The Gaia-ESO Survey: open clusters in Gaia-DR1 A way forward to stellar age calibration

Randich, S 
Tognelli, E 
Jackson, R 
Jeffries, RD 
Degl'Innocenti, S 

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Context. Determination and calibration of the ages of stars, which heavily rely on stellar evolutionary models, are very challenging, while representing a crucial aspect in many astrophysical areas.

Aims. We describe the methodologies that, taking advantage of Gaia-DR1 and the Gaia-ESO Survey data, enable the comparison of observed open star cluster sequences with stellar evolutionary models. The final, long-term goal is the exploitation of open clusters as age calibrators.

Methods. We perform a homogeneous analysis of eight open clusters using the Gaia-DR1 TGAS catalogue for bright members and information from the Gaia-ESO Survey for fainter stars. Cluster membership probabilities for the Gaia-ESO Survey targets are derived based on several spectroscopic tracers. The Gaia-ESO Survey also provides the cluster chemical composition. We obtain cluster parallaxes using two methods. The first one relies on the astrometric selection of a sample of bona fide members, while the other one fits the parallax distribution of a larger sample of TGAS sources. Ages and reddening values are recovered through a Bayesian analysis using the 2MASS magnitudes and three sets of standard models. Lithium depletion boundary (LDB) ages are also determined using literature observations and the same models employed for the Bayesian analysis.

Results. For all but one cluster, parallaxes derived by us agree with those presented in Gaia Collaboration (2017, A&A, 601, A19), while a discrepancy is found for NGC 2516; we provide evidence supporting our own determination. Inferred cluster ages are robust against models and are generally consistent with literature values.

Conclusions. The systematic parallax errors inherent in the Gaia DR1 data presently limit the precision of our results. Nevertheless, we have been able to place these eight clusters onto the same age scale for the first time, with good agreement between isochronal and LDB ages where there is overlap. Our approach appears promising and demonstrates the potential of combining Gaia and ground-based spectroscopic datasets.

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parallaxes, surveys, stars: evolution, open clusters and associations: general
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Astronomy & Astrophysics
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EDP Sciences
European Research Council (320360)
Based on data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme IDs 188.B-3002, 193.B.0936, and 197.B-1074. These data products have been processed by the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit (CASU) at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, and by the FLAMES/UVES reduction team at INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri. These data have been obtained from the Gaia-ESO Survey Data Archive, prepared and hosted by the Wide Field Astronomy Unit, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, which is funded by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC, Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. This research was made possible through the use of the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS), funded by the Robert Martin Ayers Sciences Fundation. This research has made use of the SIMBAD and VizieR databases, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This research has made use of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System. This work was partly supported by the European Union FP7 programme through ERC grant number 320360 and by the Leverhulme Trust through grant RPG-2012-541. We acknowledge the support from INAF and Ministero dell’ Istruzione, dell’ Università’ e della Ricerca (MIUR) in the form of the grant “Premiale VLT 2012” and by PRIN-INAF 2014. The results presented here benefit from discussions held during the Gaia-ESO Survey workshops and conferences supported by the ESF (European Science Foundation) through the GREAT Research Network Programme. E.T., P.G.P.M. and S.D. acknowledge PRA Universitá di Pisa 2016 (Stelle di piccola massa: le pietre miliari dell’archeologia galattica, PI: S. Degl’Innocenti) and INFN (Iniziativa specifica TAsP). M.T.C. acknowledge the financial support from the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, through grant AYA2016-75931. U.H. acknowledges support from the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB/Rymdstyrelsen).