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Sample records for cool white dwarfs

  1. The empirical white dwarf cooling sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richer, H.; Goldsbury, R.; Heyl, J.; Bergeron, P.; Dotter, A.; Kalirai, J. S.; MacDonald, J.; Rich, R. M.; Stetson, P. B.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Woodley, K. A.

    White dwarf stars cool as they age, hence they can be used as chronometers for various stellar systems. Their value as clocks depends critically on how well we understand the physics of cooling. In this contribution we outline how to derive an empirical cooling sequence and then compare it with a standard white dwarf cooling model. Some differences are noted suggesting that there is still missing physics in the models. A more detailed version of this communication can be found in Goldsbury et al. (2012).

  2. Comparison of theoretical white dwarf cooling timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salaris, M.; Althaus, L. G.; García-Berro, E.

    2013-07-01

    Context. An accurate assessment of white dwarf cooling times is paramount so that white dwarf cosmochronology of Galactic populations can be put on more solid grounds. This issue is particularly relevant in view of the enhanced observational capabilities provided by the next generation of extremely large telescopes, that will offer more avenues to use white dwarfs as probes of Galactic evolution and test-beds of fundamental physics. Aims: We estimate for the first time the consistency of results obtained from independent evolutionary codes for white dwarf models with fixed mass and chemical stratification, when the same input physics is employed in the calculations. Methods: We compute and compare cooling times obtained from two independent and widely used stellar evolution codes, BaSTI and LPCODE evolutionary codes, using exactly the same input physics for 0.55 M⊙ white dwarf models with both pure carbon and uniform carbon-oxygen (50/50 mass fractions) cores, and pure hydrogen layers with mass fraction qH = 10-4MWD on top of pure helium buffers of mass qHe = 10-2MWD. Results: Using the same radiative and conductive opacities, photospheric boundary conditions, neutrino energy loss rates, and equation of state, cooling times from the two codes agree within ~2% at all luminosities, except when log (L/L⊙) > -1.5 where differences up to ~8% do appear, because of the different thermal structures of the first white dwarf converged models at the beginning of the cooling sequence. This agreement is true for both pure carbon and uniform carbon-oxygen stratification core models, and also when the release of latent heat and carbon-oxygen phase separation are considered. We have also determined quantitatively and explained the effect of varying equation of state, low-temperature radiative opacities, and electron conduction opacities in our calculations, Conclusions: We have assessed for the first time the maximum possible accuracy in the current estimates of white dwarf

  3. ROSAT Pointed Observations of Cool Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Z. E.; Porter, J. G.; Davis, J. M.

    1995-01-01

    Observational evidence for the existence of a chromosphere on the cool magnetic white dwarf GD 356 has been reported. In addition, there has been theoretical speculations that cool magnetic white dwarfs may be sources of coronal X-ray emission. This emission, if it exists, would be distinct from the two types of X-ray emission (deep photospheric and shocked wind) that have already been observed from hot white dwarfs. We have used the PSPC instrument on ROSAT to observe three of the most prominent DA white dwarf candidates for coronal X-ray emission: GD 356, KUV 2316+123, and GD 90. The data show no significant emission for these stars. The derived upper limits for the X-ray luminosities provide constraints for a revision of current theories of the generation of nonradiative energy in white dwarfs.

  4. Infrared spectrum of an extremely cool white-dwarf star

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-01

    White dwarfs are the remnant cores of stars that initially had masses of less than 8 solar masses. They cool gradually over billions of years, and have been suggested to make up much of the 'dark matter' in the halo of the Milky Way. But extremely cool white dwarfs have proved difficult to detect, owing to both their faintness and their anticipated similarity in colour to other classes of dwarf stars. Recent improved models indicate that white dwarfs are much more blue than previously supposed, suggesting that the earlier searches may have been looking for the wrong kinds of objects. Here we report an infrared spectrum of an extremely cool white dwarf that is consistent with the new models. We determine the star's temperature to be 3,500 +/- 200 K, making it the coolest known white dwarf. The kinematics of this star indicate that it is in the halo of the Milky Way, and the density of such objects implied by the serendipitous discovery of this star is consistent with white dwarfs dominating the dark matter in the halo. PMID:10638748

  5. Outer boundary conditions for evolving cool white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohrmann, R. D.; Althaus, L. G.; García-Berro, E.; Córsico, A. H.; Miller Bertolami, M. M.

    2012-10-01

    Context. White dwarf evolution is essentially a gravothermal cooling process, which, for cool white dwarfs, depends on the treatment of the outer boundary conditions. Aims: We provide detailed outer boundary conditions that are appropriate to computing the evolution of cool white dwarfs by employing detailed nongray model atmospheres for pure hydrogen composition. We also explore the impact on the white dwarf cooling times of different assumptions for energy transfer in the atmosphere of cool white dwarfs. Methods: Detailed nongray model atmospheres were computed by considering nonideal effects in the gas equation of state and chemical equilibrium, collision-induced absorption from molecules, and the Lyman α quasi-molecular opacity. We explored the impact of outer boundary conditions provided by updated model atmospheres on the cooling times of 0.60 and 0.90 M⊙ white dwarf sequences. Results: Our results show that the use of detailed outer boundary conditions becomes relevant for effective temperatures lower than 5800 K for sequences with 0.60 M⊙ and 6100 K with 0.90 M⊙. Detailed model atmospheres predict ages that are up to ≈10% shorter at log (L/L⊙) = -4 when compared with the ages derived using Eddington-like approximations at τRoss = 2/3. We also analyze the effects of various assumptions and physical processes that are relevant in the calculation of outer boundary conditions. In particular, we find that the Lyα red wing absorption does not substantially affect the evolution of white dwarfs. Conclusions: White dwarf cooling timescales are sensitive to the surface boundary conditions for Teff ≲ 6000 K. Interestingly enough, nongray effects have few consequences on these cooling times at observable luminosities. In fact, collision-induced absorption processes, which significantly affect the spectra and colors of old white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich atmospheres, have no noticeable effects on their cooling rates, except throughout the Rosseland mean

  6. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassa, C. G.; Antoniadis, J.; Camilo, F.; Cognard, I.; Koester, D.; Kramer, M.; Ransom, S. R.; Stappers, B. W.

    2016-02-01

    We report on photometric and spectroscopic observations of white dwarf companions to four binary radio millisecond pulsars, leading to the discovery of companions to PSRs J0614-3329, J1231-1411 and J2017+0603. We place limits on the brightness of the companion to PSR J0613-0200. Optical spectroscopy of the companion to PSR J0614-3329 identifies it as a DA-type white dwarf with a temperature of Teff = 6460 ± 80 K, a surface gravity log g = 7.0 ± 0.2 cgs and a mass of MWD = 0.24 ± 0.04 M⊙. We find that the distance to PSR J0614-3329 is smaller than previously estimated, removing the need for the pulsar to have an unrealistically high γ-ray efficiency. Comparing the photometry with predictions from white dwarf cooling models allows us to estimate temperatures and cooling ages of the companions to PSRs J0613-0200, J1231-1411 and J2017+0603. We find that the white dwarfs in these systems are cool Teff < 4000 K and old ≳ 5 Gyr. Thin hydrogen envelopes are required for these white dwarfs to cool to the observed temperatures, and we suggest that besides hydrogen shell flashes, irradiation driven mass loss by the pulsar may have been important.

  7. White dwarf main-sequence binaries from SDSS DR 8: unveiling the cool white dwarf population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Agurto-Gangas, C.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Koester, D.

    2013-08-01

    The spectroscopic catalogue of white dwarf main-sequence (WDMS) binaries from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the largest and most homogeneous sample of compact binary stars currently known. However, because of selection effects, the current sample is strongly biased against systems containing cool white dwarfs and/or early-type companions, which are predicted to dominate the intrinsic population. In this study, we present colour selection criteria that combines optical (ugriz DR 8 SDSS) plus infrared (yjhk DR 9 UKIRT Infrared Sky Survey, JHK Two Micron All Sky Survey and/or w1w2 Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) magnitudes to select 3419 photometric candidates of harbouring cool white dwarfs and/or dominant (M dwarf) companions. We demonstrate that 84 per cent of our selected candidates are very likely genuine WDMS binaries, and that the white dwarf effective temperatures and secondary star spectral types of 71 per cent of our selected sources are expected to be below ≲ 10 000-15 000 K, and concentrated at ˜M2-3, respectively. We also present an updated version of the spectroscopic SDSS WDMS binary catalogue, which incorporates 47 new systems from SDSS DR 8. The bulk of the DR 8 spectroscopy is made up of main-sequence stars and red giants that were targeted as part of the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) Survey, therefore the number of new spectroscopic WDMS binaries in DR 8 is very small compared to previous SDSS data releases. Despite their low number, DR 8 WDMS binaries are found to be dominated by systems containing cool white dwarfs and therefore represent an important addition to the spectroscopic sample. The updated SDSS DR 8 spectroscopic catalogue of WDMS binaries consists of 2316 systems. We compare our updated catalogue with recently published lists of WDMS binaries and conclude that it currently represents the largest, most homogeneous and cleanest sample of spectroscopic WDMS binaries from SDSS.

  8. The White Dwarf Cooling Sequence of NGC 6397

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.; Anderson, Jay; Brewer, James; Dotter, Aaron; Fahlman, Greg. G.; Hurley, Jarrod; Kalirai, Jason; King, Ivan; Reitzel, David; Richer, Harvey B.; Rich, R. Michael; Shara, Michael M.; Stetson, Peter B.

    2007-12-01

    We present the results of a deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) exposure of the nearby globular cluster NGC 6397, focussing attention on the cluster's white dwarf cooling sequence. This sequence is shown to extend over 5 mag in depth, with an apparent cutoff at magnitude F814W~27.6. We demonstrate, using both artificial star tests and the detectability of background galaxies at fainter magnitudes, that the cutoff is real and represents the truncation of the white dwarf luminosity function in this cluster. We perform a detailed comparison between cooling models and the observed distribution of white dwarfs in color and magnitude, taking into account uncertainties in distance, extinction, white dwarf mass, progenitor lifetimes, binarity, and cooling model uncertainties. After marginalizing over these variables, we obtain values for the cluster distance modulus and age of μ0=12.02+/-0.06 and Tc=11.47+/-0.47 Gyr (95% confidence limits). Our inferred distance and white dwarf initial-final mass relations are in good agreement with other independent determinations, and the cluster age is consistent with, but more precise than, prior determinations made using the main-sequence turnoff method. In particular, within the context of the currently accepted ΛCDM cosmological model, this age places the formation of NGC 6397 at a redshift z~3, at a time when the cosmological star formation rate was approaching its peak. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with proposal GO-10424.

  9. Impact of Impurity Sedimentation on Cooling of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daligault, Jerome

    2004-11-01

    The endpoint of stellar evolution of 98% of stars is the white dwarf phase in which nuclear fuel no longer burns, residual energy radiates away, and the star slowly cools. The cooling process in white dwarfs has important astrophysical consequences and is interesting in its own right because it calls for detailed knowledge of thermodynamic and transport properties of dense, strongly-coupled plasmas. Under these extreme conditions, ions are strongly coupled and ionic quantum effects can be important. Indeed, white dwarfs are made of a dense core of fully ionized mixtures, mainly carbon and oxygen, sustained against gravitational collapse by the pressure of degenerate, relativistic electrons. Energy outflow from the core is regulated by thin surface layers of helium and hydrogen. The most important sources of energy within the core are associated with crystallization; however, it has been suggested(*) that the cooling could be strongly delayed by the gravitational settling of ^22Ne impurities in liquid white dwarfs interiors, a mechanism previously overlooked. Simple models for this process treat the sedimentation of ^22Ne as diffusion in a classical, strongly coupled ionic plasma immersed in a uniform neutralizing electron background. Such a model suffers from uncertainties in the diffusion coefficient, which cannot be obtained via standard plasma kinetic theory. We first assessed this uncertainty by computing the diffusion coefficient using particle-particle particle-mesh molecular dynamics over the entire strongly coupled fluid regime. An analytical model was developed to extend the results into the quantum regime. These results were extended to the more realistic situation of ionic mixtures. These findings and their impact on the cooling process will be discussed. (*) L. Bildsten and D.M. Hall, ApJ 549, L219 (2001)

  10. The cool magnetic DAZ white dwarf NLTT 10480

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawka, A.; Vennes, S.

    2011-08-01

    We have identified a new cool magnetic white dwarf in the New Luyten Two-Tenths (NLTT) catalogue. The high proper-motion star NLTT 10480 (μ = 0.5″ yr-1) shows weak Zeeman-split lines of calcium as well as characteristic Hα and β Zeeman triplets. Using VLT X-shooter spectra, we measured a surface-averaged magnetic field BS ~ 0.5 MG. The relative intensity of the π and σ components of the calcium and hydrogen lines imply a high inclination (i ≳ 60°). The optical-to-infrared V - J colour index and the Ca I/Ca II ionization balance indicate a temperature between 4900 and 5200 K, while the Balmer line profiles favour a higher temperature of 5400 K. The discrepancy is potentially resolved by increasing the metallicity to 0.03 × solar, hence increasing the electron pressure. However, the measured calcium abundance and abundance upper limits for other elements (Na, Al, Si, and Fe) imply a low photospheric metallicity ≲ 10-4 solar. Assuming diffusion steady-state, a calcium accretion rate of log Ṁ(g s-1) = 5.6 ± 0.3 is required to sustain a calcium abundance of log n(Ca)/n(H) = -10.30 ± 0.30 in the white dwarf atmosphere. We examine the implications of this discovery for the incidence of planetary debris and weak magnetic fields in cool white dwarf stars. Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile under programme ID 080.D-0521, 082.D-0750 and 086.D-0562.

  11. Suppression of cooling by strong magnetic fields in white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Valyavin, G; Shulyak, D; Wade, G A; Antonyuk, K; Zharikov, S V; Galazutdinov, G A; Plachinda, S; Bagnulo, S; Machado, L Fox; Alvarez, M; Clark, D M; Lopez, J M; Hiriart, D; Han, Inwoo; Jeon, Young-Beom; Zurita, C; Mujica, R; Burlakova, T; Szeifert, T; Burenkov, A

    2014-11-01

    Isolated cool white dwarf stars more often have strong magnetic fields than young, hotter white dwarfs, which has been a puzzle because magnetic fields are expected to decay with time but a cool surface suggests that the star is old. In addition, some white dwarfs with strong fields vary in brightness as they rotate, which has been variously attributed to surface brightness inhomogeneities similar to sunspots, chemical inhomogeneities and other magneto-optical effects. Here we describe optical observations of the brightness and magnetic field of the cool white dwarf WD 1953-011 taken over about eight years, and the results of an analysis of its surface temperature and magnetic field distribution. We find that the magnetic field suppresses atmospheric convection, leading to dark spots in the most magnetized areas. We also find that strong fields are sufficient to suppress convection over the entire surface in cool magnetic white dwarfs, which inhibits their cooling evolution relative to weakly magnetic and non-magnetic white dwarfs, making them appear younger than they truly are. This explains the long-standing mystery of why magnetic fields are more common amongst cool white dwarfs, and implies that the currently accepted ages of strongly magnetic white dwarfs are systematically too young. PMID:25327247

  12. Near-UV absorption in very cool DA white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Saumon, D.; Holberg, J. B.; Kowalski, P. M. E-mail: holberg@argus.lpl.arizona.edu

    2014-07-20

    The atmospheres of very cool, hydrogen-rich white dwarfs (WDs) (T{sub eff} < 6000 K) are challenging to model because of the increased complexity of the equation of state, chemical equilibrium, and opacity sources in a low-temperature, weakly ionized dense gas. In particular, many models that assume relatively simple models for the broadening of atomic levels and mostly ideal gas physics overestimate the flux in the blue part of their spectra. A solution to this problem that has met with some success is that additional opacity at short wavelengths comes for the extreme broadening of the Lyman α line of atomic H by collisions primarily with H{sub 2}. For the purpose of validating this model more rigorously, we acquired Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectra of eight very cool WDs (five DA and three DC stars). Combined with their known parallaxes, BVRIJHK, and Spitzer IRAC photometry, we analyze their entire spectral energy distribution (from 0.24 to 9.3 μm) with a large grid of model atmospheres and synthetic spectra. We find that the red wing of the Lyman α line reproduces the rapidly decreasing near-UV flux of these very cool stars very well. We determine better constrained values of T{sub eff} and gravity as well as upper limits to the helium abundance in their atmospheres.

  13. A white dwarf cooling age of 8 Gyr for NGC 6791 from physical separation processes.

    PubMed

    García-Berro, Enrique; Torres, Santiago; Althaus, Leandro G; Renedo, Isabel; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo; Córsico, Alejandro H; Rohrmann, René D; Salaris, Maurizio; Isern, Jordi

    2010-05-13

    NGC 6791 is a well studied open cluster that it is so close to us that can be imaged down to very faint luminosities. The main-sequence turn-off age ( approximately 8 Gyr) and the age derived from the termination of the white dwarf cooling sequence ( approximately 6 Gyr) are very different. One possible explanation is that as white dwarfs cool, one of the ashes of helium burning, (22)Ne, sinks in the deep interior of these stars. At lower temperatures, white dwarfs are expected to crystallize and phase separation of the main constituents of the core of a typical white dwarf ((12)C and (16)O) is expected to occur. This sequence of events is expected to introduce long delays in the cooling times, but has not hitherto been proven. Here we report that, as theoretically anticipated, physical separation processes occur in the cores of white dwarfs, resolving the age discrepancy for NGC 6791. PMID:20463732

  14. The white-dwarf cooling sequence of NGC 6791: a unique tool for stellar evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Berro, E.; Torres, S.; Renedo, I.; Camacho, J.; Althaus, L. G.; Córsico, A. H.; Salaris, M.; Isern, J.

    2011-09-01

    Context. NGC 6791 is a well-studied, metal-rich open cluster that is so close to us that it can be imaged down to luminosities fainter than that of the termination of its white-dwarf cooling sequence, thus allowing for an in-depth study of its white dwarf population. Aims: White dwarfs carry important information about the history of the cluster. We use observations of the white-dwarf cooling sequence to constrain important properties of the cluster stellar population, such as the existence of a putative population of massive helium-core white dwarfs, and the properties of a large population of unresolved binary white dwarfs. We also investigate the use of white dwarfs to disclose the presence of cluster subpopulations with a different initial chemical composition, and we obtain an upper bound to the fraction of hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs. Methods: We use a Monte Carlo simulator that employs up-to-date evolutionary cooling sequences for white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres, with carbon-oxygen and helium cores. The cooling sequences for carbon-oxygen cores account for the delays introduced by both 22Ne sedimentation in the liquid phase and by carbon-oxygen phase separation upon crystallization. Results: We do not find evidence for a substantial fraction of helium-core white dwarfs, and hence our results support the suggestion that the origin of the bright peak of the white-dwarf luminosity function can only be attributed to a population of unresolved binary white dwarfs. Moreover, our results indicate that if this hypothesis is at the origin of the bright peak, the number distribution of secondary masses of the population of unresolved binaries has to increase with increasing mass ratio between the secondary and primary components of the progenitor system. We also find that the observed cooling sequence appears to be able to constrain the presence of progenitor subpopulations with different chemical compositions and the fraction of

  15. A DOUBLE WHITE-DWARF COOLING SEQUENCE IN {omega} CENTAURI

    SciTech Connect

    Bellini, A.; Anderson, J.; Salaris, M.; Cassisi, S.; Bedin, L. R.; Piotto, G.; Bergeron, P.

    2013-06-01

    We have applied our empirical-point-spread-function-based photometric techniques on a large number of calibration-related WFC3/UVIS UV-B exposures of the core of {omega} Cen, and found a well-defined split in the bright part of the white-dwarf cooling sequence (WDCS). The redder sequence is more populated by a factor of {approx}2. We can explain the separation of the two sequences and their number ratio in terms of the He-normal and He-rich subpopulations that had been previously identified along the cluster main sequence. The blue WDCS is populated by the evolved stars of the He-normal component ({approx}0.55 M{sub Sun} CO-core DA objects), while the red WDCS hosts the end products of the He-rich population ({approx}0.46 M{sub Sun} objects, and {approx}10% CO-core and {approx}90% He-core WDs). The He-core WDs correspond to He-rich stars that missed the central He ignition, and we estimate their fraction by analyzing the population ratios along the cluster horizontal branch.

  16. Search for white dwarf companions of cool stars with peculiar element abundances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, E.

    1984-01-01

    A search for a white dwarf companions of cool stars with peculiar element abundances was undertaken. One additional star the xi Cet, was found with a white dwarf companion. It was found that HR 1016, 56Uma, 16 Ser, have high excitation emission lines which indicate a high temperature object in the system. It is suggested that since these indications for high temperature companions were seen for all nearby Ba stars, it is highly probable that all Ba stars have white dwarf companions, and that the peculiar element abundances seen in the Ba stars are due to mass transfer. Observations, arguments and conclusions are presented. White dwarf companions were not found. Together with the Li and Be abundances and the chromospheric emission line spectra in these stars were studied. No white dwarf companions were seen for subgiant CH stars.

  17. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F. E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de E-mail: msterzik@eso.org

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  18. Cool White Dwarfs Selection with Pan-STARRS Proper Motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, M. C.; Hambly, N. C.

    2015-06-01

    The use of Reduced Proper Motion in identifying isolated white dwarfs has long been used as a proxy for the absolute magnitude in a population with known kinematics. This, however, introduces a proper motion detection limit on top of the existing photometric limit. How the survey volume is hampered by this extra parameter is discussed in Hambly et al (2012). In this work, we discuss some robust outlier rejection methods in order to minimise the proper motion limit and hence maximise the survey volume. The generalised volume, corrected for the distance of the Sun from the Galactic Plane, is integrated explicitly.

  19. New Opacities for Dense Helium and the Composition of Helium Rich, Very Cool White Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, P. M.; Mazevet, S.; Saumon, D.

    2004-12-01

    Very cool white dwarfs (T eff ≤ 4000K) are among the oldest stars in the Milky Way. They are of great interest as chronometers for understanding the history of star formation in our Galaxy. To realize the full potential of white dwarf cosmochronology, we need to understand better the physical processes that take place in the surface layers of cool white dwarfs. Strong surface gravity results in a compositionally stratified structure for those stars, with light elements "floating" to the surface. Accretion from the ISM over Gyrs should result in pure H atmosphere for all of them today, regardless of their initial composition. However, observations indicate that many very cool white dwarfs possess helium-rich atmospheres. Envelope models provide a possible explanation for this phenomenon, where He is transported to the atmosphere from the envelope by a convective zone which, for cool white dwarfs of T eff ≤ 5000K, can extend from the surface down to the helium layer. However, an analysis based on current atmospheric models gives a He abundance that is much higher than can be explained by the convective mixing model. We think that one of the main reason for this discrepancy is an inadequate description of the opacity used in current atmosphere models. The very cool helium-rich atmospheres, with densities up to 2 \\ g/cm3, are fluid, not gaseous. The description of the opacity must be revised for this high density regime. Using quantum molecular dynamics simulations we calculated new opacities for dense helium that are much larger than previously thought. As a result, a much lower helium abundance is found in the coolest white dwarfs, which is in much better agreement with the predictions of the convective mixing model. This research was supported by the United States Department of Energy under contract W-7405-ENG-36.

  20. COOL WHITE DWARFS FOUND IN THE UKIRT INFRARED DEEP SKY SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Leggett, S. K.; Nitta, A.; Lodieu, N.

    2011-07-01

    We present the results of a search for cool white dwarfs in the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope (UKIRT) Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (LAS). The UKIDSS LAS photometry was paired with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to identify cool hydrogen-rich white dwarf candidates by their neutral optical colors and blue near-infrared colors, as well as faint reduced proper motion magnitudes. Optical spectroscopy was obtained at Gemini Observatory and showed the majority of the candidates to be newly identified cool degenerates, with a small number of G- to K-type (sub)dwarf contaminants. Our initial search of 280 deg{sup 2} of sky resulted in seven new white dwarfs with effective temperature T{sub eff} {approx} 6000 K. The current follow-up of 1400 deg{sup 2} of sky has produced 13 new white dwarfs. Model fits to the photometry show that seven of the newly identified white dwarfs have 4120 K {<=}T{sub eff} {<=} 4480 K, and cooling ages between 7.3 Gyr and 8.7 Gyr; they have 40 km s{sup -1} {<=} v{sub tan} {<=} 85 km s{sup -1} and are likely to be thick disk 10-11 Gyr-old objects. The other half of the sample has 4610 K {<=}T{sub eff} {<=} 5260 K, cooling ages between 4.3 Gyr and 6.9 Gyr, and 60 km s{sup -1} {<=} v{sub tan} {<=} 100 km s{sup -1}. These are either thin disk remnants with unusually high velocities, or lower-mass remnants of thick disk or halo late-F or G stars.

  1. Solidification of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatzman, E.

    1982-01-01

    The internal structure of white dwarfs is discussed. Highly correlated plasmas are reviewed. Implications for phase separation in the core of cooling white dwarfs are considered. The consequences for evolution of white dwarfs are addressed.

  2. A Chandra Search for Coronal X Rays from the Cool White Dwarf GD 356

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Wu, Kinwah; Trimble, Virginia; ODell, Stephen L.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Zavlin, Vyacheslav E.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa

    2006-01-01

    We report observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory of the single, cool, magnetic white dwarf GD 356. For consistent comparison with other X-ray observations of single white dwarfs, we also re-analyzed archival ROSAT data for GD 356 (GJ 1205), G 99-47 (GR 290 = V1201 Ori), GD 90, G 195-19 (EG250 = GJ 339.1), and WD 2316+123 and archival Chandra data for LHS 1038 (GJ 1004) and GD 358 (V777 Her). Our Chandra observation detected no X rays from GD 356, setting the most restrictive upper limit to the X-ray luminosity from any cool white dwarf - Lx less than 6.0 x 10(exp 25) erg s(sup -1), at 99.7% confidence, for a 1- keV thermal-bremsstrahlung spectrum. The corresponding limit to the electron density is no less than 4.4x10(exp 11) per cubic centimeter. Our re-analysis of the archival data confirmed the non-detections reported by the original investigators. We discuss the implications of our and prior observations on models for coronal emission from white dwarfs. For magnetic white dwarfs, we emphasize the more stringent constraints imposed by cyclotron radiation. In addition, we describe (in an appendix) a statistical methodology for detecting a source and for constraining the strength of a source, which applies even when the number of source or background events is small.

