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Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We determine the relative ages of the open cluster NGC 188 and selected Hipparcos field stars by isochrone fitting and compare them to the age of the thick-disk globular cluster 47 Tuc. The best-fit age for NGC 188 was determined to be 6.5 ± 1.0 Gyr. The solar-metallicity Hipparcos field stars yielded a slightly older thin-disk age, 7.5 ± 0.7 Gyr. Two slightly metal-poor ([Fe/H] = -0.22) field stars whose kinematic and orbital parameters indicate that they are members of the thin disk were found to have an age of 9.7 ± 0.6 Gyr. The age for 47 Tuc was determined to be 12.5 ± 1.5 Gyr. All errors are internal errors due to the uncertainty in the values of metallicity and reddening. Thus, the oldest stars dated in the thin disk are found to be 2.8 ± 1.6 Gyr younger than 47 Tuc. Furthermore, as discussed by Chaboyer, Sarajedini, & Armandroff, 47 Tuc has a similar age to three globular clusters located in the inner part of the Galactic halo, implying that star formation in the thin disk started within 2.8 ± 1.6 Gyr of star formation in the halo.