Distance and Age of an Open Cluster

Star clusters can serve as important tools to study the star formation, the dynamics of the ISM, and the evolution of our galaxy. They provide Astronomers the opportunity to study stellar populations where members might share many observational properties. These properties may include astrometry (space velocities, group dispersion), metallicity, and, pertaining this lab, distance and age.

This lab will introduce students to H-R diagrams, stellar clusters, and how different clusters might appear on these H-R diagrams. Additionally, we will explore how an H-R diagram might allude to the distance and age of a cluster, estimating the distance and age of the open cluster NGC 752.

You can run the Jupyter Notebook on your own machine! Find the manual, Jupyter Notebook, and data files on Github.

If you’d rather run it on Google Colab or an alternative online Jupyter hosting service, you can find these files modified for Colab on Google Drive.