  3. AN EMPIRICAL MEASURE OF THE RATE OF WHITE DWARF COOLING IN 47 TUCANAE

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsbury, R.; Heyl, J.; Richer, H. B.; Woodley, K. A. E-mail: heyl@phas.ubc.ca E-mail: kwoodley@phas.ubc.ca; and others

    2012-11-20

    We present an empirical determination of the white dwarf cooling sequence in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. Using spectral models, we determine temperatures for 887 objects from Wide Field Camera 3 data, as well as 292 objects from data taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys. We make the assumption that the rate of white dwarf formation in the cluster is constant. Stellar evolution models are then used to determine the rate at which objects are leaving the main sequence, which must be the same as the rate at which objects are arriving on the white dwarf sequence in our field. The result is an empirically derived relation between temperature (T {sub eff}) and time (t) on the white dwarf cooling sequence. Comparing this result to theoretical cooling models, we find general agreement with the expected slopes between 20,000 K and 30,000 K and between 6000 K and 20,000 K, but the transition to the Mestel cooling rate of T {sub eff}{proportional_to}t {sup -0.4} is found to occur at hotter temperatures, and more abruptly than is predicted by any of these models.

  4. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation has been to study various aspects of multimode pulsations in variable white dwarfs. In particular, nonlinear interactions among pulsation modes in white dwarfs (and, to some extent, in other variable stars), analysis of recent observations where such interactions are important, and preliminary work on the effects of crystallization in cool white dwarfs are reported.

  5. Cool White Dwarfs from the SuperCOSMOS and Sloan Digital Sky Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambly, N. C.; Digby, A. P.; Oppenheimer, B. R.

    2005-07-01

    We have used datamining techniques in the SuperCOSMOS Science Archive (http://surveys.roe.ac.uk/ssa) to obtain a large, well defined proper motion and magnitude selected sample of cool white dwarfs. Using accurate 5-colour photometry from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR1 and SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey photometry and astrometry, we demonstrate the power of reduced proper motion in obtaining a sample of >700 white dwarfs. We examine the characteristics of these objects in various two-colour diagrams in conjunction with new model atmosphere predictions recently computed in the SDSS photometric system. Ultimately, we intend to analyse these data with techniques similar to those already used to examine the subdwarf luminosity function (Digby et al. 2003). In this way, we aim to decompose the contribution of thin disk, thick disk and spheroid white dwarfs in the sample to enable computation of accurate luminosity functions for those respective populations.

  6. Habitable planets around white and brown dwarfs: the perils of a cooling primary.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

    White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10(-6). Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 10(4) K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. PMID:23537137

  7. Asymmetry in the triplet 3p-4s Mg lines in cool DZ white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allard, N. F.; Leininger, T.; Gadéa, F. X.; Brousseau-Couture, V.; Dufour, P.

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of the present work is to make an exhaustive study of the line shape of the triplet 3p-4s Mg line (Mgb triplet), which is perturbed by He in the extreme physical conditions found in the cool atmosphere of DZ white dwarfs. This study is undertaken by inferring both a unified theory of spectral line broadening and ab initio potential energies. Cool white dwarfs require a specific treatment for line broadening owing to the high helium densities that are involved. Beyond the conventional symmetrical Lorentzian core at low density, we show that the line profiles are asymmetrical and have significant additional contributions on the short wavelength side. This blue asymmetry is a consequence of low maxima in the corresponding Mg-He potential energy difference curves at short and intermediate internuclear distances. The new profiles are shown to provide a good fit to an SDSS (Sloan Digital Sky Survey) observation.

  8. Comparing the white dwarf cooling sequences in 47 Tuc and NGC 6397

    SciTech Connect

    Richer, Harvey B.; Goldsbury, Ryan; Heyl, Jeremy; Hurley, Jarrod; Dotter, Aaron; Kalirai, Jason S.; Woodley, Kristin A.; Fahlman, Gregory G.; Rich, R. Michael; Shara, Michael M. E-mail: rgoldsb@phas.ubc.ca E-mail: jhurley@swin.edu.au E-mail: jkalirai@stsci.edu E-mail: greg.fahlman@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca E-mail: mshara@amnh.org

    2013-12-01

    Using deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging, color-magnitude diagrams are constructed for the globular clusters 47 Tuc and NGC 6397. As expected, because of its lower metal abundance, the main sequence of NGC 6397 lies well to the blue of that of 47 Tuc. A comparison of the white dwarf cooling sequences of the two clusters, however, demonstrates that these sequences are indistinguishable over most of their loci—a consequence of the settling out of heavy elements in the dense white dwarf atmosphere and the near equality of their masses. Lower quality data on M4 continues this trend to a third cluster whose metallicity is intermediate between these two. While the path of the white dwarfs in the color-magnitude diagram is nearly identical in 47 Tuc and NGC 6397, the numbers of white dwarfs along the path are not. This results from the relatively rapid relaxation in NGC 6397 compared to 47 Tuc and provides a cautionary note that simply counting objects in star clusters in random locations as a method of testing stellar evolutionary theory is likely dangerous unless dynamical considerations are included.

  9. The Cooling of CO White Dwarfs: Influence of the Internal Chemical Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salaris, Maurizio; Domínguez, Inmaculada; García-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarida; Isern, Jordi; Mochkovitch, Robert

    1997-09-01

    White dwarfs are the remnants of stars of low and intermediate masses on the main sequence. Since they have exhausted all of their nuclear fuel, their evolution is just a gravothermal process. The release of energy only depends on the detailed internal structure and chemical composition and on the properties of the envelope equation of state and opacity; its consequences on the cooling curve (i.e., the luminosity vs. time relationship) depend on the luminosity at which this energy is released. The internal chemical profile depends on the rate of the 12C(α, γ)16O reaction as well as on the treatment of convection. High reaction rates produce white dwarfs with oxygen-rich cores surrounded by carbon-rich mantles. This reduces the available gravothermal energy and decreases the lifetime of white dwarfs. In this paper we compute detailed evolutionary models providing chemical profiles for white dwarfs having progenitors in the mass range from 1.0 to 7 M⊙, and we examine the influence of such profiles in the cooling process. The influence of the process of separation of carbon and oxygen during crystallization is decreased as a consequence of the initial stratification, but it is still important and cannot be neglected. As an example, the best fit to the luminosity functions of Liebert et al. and Oswalt et al. gives an age of the disk of 9.3 and 11.0 Gyr, respectively, when this effect is taken into account, and only 8.3 and 10.0 Gyr when it is neglected.

  10. A comparative analysis of the observed white dwarf cooling sequence from globular clusters★

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos, Fabíola; Bergeron, P.; Romero, A. D.; Kepler, S. O.; Ourique, G.; Costa, J. E. S.; Bonatto, C. J.; Winget, D. E.; Montgomery, M. H.; Pacheco, T. A.; Bedin, L. R.

    2016-03-01

    We report our study of features at the observed red end of the white dwarf cooling sequences for three Galactic globular clusters: NGC 6397, 47 Tucanae and M 4. We use deep colour-magnitude diagrams constructed from archival Hubble Space Telescope (Advanced Camera for Surveys) to systematically investigate the blue turn at faint magnitudes and the age determinations for each cluster. We find that the age difference between NGC 6397 and 47 Tuc is 1.98^{+0.44}_{-0.26} Gyr, consistent with the picture that metal-rich halo clusters were formed later than metal-poor halo clusters. We self-consistently include the effect of metallicity on the progenitor age and the initial-to-final mass relation. In contrast with previous investigations that invoked a single white dwarf mass for each cluster, the data show a spread of white dwarf masses that better reproduce the shape and location of the blue turn. This effect alone, however, does not completely reproduce the observational data - the blue turn retains some mystery. In this context, we discuss several other potential problems in the models. These include possible partial mixing of H and He in the atmosphere of white dwarf stars, the lack of a good physical description of the collision-induced absorption process and uncertainties in the opacities at low temperatures. The latter are already known to be significant in the description of the cool main sequence. Additionally, we find that the present-day local mass function of NGC 6397 is consistent with a top-heavy type, while 47 Tuc presents a bottom-heavy profile.

  11. Habitable Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs: The Perils of a Cooling Primary

    PubMed Central

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

    Abstract White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10−6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 104 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. Key Words: Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides—Exoplanets. Astrobiology 13, 279–291. PMID:23537137

  12. New Insights into the Problem of the Surface Gravity Distribution of Cool DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Bergeron, P.; Kalirai, J. S.; Gianninas, A.

    2010-04-01

    We review at length the longstanding problem in the spectroscopic analysis of cool hydrogen-line (DA) white dwarfs (T eff< 13,000 K) where gravities are significantly higher than those found in hotter DA stars. The first solution that has been proposed for this problem is a mild and systematic helium contamination from convective mixing that would mimic the high gravities. We constrain this scenario by determining the helium abundances in six cool DA white dwarfs using high-resolution spectra from the Keck I 10 m telescope. We obtain no detections, with upper limits as low as He/H = 0.04 in some cases. This allows us to put this scenario to rest for good. We also extend our model grid to lower temperatures using improved Stark profiles with non-ideal gas effects from Tremblay & Bergeron and find that the gravity distribution of cool objects remains suspiciously high. Finally, we find that photometric masses are, on average, in agreement with expected values, and that the high-log g problem is so far unique to the spectroscopic approach.

  13. NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE PROBLEM OF THE SURFACE GRAVITY DISTRIBUTION OF COOL DA WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Bergeron, P.; Gianninas, A.; Kalirai, J. S. E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.c E-mail: gianninas@astro.umontreal.c

    2010-04-01

    We review at length the longstanding problem in the spectroscopic analysis of cool hydrogen-line (DA) white dwarfs (T{sub eff}< 13,000 K) where gravities are significantly higher than those found in hotter DA stars. The first solution that has been proposed for this problem is a mild and systematic helium contamination from convective mixing that would mimic the high gravities. We constrain this scenario by determining the helium abundances in six cool DA white dwarfs using high-resolution spectra from the Keck I 10 m telescope. We obtain no detections, with upper limits as low as He/H = 0.04 in some cases. This allows us to put this scenario to rest for good. We also extend our model grid to lower temperatures using improved Stark profiles with non-ideal gas effects from Tremblay and Bergeron and find that the gravity distribution of cool objects remains suspiciously high. Finally, we find that photometric masses are, on average, in agreement with expected values, and that the high-log g problem is so far unique to the spectroscopic approach.

  14. Infrared absorption of dense helium and its importance in the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Piotr M.

    2014-06-01

    Aims: Hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs are characterized by very dense, fluid-like atmospheres of complex physics and chemistry that are still poorly understood. The incomplete description of these atmospheres by the models results in serious problems with the description of spectra of these stars and subsequent difficulties in derivation of their surface parameters. Here, we address the problem of infrared (IR) opacities in the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs by direct ab initio simulations of IR absorption of dense helium. Methods: We applied state-of-the-art density functional theory-based quantum molecular dynamics simulations to obtain the time evolution of the induced dipole moment. The IR absorption coefficients were obtained by the Fourier transform of the dipole moment time autocorrelation function. Results: We found that a dipole moment is induced due to three- and more-body simultaneous collisions between helium atoms in highly compressed helium. This results in a significant IR absorption that is directly proportional to ρHe3, where ρHe is the density of helium. To our knowledge, this absorption mechanism has never been measured or computed before and is therefore not accounted for in the current atmosphere models. It should dominate the other collisionally induced absorptions (CIA), arising from H-He and H2-He pair collisions, and therefore shape the IR spectra of helium-dominated and pure helium atmosphere cool white dwarfs for He/H > 104. Conclusions: Our work shows that there exists an unaccounted IR absorption mechanism arising from the multi-collisions between He atoms in the helium-rich atmospheres of cool white dwarfs, including pure helium atmospheres. This absorption may be responsible for a yet unexplained frequency dependence of near- and mid-IR spectra of helium-rich stars. The opacity table is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc

  15. The cooling time of white dwarfs produced from type Ia supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Xiang-Cun; Yang, Wu-Ming; Li, Zhong-Mu

    2010-09-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) play a key role in measuring cosmological parameters, in which the Phillips relation is adopted. However, the origin of the relation is still unclear. Several parameters are suggested, e.g. the relative content of carbon to oxygen (C/O) and the central density of the white dwarf (WD) at ignition. These parameters are mainly determined by the WD's initial mass and its cooling time, respectively. Using the progenitor model developed by Meng & Yang, we present the distributions of the initial WD mass and the cooling time. We do not find any correlation between these parameters. However, we notice that as the range of the WD's mass decreases, its average value increases with the cooling time. These results could provide a constraint when simulating the SN Ia explosion, i.e. the WDs with a high C/O ratio usually have a lower central density at ignition, while those having the highest central density at ignition generally have a lower C/O ratio. The cooling time is mainly determined by the evolutionary age of secondaries, and the scatter of the cooling time decreases with the evolutionary age. Our results may indicate that WDs with a long cooling time have more uniform properties than those with a short cooling time, which may be helpful to explain why SNe Ia in elliptical galaxies have a more uniform maximum luminosity than those in spiral galaxies.

  16. Extreme abundance ratios in the polluted atmosphere of the cool white dwarf NLTT 19868

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stéphane

    2016-05-01

    We present an analysis of intermediate-dispersion spectra and photometric data of the newly identified cool, polluted white dwarf NLTT 19868. The spectra obtained with X-shooter on the Very Large Telescope-Melipal show strong lines of calcium, and several lines of magnesium, aluminium and iron. We use these spectra and the optical-to-near-infrared spectral energy distribution to constrain the atmospheric parameters of NLTT 19868. Our analysis shows that NLTT 19868 is iron poor with respect to aluminium and calcium. A comparison with other cool, polluted white dwarfs shows that the Fe to Ca abundance ratio (Fe/Ca) varies by up to approximately two orders of magnitudes over a narrow temperature range with NLTT 19868 at one extremum in the Fe/Ca ratio and, in contrast, NLTT 888 at the other extremum. The sample shows evidence of extreme diversity in the composition of the accreted material: in the case of NLTT 888, the inferred composition of the accreted matter is akin to iron-rich planetary core composition, while in the case of NLTT 19868 it is close to mantle composition depleted by subsequent chemical separation at the bottom of the convection zone.

  17. Hubble Space Telescope observations of cool white dwarf stars: Detection of new species of heavy elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry; Barnhill, Maurice; Provencal, Judi; Roby, Scott; Bues, Irmela; Cordova, France; Hammond, Gordon; Hintzen, Paul; Koester, Detlev; Liebert, James

    1995-01-01

    Observations of cool white dwarf stars with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has uncovered a number of spectral features from previouslly unobserved species. In this paper we present the data on four cool white dwarfs. We present identifications, equivalent width measurements, and brief summaries of the significance of our findings. The four stars observed are GD 40 (DBZ3, G 74-7 (DAZ), L 745-46A (DZ), and LDS 749B (DBA). Many additional species of heavey elements were detected in GD 40 and G 74-7. In L 745-46A, while the detections are limited to Fe 1, Fe II, and Mg II, the quality of the Mg II h and K line profiles should permit a test of the line broadening theories, which are so crucial to abundance determinations. The clear detection of Mg II h and k in LDS 749 B should, once an abundance determination is made, provide a clear test of the hypothesis that the DBA stars are the result of accretion from the interstellar medium. This star contains no other clear features other than a tantalizing hint of C II 1335 with a P Cygni profile, and some expected He 1 lines.

  18. A study of high proper-motion white dwarfs - I. Spectropolarimetry of a cool hydrogen-rich sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawka, Adéla; Vennes, Stéphane

    2012-09-01

    We conducted a spectropolarimetic survey of 58 high proper-motion white dwarfs which achieved uncertainties of >rsim 2 kG in the Hα line and >rsim 5 kG in the upper Balmer line series. The survey aimed at detecting low magnetic fields (≲ 100 kG) and helped identify the new magnetic white dwarfs NLTT 2219, with a longitudinal field Bl = -97 kG, and NLTT 10480 (Bl = -212 kG). Furthermore, we report the possible identification of a very low-field white dwarf with Bl = -4.6 kG. The observations show that ≈5 per cent of white dwarfs harbour low fields (˜10 to ˜102 kG) and that increased survey sensitivity may help uncover several new magnetic white dwarfs with fields below ˜1 kG. A series of observations of the high-field white dwarf NLTT 12758 revealed changes in polarity occurring within an hour possibly associated with an inclined, fast rotating dipole. Also, the relative strength of the π and σ components in NLTT 12758 possibly revealed the effect of a field concentration ('spot'), or, most likely, the presence of a non-magnetic white dwarf companion. Similar observations of NLTT 13015 also showed possible polarity variations, but without a clear indication of the time-scale. The survey data also proved useful in constraining the chemical composition, age and kinematics of a sample of cool white dwarfs as well as in constraining the incidence of double degenerates. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme IDs 80.D-0521, 82.D-0521, 83.D-0750 and 84.D-0862.

  19. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.

    2014-10-01

    White dwarfs are the evolutionary endpoint for nearly 95% of all stars born in our Galaxy, the final stages of evolution of all low- and intermediate mass stars, i.e., main sequence stars with masses below (8.5± 1.5) M_{odot}, depending on metallicity of the progenitor, mass loss and core overshoot. Massive white dwarfs are intrinsically rare objects, tand produce a gap in the determination of the initial vs. final mass relation at the high mass end (e.g. Weidemann 2000 A&A, 363, 647; Kalirai et al. 2008, ApJ, 676, 594; Williams, Bolte & Koester 2009, ApJ, 693, 355). Main sequences stars with higher masses will explode as SNII (Smartt S. 2009 ARA&A, 47, 63), but the limit does depend on the metallicity of the progenitor. Massive white dwarfs are probably SNIa progenitors through accretion or merger. They are rare, being the final product of massive stars (less common) and have smaller radius (less luminous). Kepler et al. 2007 (MNRAS, 375, 1315), Kleinman et al. 2013 (ApJS, 204, 5) estimate only 1-2% white dwarfs have masses above 1 M_{odot}. The final stages of evolution after helium burning are a race between core growth and loss of the H-rich envelope in a stellar wind. When the burning shell is exposed, the star rapidly cools and burning ceases, leaving a white dwarf. As they cool down, the magnetic field freezes in, ranging from a few kilogauss to a gigagauss. Peculiar type Ia SN 2006gz, SN 2007if, SN 2009dc, SN 2003fg suggest progenitors in the range 2.4-2.8 M_{odot}, and Das U. & Mukhopadhyay B. (2012, Phys. Rev. D, 86, 042001) estimate that the Chandrasekhar limit increases to 2.3-2.6 M_{odot} for extremely high magnetic field stars, but differential rotation induced by accretion could also increase it, according to Hachisu I. et al. 2012 (ApJ, 744, 69). García-Berro et al. 2012, ApJ, 749, 25, for example, proposes double degenerate mergers are the progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs. We propose magnetic fields enhance the line broadening in

  20. The Temperature and Cooling Age of the White Dwarf Companion to the Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1855+09.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk MH; Bell; Kaspi; Kulkarni

    2000-02-10

    We report on Keck and Hubble Space Telescope observations of the binary millisecond pulsar PSR B1855+09. We detect its white dwarf companion and measure mF555W=25.90+/-0.12 and mF814W=24.19+/-0.11 (Vega system). From the reddening-corrected color, (mF555W-mF814W&parr0;0=1.06+/-0.21, we infer a temperature Teff=4800+/-800 K. The white dwarf mass is known accurately from measurements of the Shapiro delay of the pulsar signal, MC=0.258+0.028-0.016 M middle dot in circle. Hence, given a cooling model, one can use the measured temperature to determine the cooling age. The main uncertainty in the cooling models for such low-mass white dwarfs is the amount of residual nuclear burning, which is set by the thickness of the hydrogen layer surrounding the helium core. From the properties of similar systems, it has been inferred that helium white dwarfs form with thick hydrogen layers, with mass greater, similar3x10-3 M middle dot in circle, which leads to significant additional heating. This is consistent with expectations from simple evolutionary models of the preceding binary evolution. For PSR B1855+09, though, such models lead to a cooling age of approximately 10 Gyr, which is twice the spin-down age of the pulsar. It could be that the spin-down age were incorrect, which would call the standard vacuum dipole braking model into question. For two other pulsar companions, however, ages well over 10 Gyr are inferred, indicating that the problem may lie with the cooling models. There is no age discrepancy for models in which the white dwarfs are formed with thinner hydrogen layers ( less, similar3x10-4 M middle dot in circle). PMID:10642200

  1. First Detection of the White Dwarf Cooling Sequence of the Galactic Bulge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calamida, A.; Sahu, K. C.; Anderson, J.; Casertano, S.; Cassisi, S.; Salaris, M.; Brown, T.; Sokol, J.; Bond, H. E.; Ferraro, I.; Ferguson, H.; Livio, M.; Valenti, J.; Buonanno, R.; Clarkson, W.; Pietrinferni, A.

    2014-08-01

    We present Hubble Space Telescope data of the low-reddening Sagittarius window in the Galactic bulge. The Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search field (~3'× 3'), together with three more Advanced Camera for Surveys and eight Wide-Field Camera 3 fields, were observed in the F606W and F814W filters, approximately every two weeks for 2 yr, with the principal aim of detecting a hidden population of isolated black holes and neutron stars through astrometric microlensing. Proper motions were measured with an accuracy of ≈0.1 mas yr-1 (≈4 km s-1) at F606W ≈ 25.5 mag, and better than ≈0.5 mas yr-1 (≈20 km s-1) at F606W ≈ 28 mag, in both axes. Proper-motion measurements allowed us to separate disk and bulge stars and obtain a clean bulge color-magnitude diagram. We then identified for the first time a white dwarf (WD) cooling sequence in the Galactic bulge, together with a dozen candidate extreme horizontal branch stars. The comparison between theory and observations shows that a substantial fraction of the WDs (≈30%) are systematically redder than the cooling tracks for CO-core H-rich and He-rich envelope WDs. This evidence would suggest the presence of a significant number of low-mass WDs and WD-main-sequence binaries in the bulge. This hypothesis is further supported by the finding of two dwarf novae in outburst, two short-period (P <~ 1 day) ellipsoidal variables, and a few candidate cataclysmic variables in the same field. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained by the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  2. First detection of the white dwarf cooling sequence of the galactic bulge

    SciTech Connect

    Calamida, A.; Sahu, K. C.; Anderson, J.; Casertano, S.; Brown, T.; Sokol, J.; Bond, H. E.; Ferguson, H.; Livio, M.; Valenti, J.; Cassisi, S.; Buonanno, R.; Pietrinferni, A.; Salaris, M.; Ferraro, I.; Clarkson, W.

    2014-08-01

    We present Hubble Space Telescope data of the low-reddening Sagittarius window in the Galactic bulge. The Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search field (∼3'× 3'), together with three more Advanced Camera for Surveys and eight Wide-Field Camera 3 fields, were observed in the F606W and F814W filters, approximately every two weeks for 2 yr, with the principal aim of detecting a hidden population of isolated black holes and neutron stars through astrometric microlensing. Proper motions were measured with an accuracy of ≈0.1 mas yr{sup –1} (≈4 km s{sup –1}) at F606W ≈ 25.5 mag, and better than ≈0.5 mas yr{sup –1} (≈20 km s{sup –1}) at F606W ≈ 28 mag, in both axes. Proper-motion measurements allowed us to separate disk and bulge stars and obtain a clean bulge color-magnitude diagram. We then identified for the first time a white dwarf (WD) cooling sequence in the Galactic bulge, together with a dozen candidate extreme horizontal branch stars. The comparison between theory and observations shows that a substantial fraction of the WDs (≈30%) are systematically redder than the cooling tracks for CO-core H-rich and He-rich envelope WDs. This evidence would suggest the presence of a significant number of low-mass WDs and WD-main-sequence binaries in the bulge. This hypothesis is further supported by the finding of two dwarf novae in outburst, two short-period (P ≲ 1 day) ellipsoidal variables, and a few candidate cataclysmic variables in the same field.

  3. A DETAILED MODEL ATMOSPHERE ANALYSIS OF COOL WHITE DWARFS IN THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Leggett, S. K.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Bergeron, P.; Von Hippel, Ted; Harris, Hugh C.; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Williams, Kurtis A.; Gates, Evalyn; Farihi, J.

    2010-09-15

    We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 126 cool white dwarfs (WDs) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Our sample includes high proper motion targets selected using the SDSS and USNO-B astrometry and a dozen previously known ultracool WD candidates. Our optical spectroscopic observations demonstrate that a clean selection of large samples of cool WDs in the SDSS (and the SkyMapper, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope data sets) is possible using a reduced proper motion diagram and a tangential velocity cut-off (depending on the proper motion accuracy) of 30 km s{sup -1}. Our near-infrared observations reveal eight new stars with significant absorption. We use the optical and near-infrared photometry to perform a detailed model atmosphere analysis. More than 80% of the stars in our sample are consistent with either pure hydrogen or pure helium atmospheres. However, the eight stars with significant infrared absorption and the majority of the previously known ultracool WD candidates are best explained with mixed hydrogen and helium atmosphere models. The age distribution of our sample is consistent with a Galactic disk age of 8 Gyr. A few ultracool WDs may be as old as 12-13 Gyr, but our models have problems matching the spectral energy distributions of these objects. There are only two halo WD candidates in our sample. However, trigonometric parallax observations are required for accurate mass and age determinations and to confirm their membership in the halo.

  4. A NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY OF COOL WHITE DWARFS IN THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Kowalski, Piotr M.; Von Hippel, Ted

    2009-07-15

    We present near-infrared photometric observations of 15 and spectroscopic observations of 38 cool white dwarfs (WDs). This is the largest near-infrared spectroscopic survey of cool WDs to date. Combining the Sloan Digital Sky Survey photometry and our near-infrared data, we perform a detailed model atmosphere analysis. The spectral energy distributions of our objects are explained fairly well by model atmospheres with temperatures ranging from 6300 K down to 4200 K. Two WDs show significant absorption in the infrared, and are best explained with mixed H/He atmosphere models. Based on the up-to-date model atmosphere calculations by Kowalski and Saumon, we find that the majority of the stars in our sample have hydrogen-rich atmospheres. We do not find any pure helium atmosphere WDs below 5000 K, and we find a trend of increasing hydrogen to helium ratio with decreasing temperature. These findings present an important challenge to understanding the spectral evolution of WDs.

  5. HST AND OPTICAL DATA REVEAL WHITE DWARF COOLING, SPIN, AND PERIODICITIES IN GW LIBRAE 3-4 YEARS AFTER OUTBURST

    SciTech Connect

    Szkody, Paula; Mukadam, Anjum S.; Gaensicke, Boris T. E-mail: mukadam@astro.washington.edu; and others

    2012-07-10

    Since the large amplitude 2007 outburst which heated its accreting, pulsating white dwarf, the dwarf nova system GW Librae has been cooling to its quiescent temperature. Our Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectra combined with ground-based optical coverage during the third and fourth year after outburst show that the fluxes and temperatures are still higher than quiescence (T = 19,700 K and 17,300 K versus 16,000 K pre-outburst for a log g = 8.7 and d = 100 pc). The K{sub wd} of 7.6 {+-} 0.8 km s{sup -1} determined from the C I {lambda}1463 absorption line, as well as the gravitational redshift implies a white dwarf mass of 0.79 {+-} 0.08 M{sub Sun }. The widths of the UV lines imply a white dwarf rotation velocity v sin i of 40 km s{sup -1} and a spin period of 209 s (for an inclination of 11 deg and a white dwarf radius of 7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} cm). Light curves produced from the UV spectra in both years show a prominent multiplet near 290 s, with higher amplitude in the UV compared to the optical, and increased amplitude in 2011 versus 2010. As the presence of this set of periods is intermittent in the optical on weekly timescales, it is unclear how this relates to the non-radial pulsations evident during quiescence.

