Wiyn open cluster study. XXXII. Stellar radial velocities in the old open cluster NGC 188

Aaron M. Geller, Robert D. Mathieu, Hugh C. Harris, Robert D. McClure

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113 Scopus citations


We present the results of our ongoing radial-velocity (RV) survey of the old (7 Gyr) open cluster NGC 188. Our WIYN 3.5 m data set spans a time baseline of 11 years, a magnitude range of 12 ≤ V ≤ 16.5 (1.18-0.94 M ), and a 1° diameter region on the sky. With the addition of a Domain Astrophysical Observatory data set we extend our bright limit to V = 10.8 and, for some stars, extend our time baseline to 35 years. Our magnitude limits include solar-mass main-sequence stars, subgiants, giants, and blue stragglers (BSs), and our spatial coverage extends radially to 17 pc (13 core radii). For the WIYN data we present a detailed description of our data reduction process and a thorough analysis of our measurement precision of 0.4 km s-1 for narrow-lined stars. We have measured radial velocities for 1046 stars in the direction of NGC 188, and have calculated RV membership probabilities for stars with ≥3 measurements, finding 473 to be likely cluster members. We detect 124 velocity-variable cluster members, all of which are likely to be dynamically hard-binary stars. Using our single member stars, we find an average cluster radial velocity of -42.36 0.04 km s-1. We use our precise RV and proper-motion membership data to greatly reduce field-star contamination in our cleaned color-magnitude diagram, from which we identify six stars of note that lie far from a standard single-star isochrone. We present a detailed study of the spatial distribution of cluster-member populations, and find the binaries to be centrally concentrated, providing evidence for the presence of mass segregation in NGC 188. We observe the BSs to populate a bimodal spatial distribution that is not centrally concentrated, suggesting that we may be observing two populations of BSs in NGC 188, including a centrally concentrated distribution as well as a halo population. Finally, we find NGC 188 to have a global RV dispersion of 0.64 0.04 km s-1, which may be inflated by up to 0.23 km s-1 from unresolved binaries. When corrected for unresolved binaries, the NGC 188 RV dispersion has a nearly isothermal radial distribution. We use this mean-corrected velocity dispersion to derive a virial mass of 2300 460 M .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2264-2278
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


  • Binaries: spectroscopic ? blue stragglers ? open clusters and associations: individual (NGC 188)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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