Effect of binary fraction on color-magnitude diagram of NGC 1904

  • Zhongmu Li
  • Yangyang Deng
Original Article


The age of a southern globular cluster in Milky Way, NGC 1904, was shown to be larger than the typical age of the universe, around 13.7 Gyr, by some photometric studies which assumed all stars as single stars. Besides the uncertainties in photometry, isochrone and fitting technique, the neglect of binary stars possibly distorted the result. We study the effect of binary fraction on the color-magnitude diagram (CMD) of NGC 1904, via a new tool for CMD studies, \(\mathit{Powerful}\)\(\mathit{CMD}\), which can determine binary fraction, age, metallicity, distance modulus, color excess, rotating star fraction and star formation history simultaneously. We finally obtain the youngest age of \(14.1\pm2.1~\mbox{Gyr}\) with a zero-age binary fraction of 60 percent for cluster NGC 1904. The result is consistent with the age of the universe. Although our result suggests that binary fraction affects the determination of age slightly, it can improve the fitting to observed CMD, in particular blue stragglers. This suggests us to consider the effect of binaries in the studies of star clusters.


(Stars:) Hertzsprung-Russell and C-M diagrams (Galaxy:) globular clusters: individual (NGC 1904) (Stars:) binaries: visual 



We thank the reviewer for useful comments. This work has been supported by the Chinese National Science Foundation (Grant No. 11563002), Joint Research Project of Sino-German Center (GZ1284), and Yunnan Science Foundation (Program No. 2016FB010).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Astronomy and History of Science and TechnologyDali UniversityDaliChina

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