  6. Cool White Dwarfs in Cataclysmic Variables: Hubble Space Telescope Results on EG Cancri and HV Virginis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Sion, Edward M.; Howell, Steve B.

    2002-08-01

    Our Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ultraviolet spectra of the low mass transfer rate cataclysmic variables EG Cnc and HV Vir at 4 yr and 8 yr past their last superoutburst have shown that the white dwarfs in these systems are among the coolest yet observed in disk-accreting close binaries. The UV-optical fluxes of EG Cnc are consistent with a 11,700-13,000 K white dwarf at a distance of 350-475 pc, while those of HV Vir fit with a 12,500-14,000 K white dwarf at 400-550 pc, with logg=8.0+/-0.5 for both stars. In each case, the metal abundance is near 0.3 solar, while the rotation rates are considerably less than breakup. If these systems formed above the period gap and evolved to their short periods in an evolution time of several Gyr, then their white dwarfs are hotter than field white dwarfs of comparable age and hotter than those in close binary systems of similar orbital period that contain magnetic white dwarfs. If these systems have indeed passed the period minimum in their evolution, the implication is that they are significantly heated by the long-term effects of mass transfer from their close companions. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555 and with the Apache Point Observatory (APO) 3.5 m telescope, which is owned and operated by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC).

  7. New Observational Evidence of Flash Mixing on the White Dwarf Cooling Curve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, T. M.; Lanz, T.; Sweigart, A. V.; Cracraft, Misty; Hubeny, Ivan; Landsman, W. B.

    2011-01-01

    Blue hook stars are a class of subluminous extreme horizontal branch stars that were discovered in UV images of the massive globular clusters w Cen and NGC 2808. These stars occupy a region of the HR diagram that is unexplained by canonical stellar evolution theory. Using new theoretical evolutionary and atmospheric models, we have shown that the blue hook stars are very likely the progeny of stars that undergo extensive internal mixing during a late helium-core flash on the white dwarf cooling curve. This "flash mixing" produces hotter-than-normal EHB stars with atmospheres significantly enhanced in helium and carbon. The larger bolometric correction, combined with the decrease in hydrogen opacity, makes these stars appear sub luminous in the optical and UV. Flash mixing is more likely to occur in stars born with a high helium abundance, due to their lower mass at the main sequence turnoff. For this reason, the phenomenon is more common in those massive globular clusters that show evidence for secondary populations enhanced in helium. However, a high helium abundance does not, by itself, explain the presence of blue hook stars in massive globular clusters. Here, we present new observational evidence for flash mixing, using recent HST observations. These include UV color-magnitude diagrams of six massive globular clusters and far-UV spectroscopy of hot subdwarfs in one of these clusters (NGC 2808).

  8. Flash Mixing of the White Dwarf Cooling Curve Spectroscopic Confirmation in NGC 2808

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Thomas M.; Lanz, Thierry; Sweigart, Allen V.; Cracraft, Misty; Hubeny, Ivan; Landsman, Wayne B.

    2009-01-01

    We present new HST far-UV spectroscopy of two dozen hot evolved stars in NGC 2808, a massive globular cluster with a large population of "blue-hook" stars. The blue-hook stars are found in ultraviolet color-magnitude diagrams of the most massive globular clusters, where they fall at luminosities immediately below the hot end of the horizontal branch (HB), in a region of the HR diagram unexplained by canonical stellar evolution theory. Using new theoretical evolutionary and atmospheric models, we have shown that these subluminous HB stars are very likely the progeny of stars that undergo extensive internal mixing during a late He-core flash on the white dwarf cooling curve. This flash mixing leads to hotter temperatures and an enormous enhancement of the surface He and C abundances; the hotter temperatures and associated decrease in the hydrogen opacity shortward of the Lyman limit makes the stars brighter in the extreme UV but appear sub luminous in the UV and optical. Our far-UV spectroscopy demonstrates that, relative to normal HB stars at the same color, the blue-hook stars of NGC 2808 are hotter and greatly enhanced in He and C, thus providing unambiguous evidence of flash mixing in the subluminous population. Although the C abundance in the blue-hook stars is orders of magnitude larger than that in the normal HB stars, the atmospheric C abundance in both the blue-hook and normal HB stars appears to be affected by gravitational settling. The abundance variations seen in C, Si, and the Fe-peak elements indicate that atmospheric diffusion is at play in our sample, with all of our hot subdwarfs at 25,000 K to 50,000 K exhibiting large enhancements of the iron-peak elements. The hottest subdwarfs in our blue-hook sample may be pulsators, given that they fall in the temperature range of newly-discovered pulsating subdwarfs in omega Cen.

  9. The end of the white dwarf cooling sequence in M 67

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellini, A.; Bedin, L. R.; Piotto, G.; Salaris, M.; Anderson, J.; Brocato, E.; Ragazzoni, R.; Ortolani, S.; Bonanos, A. Z.; Platais, I.; Gilliland, R.; Raimondo, G.; Bragaglia, A.; Tosi, M.; Gallozzi, S.; Testa, V.; Kochanek, C. S.; Giallongo, E.; Baruffolo, A.; Farinato, J.; Diolaiti, E.; Speziali, R.; Carraro, G.; Yadav, R. K. S.

    2010-04-01

    In this paper, we present for the first time a proper-motion-selected white dwarf (WD) sample of the old Galactic open cluster M 67, down to the bottom of the WD cooling sequence (CS). The color-magnitude diagram is based on data collected with the LBC-Blue camera at the prime-focus of LBT. As first epoch data, we used CFHT-archive images collected 10 years before LBC data. We measured proper motions of all the identified sources. Proper motions are then used to separate foreground and background objects from the cluster stars, including WDs. Finally, the field-object cleaned WD CS in the V vs. B-I color-magnitude diagram is compared with the models. We confirm that the age derived from the location of the bottom of the WD CS is consistent with the turn off age. Based on data acquired using the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) at Mt. Graham, Arizona, under the Commissioning of the Large Binocular Blue Camera. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia; and on observations obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii.Visiting PhD Student at STScI under the “2008 graduate research assistantship” program.

  10. When White Dwarfs Collide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Wendy Phyllis

    2012-01-01

    3D models of white dwarf collisions are used to assess the likelihood of double-degenerate mergers as progenitors for Type Ia supernovae (henceforth SNIa) and to identify observational signatures of double-degenerate collisions. Observations of individual SNIa, SNIa rates in different galaxy types, and double white dwarf binary systems suggest that mergers or collisions between two white dwarfs play a role in the overall SNIa population. Given the possibility of two progenitor systems (single-degenerate and double-degenerate), the sample of SNIa used in cosmological calcula- tions needs to be carefully examined. To improve calculations of cosmological parameters, the development of calibrated diagnostics for double-degenerate progenitor SNIa is essential. Head-on white dwarf collision simulations are used to provide an upper limit on the 56Ni production in white dwarf collisions. In chapter II, I explore zero impact parameter collisions of white dwarfs using the Eulerian grid code FLASH. The initial 1D white dwarf profiles are created assuming hydrostatic equilibrium and a uniform composition of 50% 12C and 50% 16O. The masses range from 0.64 to 0.81 solar masses and have an isothermal temperature of 107 K. I map these 1D models onto a 3D grid, where the dimensions of the grid are each eight times the white dwarf radius, and the dwarfs are initially placed four white dwarf radii apart (center to center). To provide insight into a larger range of physical possibilities, I also model non-zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions (Chapter III). Although head-on white dwarf collisions provide an upper limit on 56Ni production, non-zero impact parameter collisions provide insight into a wider range of physical scenarios. The initial conditions (box size, initial separation, composition, and initial temperature) are identical to those used for the head-on collisions (Chapter II) for the same range of masses. For each mass pair- ing, collision simulations are carried

  11. FLASH MIXING ON THE WHITE DWARF COOLING CURVE: SPECTROSCOPIC CONFIRMATION IN NGC 2808

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Thomas M.; Cracraft, Misty; Lanz, Thierry; Sweigart, Allen V.; Hubeny, Ivan; Landsman, Wayne B. E-mail: cracraft@stsci.edu E-mail: allen.v.sweigart@nasa.gov E-mail: wayne.b.landsman@nasa.gov

    2012-04-01

    We present new Hubble Space Telescope far-UV spectroscopy of two dozen hot evolved stars in NGC 2808, a massive globular cluster with a large population of 'blue-hook' (BHk) stars. The BHk stars are found in ultraviolet color-magnitude diagrams of the most massive globular clusters, where they fall at luminosities immediately below the hot end of the horizontal branch (HB), in a region of the H-R diagram unexplained by canonical stellar evolution theory. Using new theoretical evolutionary and atmospheric models, we have shown that these subluminous HB stars are very likely the progeny of stars that undergo extensive internal mixing during a late He-core flash on the white dwarf cooling curve. This flash mixing leads to hotter temperatures and an enormous enhancement of the surface He and C abundances; these hotter temperatures, together with the decrease in H opacity shortward of the Lyman limit, make the BHk stars brighter in the extreme UV while appearing subluminous in the UV and optical. Our far-UV spectroscopy demonstrates that, relative to normal HB stars at the same color, the BHk stars of NGC 2808 are hotter and greatly enhanced in He and C, thus providing unambiguous evidence of flash mixing in the subluminous population. Although the C abundance in the BHk stars is orders of magnitude larger than that in the normal HB stars, the atmospheric C abundance in both the BHk and normal HB stars appears to be affected by gravitational settling. The abundance variations seen in Si and the Fe-peak elements also indicate that atmospheric diffusion is at play in our sample, with all of our hot subdwarfs at 25,000-50,000 K exhibiting large enhancements of the iron-peak elements. The hottest subdwarfs in our BHk sample may be pulsators, given that they fall in the temperature range of newly discovered pulsating subdwarfs in {omega} Cen. In addition to the normal hot HB and BHk stars, we also obtain spectra of five blue HB stars, a post-HB star, and three unclassified

  12. Calibrating brown dwarf ages using white dwarfs in wide binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalán, S.

    Even though age is a critical parameter for all objects, it can also be one of the most difficult to measure, in particular for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. Brown dwarf models suffer from degeneracy and are not useful to infer ages without well constrained atmospheric parameters \\citep{pin06}. However, there is a way to overcome this problem by studying brown dwarfs for which some external constraints are available, for example brown dwarfs in wide binary systems. Wide binary members share proper motion and are supposed to have been born simultaneously and with the same chemical composition. Since they are well separated (⪆ 1000 AU) we can assume that no interaction has occurred between them in the past and they have evolved as isolated objects. If the companion of the brown dwarfs is a white dwarf, we can use it to calibrate the age of the system. White dwarf evolution can be described as a cooling process which is relatively well understood \\citep[e.g.][]{sal00}. Thus, they yield robust age constraints from the use of cooling sequences \\citep{gar11}. White dwarf cooling ages will uniformally give age lower limits (despite some uncertainty on progenitor life-time), and in some cases yield ages to better than 10% accuracy. Hence, wide binary systems containing a white dwarf can have system age constraints inferred from the white dwarf component. There are not many white dwarf-brown dwarf systems known so far, but with the combination of optical and IR surveys, SDSS+UKIDSS and Gaia + UKIDSS/VHS, new systems will be detected.

  13. New White Dwarfs in the SDSS DR10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, I.; Koester, D.; Ourique, G.; Kleinman, S. J.; Romero, A. D.; Nitta, A.; Eisenstein, D. J.; Costa, J. E. S.; Külebi, B.; Jordan, S.; Dufour, P.; Giommi, P.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.

    2015-06-01

    We report the discovery of 8 991 new spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs and subdwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10. We obtain Teff, log g and mass for hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) and helium atmosphere white dwarf stars (DBs), and estimate the calcium/helium abundances for the white dwarf stars with metallic lines (DZs) and carbon/helium for cool carbon dominated spectra DQs. We found 2 new oxygen dominated spectra white dwarfs, 69 DQs, 42 hot DO/PG1159s, 175 white dwarf+main sequence star binaries, 206 magnetic DAHs, 325 continuum dominated DCs, 397 metal polluted white dwarfs, 450 helium dominated white dwarfs, 636 subdwarfs and 6796 new hydrogen dominated white dwarf stars.

  14. Gaia --- A White Dwarf Discovery Machine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, S.

    2007-09-01

    Gaia is a satellite mission of the ESA, aiming at absolute astrometric measurements of about one billion stars (V<20) with unprecedented accuracy. Additionally, magnitudes and colors will be obtained for all these stars, while radial-velocities will be determined only for bright objects (V<17.5). However, the wavelength range for the radial-velocity instrument is rather unsuitable for most white dwarfs. Gaia will probably discover about 400,000 white dwarfs; up to 100 pc the detection probability for white dwarfs is almost 100 %. This survey of white dwarfs will have very clear, easy to understand selection criteria, and will therefore be very suitable for statistical investigations. The Gaia data will help to improve the construction of a luminosity function for the disk and the halo and will provide a more accurate determination of the age of our solar neighborhood. Moreover, reliable stellar dynamical investigations of the disk and halo components will be possible. For the first time it will be possible to test the mass-radius relation of white dwarfs in great detail. Moreover, more accurate masses of magnetic and cool white dwarfs can be expected. Gaia is also expected to discover many new pulsating white dwarfs. The Gaia measurements can also complement the measurements of gravitational waves from close white dwarf binaries with Lisa.

  15. Characterizing Accreting White Dwarf Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula; Mukadam, Anjum

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the population, mass distribution, and evolution of accreting white dwarfs impacts the entire realm of binary interaction, including the creation of Type Ia supernovae. We are concentrating on accreting white dwarf pulsators, as the pulsation properties allow us a view of how the accretion affects the interior of the star. Our ground- based photometry on 11 accreting pulsators with corresponding temperatures from HST UV spectra suggest a broad instability strip in the range of 10500 to 16000K. Additionally, tracking a post-outburst heated white dwarf as it cools and crosses the blue edge and resumes pulsation provides an independent method to locate the empirical instability strip. Determining a post-outburst cooling curve yields an estimate of the amount of heating and the accreted mass during the outburst. We request additional photometry of 2 objects that present unique properties: GW Lib which has not yet returned to its pre-outburst pulsation spectrum after 6 yrs, and EQ Lyn which returned to its pre- outburst pulsation after 3 yrs but is now turning on and off without ongoing outbursts. Following the pulsation spectrum changes over stretches of several nights in a row will provide specific knowledge of the stability of the observed modes.

  16. The physics of white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarida; Mochkovitch, Robert

    1998-12-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for 0953-8984/10/49/015/img6 and allows one to obtain information about the age of the Galaxy as well as about the past stellar formation rate in the solar neighbourhood. Therefore, it is important to identify all of the relevant sources of energy as well as the mechanisms that control its flow to the space. We show in this paper that the inclusion of a detailed treatment of phase transitions in Coulomb plasmas made up of a mixture of different chemical species is crucial, since their redistribution can keep the white dwarf warm for 0.5 to 9 Ga depending on the chemical composition and physical assumptions adopted.

  17. New model atmospheres for very cool white dwarfs with mixed H/He and pure He compositions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bergeron, P.; Saumon, D.; Wesemael, F.

    1995-01-01

    New model atmosphere calculations for very cool white dwarfs with mixed H/He and pure He compositions are presented. The hydrogen-rich models incorporate improved cross section calculations of the collision-induced absorption by molecular hydrogen due to collisions with H2, H, and He. The effects associated with variations in the effective temperature (T(sub eff) greater than or equal to 4000 and less than or equal to 10,000 K), the surface gravity (log g greater than or equal to 7.5 and less than or equal to 9.5), and the chemical composition (N(He)/N(H) greater than or equal to O and less than or equal to 100) are investigated. Results from earlier calculations are confirmed qualitatively, but a more detailed comparison reveals large quantitative deviations. Cool white dwarfs with mixed H/He chemical compositions are shown to be easily recognizable from their predicted strong infrared flux deficiency. Pure helium model calculations are described as well. These include a modified version of the recently developed equation of state of D. Saumon and G. Chabrier. Nonideal effects brought about by various equations of state are explored in detail. For the purpose of this analysis, a model of pressure ionization based on an accurate description of the interactions in a mostly atomic helium fluid is developed. The effects of pressure ionization are shown to be the most important issue in the model calculations. A critical discussion of previous generations of pure helium model calculations is presented. Finally, broadband color indices are provided for the complete model grid.

  18. Flash Mixing on the White-Dwarf Cooling Curve: Understanding Hot Horizontal Branch Anomalies in NGC 2808

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Thomas M.; Sweigart, Allen V.; Lanz, Thierry; Landsman, Wayne B.; Hubeny, Ivan; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We present an ultraviolet color-magnitude diagram (CMD) spanning the hot horizontal branch (HB), blue straggler, and white dwarf populations of the globular cluster NGC 2808. These data, obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), demonstrate that NGC 2808 harbors a significant population of hot subluminous HB stars, an anomaly only previously reported for the globular cluster omega Cen. Our theoretical modeling indicates that the location of these subluminous stars in the CMD, as well as the high temperature gap along the HB of NGC 2808, can be explained if these stars underwent a late helium-core flash while descending the white dwarf cooling curve. We show that the convective zone produced by such a late helium flash will penetrate into the hydrogen envelope, thereby mixing hydrogen into the hot helium-burning interior, where it is rapidly consumed. This phenomenon is analogous to the "born again" scenario for producing hydrogen-deficient stars following a late helium-shell flash. The flash mixing of the envelope greatly enhances the envelope helium and carbon abundances that, in turn, leads to a discontinuous increase in the HB effective temperatures. We argue that the hot HB gap is associated with this theoretically predicted dichotomy in the HB properties. Moreover, the changes in the emergent spectral energy distribution caused by these abundance changes are primarily responsible for explaining the hot subluminous HB stars. Although further evidence is needed to confirm that a late helium-core flash can account for the subluminous HB stars and the hot HB gap, we demonstrate that an understanding of these stars requires the use of appropriate theoretical models for their evolution, atmospheres, and spectra.

  19. White dwarf evolution - Cradle-to-grave constraints via pulsation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1990-01-01

    White dwarf evolution, particularly in the early phases, is not very strongly constrained by observation. Fortunately, white dwarfs undergo nonradial pulsation in three distinct regions of the H-R diagram. These pulsations provide accurate masses, surface compositional structure and rotation velocities, and help constrain other important physical properties. We demonstrate the application of the tools of stellar seismology to white dwarf evolution using the hot white dwarf star PG 1159-035 and the cool DAV (or ZZ Ceti) stars as examples. From pulsation studies, significant challenges to the theory of white dwarf evolution emerge.

  20. White dwarfs as tracers of galactic evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, J.; Hernanz, M.; García-Berro, E.; Salaris, M.

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low and intermediate mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for ~ 10 Gyr and allows to obtain information about the age of the Galaxy as well as about the past stellar formation rate in the solar neighborhood. We show in this paper the state of the art of the white dwarf cooling theory and the uncertainties still remaining. We also provide some applications of the theory of cooling white dwarfs to escrutiny the past history of the Milky Way. These applications range from an independent derivation of the past history of the local star formation rate to a determination of the properties of the halo.

  1. THE MASSES OF POPULATION II WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Kalirai, Jason S.; Davis, D. Saul; Richer, Harvey B.; Bergeron, P.; Catelan, Marcio; Hansen, Brad M. S.; Michael Rich, R. E-mail: sdavis@astro.ubc.c E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.c E-mail: hansen@astro.ucla.ed

    2009-11-01

    Globular star clusters are among the first stellar populations to have formed in the Milky Way, and thus only a small sliver of their initial spectrum of stellar types are still burning hydrogen on the main sequence today. Almost all of the stars born with more mass than 0.8 M{sub sun} have evolved to form the white dwarf cooling sequence of these systems, and the distribution and properties of these remnants uniquely holds clues related to the nature of the now evolved progenitor stars. With ultra-deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging observations, rich white dwarf populations of four nearby Milky Way globular clusters have recently been uncovered, and are found to extend impressive 5-8 mag in the faint-blue region of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. In this paper, we characterize the properties of these population II remnants by presenting the first direct mass measurements of individual white dwarfs near the tip of the cooling sequence in the nearest of the Milky Way globulars, M4. Based on Gemini/GMOS and Keck/LRIS multiobject spectroscopic observations, our results indicate that 0.8 M{sub sun} population II main-sequence stars evolving today form 0.53 +- 0.01 M{sub sun} white dwarfs. We discuss the implications of this result as it relates to our understanding of stellar structure and evolution of population II stars and for the age of the Galactic halo, as measured with white dwarf cooling theory.

  2. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the "normal" white dwarf of the same color. PMID:16592566

  3. Nonlinear Analysis of Pulsating White Dwarf Lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, J. L.; Montgomery, M. H.; Shipman, H.; WET TEam

    2015-06-01

    Convection remains one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. For example, Bergeron (1995) show that basic parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed convective parameterization. This is compelling, since we use our knowledge of these basic parameters to calibrate white dwarf cooling sequences, provide detailed estimates for the ages of individual white dwarfs, and determine the age of the Galactic disk. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) is engaged in a long term project to empirically calibrate the physical properties of convection in pulsating white dwarfs by combining asteroseismology and analysis of nonlinear light curves. Nonsinusoidal distortions, in the form of narrow peaks and wider valleys, are observed in many pulsating white dwarf light curves. These are a reflection of the local depth of the convection zone, a value which varies during a pulsation cycle. Applying asteroseismology and convective light curve fitting to a wide sample of pulsating white dwarfs provides an empirical map of how the convective response time (the convection zone “depth”) varies as a function of effective temperature, and this can be compared with theoretical models, both MLT and hydrodynamic. This project has resulted in a large database of white dwarf lightcurves and pulsation frequencies. We present current results for DA and DB pulsators, and provide a few examples of interesting pulsation behavior seen along the way.

  4. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.

    Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, burned-out stars -- called white dwarfs -- are about 12 to 13 billion years old. By adding the one billion years it took the cluster to form after the Big Bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates that the universe is 13 to 14 billion years old.

    The images, including some taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are available online at

    http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/10/ or

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc .

    The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's .9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope.

    The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles indicate the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars.

    Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the

  5. Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopy of hot helium-rich white dwarfs: metal abundances along the cooling sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreizler, S.

    1999-12-01

    Metal abundances are the indicators of the chemical evolution in white dwarfs, which is dominated by the element separation due to the strong gravitational field. A reliable analysis and interpretation requires high resolution and high signal-to-noise UV spectroscopy. For hot helium rich DO white dwarfs this is currently only feasible with the Hubble Space Telescope. In this paper I report on our HST spectroscopy of DO white dwarfs and describe our model atmospheres employed for the analysis. This includes an introduction to our new self-consistent, chemically stratified non-LTE model atmospheres, which take into account gravitational sedimentation and radiative levitation. The results of the analysis shows that DO white dwarfs can best be fitted with chemically homogeneous models, whereas stratified models show significant deviations. Several possible reasons for this unexpected result are discussed. At the current stage, weak mass loss is the most plausible explanation. Based on observations obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555

  6. White Dwarfs in the GALEX Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2007-01-01

    We have cross-correlated the 2dF QSO Redshift Survey (2QZ) white dwarf catalog with the GALEX 2nd Data Release and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 5 to obtain ultraviolet photometry (FUV, NUV) for approximately 700 objects and optical photometry (ugriz) for approximately 800 objects. We have compared the optical-ultraviolet colors to synthetic white dwarf colors to obtain temperature estimates for approximately 250 of these objects. These white dwarfs have effective temperatures ranging from 10 000 K (cooling age of about 1Gyr) up to about 40000 K (cooling age of about 3 Myrs), with a few that have even higher temperatures. We found that to distinguish white dwarfs from other stellar luminosity classes both optical and ultraviolet colors are necessary, in particular for the hotter objects where there is contamination from B and 0 main-sequence stars. Using this sample we build a luminosity function for the DA white dwarfs with Mv < 12 mag.

  7. A wide binary trigger for white dwarf pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonsor, Amy; Veras, Dimitri

    2015-11-01

    Metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres is commonly assumed to be a signature of remnant planetary systems. Most explanations for this pollution predict a sharp decrease in the number of polluted systems with white dwarf cooling age. Observations do not confirm this trend, and metal pollution in old (1-5 Gyr) white dwarfs is difficult to explain. We propose an alternative, time-independent mechanism to produce the white dwarf pollution. The orbit of a wide binary companion can be perturbed by Galactic tides, approaching close to the primary star for the first time after billions of years of evolution on the white dwarf branch. We show that such a close approach perturbs a planetary system orbiting the white dwarf, scattering planetesimals on to star-grazing orbits, in a manner that could pollute the white dwarf's atmosphere. Our estimates find that this mechanism is likely to contribute to metal pollution, alongside other mechanisms, in up to a few per cent of an observed sample of white dwarfs with wide binary companions, independent of white dwarf age. This age independence is the key difference between this wide binary mechanism and others mechanisms suggested in the literature to explain white dwarf pollution. Current observational samples are not large enough to assess whether this mechanism makes a significant contribution to the population of polluted white dwarfs, for which better constraints on the wide binary population are required, such as those that will be obtained in the near future with Gaia.

  8. The CI pressure shift and gravitational redshift of the cool DBQA5 white dwarf LDS678A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, E. M.; Vauclair, G.; Oswalt, T. D.; Hammond, G.; Liebert, J.; Koester, D.; Wegner, G.; Marcum, P.

    1990-01-01

    A high resolution ultraviolet spectrum of the helium rich degenerate LDS 678A, obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite is presented. LDS 678A is the coolest metallic line generate (DQ or DZ) yet observed with the IUE scale. These observations provide a detailed line profile of the strong C I 2479 absorption line with equivalent width (W sub 2479 = 2.35 plus or minus 0.06 angstroms) from which theoretical line profile fits yield a C abundance (log C/He = 6.4). The presence of carbon in a helium rich atmosphere lends credence to the notion that LDS 678A is a transitional case between the DB white dwarfs with nearly pure helium atmospheres and the helium rich DQ white dwarfs which exhibit carbon bands. Corrected for an inferred pressure shift for the C I line, a gravitational redshift is deduced from which a most probable mass of 0.55 solar mass is derived.

  9. Constraining White Dwarf Structure and Neutrino Physics in 47 Tucanae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsbury, R.; Heyl, J.; Richer, H. B.; Kalirai, J. S.; Tremblay, P. E.

