Context. Currently, galactic exploration is being revolutionized by a flow of new data: Gaia provides measurements of stellar distances and kinematics; growing numbers of spectroscopic surveys provide values of stellar atmospheric parameters and abundances of elements; and Kepler and K2 missions provide asteroseismic information for an increasing number of stars.
Aims: In this work, we aim to determine stellar distances and ages using Gaia and spectrophotometric data in a consistent way. We estimate precisions of age and distance determinations with Gaia end-of-mission (EoM) and Tycho-Gaia astrometric solution (TGAS) parallax precisions.
Methods: To this end, we incorporated parallax and extinction data into the isochrone fitting method used in the Unified tool to estimate Distances, Ages, and Masses (UniDAM). We prepared datasets that allowed us to study the improvement of distance and age estimates with the inclusion of TGAS and Gaia EoM parallax precisions in isochrone fitting.
Results: Using TGAS parallaxes in isochrone fitting, we are able to reduce distance and age estimate uncertainties for TGAS stars for distances up to 1 kpc by more than one third compared to results based only on spectrophotometric data. With Gaia EoM parallaxes in isochrone fitting, we will be able to further decrease our distance uncertainties by about a factor of 20 and age uncertainties by a factor of 2 for stars up to 10 kpc away from the Sun.
Conclusions: We demonstrate that we will be able to improve our distance estimates for about one third of stars in spectroscopic surveys and to decrease log(age) uncertainties by about a factor of two for over 80% of stars as compared to the uncertainties obtained without parallax priors using Gaia EoM parallaxes consistently with spectrophotometry in isochrone fitting.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- October 2018
- stars: distances;
- stars: fundamental parameters;
- Galaxy: stellar content;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 15 pages, 3 figures, 4 tables