AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 205 White Dwarfs
Oral, Thursday, 2:00-3:30pm, January 12, 2006, Salon 1

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[205.02] The White Dwarf Population of Messier 34 (NGC 1039)

K.A. Williams (Steward Obs.), K. Rubin (UCSC), M. Bolte (UCO/Lick Obs.)

We present observations of the white dwarf population of M34 (NGC 1039), an intermediate-age (~250 Myr) open cluster with a turnoff mass of ~4 M\odot. White dwarfs in this cluster therefore will fill a current gap in the empirical initial-final mass relation, white dwarfs with initial masses between 4M\odot and 5M\odot, a region where some theoretical models predict a change in slope to the relation. Wide-field photometry of the cluster core and two flanking fields is presented. High signal-to-noise spectroscopy from the Keck 10m telescope is used to determine the mass and cooling age of each white dwarf, from which the progenitor mass is determined. We present the revised empirical initial-final mass relation, focusing on the slope and scatter. We also present results from a study in the flanking fields of white dwarf evaporation from the cluster. This work is funded through grant AST-0307492 from the National Science Foundation.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
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