    2016-04-01

    We present a robust statistical analysis of the white dwarf cooling sequence in 47 Tucanae. We combine Hubble Space Telescope UV and optical data in the core of the cluster, Modules for Experiments in Stellar Evolution (MESA) white dwarf cooling models, white dwarf atmosphere models, artificial star tests, and a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling method to fit white dwarf cooling models to our data directly. We use a technique known as the unbinned maximum likelihood to fit these models to our data without binning. We use these data to constrain neutrino production and the thickness of the hydrogen layer in these white dwarfs. The data prefer thicker hydrogen layers ({q}{{H}}=3.2× {10}-5) and we can strongly rule out thin layers ({q}{{H}}={10}-6). The neutrino rates currently in the models are consistent with the data. This analysis does not provide a constraint on the number of neutrino species.

  10. The Potential of White Dwarf Cosmochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Bergeron, P.

    2001-04-01

    In the light of recent significant progress on both the observational and theoretical fronts, we review the status of white dwarf stars as cosmochronometers. These objects represent the end products of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars and, as such, can be used to constrain the ages of various populations of evolved stars in the Galaxy. For example, the oldest white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood (the remnants of the very first generation of intermediate-mass stars in the Galactic disk) are still visible and can be used, in conjunction with cooling theory, to estimate the age of the disk. More recent observations suggest the tantalizing possibility that a population of very old white dwarfs inhabits the Galactic halo. Such a population may contribute significantly to baryonic ``dark'' matter in the Milky Way and may be used to obtain an independent estimate of the age of the halo. In addition, white dwarf cosmochronology is likely to play a very significant role in the coming era of giant 8-10 m telescopes when faint white dwarf populations should be routinely discovered and studied in open and globular clusters. Based, in part, on the C. S. Beals Lecture presented by G. Fontaine at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society held in Vancouver (2000 May).

  11. Observations of the Ultraviolet Spectra of Carbon White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, G. A.

    1982-01-01

    Strong ultraviolet carbon lines were detected in additional white DC (continuous visual spectra) dwarfs using the IUE. These lines are not seen in the ultraviolet spectrum of the cool DC star Stein 2051 B. The bright DA white dwarf LB 3303 has a strong unidentified absorption near lambda 1400.

  12. DETECTION OF A WHITE DWARF COMPANION TO THE WHITE DWARF SDSSJ125733.63+542850.5

    SciTech Connect

    Marsh, T. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Steeghs, D.; Southworth, J.; Koester, D.; Harris, V.; Merry, L.

    2011-08-01

    SDSSJ125733.63+542850.5 (hereafter SDSSJ1257+5428) is a compact white dwarf binary from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that exhibits high-amplitude radial velocity variations on a period of 4.56 hr. While an initial analysis suggested the presence of a neutron star or black hole binary companion, a follow-up study concluded that the spectrum was better understood as a combination of two white dwarfs. Here we present optical spectroscopy and ultraviolet fluxes which directly reveal the presence of the second white dwarf in the system. SDSSJ1257+5428's spectrum is a composite, dominated by the narrow-lined spectrum from a cool, low-gravity white dwarf (T{sub eff} {approx_equal} 6300 K, log g = 5-6.6) with broad wings from a hotter, high-mass white dwarf companion (11, 000-14, 000 K; {approx}1 M{sub sun}). The high-mass white dwarf has unusual line profiles which lack the narrow central core to H{alpha} that is usually seen in white dwarfs. This is consistent with rapid rotation with vsin i = 500-1750 km s{sup -1}, although other broadening mechanisms such as magnetic fields, pulsations, or a helium-rich atmosphere could also be contributory factors. The cool component is a puzzle since no evolutionary model matches its combination of low gravity and temperature. Within the constraints set by our data, SDSSJ1257+5428 could have a total mass greater than the Chandrasekhar limit and thus be a potential Type Ia supernova progenitor. However, SDSSJ1257+5428's unusually low-mass ratio q {approx} 0.2 suggests that it is more likely that it will evolve into an accreting double white dwarf (AM CVn star).

  13. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    This proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of about 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain. A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s. Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle". A paper reporting this study is now in preparation.

  14. The Origins of the Ultramassive White Dwarf GD 50

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, P. D.; Napiwotzki, R.; Lodieu, N.; Burleigh, M. R.; Barstow, M. A.; Jameson, R. F.

    2007-09-01

    On the basis of astrometric and spectroscopic data we argue that the ultramassive white dwarf GD 50 is associated with the star formation event that created the Pleiades and is potentially a former cluster member. Its cooling time (˜60Myrs) is consistent with it having evolved essentially as a single star from a M>6M⊙ progenitor so there appears to be no need to invoke a white dwarf--white dwarf binary merger scenario to account for its existence. Our result may represent the first direct observational evidence that single star evolution can produce white dwarfs with M>1.1M⊙, as predicted by some stellar evolutionary theories. Additionally, our findings may help towards alleviating the difficulties in reconciling the observed number of hot nearby ultramassive white dwarfs with the smaller number predicted by binary evolution models under the assumption that they are the products of white dwarf mergers.

  15. CSS 41177: an eclipsing double white dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bours, Madelon

    2013-10-01

    The overwhelming majority of stellar remnants are white dwarfs. Despite their abundance and importance to, amongst others, Galactic age determinations and our understanding of type Ia supernovae fewer than a dozen white dwarfs have model-independent measurements of fundamental parameters like mass and radius. A major limitation on the observational side is that such parameters are extremely difficult to determine in a model-independant way for single white dwarfs. Close white dwarf binaries can provide these important tests.The largest class of white dwarf binaries in the Galaxy are the detached double white dwarfs, which are becoming increasingly popular as the progenitor systems of Type Ia supernovae. In recent years four eclipsing double white dwarfs have been found, creating the opportunity for precision mass and radius measurements of two white dwarfs at once. Our target, CSS 41177, contains two extremely low-gravity white dwarfs with very different temperatures, presenting us with a unique chance to test the existing mass-radius relation at its extremes.Here we propose a 2 orbit HST/COS FUV observation of CSS 41177, to accurately determine the temperature and surface gravity of the hot white dwarf. Through the flux ratio from the light curve this will at the same time constrain those of the cool white dwarf. Therefore it will allow us to add two more white dwarfs with accurate parameters to the short list of white dwarfs for which precise masses and radii are known.Note: The proposed observations are part of the doctoral thesis of Ms. Madelon C.P. Bours.

  16. White dwarfs identified in LAMOST DR 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jincheng; Zhao, Jingkun; Tziamtzis, Anestis; Liu, Jifeng; Li, Lifang; Zhang, Yong; Hou, Yonghui; Wang, Yuefei

    2015-12-01

    Here we present a catalogue of 1056 spectroscopically identified hydrogen-dominated white dwarfs (DAWDs), 34 helium-dominated white dwarfs (DBWDs) and 276 white dwarf main sequence (WDMS) binaries from the Large sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey data release 2 (DR2). 383 DAWDs, 4 DBWDs and 138 WDMSs are new identifications after cross-match with literature. There are ˜4100 k spectra in total from DR 2. The low ratio of white dwarfs found in LAMOST is attributed to biased selection of LAMOST input catalogue and much brighter targets relative to stars observed in Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In this paper, a new DAWD selection method is adopted as a new attempt and supplement to the traditional methods. The effective temperature, surface gravity, mass, cooling age and distance of high signal-to-noise DAWDs are estimated. The peak of the mass distribution is found to be ˜0.6 M⊙, which is consistent with previous work. The parameters of WDMS binaries are also provided in this paper. As the foundation of our future work, which is to identify more WDs with debris disc, WDs found in LAMOST showed a lot of potential. Interesting infrared-excess WDs will be reported in our forthcoming paper.

  17. NUCLEAR CONDENSATE AND HELIUM WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Bedaque, Paulo F.; Berkowitz, Evan; Cherman, Aleksey E-mail: evanb@umd.edu

    2012-04-10

    We consider a high-density region of the helium phase diagram, where the nuclei form a Bose-Einstein condensate rather than a classical plasma or a crystal. Helium in this phase may be present in helium-core white dwarfs. We show that in this regime there is a new gapless quasiparticle not previously noticed, arising when the constraints imposed by gauge symmetry are taken into account. The contribution of this quasiparticle to the specific heat of a white dwarf core turns out to be comparable in a range of temperatures to the contribution from the particle-hole excitations of the degenerate electrons. The specific heat in the condensed phase is two orders of magnitude smaller than in the uncondensed plasma phase, which is the ground state at higher temperatures, and four orders of magnitude smaller than the specific heat that an ion lattice would provide, if formed. Since the specific heat of the core is an important input for setting the rate of cooling of a white dwarf star, it may turn out that such a change in the thermal properties of the cores of helium white dwarfs has observable implications.

  18. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Aspeitia, Miguel A.

    2015-11-01

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane-Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of < λ rangle ≳ 84.818MeV^4, with a standard deviation σ ˜eq 82.021MeV^4, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others.

  19. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith; Montgomery, Michael H.; Bischoff-Kim, Agnes; Shipman, Harry; Nitta, Atsuko; Whole Earth Telescope Collaboration

    2015-08-01

    The overwhelming majority of all stars currently on the main sequence as well as those from earlier generations will or have ended their stellar lives as white dwarf stars. White dwarfs are rich forensic laboratories linking the history and future evolution of our Galaxy. Their structure and atmospheric composition provide evidence of how the progenitors lived, how they evolved, and how they died. This information reveals details of processes governing the behavior of contemporary main sequence stars. Combined with their distribution in luminosity/temperature, white dwarfs strongly constrain models of galactic and cosmological evolution.GD358 is among the brightest (mv =13.7) and best studied of the pulsating white dwarfs. This helium atmoshere pulsator (DBV) has an extensive photometric database spanning 30 years, including nine multisite Whole Earth Telescope campaigns. GD358 exhibits a range of behaviors, from drastic changes in excited pulsation modes to variable multiplet splittings. We use GD358 as a template for an examination of the DBV class, combining photometric results with recent COS spectroscopy. The results present new questions concerning DB formation and evolution.

  20. The Physics of White Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1979-01-01

    Describes the current understanding of the structure and evolution of the white dwarf stars that was gained as a result of the increasingly sensitive and detailed astronomical observations coupled with calculations of the properties of matter under extreme conditions. (Author/GA)

  1. White Dwarfs in Intermediate Polars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belle, Kunegunda E.; Sion, E. M.

    2009-01-01

    Intermediate polars (IPs), magnetic cataclysmic variables (CVs) in which the white dwarf (WD) has an intermediate strength magnetic field (B< 5 MG), present an interesting laboratory for the study of the evolution of CVs as they contain elements of both non-magnetic and magnetic systems. Do magnetic CVs and IPs evolve in the same manner as non-magnetic systems? One answer in this puzzle may come from understanding the nature of the white dwarf in a magnetic CV. Standard CV evolution theory predicts a white dwarf temperature for a given CV orbital period and accretion rate. By investigating the temperature of white dwarfs in IPs and comparing the temperatures to those predicted from theory, we can learn where IPs fit into the model of CV evolution. Here we present the results of our continued study of the nature of WDs in IPs. We compare temperatures derived from model fits to UV spectra with temperatures calculated based on the accretion rate and binary orbital period. Our preliminary results indicate that IPs follow the general trend of magnetic CVs containing cooler WDs than non-magnetic CVs.

  2. Cataclysmic variable evolution - Clues from the underlying white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents an update of determinations of the CV white dwarf effective-temperature, T(eff), together with an initial exploration of the possible implications and constraints on the CV lifetimes and evolution based on the ensemble of white dwarf T(eff) values as a function of orbital period. The CV dwarf luminosities are derived by using the T(eff) data and adopting the masses of individual CV white dwarfs determined by Webbink (1990). The present ensemble of empirically determined white dwarf effective temperatures reveals a distribution centered near 16,000 K, implying a mean lower limit total cooling lifetime of 5 x 10 to the 8th yr for the majority of CV degenerates. The two coolest CV degenerates, VV Puppis and St LMi, were found among the strongly magnetic AM Her CVs.

  3. The Pulsating White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.

    2008-10-01

    We present a summary of what is currently known about the three distinct families of isolated pulsating white dwarfs. These are the GW Vir stars (He/C/O-atmosphere stars with Teff sime 120,000 K), the V777 Her stars (He-atmosphere, Teff sime 25,000 K), and the ZZ Ceti stars (H-atmosphere, Teff sime 12,000 K), all showing multiperiodic luminosity variations caused by low-order and low-degree g-mode instabilities. We also provide, in an Appendix, a very brief overview of the newly found evidence in favor of the existence of a fourth category of oscillating white dwarfs bearing strong similarities with these families of pulsators. We begin our survey with a short historical introduction, followed by a general discussion of pulsating white dwarfs as compact pulsators. We then discuss the class properties of these objects, including an updated census. We next focus on the instability domains for each family of pulsators in the log g - Teff diagram, and present their time-averaged properties in more detail. This is followed by a section on excitation physics, i.e., the causes of the pulsational instabilities, with emphasis on the common properties of the different types of pulsator. We then discuss the time-dependent properties of the pulsating white dwarfs featuring, among other things, a brief "picture tour" across the ZZ Ceti instability strip. We next review the methods used to infer or constrain the angular geometry of a pulsation mode in a white dwarf. These include multicolor photometry and time-resolved spectroscopy, the exploitation of the nonlinear features in the observed light curves, and rotational splitting. We also consider basic adiabatic asteroseismology starting with a discussion of the reaction of the period spectrum to variations of model parameters. We next review the various asteroseismological inferences that have so far been claimed for white dwarfs. We also discuss the potential of exploiting the rates of period change. We finally provide some

  4. A Search for Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Mark R.; Henry, Todd J.; Subasavage, John P.

    2011-08-01

    We propose to observe 59 objects suspected to be red dwarf-white dwarf (RD-WD) binaries with separations < 3 arcsec using the CTIO 1.0m. Our goals are to use images of these objects to both resolve the systems and to obtain accurate BVRI photometry. The systems have been selected based on positions in three different color-color plots using SuperCOSMOS BRI plate photometry and 2MASS JHK photometry in accordance with the positions of known RD-WD binaries. This effort will identify candidates for detailed observations as part of the RECONS astrometric program on the CTIO 0.9m to yield accurate parallaxes and photocentric orbits. The parallaxes will then be used to determine the ages of the systems from WD cooling curves, and the orbits will eventually be used to measure dynamical masses. Ultimately, we aim to increase significantly the number of dynamical masses for white dwarfs because currently only three have been determined to 5% accuracy. The first observational step outlined here will allow us to identify appropriate systems for long-term work. This 1.0m project is likely to become the undergraduate senior thesis work of the PI.

  5. White dwarf cosmochronology in the solar neighborhood

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Kalirai, J. S.; Soderblom, D. R.; Cignoni, M.; Cummings, J.

    2014-08-20

    The study of the stellar formation history in the solar neighborhood is a powerful technique to recover information about the early stages and evolution of the Milky Way. We present a new method that consists of directly probing the formation history from the nearby stellar remnants. We rely on the volume complete sample of white dwarfs within 20 pc, where accurate cooling ages and masses have been determined. The well characterized initial-final mass relation is employed in order to recover the initial masses (1 ≲ M {sub initial}/M {sub ☉} ≲ 8) and total ages for the local degenerate sample. We correct for moderate biases that are necessary to transform our results to a global stellar formation rate, which can be compared to similar studies based on the properties of main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood. Our method provides precise formation rates for all ages except in very recent times, and the results suggest an enhanced formation rate for the solar neighborhood in the last 5 Gyr compared to the range 5 < Age (Gyr) < 10. Furthermore, the observed total age of ∼10 Gyr for the oldest white dwarfs in the local sample is consistent with the early seminal studies that have determined the age of the Galactic disk from stellar remnants. The main shortcoming of our study is the small size of the local white dwarf sample. However, the presented technique can be applied to larger samples in the future.

  6. QUIESCENT NUCLEAR BURNING IN LOW-METALLICITY WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Miller Bertolami, Marcelo M.; Althaus, Leandro G.

    2013-09-20

    We discuss the impact of residual nuclear burning in the cooling sequences of hydrogen-rich (DA) white dwarfs with very low metallicity progenitors (Z = 0.0001). These cooling sequences are appropriate for the study of very old stellar populations. The results presented here are the product of self-consistent, fully evolutionary calculations. Specifically, we follow the evolution of white dwarf progenitors from the zero-age main sequence through all the evolutionary phases, namely the core hydrogen-burning phase, the helium-burning phase, and the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch phase to the white dwarf stage. This is done for the most relevant range of main-sequence masses, covering the most usual interval of white dwarf masses—from 0.53 M {sub ☉} to 0.83 M {sub ☉}. Due to the low metallicity of the progenitor stars, white dwarfs are born with thicker hydrogen envelopes, leading to more intense hydrogen burning shells as compared with their solar metallicity counterparts. We study the phase in which nuclear reactions are still important and find that nuclear energy sources play a key role during long periods of time, considerably increasing the cooling times from those predicted by standard white dwarf models. In particular, we find that for this metallicity and for white dwarf masses smaller than about 0.6 M {sub ☉}, nuclear reactions are the main contributor to the stellar luminosity for luminosities as low as log (L/L {sub ☉}) ≅ –3.2. This, in turn, should have a noticeable impact in the white dwarf luminosity function of low-metallicity stellar populations.

  7. Spectral analysis of hot helium-rich white dwarfs.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreizler, S.; Werner, K.

    1996-10-01

    We present a model atmosphere analysis of most known hot helium-rich white dwarfs of spectral type DO. The stars represent the non-DA white dwarf cooling sequence from the hot end (T_eff_=~120000K) down to the DB gap (T_eff_=~45000K). From medium resolution optical spectra, effective temperatures, surface gravities, and element abundances are determined by means of non-LTE model atmospheres. Compared to previous LTE analyses available for some of the program stars, higher effective temperatures are derived. The existence of the DB gap is confirmed. For the first time reliable surface gravities for a large sample of DO white dwarfs are determined. With the help of theoretical evolutionary tracks the DO masses are determined. We find a mean value of 0.59+/-0.08Msun_ which virtually coincides with the mean masses of the DA and DB white dwarfs. Hydrogen cannot be identified in any optical DO spectrum, which includes the former DOA prototype HZ21. Hence HD149499B remains the only DO white dwarf with a positive (FUV) detection of trace hydrogen in the photosphere. The number ratio of DA/non-DA white dwarfs significantly increases along the cooling sequence and thus corroborates the hydrogen float-up hypothesis as an explanation for the DB gap. From optical, IUE, and HST spectra metal abundances or upper limits could be derived for most DOs, allowing a comprehensive comparison with predictions from diffusion/radiative levitation calculations. A large scatter in metallicities is found, even among objects with similar parameters and no clear trend along the cooling sequence is detectable. This is severely at odds with theoretical predictions. The evolutionary link between DO white dwarfs, the PG1159 stars and DB white dwarfs is discussed, in particular considering the overlapping positions of DO and PG1159 stars in the HR diagram.

  8. On the origin of the ultramassive white dwarf GD50

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, P. D.; Napiwotzki, R.; Lodieu, N.; Burleigh, M. R.; Barstow, M. A.; Jameson, R. F.

    2006-11-01

    We argue on the basis of astrometric and spectroscopic data that the ultramassive white dwarf GD50 is associated with the star formation event that created the Pleiades and is possibly a former member of this cluster. Its cooling age (~60 Myr) is consistent with it having evolved essentially as a single star from a progenitor with a mass M > 6Msolar, so we find no need to invoke a white dwarf-white dwarf binary merger scenario to account for its existence. This result may represent the first direct observational evidence that single-star evolution can produce white dwarfs with M > 1.1Msolar, as predicted by some stellar evolutionary theories. On the basis of its tangential velocity, we also provisionally identify the ultramassive (M ~ 1.2Msolar) white dwarf PG0136 + 251 as being related to the Pleiades. These findings may help to alleviate the difficulties in reconciling the observed number of hot nearby ultramassive white dwarfs with the smaller number predicted by binary evolution models under the assumption that they are the products of white dwarf mergers. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile. ESO No. 072.D-0362. E-mail: pdd@star.le.ac.uk

  9. Optical spectroscopy of candidate Alpha Persei white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casewell, S. L.; Dobbie, P. D.; Geier, S.; Lodieu, N.; Hambly, N. C.

    2015-08-01

    As part of an investigation into the high-mass end of the initial mass-final mass relation we performed a search for new white dwarf members of the nearby (172.4 pc), young (80-90 Myr) α Persei open star cluster. The photometric and astrometric search using the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope (UKIRT) Infrared Deep Sky Survey and SuperCOSMOS sky surveys discovered 14 new white dwarf candidates. We have obtained medium resolution optical spectra of the brightest 11 candidates using the William Herschel Telescope and confirmed that while 7 are DA white dwarfs, 3 are DB white dwarfs and 1 is an sdOB star, only three have cooling ages within the cluster age, and from their position on the initial mass-final mass relation, it is likely none are cluster members. This result is disappointing, as recent work on the cluster mass function suggests that there should be at least one white dwarf member, even at this young age. It may be that any white dwarf members of α Per are hidden within binary systems, as is the case in the Hyades cluster, however the lack of high-mass stars within the cluster also makes this seem unlikely. One alternative is that a significant level of detection incompleteness in the legacy optical image survey data at this Galactic latitude has caused some white dwarf members to be overlooked. If this is the case, Gaia will find them.

  10. The Origin and Evolution of the White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens, J. C.

    1994-05-01

    The secret of how white dwarf stars form and evolve is hidden in their interiors. There, gravity separates the constituent elements into layers; the lighter elements float to the top and the heavier ones sink. Consequently, a white dwarf's structure depends on the quantity of the elements present. Measuring that structure can tell us about the processes which formed white dwarfs and allow us to calculate how fast they cool. The latter is indispensable for measuring the age of our galaxy using the oldest white dwarfs as chronometers. Because some white dwarfs pulsate, we can exploit the resulting luminosity variations to measure their internal structure using asteroseismology. Exploring white dwarf structure via asteroseismology poses a difficult observational task: acquiring essentially uninterrupted time series measurements of the brightness changes of pulsating white dwarf stars. We have accomplished this task using an instrument we call the Whole Earth Telescope (WET). By combining data from the WET with published measurements, we have detected a common pattern in the pulsation spectra of all the variable, hydrogen spectra white dwarfs (DAVs), implying that they have similar surface hydrogen layer masses. Because we have identified the degree (l) and the radial overtone (k) of the modes in the pattern detected, we have been able to compare their periods to published pulsation models to find the mass of the hydrogen layer; it is about 10(-4) times the total stellar mass. This result will require adjustments to published estimates of the age of the galaxy which use theoretical cooling times of the oldest white dwarfs as a time standard; the theoretical models typically assume much thinner hydrogen layers. We have also investigated the two classes of pulsating helium spectra white dwarfs (DOVs and DBVs). From their pulsation properties, and the mass of the hydrogen layer measured for the DAVs, we have concluded that the helium surface white dwarfs do not form via

  11. The Origin and Evolution of the White-Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens, J. C.

    1994-12-01

    The secret of how white dwarf stars form and evolve is hidden in their interiors. There, gravity separates the constituent elements into layers; the lighter elements float to the top and the heavier ones sink. Consequently, a white dwarf's structure depends on the quantity of the elements present. Measuring that structure can tell us about the processes which formed white dwarfs and allow us to calculate how fast they cool. The latter is indispensable for measuring the age of our galaxy using the oldest white dwarfs as chronometers. Because some white dwarfs pulsate, we can exploit the resulting luminosity variations to measure their internal structure using "asteroseismology," a procedure analogous to terrestrial seismology. Exploring white dwarf structure via asteroseismology poses a difficult observational task: acquiring essentially uninterrupted time series measurements of the brightness changes of pulsating white dwarf stars. We have accomplished this task using an instrument we developed for this purpose, the Whole Earth Telescope. By combining data from the Whole Earth Telescope with published measurements, we have detected a common pattern in the pulsation spectra of all the variable, hydrogen spectra white dwarfs (DAVs), implying that they have similar surface hydrogen layer masses. Because we have identified the degree (l) and the radial overtone (k) of the modes in the pattern detected, we have been able to compare their periods to published pulsation models to find the mass of the hydrogen layer; it is about 10^-4 times the total stellar mass. This result will require adjustments to published estimates of the age of the galaxy which use theoretical cooling times of the oldest white dwarfs as a time standard; the theoretical models typically assume much thinner hydrogen layers. We have also investigated the two classes of pulsating helium spectra white dwarfs (DOVs and DBVs). From their pulsation properties, and the mass of the hydrogen layer measured

  12. The origin and evolution of the white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens, James Christopher

    1994-01-01

    The secret of how white dwarf stars form and evolve is hidden in their interiors. There, gravity separates the constituent elements into layers; the lighter elements float to the top and the heavier ones sink. Consequently, a white dwarf's structure depends on the quantity of the elements present. Measuring that structure can tell Us about the processes which formed white dwarfs and allow us to calculate how fast they cool. The latter is indispensable for measuring the age of our galaxy using the oldest white dwarfs as chronometers. Because some white dwarfs pulsate, we can exploit the resulting luminosity variations to measure their internal structure using 'asteroseismology', a procedure analogous to terrestrial seismology. Exploring white dwarf structure via asteroseismology poses a difficult observational task: acquiring essentially uninterrupted time series measurements of the brightness changes of pulsating white dwarf stars. We have accomplished this task using an instrument we developed for this purpose, the Whole Earth Telescope. By combining data from the Whole Earth Telescope with published measurements, we have detected a common pattern in the pulsation spectra of all the variable, hydrogen spectra white dwarfs (DAVs), implying that they have similar surface hydrogen layer masses. Because we have identified the degree (l) and the radial overtone (k) of the modes in the pattern detected, we have been able to compare their periods to published pulsation models to find the mass of the hydrogen layer, it is about 10-4 times the total stellar mass. This result will require adjustments to published estimates of the age of the galaxy which use theoretical cooling times of the oldest white dwarfs as a time standard; the theoretical models typically assume much thinner hydrogen layers. We have also investigated the two classes of pulsating helium spectra white dwarfs (DOVs and DBVs). From their pulsation properties and the mass of the hydrogen layer measured for

  13. THREE NEW ECLIPSING WHITE-DWARF-M-DWARF BINARIES DISCOVERED IN A SEARCH FOR TRANSITING PLANETS AROUND M-DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Baranec, Christoph; Bui, Khanh; Davis, Jack T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, Eran O.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Nugent, Peter; and others

    2012-10-01

    We present three new eclipsing white-dwarf/M-dwarf binary systems discovered during a search for transiting planets around M-dwarfs. Unlike most known eclipsing systems of this type, the optical and infrared emission is dominated by the M-dwarf components, and the systems have optical colors and discovery light curves consistent with being Jupiter-radius transiting planets around early M-dwarfs. We detail the PTF/M-dwarf transiting planet survey, part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We present a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based box-least-squares search for transits that runs approximately 8 Multiplication-Sign faster than similar algorithms implemented on general purpose systems. For the discovered systems, we decompose low-resolution spectra of the systems into white-dwarf and M-dwarf components, and use radial velocity measurements and cooling models to estimate masses and radii for the white dwarfs. The systems are compact, with periods between 0.35 and 0.45 days and semimajor axes of approximately 2 R{sub Sun} (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M{sub Sun }, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M{sub Sun }. We use the Robo-AO laser guide star adaptive optics system to tentatively identify one of the objects as a triple system. We also use high-cadence photometry to put an upper limit on the white-dwarf radius of 0.025 R{sub Sun} (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%{sub -0.05%}{sup +0.10%} (90% confidence) of M-dwarfs are in these short-period, post-common-envelope white-dwarf/M-dwarf binaries where the optical light is dominated by the M-dwarf. The lack of detections at shorter periods, despite near-100% detection efficiency for such systems, suggests that binaries including these relatively low-temperature white dwarfs are preferentially found at

  14. A Young White Dwarf with an Infrared Excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Pantoja, B.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Su, K. Y. L.; Meng, H. Y. A.

