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The Space Density of Hot White Dwarfs

  • Neill Reid (a1), D.T. Wickramasinghe (a2) and M.S. Bessell (a3)

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The space density of degenerate stars is an important parameter in Galactic Structure studies, not only because white dwarfs represent a significant fraction of the local mass density, but also because they act as tracers of the history of star formation (see e.g., Bessell 1978). Combining the present day luminosity function with theoretical cooling tracks allows constraints to be set on the birth rate of main sequence progenitors. However, since white dwarfs are intrinsically low luminosity objects, observational studies are hampered by difficulties in defining complete samples large enough to have statistical significance. This paper discusses preliminary results from one method of tackling this problem.

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The Space Density of Hot White Dwarfs

  • Neill Reid (a1), D.T. Wickramasinghe (a2) and M.S. Bessell (a3)

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