The white dwarf luminosity function II. The efect of the measurement errors and other biases
PublisherRoyal Astronomical Society
Rights accessOpen Access
The disc white dwarf luminosity function is an important tool for studying the solar neighbourhood, since it allows the determination of several Galactic parameters, the most important one being the age of the Galactic disc. However, only the 1/Vmax method has been employed so far for observationally determining the white dwarf luminosity function, whereas for other kind of luminosity functions several other methods have been frequently used. Moreover, the procedures to determine the white dwarf luminosity function are not free of biases. These biases have two different origins: they can either be of statistical nature or a consequence of the measurement errors. In a previous paper we carried out an in-depth study of the first category of biases for several luminosity function estimators. In this paper we focus on the biases introduced by the measurement errors and on the effects of the degree of contamination of the input sample used to build the disc white dwarf luminosity function by different kinematical populations. To assess the extent of these biases we use a Monte Carlo simulator to generate a controlled synthetic population and analyse the behaviour of the disc white dwarf luminosity function for several assumptions about the magnitude of the measurement errors and for several degrees of contamination, comparing the performances of the most robust luminosity function estimators under such conditions.
CitationTorres Gil, S.; GArcía-Berro Montilla, E.; Isern i Vilaboy, J. The white dwarf luminosity function II. The efect of the measurement errors and other biases. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astonomical Society. London: Royal Astronomical Soceity, 2007. Vol. 378, p. 1461–1470