    2015-06-01

    Using observations of Spitzer/IRAC, we report the serendipitous discovery of excess infrared emission from a single white dwarf PG 0010+280. At a temperature of 27,220 K and a cooling age of 16 Myr, it is the hottest and youngest white dwarf to display an excess at 3-8 μm. The infrared excess can be fit by either an opaque dust disk within the tidal radius of the white dwarf or a 1300 K blackbody, possibly from an irradiated substellar object or a re-heated giant planet. PG 0010+280 has two unique properties that are different from white dwarfs with a dust disk: (i) relatively low emission at 8 μm and (ii) non-detection of heavy elements in its atmosphere from high-resolution spectroscopic observations with Keck/HIRES. The origin of the infrared excess remains unclear.

  15. Theories of white dwarf oscillations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanhorn, H. M.

    1980-01-01

    The current status of theoretical understanding of the oscillations observed in the ZZ Ceti stars and cataclysmic variables is briefly reviewed. Nonradial g-mode oscillations appear to provide a satisfactory explanation for the low amplitude variables such as R548, with periods in the range of approximately 200 to 300 seconds, but for the longer period (800 to 1000 seconds) oscillators, the situation is still unclear. Rotation may play an important role in this problem, and the effects of both slow and fast rotation upon the mode structure are discussed. In the cataclysmic variables, both accretion and thermonuclear burning may act to excite oscillations of the white dwarf.

  16. Double White Dwarf Merger Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toonen, Silvia; Nelemans, Gijs; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are very successfully used as standard candles on cosmological distance scales, but so far the nature of the progenitor(s) is unclear. A possible scenario for SNe Ia are merging carbon/oxygen white dwarfs with a combined mass exceeding the Chandrasekhar mass. We determine the theoretical rates and delay time distribution of these mergers for two different common envelope prescriptions and metallicities. The shape of the delay time distributions is rather insensitive to the assumptions. The normalization is a factor ~3-13 too low compared to observations.

  17. The Long-Term Outcomes of Double White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, Josiah

    2016-01-01

    Binary star systems composed of two white dwarfs are a natural outcome of stellar evolution. Angular momentum losses from gravitational wave radiation cause the binary system's orbit to shrink until the two white dwarfs merge. The final outcome of the merger depends on the masses of the white dwarfs. Some potential outcomes, such as supernova explosions, may occur during or soon after the merger. Other outcomes, which I will refer to as "long-term" outcomes, occur as the merger remnant cools and its structure adjusts to the new state created during the energetic merger.In my dissertation, I quantitatively explore the long-term outcomes of the mergers of two white dwarfs. I focus primarily on the formation of neutron stars via accretion-induced collapse and the formation of two types of unusual stars, the single sub-dwarf B stars (hot, core helium fusing stars) and the R Coronae Borealis stars (cool, carbon-rich giant stars). Beginning with the results from my previous simulations of the short-lived viscous disk initially present in these remnants, I use the state-of-the-art MESA stellar evolution code to follow their thermal evolution.This work improves the quantitative understanding of which white dwarf binaries lead to a particular outcome and better characterizes the observational signatures of these outcomes. For systems that will undergo accretion-induced collapse, these simulations yield improved progenitor models that can then be used to explore the collapse and formation of a neutron star.

  18. Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Kepler-field cluster NGC 6819 - I. The bottom of the white dwarf cooling sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bedin, L. R.; Salaris, M.; Anderson, J.; Cassisi, S.; Milone, A. P.; Piotto, G.; King, I. R.; Bergeron, P.

    2015-04-01

    We use Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to reach the end of the white dwarf (WD) cooling sequence (CS) in the solar-metallicity open cluster NGC 6819. Our photometry and completeness tests show a sharp drop in the number of WDs along the CS at magnitudes fainter than mF606W = 26.050 ± 0.075. This implies an age of 2.25 ± 0.20 Gyr, consistent with the age of 2.25 ± 0.30 Gyr obtained from fits to the main-sequence turn-off. The use of different WD cooling models and initial-final-mass relations have a minor impact the WD age estimate, at the level of ˜0.1 Gyr. As an important by-product of this investigation we also release, in electronic format, both the catalogue of all the detected sources and the atlases of the region (in two filters). Indeed, this patch of sky studied by HST (of size ˜70 arcmin2) is entirely within the main Kepler-mission field, so the high-resolution images and deep catalogues will be particularly useful.

  19. Diffusion of neon in white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Hughto, J; Schneider, A S; Horowitz, C J; Berry, D K

    2010-12-01

    Sedimentation of the neutron rich isotope 22Ne may be an important source of gravitational energy during the cooling of white dwarf stars. This depends on the diffusion constant for 22Ne in strongly coupled plasma mixtures. We calculate self-diffusion constants D(i) from molecular dynamics simulations of carbon, oxygen, and neon mixtures. We find that D(i) in a mixture does not differ greatly from earlier one component plasma results. For strong coupling (coulomb parameter Γ> few), D(i) has a modest dependence on the charge Z(i) of the ion species, D(i)∝Z(i)(-2/3). However, D(i) depends more strongly on Z(i) for weak coupling (smaller Γ). We conclude that the self-diffusion constant D(Ne) for 22Ne in carbon, oxygen, and neon plasma mixtures is accurately known so that uncertainties in D(Ne) should be unimportant for simulations of white dwarf cooling. PMID:21230741

  20. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-15

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G^{3} type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs. PMID:27127952

  1. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-01

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G3 type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs.

  2. Constraining the neutrino magnetic dipole moment from white dwarf pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.; Miller Bertolami, M. M.; Kepler, S. O.; García-Berro, E.

    2014-08-01

    Pulsating white dwarf stars can be used as astrophysical laboratories to constrain the properties of weakly interacting particles. Comparing the cooling rates of these stars with the expected values from theoretical models allows us to search for additional sources of cooling due to the emission of axions, neutralinos, or neutrinos with magnetic dipole moment. In this work, we derive an upper bound to the neutrino magnetic dipole moment (μν) using an estimate of the rate of period change of the pulsating DB white dwarf star PG 1351+489. We employ state-of-the-art evolutionary and pulsational codes which allow us to perform a detailed asteroseismological period fit based on fully DB white dwarf evolutionary sequences. Plasmon neutrino emission is the dominant cooling mechanism for this class of hot pulsating white dwarfs, and so it is the main contributor to the rate of change of period with time (Pi dot) for the DBV class. Thus, the inclusion of an anomalous neutrino emission through a non-vanishing magnetic dipole moment in these sequences notably influences the evolutionary timescales, and also the expected pulsational properties of the DBV stars. By comparing the theoretical Pi dot value with the rate of change of period with time of PG 1351+489, we assess the possible existence of additional cooling by neutrinos with magnetic dipole moment. Our models suggest the existence of some additional cooling in this pulsating DB white dwarf, consistent with a non-zero magnetic dipole moment with an upper limit of μν lesssim 10-11 μB. This bound is somewhat less restrictive than, but still compatible with, other limits inferred from the white dwarf luminosity function or from the color-magnitude diagram of the Globular cluster M5. Further improvements of the measurement of the rate of period change of the dominant pulsation mode of PG 1351+489 will be necessary to confirm our bound.

  3. Constraining the neutrino magnetic dipole moment from white dwarf pulsations

    SciTech Connect

    Córsico, A.H.; Althaus, L.G.; García-Berro, E. E-mail: althaus@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar E-mail: kepler@if.ufrgs.br

    2014-08-01

    Pulsating white dwarf stars can be used as astrophysical laboratories to constrain the properties of weakly interacting particles. Comparing the cooling rates of these stars with the expected values from theoretical models allows us to search for additional sources of cooling due to the emission of axions, neutralinos, or neutrinos with magnetic dipole moment. In this work, we derive an upper bound to the neutrino magnetic dipole moment (μ{sub ν}) using an estimate of the rate of period change of the pulsating DB white dwarf star PG 1351+489. We employ state-of-the-art evolutionary and pulsational codes which allow us to perform a detailed asteroseismological period fit based on fully DB white dwarf evolutionary sequences. Plasmon neutrino emission is the dominant cooling mechanism for this class of hot pulsating white dwarfs, and so it is the main contributor to the rate of change of period with time (Pidot) for the DBV class. Thus, the inclusion of an anomalous neutrino emission through a non-vanishing magnetic dipole moment in these sequences notably influences the evolutionary timescales, and also the expected pulsational properties of the DBV stars. By comparing the theoretical Pidot value with the rate of change of period with time of PG 1351+489, we assess the possible existence of additional cooling by neutrinos with magnetic dipole moment. Our models suggest the existence of some additional cooling in this pulsating DB white dwarf, consistent with a non-zero magnetic dipole moment with an upper limit of μ{sub ν} ∼< 10{sup -11} μ{sub B}. This bound is somewhat less restrictive than, but still compatible with, other limits inferred from the white dwarf luminosity function or from the color-magnitude diagram of the Globular cluster M5. Further improvements of the measurement of the rate of period change of the dominant pulsation mode of PG 1351+489 will be necessary to confirm our bound.

  4. Chandra Observations of Magnetic White Dwarfs and Their Theoretical Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Z. E.; Noble, M.; Porter, J. G.; Winget, D. E.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Observations of cool DA and DB white dwarfs have not yet been successful in detecting coronal X-ray emission but observations of late-type dwarfs and giants show that coronae are common for these stars. To produce coronal X-rays, a star must have dynamo-generated surface magnetic fields and a well-developed convection zone. There is strong observational evidence that the DA star LHS 1038 and the DB star GD 358 have weak and variable surface magnetic fields. Since these fields are likely to be generated by dynamo action and since both stars have well-developed convection zones, theory predicts detectable levels of coronal X-rays from these white dwarfs. However, we present analysis of Chandra observations of both stars showing no detectable X-ray emission. The derived upper limits for the X-ray fluxes provide strong constraints on theories of formation of coronae around magnetic white dwarfs.

  5. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs.

  6. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs. PMID:27034367

  7. The white dwarf population within 40 pc of the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Santiago; García-Berro, Enrique

    2016-04-01

    Context. The white dwarf luminosity function is an important tool to understand the properties of the solar neighborhood, like its star formation history, and its age. Aims: Here we present a population synthesis study of the white dwarf population within 40 pc from the Sun, and compare the results of this study with the properties of the observed sample. Methods: We use a state-of-the-art population synthesis code based on Monte Carlo techniques, which incorporates the most recent and reliable white dwarf cooling sequences, an accurate description of the Galactic neighborhood, and a realistic treatment of all the known observational biases and selection procedures. Results: We find a good agreement between our theoretical models and the observed data. In particular, our simulations reproduce a previously unexplained feature of the bright branch of the white dwarf luminosity function, which we argue is due to a recent episode of star formation. We also derive the age of the solar neighborhood employing the position of the observed cut-off of the white dwarf luminosity function, to obtain ~8.9 ± 0.2 Gyr. Conclusions: We conclude that a detailed description of the ensemble properties of the population of white dwarfs within 40 pc of the Sun allows us to obtain interesting constraints on the history of the Solar neighborhood.

  8. Temperatures and surface gravities of DB white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oke, J. B.; Weidemann, V.; Koester, D.

    1984-01-01

    Multichannel observations or reobservations of all DB white dwarfs accessible from Palomar Observatory, reduced and calibrated with the AB79 program of Oke and Gunn (1983), have been compared by least squares fitting procedures with energy distributions calculated from new model atmospheres with He:H = 100,000 and reduced metal content He:C = 1,000,000. The surface gravities and temperatures derived reveal for the first time a definitive cooling sequence for the DB stars, with a narrow mass distribution comparable to that of the DA white dwarfs. The mass range, 0.55 + or - 0.10 solar mass, almost coincides with the range derived for DA, DC, and C2 stars and therefore suggests that the progenitors for all these stars are the same. Spectroscopic distance determinations and comparison with cooling ages demonstrate that DB stars account for about one-tenth of the total white dwarf birthrate.

  9. A Search for Fine Wines: Discovering Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Mark; Finch, C. T.; Hambly, N. C.; Henry, T. J.; Jao, W.; Riedel, A. R.; Subasavage, J. P.; Winters, J. G.; RECONS

    2012-01-01

    Like fine wines, stars come in both red and white varieties. Here we present initial results of the Fine Wines Project that targets red dwarf-white dwarf pairs. The two scientific goals of Fine Wines are (1) to develop methods to estimate ages for red dwarfs based on the cooling ages of the white dwarfs, and (2) to identify suitable pairs for dynamical mass determinations of white dwarfs to probe their interior structures. Here we focus on the search for Fine Wines, including sample selection, elimination of false positives, and initial reconnaissance. The sample was extracted via color-color plots from a pool of more than 30,000 proper motion systems examined during the SuperCOSMOS-RECONS (SCR) and UCAC3 Proper Motion (UPM) surveys. The initial sample of 75 best candidates is being observed for BVRI photometry and 3500-9500 A spectroscopy to confirm whether or not the systems are red dwarf-white dwarf pairs. Early results indicate that roughly 50% of the candidates selected are indeed Fine Wine systems. This effort is supported by the NSF through grant AST 09-08402 and via observations made possible by the SMARTS Consortium.

  10. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarita; Isern, Jordi; Torres, Santiago

    2009-07-01

    The 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 30 June to 4 July 2008 at the premises of the UPC. Almost 120 participants from Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and several others), America (USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), and other continents (Australia, South Africa, . . . ) attended the workshop. Among these participants were the most relevant specialists in the field. The topics covered by the conference were: White dwarf structure and evolution Progenitors and Planetary Nebulae White dwarfs in binaries: cataclysmic variables, double degenerates and other binaries White dwarfs, dust disks and planetary systems Atmospheres, chemical composition, magnetic fields Variable white dwarfs White dwarfs in stellar clusters and the halo White Dwarfs as SNIa progenitors The programme included 54 talks, and 45 posters. The oral presentations were distributed into the following sessions: Luminosity function, mass function and populations White dwarf structure and evolution White dwarf ages White dwarf catalogs and surveys Central stars of planetary nebulae Supernovae progenitors White dwarfs in novae and CVs Physical processes in white dwarfs and magnetic white dwarfs Disks, dust and planets around white dwarfs Pulsating white dwarfs Additionally we had a special open session about Spitzer and white dwarfs. The Proceedings of the 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs are representative of the current state-of-the-art of the research field and include new and exciting results. We acknowledge the very positive attitude of the attendants to the workshop, which stimulated very fruitful discussions that took place in all the sessions and after the official schedule. Also, the meeting allowed new collaborations tp start that will undoubtedly result in significant advances in the research field. We also acknowledge the willingness of the participants to deliver their contributions before the final deadline. We sincerely

  11. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, Manuel; Coelho, Jaziel G.

    2016-07-01

    The anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are a class of pulsars understood as neutron stars (NSs) with super strong surface magnetic fields, namely B ≳ 1014G, and for that reason are known as magnetars. However, in the last years, some SGRs/AXPs with low surface magnetic fields B ˜ (1012-1013)G have been detected, challenging the magnetar description. Moreover, some fast and very magnetic white dwarfs (WDs) have also been observed, and at least one showed X-ray energy emission as an ordinary pulsar. Following this fact, an alternative model based on WDs pulsars has been proposed to explain this special class of pulsars. In this model, AXPs and SGRs as dense and magnetized WDs can have surface magnetic field B ˜ 107-1010 G and rotate very fast with frequencies Ω ˜ 1rad/s, consistent with the observed rotation periods P ˜ (2-12)s.

  12. On interstellar accretion and the rejuvenation of white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Truran, J. W.; Wyatt, S. P.; Starrfield, S. G.; Strittmatter, P. A.; Sparks, W. M.

    1977-01-01

    The paper investigates physical conditions which can give rise to thermonuclear runaways in the hydrogen envelopes of low-luminosity white dwarfs. Specifically, calculations are performed for white dwarfs of 0.5, 0.75, 1, and 1.25 solar masses with envelope masses in the range from 0.00001 to 0.001 solar mass and initial luminosities of 0.00001 to 0.01 times the solar value. It is found that envelope masses as low as 0.0001 solar mass are sufficient to initiate thermonuclear runaways on more massive white dwarfs with luminosities as low as about 0.001 the solar value. The runaway time scales under these conditions, typically of the order of a billion years, are comparable to the time scales for cooling of white dwarfs to these low luminosities. Since time-averaged accretion rates as low as a few times 10 to the -14th power solar mass per year are sufficient to reconstitute such envelopes, also on a time scale of several billion years, it is suggested that the association of novalike events with binary systems may not be unique. Accretion of interstellar matter onto isolated white dwarfs may, under some circumstances, be sufficient to rekindle and perhaps rejuvenate the dwarf. Such evolutionary behavior might define a new and distinct class of objects.

  13. SDSS DR7 WHITE DWARF CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Pecanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S.; Koester, D.; Krzesinski, J.; Dufour, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Bergeron, P.; Yip, Ching-Wa; Harris, Hugh C.; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Althaus, L.; Corsico, A.

    2013-01-15

    We present a new catalog of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarf stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 spectroscopic catalog. We find 20,407 white dwarf spectra, representing 19,712 stars, and provide atmospheric model fits to 14,120 DA and 1011 DB white dwarf spectra from 12,843 and 923 stars, respectively. These numbers represent more than a factor of two increase in the total number of white dwarf stars from the previous SDSS white dwarf catalogs based on DR4 data. Our distribution of subtypes varies from previous catalogs due to our more conservative, manual classifications of each star in our catalog, supplementing our automatic fits. In particular, we find a large number of magnetic white dwarf stars whose small Zeeman splittings mimic increased Stark broadening that would otherwise result in an overestimated log g if fit as a non-magnetic white dwarf. We calculate mean DA and DB masses for our clean, non-magnetic sample and find the DB mean mass is statistically larger than that for the DAs.

  14. White dwarfs constraints on dark sector models with light particles

    SciTech Connect

    Ubaldi, Lorenzo

    2014-06-24

    The white dwarf luminosity function is well understood in terms of standard model physics and leaves little room for exotic cooling mechanisms related to the possible existence of new weakly interacting light particles. This puts significant constraints on the parameter space of models that contain a massive dark photon and light dark sector particles.

  15. Simulations of Double White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motl, Patick; Staff, Jan; Marcello, Dominic; Clayton, Geoffrey; Frank, Juhan

    2016-03-01

    We present numerical simulations of double white dwarf mergers initiated by mass transfer instability. In particular, we are interested in the possible connection between such double degenerate mergers and the peculiar irregular variable R Corona Borealis stars. For the merger of a Carbon-Oxygen white dwarf with a Helium white dwarf, the degree to which Carbon from the accreting star is dredged up plays a crucial role in the appearance of the rejuvenated, merged object. We explore the amount of dredge up in the accreting star and its influence in stellar evolution models initialized from the merged object resulting from dynamical evolutions.

  16. Revisiting the luminosity function of single halo white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cojocaru, Ruxandra; Torres, Santiago; Althaus, Leandro G.; Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique

    2015-09-01

    Context. White dwarfs are the fossils left by the evolution of low- and intermediate-mass stars, and have very long evolutionary timescales. This allows us to use them to explore the properties of old populations, like the Galactic halo. Aims: We present a population synthesis study of the luminosity function of halo white dwarfs, aimed at investigating which information can be derived from the currently available observed data. Methods: We employ an up-to-date population synthesis code based on Monte Carlo techniques, which incorporates the most recent and reliable cooling sequences for metal-poor progenitors as well as an accurate modeling of the observational biases. Results: We find that because the observed sample of halo white dwarfs is restricted to the brightest stars, only the hot branch of the white dwarf luminosity function can be used for these purposes, and that its shape function is almost insensitive to the most relevant inputs, such as the adopted cooling sequences, the initial mass function, the density profile of the stellar spheroid, or the adopted fraction of unresolved binaries. Moreover, since the cutoff of the observed luminosity has not yet been determined only the lower limits to the age of the halo population can be placed. Conclusions: We conclude that the current observed sample of the halo white dwarf population is still too small to obtain definite conclusions about the properties of the stellar halo, and the recently computed white dwarf cooling sequences, which incorporate residual hydrogen burning, should be assessed using metal-poor globular clusters.

  17. TIDAL NOVAE IN COMPACT BINARY WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, Jim; Lai Dong

    2012-09-01

    Compact binary white dwarfs (WDs) undergoing orbital decay due to gravitational radiation can experience significant tidal heating prior to merger. In these WDs, the dominant tidal effect involves the excitation of outgoing gravity waves in the inner stellar envelope and the dissipation of these waves in the outer envelope. As the binary orbit decays, the WDs are synchronized from outside in (with the envelope synchronized first, followed by the core). We examine the deposition of tidal heat in the envelope of a carbon-oxygen WD and study how such tidal heating affects the structure and evolution of the WD. We show that significant tidal heating can occur in the star's degenerate hydrogen layer. This layer heats up faster than it cools, triggering runaway nuclear fusion. Such 'tidal novae' may occur in all WD binaries containing a CO WD, at orbital periods between 5 minutes and 20 minutes, and precede the final merger by 10{sup 5}-10{sup 6} years.

  18. THE (DOUBLE) WHITE DWARF BINARY SDSS 1257+5428

    SciTech Connect

    Kulkarni, S. R.; Van Kerkwijk, M. H.

    2010-08-20

    SDSS 1257+5428 is a white dwarf in a close orbit with a companion that has been suggested to be a neutron star. If so, it hosts the closest known neutron star, and its existence implies a great abundance of similar systems and a rate of white dwarf neutron-star mergers similar to that of the type Ia supernova rate. Here, we present high signal-to-noise spectra of SDSS 1257+5428, which confirm an independent finding that the system is in fact composed of two white dwarfs, one relatively cool and with low mass and the other hotter and more massive. With this, the demographics and merger rate are no longer puzzling (various factors combine to lower the latter by more than 2 orders of magnitude). We show that the spectra are fit well with a combination of two hydrogen model atmospheres, as long as the lines of the higher-gravity component are broadened significantly relative to what is expected from just pressure broadening. Interpreting this additional broadening as due to rotation, the inferred spin period is short, about 1 minute. Similarly rapid rotation is only seen in accreting white dwarfs that are magnetic; empirically, it appears that in non-magnetized white dwarfs, accreted angular momentum is lost by nova explosions before it can be transferred to the white dwarf. This suggests that the massive white dwarf in SDSS 1257+5428 is magnetic as well, with B {approx_equal} 10{sup 5} G. Alternatively, the broadening seen in the spectral lines could be due to a stronger magnetic field, of {approx}10{sup 6} G. The two models can be distinguished by further observations.

  19. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

    Thermonuclear supernovae result when interaction with a companion reignites nuclear fusion in a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, causing a thermonuclear runaway, a catastrophic gain in pressure and the disintegration of the whole white dwarf. It is usually thought that fusion is reignited in near-pycnonuclear conditions when the white dwarf approaches the Chandrasekhar mass. I briefly describe two long-standing problems faced by this scenario, and the suggestion that these supernovae instead result from mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar-mass remnants. I then turn to possible observational tests, in particular, those that test the absence or presence of electron captures during the burning. PMID:23630372

  20. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

    The three possible fates of burned-out stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, are described in elementary terms. Characteristics of these celestial bodies, as provided by Einstein's work, are described. (CP)

  1. The origin of low-mass white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Girven, J.; Gomez-Moran, A. Nebot

    2010-11-23

    We present white dwarf mass distributions of a large sample of post common-envelope binaries and wide white dwarf main sequence binaries and demonstrate that these distributions are statistically independent. While the former contains a much larger fraction of low-mass white dwarfs, the latter is similar to single white dwarf mass distributions. Taking into account observational biases we also show that the majority of low-mass white dwarfs are formed in close binaries.

  2. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.

    2005-01-01

    We received Type A and B funding under the NASA Astrophysics Data Program for the analysis and interpretation of hard x-ray data obtained by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and other NASA sponsored missions for Intermediate Polars (IPS) and Polars. For some targets, optical data was available. We reduced and analyzed the X-ray spectra and the X-ray and optical (obtained at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory) timing data using detailed shock models (which we constructed) to place constraints on the properties of the accreting white dwarfs, the high energy emission mechanisms of white dwarfs, and the large-scale accretion flows of Polars and IPS. IPS and Polars are white dwarf mass-transfer binaries, members of the larger class of cata,clysmic variables. They differ from the bulk of the cataclysmic variables in that they contain strongly magnetic white dwarfs; the white dwarfs in Polars have B, = 7 to 230 MG and those in IPS have B, less than 10 MG. The IPS and Polars are both examples of funneled accretion flows in strong magnetic field systems. The IPS are similar to x-ray pulsars in that accretion disks form in the systems which are disrupted by the strong stellar magnetic fields of the white dwarfs near the stellar surface from where the plasma is funneled to the surface of the white dwarf. The localized hot spots formed at the footpoints of the funnels coupled with the rotation of the white dwarf leads to coherent pulsed x-ray emission. The Polars offer an example of a different accretion topology; the magnetic field of the white dwarf controls the accretion flow from near the inner Lagrangian point of the system directly to the stellar surface. Accretion disks do not form. The strong magnetic coupling generally leads to synchronous orbital/rotational motion in the Polars. The physical system in this sense resembles the Io/Jupiter system. In both IPS and Polars, pulsed emission from the infrared to x-rays is produced as the funneled flows merge onto the

  3. WHITE DWARF-RED DWARF SYSTEMS RESOLVED WITH THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE. II. FULL SNAPSHOT SURVEY RESULTS

    SciTech Connect

    Farihi, J.; Hoard, D. W.; Wachter, S.

