sequences of virtually all color-magnitude diagrams have a non-zero width whose origins remain unclear. Better instrumentation and detectors have now made obtaining "high-precision" photometry almost routine. But even given the current technologies, modeling and removing the effects of observational errors has proven insufficient to explain all of the scatter about cluster main sequences. While previously considered second-order effects, those due to a non-uniform metallicity, unresolved binaries, and stellar rotation have now emerged as potentially more complicating factors, smearing out the main sequence. Using simulations and high-precision photometry, we analyze and correct for these and other effects in open clusters to determine if any remaining scatter in the main sequence has astrophysical foundations. Ultimately, we will be able to describe the degree of chemical homogeneity in cluster-forming gas and place some constraints on the extent to which planets in these systems are cannibalized. Here, we present first attempts at technique development on the open cluster M37.

This research is supported in part by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Austin Branch of the American Association of University Women and by a generous grant to R.S.F. from the Fund for Astrophysical Research in the form of a Theodore Dunham, Jr. Grant for Research in Astronomy.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rfrench@astro.as.utexas.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.