    2010-10-15

    Results are presented for a Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys high-resolution imaging campaign of 90 white dwarfs with known or suspected low-mass stellar and substellar companions. Of the 72 targets that remain candidate and confirmed white dwarfs with near-infrared excess, 43 are spatially resolved into two or more components, and a total of 12 systems are potentially triples. For 68 systems where a comparison is possible, 50% have significant photometric distance mismatches between their white dwarf and M dwarf components, suggesting that white dwarf parameters derived spectroscopically are often biased due to the cool companion. Interestingly, 9 of the 30 binaries known to have emission lines are found to be visual pairs and hence widely separated, indicating an intrinsically active cool star and not irradiation from the white dwarf. There is a possible, slight deficit of earlier spectral types (bluer colors) among the spatially unresolved companions, exactly the opposite of expectations if significant mass is transferred to the companion during the common envelope phase. Using the best available distance estimates, the low-mass companions to white dwarfs exhibit a bimodal distribution in projected separation. This result supports the hypothesis that during the giant phases of the white dwarf progenitor, any unevolved companions either migrate inward to short periods of hours to days, or outward to periods of hundreds to thousands of years. No intermediate projected separations of a few to several AU are found among these pairs. However, a few double M dwarfs (within triples) are spatially resolved in this range, empirically demonstrating that such separations were readily detectable among the binaries with white dwarfs. A straightforward and testable prediction emerges: all spatially unresolved, low-mass stellar and substellar companions to white dwarfs should be in short-period orbits. This result has implications for substellar companion and

  4. New white dwarf and subdwarf stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, I.; Koester, D.; Ourique, G.; Romero, A. D.; Reindl, N.; Kleinman, S. J.; Eisenstein, D. J.; Valois, A. D. M.; Amaral, L. A.

    2016-02-01

    We report the discovery of 6576 new spectroscopically confirmed white dwarf and subdwarf stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12. We obtain Teff, log g and mass for hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) and helium atmosphere white dwarf stars (DBs), estimate the calcium/helium abundances for the white dwarf stars with metallic lines (DZs) and carbon/helium for carbon-dominated spectra (DQs). We found one central star of a planetary nebula, one ultracompact helium binary (AM CVn), one oxygen line-dominated white dwarf, 15 hot DO/PG1159s, 12 new cataclysmic variables, 36 magnetic white dwarf stars, 54 DQs, 115 helium-dominated white dwarfs, 148 white dwarf + main-sequence star binaries, 236 metal-polluted white dwarfs, 300 continuum spectra DCs, 230 hot subdwarfs, 2936 new hydrogen-dominated white dwarf stars, and 2675 cool hydrogen-dominated subdwarf stars. We calculate the mass distribution of all 5883 DAs with S/N ≥ 15 in DR12, including the ones in DR7 and DR10, with an average S/N = 26, corrected to the 3D convection scale, and also the distribution after correcting for the observed volume, using 1/Vmax.

  5. Origin of the DA and non-DA white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1989-01-01

    Various proposals for the bifurcation of the white dwarf cooling sequence are reviewed. 'Primordial' theories, in which the basic bifurcation of the white dwarf sequence is rooted in events predating the white dwarf stage of stellar evolution, are discussed, along with the competing 'mixing' theories in which processes occurring during the white dwarf stage are responsible for the existence of DA or non-DA stars. A new proposal is suggested, representing a two-channel scenario. In the DA channel, some process reduces the hydrogen layer mass to the value of less than 10 to the -7th. The non-DA channel is similar to that in the primordial scenario. These considerations suggest that some mechanism operates in both channels to reduce the thickness of the outermost layer of the white dwarf. It is also noted that accretion from the interstellar medium has little to do with whether a particular white dwarf becomes a DA or a non-DA star.

  6. THE SPECTRAL EVOLUTION OF CONVECTIVE MIXING WHITE DWARFS, THE NON-DA GAP, AND WHITE DWARF COSMOCHRONOLOGY

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Eugene Y.; Hansen, Brad M. S. E-mail: hansen@astro.ucla.edu

    2012-07-01

    The spectral distribution of field white dwarfs shows a feature called the 'non-DA gap'. As defined by Bergeron et al., this is a temperature range (5100-6100 K) where relatively few non-DA stars are found, even though such stars are abundant on either side of the gap. It is usually viewed as an indication that a significant fraction of white dwarfs switch their atmospheric compositions back and forth between hydrogen-rich and helium-rich as they cool. In this Letter, we present a Monte Carlo model of the Galactic disk white dwarf population, based on the spectral evolution model of Chen and Hansen. We find that the non-DA gap emerges naturally, even though our model only allows white dwarf atmospheres to evolve monotonically from hydrogen-rich to helium-rich through convective mixing. We conclude by discussing the effects of convective mixing on the white dwarf luminosity function and the use thereof for Cosmochronology.

  7. Measuring M Dwarf Winds with DAZ White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debes, John H.

    2006-11-01

    Hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs with metal lines, so-called DAZs, show evidence for ongoing accretion of material onto their surfaces. Some DAZs are known to have unresolved M dwarf companions, which could account for the observed accretion through a stellar wind. I combine observed Ca abundances of the DAZs with information on the orbital separation of their M dwarf companions to infer the mass-loss rate of the M dwarfs. I find that for three of the six known DAZs with M dwarf companions, a stellar wind can plausibly explain the observed accretion on the white dwarfs assuming Bondi-Hoyle accretion of solar abundance stellar winds on the order of 10-14 to 10-16 Msolar yr-1. The rest of the sample have companions with orbits >~1 AU and require companion mass-loss rates of >10-11 Msolar yr-1. I conclude that there must be an alternative explanation for accretion of material onto DAZs with widely separated companions. The inferred winds for two of the close binaries are orders of magnitude smaller than typically assumed for the angular momentum loss of red dwarf-white dwarf pairs due to magnetic braking from a stellar wind and may seriously affect predictions for the formation rate of CVs with low-mass companions. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations are associated with program 10255.

  8. THE INITIAL-FINAL MASS RELATION AMONG WHITE DWARFS IN WIDE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, J. K.; Oswalt, T. D.; Willson, L. A.; Wang, Q.; Zhao, G. E-mail: toswalt@fit.edu E-mail: lwillson@iastate.edu

    2012-02-20

    We present the initial-final mass relation derived from 10 white dwarfs in wide binaries that consist of a main-sequence star and a white dwarf. The temperature and gravity of each white dwarf were measured by fitting theoretical model atmospheres to the observed spectrum using a {chi}{sup 2} fitting algorithm. The cooling time and mass were obtained using theoretical cooling tracks. The total age of each binary was estimated from the chromospheric activity of its main-sequence component to an uncertainty of about 0.17 dex in log t. The difference between the total age and white dwarf cooling time is taken as the main-sequence lifetime of each white dwarf. The initial mass of each white dwarf was then determined using stellar evolution tracks with a corresponding metallicity derived from spectra of their main-sequence companions, thus yielding the initial-final mass relation. Most of the initial masses of the white dwarf components are between 1 and 2 M{sub Sun }. Our results suggest a correlation between the metallicity of a white dwarf's progenitor and the amount of post-main-sequence mass loss it experiences-at least among progenitors with masses in the range of 1-2 M{sub Sun }. A comparison of our observations to theoretical models suggests that low-mass stars preferentially lose mass on the red giant branch.

  9. New Halo White Dwarf Candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dame, Kyra; Gianninas, A.; Kilic, Mukremin; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Brown, Warren R.; Williams, Kurtis A.; von Hippel, Ted; Harris, Hugh C.

    2016-08-01

    We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 57 faint (g = 19 - 22) high proper motion white dwarfs identified through repeat imaging of ≈3100 square degrees of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey footprint by Munn et al. (2014). We use ugriz and JH photometry to perform a model atmosphere analysis, and identify ten ultracool white dwarfs with Teff < 4000 K, including the coolest pure H atmosphere white dwarf currently known, J1657+2638, with Teff = 3550 ± 100K. The majority of the objects with cooling ages larger than 9 Gyr display thick disc kinematics and constrain the age of the thick disc to ≥11 Gyr. There are four white dwarfs in our sample with large tangential velocities (vtan > 120 km s-1) and UVW velocities that are more consistent with the halo than the Galactic disc. For typical 0.6M⊙ white dwarfs, the cooling ages for these halo candidates range from 2.3 to 8.5 Gyr. However, the total main-sequence + white dwarf cooling ages of these stars would be consistent with the Galactic halo if they are slightly undermassive. Given the magnitude limits of the current large scale surveys, many of the coolest and oldest white dwarfs remain undiscovered in the solar neighborhood, but upcoming surveys such as GAIA and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) should find many of these elusive thick disc and halo white dwarfs.

  10. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.; Bodenheimer, Peter; Black, David C.

    1990-01-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties.

  11. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Stringfellow, G.S.; Bodenheimer, P.; Black, D.C. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX )

    1990-02-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties. 37 refs.

  12. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Dufour, P; Liebert, J; Fontaine, G; Behara, N

    2007-11-22

    White dwarfs represent the endpoint of stellar evolution for stars with initial masses between approximately 0.07 and 8-10, where is the mass of the Sun (more massive stars end their life as either black holes or neutron stars). The theory of stellar evolution predicts that the majority of white dwarfs have a core made of carbon and oxygen, which itself is surrounded by a helium layer and, for approximately 80 per cent of known white dwarfs, by an additional hydrogen layer. All white dwarfs therefore have been traditionally found to belong to one of two categories: those with a hydrogen-rich atmosphere (the DA spectral type) and those with a helium-rich atmosphere (the non-DAs). Here we report the discovery of several white dwarfs with atmospheres primarily composed of carbon, with little or no trace of hydrogen or helium. Our analysis shows that the atmospheric parameters found for these stars do not fit satisfactorily in any of the currently known theories of post-asymptotic giant branch evolution, although these objects might be the cooler counterpart of the unique and extensively studied PG 1159 star H1504+65 (refs 4-7). These stars, together with H1504+65, might accordingly form a new evolutionary sequence that follows the asymptotic giant branch. PMID:18033290

  13. Gravitational Interactions of White Dwarf Double Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKeough, James; Robinson, Chloe; Ortiz, Bridget; Hira, Ajit

    2016-03-01

    In the light of the possible role of White Dwarf stars as progenitors of Type Ia supernovas, we present computational simulations of some astrophysical phenomena associated with a study of gravitationally-bound binary stars, composed of at least one white dwarf star. Of particular interest to astrophysicists are the conditions inside a white dwarf star in the time frame leading up to its explosive end as a Type Ia supernova, for an understanding of the massive stellar explosions. In addition, the studies of the evolution of white dwarfs could serve as promising probes of theories of gravitation. We developed FORTRAN computer programs to implement our models for white dwarfs and other stars. These codes allow for different sizes and masses of stars. Simulations were done in the mass interval from 0.1 to 2.5 solar masses. Our goal was to obtain both atmospheric and orbital parameters. The computational results thus obtained are compared with relevant observational data. The data are further analyzed to identify trends in terms of sizes and masses of stars. We will extend our computational studies to blue giant and red giant stars in the future. Funding from National Science Foundation.

  14. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koester, D.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Farihi, J.

    2014-06-01

    Context. Heavy metals in the atmospheres of white dwarfs are thought in many cases to be accreted from a circumstellar debris disk, which was formed by the tidal disruption of a rocky planetary body within the Roche radius of the star. The abundance analysis of photospheric elements and conclusions about the chemical composition of the accreted matter are a new and promising method of studying the composition of extrasolar planetary systems. However, ground-based searches for metal-polluted white dwarfs that rely primarily on the detection of the Ca ii K line become insensitive at Teff > 15 000 K because this ionization state depopulates. Aims: We present the results of the first unbiased survey for metal pollution among hydrogen-atmosphere (DA type) white dwarfs with cooling ages in the range 20-200 Myr and 17 000 K white dwarfs studied, or 56% show traces of heavy elements. In 25 stars (showing only Si and occasionally C), the elements can be explained by radiative levitation alone, although we argue that accretion has very likely occurred recently. The remaining 23 white dwarfs (27%), however, must be currently accreting. Together with previous studies from the ground and adopting bulk Earth abundances for the debris, accretion rates range from a few 105 g s-1 to a few 108 g s-1, with no evident trend in cooling age from ≈40 Myr to ≈2 Gyr. Only a single, modest case of metal pollution (Ṁ < 106 g s-1) is found among ten white dwarfs with Teff > 23 000 K, in excellent agreement

  15. Properties of an eclipsing double white dwarf binary NLTT 11748

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, David L.; Walker, Arielle N.; Marsh, Thomas R.; Bours, Madelon C. P.; Breedt, Elmé; Bildsten, Lars; Copperwheat, Chris M.; Dhillon, Vik S.; Littlefair, Stuart P.; Howell, Steve B.; Shporer, Avi; Steinfadt, Justin D. R.

    2014-01-10

    We present high-quality ULTRACAM photometry of the eclipsing detached double white dwarf binary NLTT 11748. This system consists of a carbon/oxygen white dwarf and an extremely low mass (<0.2 M {sub ☉}) helium-core white dwarf in a 5.6 hr orbit. To date, such extremely low-mass white dwarfs, which can have thin, stably burning outer layers, have been modeled via poorly constrained atmosphere and cooling calculations where uncertainties in the detailed structure can strongly influence the eventual fates of these systems when mass transfer begins. With precise (individual precision ≈1%), high-cadence (≈2 s), multicolor photometry of multiple primary and secondary eclipses spanning >1.5 yr, we constrain the masses and radii of both objects in the NLTT 11748 system to a statistical uncertainty of a few percent. However, we find that overall uncertainty in the thickness of the envelope of the secondary carbon/oxygen white dwarf leads to a larger (≈13%) systematic uncertainty in the primary He WD's mass. Over the full range of possible envelope thicknesses, we find that our primary mass (0.136-0.162 M {sub ☉}) and surface gravity (log (g) = 6.32-6.38; radii are 0.0423-0.0433 R {sub ☉}) constraints do not agree with previous spectroscopic determinations. We use precise eclipse timing to detect the Rømer delay at 7σ significance, providing an additional weak constraint on the masses and limiting the eccentricity to ecos ω = (– 4 ± 5) × 10{sup –5}. Finally, we use multicolor data to constrain the secondary's effective temperature (7600 ± 120 K) and cooling age (1.6-1.7 Gyr).

  16. The age-metallicity dependence for white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, A. D.; Campos, F.; Kepler, S. O.

    2015-07-01

    We present a theoretical study on the metallicity dependence of the initial-to-final mass relation and its influence on white dwarf age determinations. We compute a grid of evolutionary sequences from the main sequence to ˜3000 K on the white dwarf cooling curve, passing through all intermediate stages. During the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch no third dredge-up episodes are considered and thus the photospheric C/O ratio is below unity for sequences with metallicities larger than Z = 0.0001. We consider initial metallicities from Z = 0.0001 to 0.04, accounting for stellar populations in the galactic disc and halo, with initial masses below ˜3 M⊙. We found a clear dependence of the shape of the initial-to-final mass relation with the progenitor metallicity, where metal-rich progenitors result in less massive white dwarf remnants, due to an enhancement of the mass-loss rates associated with high metallicity values. By comparing our theoretical computations with semi-empirical data from globular and old open clusters, we found that the observed intrinsic mass spread can be accounted for by a set of initial-to-final mass relations characterized by different metallicity values. Also, we confirm that the lifetime spent before the white dwarf stage increases with metallicity. Finally, we estimate the mean mass at the top of the white dwarf cooling curve for three globular clusters NGC 6397, M4 and 47 Tuc, around 0.53 M⊙, characteristic of old stellar populations. However, we found different values for the progenitor mass, lower for the metal-poor cluster, NGC 6397, and larger for the younger and metal-rich cluster 47 Tuc, as expected from the metallicity dependence of the initial-to-final mass relation.

  17. Be stars with white dwarf companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orio, Marina; Luna, Gerardo; Zemko, Polina; Kotulla, Ralf; Gallagher, Jay; Harbeck, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    A handful of supersoft X-ray sources in the Magellanic Clouds that could not be identified with transient nova outbursts turned out to be mainly massive close binaries. Recently, we have clearly identified a Be binary in M31, and are currently collecting data for another candidate in that galaxy. Work is in progress to assess whether the compact object companion really is a hydrogen burning white dwarf (the alternative being a massive stellar-mass black hole). If we can prove that Be+white dwarf interacting close binaries are common, and that hydrogen is often ignited on the white dwarf in these systems, we have discovered a new promising channel towards the explosion of supernovae of type Ia in star forming regions, without invoking double degenerate systems

  18. Recombination energy in double white dwarf formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandez, J. L. A.; Ivanova, N.; Lombardi, J. C.

    2015-06-01

    In this Letter, we investigate the role of recombination energy during a common envelope event. We confirm that taking this energy into account helps to avoid the formation of the circumbinary envelope commonly found in previous studies. For the first time, we can model a complete common envelope event, with a clean compact double white dwarf binary system formed at the end. The resulting binary orbit is almost perfectly circular. In addition to considering recombination energy, we also show that between 1/4 and 1/2 of the released orbital energy is taken away by the ejected material. We apply this new method to the case of the double white dwarf system WD 1101+364, and we find that the progenitor system at the start of the common envelope event consisted of an ˜1.5 M⊙ red giant star in an ˜30 d orbit with a white dwarf companion.

  19. White dwarfs, the Galaxy and Dirac's cosmology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R.

    1976-01-01

    The additive and multiplicative versions of Dirac's cosmological hypothesis relating the gravitational constant variation with elapsed time and number of particles populating the universe is invoked to account for the deficiency or absence of white dwarfs fainter than about 0.0001 solar luminosity. An estimate is made of white dwarf luminosity in accordance with the two evolutionary models, and it is conjectured that some old white dwarfs with high space velocities may be on the verge of gravitational collapse. Lack of a special mechanism to produce the vast numbers of black holes or other dead stars accounting for 'missing matter' in the vicinity of the sun and in the galactic halo is noted in Dirac's multiplicative model. Results indicate that either Dirac's theory is untenable, or that radiation and heating are of some unknown nature, or that the process of creation of new matter requires a corresponding input of energy.

  20. White dwarfs and the age of the Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, J.; García--Berro, E.

    2004-09-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low and intermediate mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for ˜ 10 Gyr and allows to obtain information about the age of the Galaxy as well as about the past stellar formation rate in the solar neighborhood. One of the most important applications is to pose a severe constrain to the age of the Universe. For this reason it is important to identify all the relevant sources of energy as well as the mechanisms that control its flow to the space. In this paper we describe the state of the art of the white dwarf cooling theory and we discuss the uncertainties still remaining.

  1. THE LINK BETWEEN PLANETARY SYSTEMS, DUSTY WHITE DWARFS, AND METAL-POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Debes, John H.; Walsh, Kevin J.; Stark, Christopher

    2012-03-10

    It has long been suspected that metal-polluted white dwarfs (types DAZ, DBZ, and DZ) and white dwarfs with dusty disks possess planetary systems, but a specific physical mechanism by which planetesimals are perturbed close to a white dwarf has not yet been fully posited. In this paper, we demonstrate that mass loss from a central star during post-main-sequence evolution can sweep planetesimals into interior mean motion resonances with a single giant planet. These planetesimals are slowly removed through chaotic excursions of eccentricity that in time create radial orbits capable of tidally disrupting the planetesimal. Numerical N-body simulations of the solar system show that a sufficient number of planetesimals are perturbed to explain white dwarfs with both dust and metal pollution, provided other white dwarfs have more massive relic asteroid belts. Our scenario requires only one Jupiter-sized planet and a sufficient number of asteroids near its 2:1 interior mean motion resonance. Finally, we show that once a planetesimal is perturbed into a tidal crossing orbit, it will become disrupted after the first pass of the white dwarf, where a highly eccentric stream of debris forms the main reservoir for dust-producing collisions. These simulations, in concert with observations of white dwarfs, place interesting limits on the frequency of planetary systems around main-sequence stars, the frequency of planetesimal belts, and the probability that dust may obscure future terrestrial planet finding missions.

  2. Mystery of a Dimming White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    In the wake of the recent media attention over an enigmatic, dimming star, another intriguing object has been discovered: J1529+2928, a white dwarf that periodically dims. This mystery, however, may have a simple solution with interesting consequences for future surveys of white dwarfs.Unexpected VariabilityJ1529+2928 is an isolated white dwarf that appears to have a mass of slightly more than the Sun. But rather than radiating steadily, J1529+2928 dims once every 38 minutes almost as though it were being eclipsed.The team that discovered these variations, led by Mukremin Kilic (University of Oklahoma), used telescopes at the Apache Point Observatory and the McDonald Observatory to obtain follow-up photometric data of J1529+2928 spread across 66 days. The team also took spectra of the white dwarf with the Gemini North telescope.Kilic and collaborators then began, one by one, to rule out possible causes of this objects variability.Eliminating OptionsThe period of the variability is too long for J1529+2928 to be a pulsating white dwarf with luminosity variation caused by gravity-wave pulsations.The variability cant be due to an eclipse by a stellar or brown-dwarf companion, because there isnt any variation in J1529+2928s radial velocity.Its not due to the orbit of a solid-body planetary object; such a transit would be too short to explain observations.It cant be due to the orbit of a disintegrated planet; this wouldnt explain the light curves observed in different filters plus the light curve doesnt change over the 66-day span.Spotty SurfaceTop and middle two panels: light curves from three different nights observing J1529+2928s periodic dimming. Bottom panel: The Fourier transform shows a peak at 37.7 cycles/day (and another, smaller peak at its first harmonic). [Kilic et al. 2015]So what explanation is left? The authors suggest that J1529+2928s variability is likely caused by a starspot on the white dwarfs surface that rotates into and out of our view. Estimates

  3. White dwarf stars with chemically stratified atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muchmore, D.

    1982-01-01

    Recent observations and theory suggest that some white dwarfs may have chemically stratified atmospheres - thin layers of hydrogen lying above helium-rich envelopes. Models of such atmospheres show that a discontinuous temperature inversion can occur at the boundary between the layers. Model spectra for layered atmospheres at 30,000 K and 50,000 K tend to have smaller decrements at 912 A, 504 A, and 228 A than uniform atmospheres would have. On the basis of their continuous extreme ultraviolet spectra, it is possible to distinguish observationally between uniform and layered atmospheres for hot white dwarfs.

  4. FIRST DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT BARIUM DWARFS HAVE WHITE DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, R. O.; McGahee, C. E.; Griffin, R. E. M.; Corbally, C. J. E-mail: cmcgahe@g.clemson.edu E-mail: corbally@as.arizona.edu

    2011-05-15

    Barium II (Ba) stars are chemically peculiar F-, G-, and K-type objects that show enhanced abundances of s-process elements. Since s-process nucleosynthesis is unlikely to take place in stars prior to the advanced asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stage, the prevailing hypothesis is that each present Ba star was contaminated by an AGB companion which is now a white dwarf (WD). Unless the initial mass ratio of such a binary was fairly close to unity, the receiving star is thus at least as likely to be a dwarf as a giant. So although most known Ba stars appear to be giants, the hypothesis requires that Ba dwarfs be comparably plentiful and moreover that they should all have WD companions. However, despite dedicated searches with the IUE satellite, no WD companions have been directly detected to date among the classical Ba dwarfs, even though some 90% of those stars are spectroscopic binaries, so the contamination hypothesis is therefore presently in some jeopardy. In this paper, we analyze recent deep, near-UV and far-UV Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) exposures of four of the brightest of the class (HD 2454, 15360, 26367, and 221531), together with archived GALEX data for two newly recognized Ba dwarfs: HD 34654 and HD 114520 (which also prove to be spectroscopic binaries). The GALEX observations of the Ba dwarfs as a group show a significant far-UV excess compared to a control sample of normal F-type dwarfs. We suggest that this ensemble far-UV excess constitutes the first direct evidence that Ba dwarfs have WD companions.

  5. Search for carbon stars and DZ white dwarfs in SDSS spectra survey through machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Si, JianMin; Luo, ALi; Li, YinBi; Zhang, JianNan; Wei, Peng; Wu, YiHong; Wu, FuChao; Zhao, YongHeng

    2014-01-01

    Carbon stars and DZ white dwarfs are two types of rare objects in the Galaxy. In this paper, we have applied the label propagation algorithm to search for these two types of stars from Data Release Eight (DR8) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which is verified to be efficient by calculating precision and recall. From nearly two million spectra including stars, galaxies and QSOs, we have found 260 new carbon stars in which 96 stars have been identified as dwarfs and 7 identified as giants, and 11 composition spectrum systems (each of them consists of a white dwarf and a carbon star). Similarly, using the label propagation method, we have obtained 29 new DZ white dwarfs from SDSS DR8. Compared with PCA reconstructed spectra, the 29 findings are typical DZ white dwarfs. We have also investigated their proper motions by comparing them with proper motion distribution of 9,374 white dwarfs, and found that they satisfy the current observed white dwarfs by SDSS generally have large proper motions. In addition, we have estimated their effective temperatures by fitting the polynomial relationship between effective temperature and g-r color of known DZ white dwarfs, and found 12 of the 29 new DZ white dwarfs are cool, in which nine are between 6,000 K and 6,600 K, and three are below 6,000 K.

  6. The White Dwarf Binary Pathways Survey I: A sample of FGK stars with white dwarf companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, S. G.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Zorotovic, M.; Ren, J. J.

    2016-08-01

    The number of spatially unresolved white dwarf plus main-sequence star binaries has increased rapidly in the last decade, jumping from only ˜30 in 2003 to over 3000. However, in the majority of known systems the companion to the white dwarf is a low mass M dwarf, since these are relatively easy to identify from optical colours and spectra. White dwarfs with more massive FGK type companions have remained elusive due to the large difference in optical brightness between the two stars. In this paper we identify 934 main-sequence FGK stars from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) survey in the southern hemisphere and the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey in the northern hemisphere, that show excess flux at ultraviolet wavelengths which we interpret as the likely presence of a white dwarf companion. We obtained Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectra for nine systems which confirmed that the excess is indeed caused, in all cases, by a hot compact companion, eight being white dwarfs and one a hot subdwarf or pre-helium white dwarf, demonstrating that this sample is very clean. We also address the potential of this sample to test binary evolution models and type Ia supernovae formation channels.

  7. A Second Case of Outbursts in a Pulsating White Dwarf Observed by Kepler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Bell, Keaton J.; Chote, P.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Kawaler, Steven D.; Clemens, J. C.; Dunlap, Bart H.; Winget, D. E.; Armstrong, D. J.

    2015-09-01

    We present observations of a new phenomenon in pulsating white dwarf stars: large-amplitude outbursts at timescales much longer than the pulsation periods. The cool ({T}{eff} = 11,060 K), hydrogen-atmosphere pulsating white dwarf PG 1149+057 was observed nearly continuously for more than 78.8 day by the extended Kepler mission in K2 Campaign 1. The target showed 10 outburst events, recurring roughly every 8 day and lasting roughly 15 hr, with maximum flux excursions up to 45% in the Kepler bandpass. We demonstrate that the outbursts affect the pulsations and therefore must come from the white dwarf. Additionally, we argue that these events are not magnetic reconnection flares, and are most likely connected to the stellar pulsations and the relatively deep surface convection zone. PG 1149+057 is now the second cool pulsating white dwarf to show this outburst phenomenon, after the first variable white dwarf observed in the Kepler mission, KIC 4552982. Both stars have the same effective temperature, within the uncertainties, and are among the coolest known pulsating white dwarfs of typical mass. These outbursts provide fresh observational insight into the red edge of the DAV instability strip and the eventual cessation of pulsations in cool white dwarfs.

  8. UV observations of the cool DBQA5 white dwarf LDS 678A - Limits on the atmospheric composition, pressure shift, and gravitational redshift derived from C I 2479

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oswalt, Terry D.; Sion, Edward M.; Hammond, Gordon; Vauclair, Gerard; Liebert, James W.

    1991-01-01

    A high-resolution ultraviolet spectrum of the helium-rich degenerate LDS 678A, obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, is presented. LDS 678A is the coolest metallic line degenerate (DQ or DZ) yet observed with the IUE echelle. These observations provide a detailed line profile of the strong C I 2479 absorption line and equivalent width W2479 = 2.35 + or - 0.06 A from which theoretical profile fits yield a carbon abundance of log C/He = (-6.7 + or- 0.2). The presence of carbon in a He-rich atmosphere lends credence to the notion that LDS 678A is a transitional case between the DB white dwarfs with nearly pure helium atmospheres and the helium-rich DQ white dwarfs which exhibit carbon bands. Corrected for an inferred pressure shift Vp = + 38 + or - 4 km/s for the C I 2479 line, a gravitational redshift of Vrs = + 26 + or - 13 km/s is deduced from which a most probable mass of 0.55 solar mass is derived.

  9. UV observations of the cool DBQA5 white dwarf LDS 678A - Limits on the atmospheric composition, pressure shift, and gravitational redshift derived from C I 2479

    SciTech Connect

    Oswalt, T.D.; Sion, E.M.; Hammond, G.; Vauclair, G.; Liebert, J.W. Villanova Univ., PA South Florida Univ., Tampa Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ )

    1991-02-01

    A high-resolution ultraviolet spectrum of the helium-rich degenerate LDS 678A, obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, is presented. LDS 678A is the coolest metallic line degenerate (DQ or DZ) yet observed with the IUE echelle. These observations provide a detailed line profile of the strong C I 2479 absorption line and equivalent width W2479 = 2.35 + or - 0.06 A from which theoretical profile fits yield a carbon abundance of log C/He = (-6.7 + or- 0.2). The presence of carbon in a He-rich atmosphere lends credence to the notion that LDS 678A is a transitional case between the DB white dwarfs with nearly pure helium atmospheres and the helium-rich DQ white dwarfs which exhibit carbon bands. Corrected for an inferred pressure shift Vp = + 38 + or - 4 km/s for the C I 2479 line, a gravitational redshift of Vrs = + 26 + or - 13 km/s is deduced from which a most probable mass of 0.55 solar mass is derived. 27 refs.

  10. TIDAL INTERACTIONS IN MERGING WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2011-10-20

    The recently discovered system J0651 is the tightest known detached white dwarf (WD) binary. Since it has not yet initiated Roche-lobe overflow, it provides a relatively clean environment for testing our understanding of tidal interactions. I investigate the tidal heating of each WD, parameterized in terms of its tidal Q parameter. Assuming that the heating can be radiated efficiently, the current luminosities are consistent with Q {sub 1} {approx} 7 x 10{sup 10} and Q {sub 2} {approx} 2 x 10{sup 7}, for the He and C/O WDs, respectively. Conversely, if the observed luminosities are merely from the cooling of the WDs, these estimated values of Q represent the upper limits. A large Q {sub 1} for the He WD means its spin velocity will be slower than that expected if it was tidally locked, which, since the binary is eclipsing, may be measurable via the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. After one year, gravitational wave emission shifts the time of eclipses by 5.5 s, but tidal interactions cause the orbit to shrink more rapidly, changing the time by up to an additional 0.3 s after a year. Future eclipse timing measurements may therefore infer the degree of tidal locking.

  11. The binary white dwarf LHS 3236

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, Hugh C.; Dahn, Conard C.; Canzian, Blaise; Guetter, Harry H.; Levine, Stephen E.; Luginbuhl, Christian B.; Monet, Alice K. B.; Stone, Ronald C.; Subasavage, John P.; Tilleman, Trudy; Walker, Richard L.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Liu, Michael C.; Hartkopf, William I.; Ireland, Michael J.; Leggett, S. K.

    2013-12-10

    The white dwarf LHS 3236 (WD1639+153) is shown to be a double-degenerate binary, with each component having a high mass. Astrometry at the U.S. Naval Observatory gives a parallax and distance of 30.86 ± 0.25 pc and a tangential velocity of 98 km s{sup –1}, and reveals binary orbital motion. The orbital parameters are determined from astrometry of the photocenter over more than three orbits of the 4.0 yr period. High-resolution imaging at the Keck Observatory resolves the pair with a separation of 31 and 124 mas at two epochs. Optical and near-IR photometry give a set of possible binary components. Consistency of all data indicates that the binary is a pair of DA stars with temperatures near 8000 and 7400 K and with masses of 0.93 and 0.91 M {sub ☉}; also possible is a DA primary and a helium DC secondary with temperatures near 8800 and 6000 K and with masses of 0.98 and 0.69 M {sub ☉}. In either case, the cooling ages of the stars are ∼3 Gyr and the total ages are <4 Gyr. The combined mass of the binary (1.66-1.84 M {sub ☉}) is well above the Chandrasekhar limit; however, the timescale for coalescence is long.

  12. Magnetically powered outbursts from white dwarf mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2014-02-01

    Merger of a white dwarf binary creates a differentially rotating object which is expected to generate strong magnetic fields. Kinetic energy stored in differential rotation is partially dissipated in the magnetically dominated corona, which forms a hot variable outflow with ejection velocity comparable to 109 cm s-1. The outflow should carry significant mass and energy for hours to days, creating an expanding fireball with the following features. (i) The fireball is initially opaque and its internal energy is dominated by the trapped thermal radiation. The stored heat is partially converted to kinetic energy of the flow (through adiabatic cooling) and partially radiated away. (ii) Internal shocks develop in the fireball and increase its radiative output. (iii) A significant fraction of the emitted energy is in the optical band. As a result, a bright optical transient with luminosity L ˜ 1041-1042 erg s-1 and a characteristic peak duration comparable to 1 d may be expected from the merger. In contrast to classical novae or supernovae, the transient does not involve nuclear energy. The decay after its peak reflects the damping of differential rotation in the merger remnant. Such outbursts may be detected in the local Universe with current and upcoming optical surveys.

  13. Theoretical Study of White Dwarf Double Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hira, Ajit; Koetter, Ted; Rivera, Ruben; Diaz, Juan

    2015-04-01

    We continue our interest in the computational simulation of the astrophysical phenomena with a study of gravitationally-bound binary stars, composed of at least one white dwarf star. Of particular interest to astrophysicists are the conditions inside a white dwarf star in the time frame leading up to its explosive end as a Type Ia supernova, for an understanding of the massive stellar explosions. In addition, the studies of the evolution of white dwarfs could serve as promising probes of theories of gravitation. We developed FORTRAN computer programs to implement our models for white dwarfs and other stars. These codes allow for different sizes and masses of stars. Simulations were done in the mass interval from 0.1 to 2.0 solar masses. Our goal was to obtain both atmospheric and orbital parameters. The computational results thus obtained are compared with relevant observational data. The data are further analyzed to identify trends in terms of sizes and masses of stars. We hope to extend our computational studies to blue giant stars in the future. Research Supported by National Science Foundation.

  14. A Comparative Study of the Mass Distribution of Extreme-Ultraviolet-selected White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Napiwotzki, R.; Green, Paul J.; Saffer, Rex A.

    1999-05-01

    We present new determinations of effective temperature, surface gravity, and masses for a sample of 46 hot DA white dwarfs selected from the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) and ROSAT Wide Field Camera bright source lists in the course of a near-infrared survey for low-mass companions. Our analysis, based on hydrogen non-LTE model atmospheres, provides a map of LTE correction vectors, which allow a thorough comparison with previous LTE studies. We find that previous studies underestimate both the systematic errors and the observational scatter in the determination of white dwarf parameters obtained via fits to model atmospheres. The structure of very hot or low-mass white dwarfs depends sensitively on their history. To compute white dwarf masses, we thus use theoretical mass-radius relations that take into account the complete evolution from the main sequence. We find a peak mass of our white dwarf sample of 0.59 Msolar, in agreement with the results of previous analyses. However, we do not confirm a trend of peak mass with temperature reported in two previous analyses. Analogous to other EUV-selected samples, we note a lack of low-mass white dwarfs and a large fraction of massive white dwarfs. Only one white dwarf is likely to have a helium core. While the lack of helium white dwarfs in our sample can be easily understood from their high cooling rate, and therefore low detection probability in our temperature range, this is not enough to explain the large fraction of massive white dwarfs. This feature very likely results from a decreased relative sample volume for low-mass white dwarfs caused by interstellar absorption in EUV-selected samples. Spectral observations reported here were obtained with the Multiple Mirror Telescope, a joint facility of the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution, and with the Bok telescope at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona.

  15. Disintegrating Planetary Bodies Around a White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-02-01

    Several months ago, the discovery of WD 1145+017 was announced. This white dwarf appears to be orbited by planetary bodies that are actively disintegrating due to the strong gravitational pull of their host. A follow-up study now reveals that this system has dramatically evolved since its discovery.Signs of DisruptionPotential planetary bodies orbiting a white dwarf would be exposed to a particular risk: if their orbits were perturbed and they passed inside the white dwarfs tidal radius, they would be torn apart. Their material could then form a debris disk around the white dwarf and eventually be accreted.Interestingly, we have two pieces of evidence that this actually happens:Weve observed warm, dusty debris disks around ~4% of white dwarfs, andThe atmospheres of ~25-50% of white dwarfs are polluted by heavy elements that have likely accreted recently.But in spite of this indirect evidence of planet disintegration, wed never observed planetary bodies actively being disrupted around white dwarfs until recently.Unusual TransitsIn April 2015, observations by Keplers K2 mission revealed a strange transit signal around WD 1145+017, a white dwarf 570 light-years from Earth that has both a dusty debris disk and a polluted atmosphere. This signal was interpreted as the transit of at least one, and possibly several, disintegrating planetesimals.In a recent follow-up, a team of scientists led by Boris Gnsicke (University of Warwick) obtained high-speed photometry of WD 1145+017 using the ULTRASPEC camera on the 2.4m Thai National Telescope. These observations were taken in November and December of 2015 roughly seven months after the initial photometric observations of the system. They reveal that dramatic changes have occurred in this short time.Rapid EvolutionA sample light curve from TNT/ULTRASPEC, obtained in December 2015 over 3.9 hours. Many varied transits are evident (click for a better view!). Transits labeled in color appear across multiple nights. [Gnsicke et al

  16. Chandra Observations of Magnetic White Dwarfs and their Theoretical Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Z. E.; Noble, M.; Porter, J. G.; Winget, D. E.

    2003-01-01

    Observations of cool DA and DB white dwarfs have not yet been successful in detecting coronal X-ray emission, but observations of late-type dwarfs and giants show that coronae are common for these stars. To produce coronal X-rays, a star must have dynamo-generated surface magnetic fields and a well-developed convection zone. There is some observational evidence that the DA star LHS 1038 and the DB star GD 358 have weak and variable surface magnetic fields. It has been suggested that such fields can be generated by dynamo action, and since both stars have well-developed convection zones, theory predicts detectable levels of coronal X-rays from these white dwarfs. However, we present analysis of Chandra observations of both stars showing no detectable X-ray emission. The derived upper limits for the X-ray fluxes provide strong constraints on theories of formation of coronae around magnetic white dwarfs. Another important implication of our negative Chandra observations is the possibility that the magnetic fields of LHS 1038 and GD 358 are fossil fields.

  17. Radiative Levitation in Hot White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chayer, P.; Fontaine, G.; Wesemael, F.

    1994-12-01

    We present the results of detailed calculations of radiative levitation in hot white dwarfs using the extensive and homogeneous atomic data given in TOPBASE. Radiative accelerations and equilibrium abundances have been computed for C, N, O, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ar, Ca, and Fe on grids of pure hydrogen and pure helium stellar envelope models. The DA model grid has log g = 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, and 8.5, and spans the range of effective temperature 100,000 >= Teff >= 20,000 K in steps of 2,500 K. The DO/DB grid is similar but extends to Teff = 130,000 K. We discuss at some length the input physics used in order to provide a good physical understanding of radiative levitation under white dwarf conditions. We also discuss the depth dependence and the morphology of the reservoirs of levitating elements created by an equilibrium between the radiative acceleration and the local effective gravity in various stellar envelopes. The important role played in the morphology of the reservoirs by dominant ionization states in closed-shell electronic configurations is emphasized. Our central results are presented in the form of figures showing the behavior of the expected photospheric abundance of each element as a function of effective temperature and surface gravity. While only a handful of abundances are available from the few analyses of observations that have been carried out, we are nevertheless able to infer through a detailed comparison that equilibrium radiative levitation theory fails to explain the observed abundance patterns of heavy elements in hot white dwarfs. At least one other mechanism must be competing with radiative levitation and gravitational settling in the atmospheres/envelopes of hot white dwarfs. Finally, we indicate promising avenues for further progress in spectral evolution theory for white dwarfs. This work has been supported by NASA contract NAS5-30180.

  18. Metal Lines in DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D.; Reid, I. N.; Hünsch, M.

    2003-10-01

    We report Keck telescope HIRES echelle observations of DA white dwarfs in a continuation of an extensive search for metals. These spectra are supplemented with new JHK magnitudes that are used to determine improved atmospheric parameters. Of the DA white dwarfs not in binary or common proper motion systems, about 25% show Ca II lines. For these, Ca abundances are determined from comparison with theoretical equivalent widths from model atmosphere calculations; in a few cases we also obtain Mg, Fe, Si, and Al abundances. If Ca is not observed, we generally determine very stringent upper limits. We compare the data to predictions of previously published models involving the accretion/diffusion of interstellar matter and of comets. The derived abundances are not obviously compatible with the predictions of either model, which up to now could only be tested with traces of metals in helium-rich white dwarfs. By modifying certain assumptions in the published interstellar accretion model we are able to match the distribution of the elements in the white dwarf atmospheres, but, even so, tests of other expectations from this scenario are less successful. Because comet accretion appears unlikely to be the primary cause of the DAZ phenomenon, the data suggest that no more than about 20% of F-type main-sequence stars are accompanied by Oort-like comet clouds. This represents the first observational estimate of this fraction. A plausible alternative to the accretion of cometary or interstellar matter is disruption and accretion of asteroidal material, a model first suggested in 1990 to explain excess near-infrared emission from the DAZ G29-38. An asteroidal debris model to account for the general DAZ phenomenon does not presently disagree with the HIRES data, but neither is there any compelling evidence in support of such a model. The HIRES data indicate that in close red dwarf/white dwarf binaries not known to be cataclysmic variables there is, nonetheless, significant mass

  19. Discovery of High Proper-Motion Ancient White Dwarfs: Nearby Massive Compact Halo Objects?

    PubMed

    Ibata; Irwin; Bienaymé; Scholz; Guibert

    2000-03-20

    We present the discovery and spectroscopic identification of two very high proper-motion ancient white dwarf stars, found in a systematic proper-motion survey. Their kinematics and apparent magnitude clearly indicate that they are halo members, while their optical spectra are almost identical to the recently identified cool halo white dwarf WD 0346+246. Canonical stellar halo models predict a white dwarf volume density that is 2 orders of magnitude less than the rho approximately 7x10-4 M middle dot in circle pc-3 inferred from this survey. With the caveat that the sample size is very small, it appears that a significant fraction, approximately 10%, of the local dark matter halo is in the form of very old, cool, white dwarfs. PMID:10702128

  20. HUBBLE PINPOINTS WHITE DWARFS IN GLOBULAR CLUSTER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, dying stars - called white dwarfs - are giving astronomers a fresh reading on one of the biggest questions in astronomy: How old is the universe? The ancient white dwarfs in M4 are about 12 to 13 billion years old. After accounting for the time it took the cluster to form after the big bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates for the universe's age. In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's 0.9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope. The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles pinpoint the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars. Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the oldest stars puts astronomers within arm's reach of the universe's age. M4 is 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 made the observations from January through April 2001. These optical observations were combined to

  1. The Hunt for Nearby White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subasavage, John P., Jr.; Bergeron, P.; Henry, T. J.; Dufour, P.; Hambly, N. C.; Beaulieu, T. D.; RECONS

    2006-12-01

    White Dwarfs (WDs) serve as test beds to probe into astrophysically interesting questions such as (1) the ages of star clusters and Galactic components (i.e. disk, halo), (2) Galactic evolution, (3) halo dark matter constituents, (4) stellar structure theory, and (5) stellar evolution theory. The nearby WD population provides the brightest and most easily studied representatives. How confident are we that all of the nearest WDs have been identified? In an effort to answer this question, we have begun an initiative to identify and characterize new nearby WDs, particularly in the southern hemisphere. We identify new WDs using medium resolution (R 1000) optical spectroscopy, and estimate physical parameters and distances using optical photometry combined with 2MASS near-infrared photometry. For objects within 25 pc (Catalogue of Nearby Stars, and NStars Database horizons), we determine a trigonometric parallax via CTIOPI (Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory Parallax Investigation). Of the 43 new WD systems discovered so far, 21 are likely within 25 pc, a volume that contains 107 WDs with trigonometric parallaxes. A spectroscopic observing run in December will likely increase these values. Interesting objects include two that are likely double degenerates including one with a magnetic component, one that is a cool (T$_{eff}$ 5000 K) likely mixed atmosphere WD with deficient flux at near-infrared wavelengths, and three that are metal-rich. Observations are underway via the Hubble Space Telescope to resolve four potential double degenerates (the new magnetic WD and three other previously known WDs) for dynamical mass determinations. All ground-based observations are obtained as part of the SMARTS (Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System) Consortium at CTIO. We wish to thank NASA's Space Interferometry Mission, the National Science Foundation, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and GSU for their continued support.

  2. The Binary White Dwarf LHS 3236

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Hugh C.; Dahn, Conard C.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Canzian, Blaise; Guetter, Harry H.; Hartkopf, William I.; Ireland, Michael J.; Leggett, S. K.; Levine, Stephen E.; Liu, Michael C.; Luginbuhl, Christian B.; Monet, Alice K. B.; Stone, Ronald C.; Subasavage, John P.; Tilleman, Trudy; Walker, Richard L.

    2013-12-01

    The white dwarf LHS 3236 (WD1639+153) is shown to be a double-degenerate binary, with each component having a high mass. Astrometry at the U.S. Naval Observatory gives a parallax and distance of 30.86 ± 0.25 pc and a tangential velocity of 98 km s-1, and reveals binary orbital motion. The orbital parameters are determined from astrometry of the photocenter over more than three orbits of the 4.0 yr period. High-resolution imaging at the Keck Observatory resolves the pair with a separation of 31 and 124 mas at two epochs. Optical and near-IR photometry give a set of possible binary components. Consistency of all data indicates that the binary is a pair of DA stars with temperatures near 8000 and 7400 K and with masses of 0.93 and 0.91 M ⊙ also possible is a DA primary and a helium DC secondary with temperatures near 8800 and 6000 K and with masses of 0.98 and 0.69 M ⊙. In either case, the cooling ages of the stars are ~3 Gyr and the total ages are <4 Gyr. The combined mass of the binary (1.66-1.84 M ⊙) is well above the Chandrasekhar limit; however, the timescale for coalescence is long. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

  3. Pulsating White Dwarf Star GD99

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chynoweth, K. M.; Thompson, S.; Mullally, F.; Yeates, C.

    2004-12-01

    We present 15 hours of time-series photometry of the variable white dwarf star GD99. These data were obtained at the McDonald Observatory 2.1m Otto Struve Telescope in January 2003, using the Argos CCD photometer. We achieved a noise level as low as 0.07 %, as measured from the power spectrum of our first night. Our observations confirm that GD99 is a unique pulsating white dwarf whose modes show characteristics of both the hot and cold type of DA variable stars. Additionally, GD99 has a large number of modes, making it a good candidate for asteroseismological study. Our preliminary results indicate that this star merits further study to decipher its abundant set of unusual modes. With such a rich period structure, longer continuous data sets will be required to fully resolve the pulsation spectrum.

  4. Numerical Simulations of Double White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motl, Patrick M.; Clayton, G.; Tohline, J. E.; Even, W.; Fryer, C.; Diehl, S.; Geballe, T.; Herwig, F.

    2010-03-01

    We will present evolutions of white dwarf binaries from two independent codes (one SPH and one Eulerian). We attempt to match the initial data for semi-detached synchronously rotating binaries between these two fluid representations. Our set of simulations includes various initial mass ratios and we assume one of two different equations of state (polytropic or ideal gas) to span the parameter space between the two possible extreme cases of rapid, catastrophic merger through to long-lived, steady mass transfer. In this presentation, we will primarily highlight the level of agreement between the two codes and how the results vary with increasing numerical resolution. We will also discuss future work incorporating nuclear reactions into our simulations and the possible connections of double white dwarf mergers to astrophysical sources.

  5. General Relativistic and Newtonian White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boshkayev, K.; Rueda, J. A.; Ruffini, R.; Siutsou, I.

    2015-01-01

    The properties of uniformly rotating white dwarfs (RWDs) are analyzed within the framework of Newton's gravity and general relativity. In both cases Hartle's formalism is applied to construct the internal and external solutions to the field equations. The white dwarf (WD) matter is described by the Chandrasekhar equation of state. The region of stability of RWDs is constructed taking into account the mass-shedding limit, inverse β-decay instability, and the boundary established by the turning points of constant angular momentum J sequences which separates stable from secularly unstable configurations. We found the minimum rotation period ˜ 0.28 s in both cases and maximum rotating masses ˜ 1.534M⊙ and ˜ 1.516M⊙ for the Newtonian and general relativistic WDs, respectively. By using the turning point method we show that general relativistic WDs can indeed be axisymmetrically unstable whereas the Newtonian WDs are stable.

  6. White dwarfs in Be star binary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Apparao, K. M. V.

    1991-01-01

    An evaluation is made of possible reasons for the persistent inability to identify white dwarf stars in the Be binary systems. It is noted that many Be stars exhibiting large optical enhancements may be Be + WD and Be + He systems, and that observations of pulsations in the H-alpha emission, as well as observation of time delays between enhancements of optical line and continuum, can identify such systems.

  7. The field white dwarf mass distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Cummings, J.; Kalirai, J. S.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Gentile-Fusillo, N.; Raddi, R.

    2016-09-01

    We revisit the properties and astrophysical implications of the field white dwarf mass distribution in preparation of Gaia applications. Our study is based on the two samples with the best established completeness and most precise atmospheric parameters, the volume-complete survey within 20 pc and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) magnitude-limited sample. We explore the modelling of the observed mass distributions with Monte Carlo simulations, but find that it is difficult to constrain independently the initial mass function (IMF), the initial-to-final-mass relation (IFMR), the stellar formation history (SFH), the variation of the Galactic disc vertical scale height as a function of stellar age, and binary evolution. Each of these input ingredients has a moderate effect on the predicted mass distributions, and we must also take into account biases owing to unidentified faint objects (20 pc sample), as well as unknown masses for magnetic white dwarfs and spectroscopic calibration issues (SDSS sample). Nevertheless, we find that fixed standard assumptions for the above parameters result in predicted mean masses that are in good qualitative agreement with the observed values. It suggests that derived masses for both studied samples are consistent with our current knowledge of stellar and Galactic evolution. Our simulations overpredict by 40-50 per cent the number of massive white dwarfs (M > 0.75 M⊙) for both surveys, although we can not exclude a Salpeter IMF when we account for all biases. Furthermore, we find no evidence of a population of double white dwarf mergers in the observed mass distributions.

  8. White Dwarf Convection Preceding Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zingale, Michael; Almgren, A. S.; Bell, J. B.; Malone, C. M.; Nonaka, A.; Woosley, S. E.

    2010-01-01

    In the single degenerate scenario for Type Ia supernovae, a Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf `simmers' for centuries preceding the ultimate explosion. During this period, reactions near the center drive convection throughout most of the interior of the white dwarf. The details of this convective flow determine how the first flames in the white dwarf ignite. Simulating this phase is difficult because the flows are highly subsonic. Using the low Mach number hydrodynamics code, MAESTRO, we present 3-d, full star models of the final hours of this convective phase, up to the point of ignition of a Type Ia supernova. We discuss the details of the convective velocity field and the locations of the initial hot spots. Finally, we show some preliminary results with rotation. Support for this work came from the DOE/Office of Nuclear Physics, grant No. DE-FG02-06ER41448 (Stony Brook), the SciDAC Program of the DOE Office of Mathematics, Information, and Computational Sciences under the DOE under contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 (LBNL), and the DOE SciDAC program, under grant No. DE-FC02-06ER41438 (UCSC). We made use of the jaguar machine via a DOE INCITE allocation at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computational Facility.

  9. Open Science Project in White Dwarf Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vornanen, T.

    2013-01-01

    I will propose a new way of advancing white dwarf research. Open science is a method of doing research that lets everyone who has something to say about the subject take part in the problem solving process. Already now, the amount of information we gather from observations, theory and modeling is too vast for any one individual to comprehend and turn into knowledge. And the amount of information just keeps growing in the future. A platform that promotes sharing of thoughts and ideas allows us to pool our collective knowledge of white dwarfs and get a clear picture of our research field. It will also make it possible for researchers in fields closely related to ours (AGB stars, planetary nebulae etc.) to join the scientific discourse. In the first stage this project would allow us to summarize what we know and what we don't, and what we should search for next. Later, it could grow into a large collaboration that would have the impact to, for example, suggest instrument requirements for future telescopes to satisfy the needs of the white dwarf community, or propose large surveys. A simple implementation would be a wiki page for collecting knowledge combined with a forum for more extensive discussions. These would be simple and cheap to maintain. A large community effort on the whole would be needed for the project to succeed, but individual workload should stay at a low level.

  10. The White Dwarf Mass in Interacting Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukai, Koji

    We are undertaking a comprehensive study of accreting white dwarfs in two broad types of interacting binaries, cataclysmic variables (CVs) and symbiotic stars, using X-ray and multi-wavelength data. Our goal is to understand the detailed accretion and X-ray emission processes in these binaries, and therefore determine what information can be extracted from X-ray observations of these systems. In paritular, we must measure the current masses of white dwarfs in CVs and symbiotic stars and understand if they gain or lose mass over time. We believe that these are all worthy objectives by themselves, with added interest in the context of Type Ia supernova progenitor models and the apparently diffuse Galactic ridge and bulge X-ray emission. For both these issues, we need surveys with well-understood selection effects to measure the space density of CVs and symbiotic stars, and X-ray surveys will likely play a key role. With these long-term goals in mind, we are undertaking several interlinked projects with overlapping sets of objectives and collaborators. In this proposal, we seek support for a subset of our overall research program, thematically linked to one of the most important parameters in any CVs and symbiotic stars: the white dwarf mass (Mwd). The depth of the gravitational potential of the white dwarf sets the maximum temperature that the accreting plasma can reach; therefore, by measuring the maximum temperature in the X-ray spectra of CVs and symbiotic stars, one can infer Mwd. This method has long been applied to magnetic CVs; we believe that it is also applicable to non-magnetic cases. We propose an empirical confirmation of this method for quiescent dwarf novae, and investigate any systematic uncertainties that may be inherent in this method. We already know that CVs and symbiotic stars with strong hard (>10 keV) X-ray emission harbor massive white dwarfs, and have used this fact to study the population such systems detected in INTEGRAL and Swift BAT

  11. TRANSIT SURVEYS FOR EARTHS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Agol, Eric

    2011-04-20

    To date the search for habitable Earth-like planets has primarily focused on nuclear burning stars. I propose that this search should be expanded to cool white dwarf stars that have expended their nuclear fuel. I define the continuously habitable zone of white dwarfs and show that it extends from {approx}0.005 to 0.02 AU for white dwarfs with masses from 0.4 to 0.9 M{sub sun}, temperatures less than {approx}10{sup 4} K, and habitable durations of at least 3 Gyr. As they are similar in size to Earth, white dwarfs may be deeply eclipsed by terrestrial planets that orbit edge-on, which can easily be detected with ground-based telescopes. If planets can migrate inward or reform near white dwarfs, I show that a global robotic telescope network could carry out a transit survey of nearby white dwarfs placing interesting constraints on the presence of habitable Earths. If planets were detected, I show that the survey would favor detection of planets similar to Earth: similar size, temperature, and rotation period, and host star temperatures similar to the Sun. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could place even tighter constraints on the frequency of habitable Earths around white dwarfs. The confirmation and characterization of these planets might be carried out with large ground and space telescopes.

  12. Peculiar variations of white dwarf pulsation frequencies and maestro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalessio, James Ruland

    In Part I we report on variations of the normal mode frequencies of the pulsating DB white dwarfs EC 20058-5234 and KIC 8626021 and the pulsating DA white dwarf GD 66. The observations of EC 20058-5234 and KIC 8626021 were motivated by the possibility of measuring the plasmon neutrino production rate of a white dwarf, while the observations of GD 66 were part of a white dwarf pulsation timing based planet search. We announce the discovery of periodic and quasi-periodic variations of multiple normal mode frequencies that cannot be due to the presence of planetary companions. We note the possible signature of a planetary companion to EC 20058-5234 and show that GD 66 cannot have a planet in a several AU orbit down to half a Jupiter mass. We also announce the discovery of secular variations of the normal mode frequencies of all three stars that are inconsistent with cooling alone. Importantly, the rates of period change of several modes of KIC 8626021 are consistent with evolutionary cooling, but are not yet statistically significant. These modes offer the best possibility of measuring the neutrino production rate in a white dwarf. We also observe periodic and secular variations in the frequency of a combination mode that exactly matches the variations predicted by the parent modes, strong observational evidence that combination modes are created by the convection zone and are not normal modes. Periodic variations in the amplitudes of many of these modes is also noted. We hypothesize that these frequency variations are caused by complex variations of the magnetic field strength and geometry, analogous to behavior observed in the Sun. In Part II we describe the MAESTRO software framework and the MAESTRO REDUCE algorithm. MAESTRO is a collection of astronomy specific MatLab software developed by the Whole Earth Telescope. REDUCE is an an algorithm that can extract the brightness of stars on a set of CCD images with minimal configuration and human interaction. The key to

  13. Probing white dwarf interiors with LISA: periastron precession in eccentric double white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Willems, B; Vecchio, A; Kalogera, V

    2008-02-01

    In globular clusters, dynamical interactions give rise to a population of eccentric double white dwarfs detectable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) up to the Large Magellanic Cloud. In this Letter, we explore the detectability of periastron precession in these systems with LISA. Unlike previous investigations, we consider contributions due to tidal and rotational distortions of the binary components in addition to general relativistic contributions to the periastron precession. At orbital frequencies above a few mHz, we find that tides and stellar rotation dominate, opening up a possibly unique window to the study of the interior and structure of white dwarfs. PMID:18352253

  14. EX-111 Thermal Emission from Hot White Dwarfs: The Suggested He Abundance-Temperature Correlation. EX-112: The Unique Emission Line White Dwarf Star GD 356

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, H. L.

    1986-01-01

    Progress in the EXOSAT data analysis program is reported. EXOSAT observations for four white dwarfs (WD1031-115, WD0004+330, WD1615-154, and WD0109-264) were obtained. Counting rates were unexpectedly low, indicating that these objects have a substantial amount of x-ray absorbing matter in their photosheres. In addition, soft x-ray pulsations characterized by a 9.25 minute cycle were discovered in the DA white dwarf V471 Tauri. A residual x-ray flux from the K dwarf companion can be seen during the white dwarf eclipse at orbital phase 0.0. Pronounced dips in the soft x-ray light curve occur at orbital phases 0.15, 0.18, and 0.85. The dips may be correlated with the triangular Lagrangian points of the binary orbit. Smaller dips at phases near the eclipse may be associated with cool loops in the K star corona. Data for the white dwarf H1504+65 was also analyzed. This object is particularly unusual in that its photoshere is devoid of hydrogen and helium. Finally, existing data on the white dwarf Sirius B were analyzed to see what constraints from other data can be placed on the properties of this star. Interrelationships between radius, rotational velocity, and effective temperature were derived.

  15. LIMITS ON UNRESOLVED PLANETARY COMPANIONS TO WHITE DWARF REMNANTS OF 14 INTERMEDIATE-MASS STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gould, Andrew; Koester, Detlev

    2009-11-10

    We present Spitzer IRAC photometry of white dwarf remnants of 14 stars with M = 3-5 M{sub sun}. We do not detect mid-infrared excess around any of our targets. By demanding a 3sigma photometric excess at 4.5 mum for unresolved companions, we rule out planetary mass companions down to 5, 7, or 10 M {sub J} for 13 of our targets based on the Burrows et al. substellar cooling models. Combined with previous IRAC observations of white dwarf remnants of intermediate-mass stars, we rule out >=10M {sub J} companions around 40 white dwarfs and >=5M {sub J} companions around 10 white dwarfs.

  16. ECHOES OF A DECAYING PLANETARY SYSTEM: THE GASEOUS AND DUSTY DISKS SURROUNDING THREE WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Melis, C.; Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Albert, L.

    2010-10-20

    We have performed a comprehensive ground-based observational program aimed at characterizing the circumstellar material orbiting three single white dwarf stars previously known to possess gaseous disks. Near-infrared imaging unambiguously detects excess infrared emission toward Ton 345 and allows us to refine models for the circumstellar dust around two of the three white dwarf stars. We find that each white dwarf hosts gaseous and dusty disks that are roughly spatially coincident, a result that is consistent with a scenario in which dusty and gaseous material has its origin in remnant parent bodies of the white dwarfs' planetary systems. We briefly describe a new model for the gas disk heating mechanism in which the gaseous material behaves like a 'Z II' region. In this Z II region, gas primarily composed of metals is photoionized by ultraviolet light and cools through optically thick allowed Ca II-line emission.

  17. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF THE OLDEST WHITE DWARFS IN THE SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Kowalski, Piotr M.; Reach, William T.; Von Hippel, Ted

    2009-05-10

    We present Spitzer 5-15 {mu}m spectroscopy of one cool white dwarf and 3.6-8 {mu}m photometry of 51 cool white dwarfs with T {sub eff} < 6000 K. The majority of our targets have accurate BVRIJHK photometry and trigonometric parallax measurements available, which enables us to perform a detailed model atmosphere analysis using their optical, near- and mid-infrared photometry with state-of-the-art model atmospheres. We demonstrate that the optical and infrared spectral energy distributions of cool white dwarfs are well reproduced by our grid of models. Our best-fit models are consistent with the observations within 5% in all filters except the IRAC 8 {mu}m band, which has the lowest signal-to-noise ratio photometry. Excluding the ultracool white dwarfs, none of the stars in our sample show significant mid-infrared flux deficits or excesses. The nondetection of mid-infrared excess flux around our {approx}2-9 Gyr old targets constrain the fraction of cool white dwarfs with warm debris disks to 0.8{sup +1.5} {sub -0.8} %.

  18. Excitation and Saturation of White Dwarf Pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Yanqin

    1998-06-01

    Variable hydrogen white dwarfs (DAV) pulsate in a number of low-order gravity-modes with periods from 100 s to 1200 s and amplitudes no larger than a few percent. We answer two questions in this thesis: the driving for these pulsations, and the saturation of their amplitudes. The surface convection zone in these stars, which adjusts its entropy level instantaneously during the pulsation, can drive the observed modes. This mechanism (called 'convective driving') was discovered by Brickhill but has been largely neglected so far. We find that modes with periods shorter than the thermal adjustment time of the convection zone can become overstable, but those with very short periods are hardly visible at the surface. As the star cools and the convection zone deepens, longer period modes can be excited. The driving rates increase sharply with period. We relate these to the time-scale of mode variability. We include complications arising from nonadiabaticity in the radiative interior and turbulent damping at the convective-radiative boundary. The former limits the driving and damping rates for strongly nonadiabatic modes, and relates the phase and amplitude of surface horizontal velocity in a gravity-mode to those of its flux variation. The turbulent damping results from the horizontal velocity shear below the convection zone, inside which there is little velocity shear and negligible damping. This suppresses the amplitudes of long period modes to below detection. The width of the theoretical DAV instability strip is about 1000 K. The growth of an overstable mode can be saturated by parametric instability, where energy transfers resonantly into two damped modes of roughly half its frequency. This occurs above a critical amplitude which depends on the 3-mode coupling coefficient and the nonadiabatic damping rates. The critical amplitudes all fall below a few percent, with longer period modes having larger surface amplitudes. Combined with the amplitude limits due to

  19. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Onofrio, Roberto; Wegner, Gary A. E-mail: gary.a.wegner@dartmouth.edu

    2014-08-20

    We report on a search for differential shifts between electronic and vibronic transitions in carbon-rich white dwarfs BPM 27606 and Procyon B. The absence of differential shifts within the spectral resolution and taking into account systematic effects such as space motion and pressure shifts allows us to set the first upper bound of astrophysical origin on the coupling between the Higgs field and the Kreschmann curvature invariant. Our analysis provides the basis for a more general methodology to derive bounds to the coupling of long-range scalar fields to curvature invariants in an astrophysical setting complementary to the ones available from high-energy physics or table-top experiments.

  20. Nucleosynthesis in white-dwarf atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoyle, F.; Clayton, D. D.

    1974-01-01

    Consideration of events by which both s- and r-process nucleosynthesis may occur on the surfaces of white-dwarf stars. The main requirement is that the accreted hydrogen be mixed with comparable numbers of C-12 (or other alpha nuclei) before a runaway capture of protons takes place. Subsequent events offer many possibilities for nucleosynthesis and stars of peculiar composition. A new mechanism for a surface s-process due to few-MeV protons is also described. Concluding comments concern cosmic gamma-ray bursts and the origin of anomalous low-energy galactic cosmic rays.

  1. An Ultramassive 1.28 M⊙ White Dwarf in NGC 2099

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cummings, Jeffrey D.; Kalirai, Jason S.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Bergeron, P.

    2016-03-01

    With the Keck I Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer we have observed nine white dwarf candidates in the very rich open cluster NGC 2099 (M37). The spectroscopy shows seven to be DA white dwarfs, one to be a DB white dwarf, and one to be a DZ white dwarf. Three of these DA white dwarfs are consistent with singly evolved cluster membership: an ultramassive (1.28{}-0.08+0.05 {M}⊙ ) and two intermediate-mass (0.70 and 0.75 {M}⊙ ) white dwarfs. Analysis of their cooling ages allows us to calculate their progenitor masses and establish new constraints on the initial-final mass relation. The intermediate-mass white dwarfs are in strong agreement with previous work over this mass regime. The ultramassive white dwarf has V = 24.5, ˜2 mag fainter than the other two remnants. The spectrum of this star has lower quality, so the derived stellar properties (e.g., {T}{{eff}}, log g) have uncertainties that are several times higher than the brighter counterparts. We measure these uncertainties and establish the star’s final mass as the highest-mass white dwarf discovered thus far in a cluster, but we are unable to calculate its progenitor mass because at this high mass and cooler {T}{{eff}} its inferred cooling age is highly sensitive to its mass. At the highest temperatures, however, this sensitivity of cooling age to an ultramassive white dwarf’s mass is only moderate. This demonstrates that future investigations of the upper-mass end of the initial-final mass relation must identify massive, newly formed white dwarfs (i.e., in young clusters with ages 50-150 Myr). Based on observations with the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA, was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  2. A Very Cool Pair of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-03-01

    Observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, along with two other telescopes, have shown that there is a new candidate for the coldest known star: a brown dwarf in a double system with about the same temperature as a freshly made cup of tea - hot in human terms, but extraordinarily cold for the surface of a star. This object is cool enough to begin crossing the blurred line dividing small cold stars from big hot planets. Brown dwarfs are essentially failed stars: they lack enough mass for gravity to trigger the nuclear reactions that make stars shine. The newly discovered brown dwarf, identified as CFBDSIR 1458+10B, is the dimmer member of a binary brown dwarf system located just 75 light-years from Earth [1]. The powerful X-shooter spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) was used to show that the composite object was very cool by brown dwarf standards. "We were very excited to see that this object had such a low temperature, but we couldn't have guessed that it would turn out to be a double system and have an even more interesting, even colder component," said Philippe Delorme of the Institut de planétologie et d'astrophysique de Grenoble (CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier), a co-author of the paper. CFBDSIR 1458+10 is the coolest brown dwarf binary found to date. The dimmer of the two dwarfs has now been found to have a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius - the boiling point of water, and not much different from the temperature inside a sauna [2]. "At such temperatures we expect the brown dwarf to have properties that are different from previously known brown dwarfs and much closer to those of giant exoplanets - it could even have water clouds in its atmosphere," said Michael Liu of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, who is lead author of the paper describing this new work. "In fact, once we start taking images of gas-giant planets around Sun-like stars in the near future, I expect that many of them

  3. The Effect of 22NE Diffusion in the Evolution and Pulsational Properties of White Dwarfs with Solar Metallicity Progenitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camisassa, María E.; Althaus, Leandro G.; Córsico, Alejandro H.; Vinyoles, Núria; Serenelli, Aldo M.; Isern, Jordi; Miller Bertolami, Marcelo M.; García–Berro, Enrique

    2016-06-01

    Because of the large neutron excess of 22Ne, sedimentation of this isotope occurs rapidly in the interior of white dwarfs. This process releases an additional amount of energy, thus delaying the cooling times of the white dwarf. This influences the ages of different stellar populations derived using white dwarf cosmochronology. Furthermore, the overabundance of 22Ne in the inner regions of the star modifies the Brunt–Väisälä frequency, thus altering the pulsational properties of these stars. In this work we discuss the impact of 22Ne sedimentation in white dwarfs resulting from solar metallicity progenitors (Z = 0.02). We performed evolutionary calculations of white dwarfs with masses of 0.528, 0.576, 0.657, and 0.833 {M}ȯ derived from full evolutionary computations of their progenitor stars, starting at the zero-age main sequence all the way through the central hydrogen and helium burning, the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch (AGB), and post-AGB phases. Our computations show that at low luminosities ({log}(L/{L}ȯ )≲ -4.25), 22Ne sedimentation delays the cooling of white dwarfs with solar metallicity progenitors by about 1 Gyr. Additionally, we studied the consequences of 22Ne sedimentation on the pulsational properties of ZZ Ceti white dwarfs. We find that 22Ne sedimentation induces differences in the periods of these stars larger than the present observational uncertainties, particularly in more massive white dwarfs.

  4. A Very Cool Pair of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-03-01

    Observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, along with two other telescopes, have shown that there is a new candidate for the coldest known star: a brown dwarf in a double system with about the same temperature as a freshly made cup of tea - hot in human terms, but extraordinarily cold for the surface of a star. This object is cool enough to begin crossing the blurred line dividing small cold stars from big hot planets. Brown dwarfs are essentially failed stars: they lack enough mass for gravity to trigger the nuclear reactions that make stars shine. The newly discovered brown dwarf, identified as CFBDSIR 1458+10B, is the dimmer member of a binary brown dwarf system located just 75 light-years from Earth [1]. The powerful X-shooter spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) was used to show that the composite object was very cool by brown dwarf standards. "We were very excited to see that this object had such a low temperature, but we couldn't have guessed that it would turn out to be a double system and have an even more interesting, even colder component," said Philippe Delorme of the Institut de planétologie et d'astrophysique de Grenoble (CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier), a co-author of the paper. CFBDSIR 1458+10 is the coolest brown dwarf binary found to date. The dimmer of the two dwarfs has now been found to have a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius - the boiling point of water, and not much different from the temperature inside a sauna [2]. "At such temperatures we expect the brown dwarf to have properties that are different from previously known brown dwarfs and much closer to those of giant exoplanets - it could even have water clouds in its atmosphere," said Michael Liu of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, who is lead author of the paper describing this new work. "In fact, once we start taking images of gas-giant planets around Sun-like stars in the near future, I expect that many of them

  5. Two new extremely hot pulsating white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bond, H. E.; Grauer, A. D.; Green, R. F.; Liebert, J. W.

    1984-01-01

    High speed photometry of the extremely hot, nearly degenerate stars PG 1707 + 427 and PG 2131 + 066 reveals that they are low-amplitude pulsating variables. Power spectral analysis shows both to be multiperiodic, with dominant periods of 7.5 and 6.4-6.9 minutes, respectively. Together with the known pulsators PG 1159 - 035 and the central star of the planetary nebula Kohoutek 1-16, these objects define a new pulsational instability strip at the hot edge of the H-R diagram. The variations of these objects closely resemble those of the much cooler pulsating ZZ Ceti DA white dwarfs; both groups are probably nonradial g-mode pulsators. Evolutionary contraction of the PG 1159 - 035 variables may lead to period changes that would be detectable in as little as 1 year. The optical and IUE spectra of the PG 1159 - 035 variables are characterized by absorption lines of C IV and other CNO ions, indicating radiative levitation of species heavier than helium. He II is also present in the spectra, but the hydrogen Balmer lines are absent. Effective temperatures near 100,000 K are required, and the He II 4686 A profiles indicate log g greater than 6. These helium-rich pulsators form the hottest known subgroup of the DO white dwarfs.

  6. White dwarf stars in D dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavanis, P.-H.

    2007-07-01

    We derive the mass-radius relation of relativistic white dwarf stars (modeled as a self-gravitating degenerate Fermi gas at T=0) in a D-dimensional universe and study the influence of the dimension of space on the laws of physics when we combine quantum mechanics, special relativity, and gravity. We exhibit characteristic dimensions D=1, D=2, D=3, D=(3+17)/2, D=4, D=2(1+2) and show that quantum mechanics cannot balance gravitational collapse for D≥4. This is similar to a result found by Ehrenfest (1917) at the atomic level for Coulomb forces (in Bohr’s model) and for the Kepler problem. This makes the dimension of our universe D=3 very particular with possible implications regarding the anthropic principle. We discuss some historic aspects concerning the discovery of the Chandrasekhar (1931) limiting mass in relation to previous investigations by Anderson (1929) and Stoner (1930). We also propose different derivations of the stability limits of polytropic distributions and consider their application to classical and relativistic white dwarf stars.

  7. Radial pulsations in DB white dwarfs?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1993-01-01

    Theoretical models of DB white dwarfs are unstable against radial pulsation at effective temperatures near 20,000-30,000 K. Many high-overtone modes are unstable, with periods ranging from 12 s down to the acoustic cutoff period of approximately 0.1 s. The blue edge for radial instability lies at slightly higher effective temperatures than for nonradial pulsations, with the temperature of the blue edge dependent on the assumed efficiency of convection. Models with increased convective efficiency have radial blue edges that are increasingly closer to the nonradial blue edge; in all models the instability persists into the nonradial instability strip. Radial pulsations therefore may exist in the hottest DB stars that lie below the DB gap; the greatest chance for detection would be observations in the ultraviolet. These models also explain why searches for radial pulsations in DA white dwarfs have failed: the efficient convection needed to explain the blue edge for nonradial DA pulsation means that the radial instability strip is 1000 K cooler than found in previous investigations. The multiperiodic nature of the expected pulsations can be used to advantage to identify very low amplitude modes using the uniform spacing of the modes in frequency. This frequency spacing is a direct indicator of the mass of the star.

  8. Freak waves in white dwarfs and magnetars

    SciTech Connect

    Sabry, R.; Moslem, W. M.; Shukla, P. K.

    2012-12-15

    We report properties of ion acoustic freak waves that propagate in a plasma composed of warm ions and ultrarelativistic electrons and positrons. The dynamics of the nonlinear freak waves is governed by the nonlinear Schroedinger equation. The possible region for the freak waves to exist is defined precisely for typical parameters of white dwarfs and magnetars corona. It is found that for low wave number, the nonlinear ion-acoustic wave packets are structurally stable in magnetars corona than in white dwarfs. However, for large wave numbers the situation is opposite. The critical wave number threshold (k{sub c}), which indicates where the modulational instability sets in, is defined for both applications. It is seen that near to k{sub c} the freak wave amplitude becomes high, but it decreases whenever we stepped away from k{sub c}. For the wave numbers close to k{sub c}, the increase of the unperturbed density ratio of positrons-to-electrons ({beta}) would lead to increase the freak wave amplitude, but for larger wave numbers the amplitude decreases with the increase of {beta}.

  9. DISCOVERY OF MOLECULAR HYDROGEN IN WHITE DWARF ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D. E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu

    2013-04-01

    With the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope, we have detected molecular hydrogen in the atmospheres of three white dwarfs with effective temperatures below 14,000 K, G29-38, GD 133, and GD 31. This discovery provides new independent constraints on the stellar temperature and surface gravity of white dwarfs.

  10. Discovery of Molecular Hydrogen in White Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Koester, D.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.

    2013-04-01

    With the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope, we have detected molecular hydrogen in the atmospheres of three white dwarfs with effective temperatures below 14,000 K, G29-38, GD 133, and GD 31. This discovery provides new independent constraints on the stellar temperature and surface gravity of white dwarfs.

  11. Radio emissions from terrestrial planets around white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willes, A. J.; Wu, K.

    2005-03-01

    Terrestrial planets in close orbits around magnetic white dwarf stars are potential electron-cyclotron maser sources, by analogy to planetary radio emissions generated from the electrodynamic interaction between Jupiter and the Galilean moons. We present predictions of radio flux densities and the number of detectable white-dwarf/terrestrial-planet systems, and discuss a scenario for their formation.

  12. An unsuccessful search for brown dwarf companions to white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1986-01-01

    The results of a survey to detect excess infrared emission from white dwarf stars which would be attributable to a low mass companion are reviewed. Neither a simple comparison of spectroscopically identified white dwarf stars with the IRAS Point Source Catalog nor the coadding of IRAS survey data resulted in a detection of a brown dwarf. The seven nearest stars where the most stringent limits to the presence of a brown dwarf were obtained are listed, and an effort to detect brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is discussed.

  13. Equilibrium structure of white dwarfs at finite temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boshkayev, K. A.; Rueda, J. A.; Zhami, B. A.; Kalymova, Zh. A.; Balgymbekov, G. Sh.

    2016-03-01

    Recently, it has been shown by S. M. de Carvalho et al. (2014) that the deviations between the degenerate case and observations were already evident for 0.7-0.8 M⊙ white dwarfs. Such deviations were related to the neglected effects of finite temperatures on the structure of a white dwarf. Therefore, in this work by employing the Chandrasekhar equation of state taking into account the effects of temperature we show how the total pressure of the white dwarf matter depends on the mass density at different temperatures. Afterwards we construct equilibrium configurations of white dwarfs at finite temperatures. We obtain the mass-radius relations of white dwarfs for different temperatures by solving the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff equation, and compare them with the estimated masses and radii inferred from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4.

  14. THE HYADES CLUSTER: IDENTIFICATION OF A PLANETARY SYSTEM AND ESCAPING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.; Xu, S.; Klein, B.; Jura, M. E-mail: sxu@astro.ucla.edu E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu

    2013-06-20

    Recently, some hot DA-type white dwarfs have been proposed to plausibly be escaping members of the Hyades. We used hydrogen Balmer lines to measure the radial velocities of seven such stars and confirm that three, and perhaps two others, are/were indeed cluster members and one is not. The other candidate Hyad is strongly magnetic and its membership status remains uncertain. The photospheres of at least one quarter of field white dwarf stars are ''polluted'' by elements heavier than helium that have been accreted. These stars are orbited by extended planetary systems that contain both debris belts and major planets. We surveyed the seven classical single Hyades white dwarfs and the newly identified (escaping) Hyades white dwarfs and found calcium in the photosphere of LP 475-242 of type DBA (now DBAZ), thus implying the presence of an orbiting planetary system. The spectrum of white dwarf GD 31, which may be, but probably is not, an escaping member of the Hyades, displays calcium absorption lines; these originate either from the interstellar medium or, less likely, from a gaseous circumstellar disk. If GD 31 was once a Hyades member, then it would be the first identified white dwarf Hyad with a cooling age >340 Myr.

  15. The Hyades Cluster: Identification of a Planetary System and Escaping White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuckerman, B.; Xu, S.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.

    2013-06-01

    Recently, some hot DA-type white dwarfs have been proposed to plausibly be escaping members of the Hyades. We used hydrogen Balmer lines to measure the radial velocities of seven such stars and confirm that three, and perhaps two others, are/were indeed cluster members and one is not. The other candidate Hyad is strongly magnetic and its membership status remains uncertain. The photospheres of at least one quarter of field white dwarf stars are "polluted" by elements heavier than helium that have been accreted. These stars are orbited by extended planetary systems that contain both debris belts and major planets. We surveyed the seven classical single Hyades white dwarfs and the newly identified (escaping) Hyades white dwarfs and found calcium in the photosphere of LP 475-242 of type DBA (now DBAZ), thus implying the presence of an orbiting planetary system. The spectrum of white dwarf GD 31, which may be, but probably is not, an escaping member of the Hyades, displays calcium absorption lines; these originate either from the interstellar medium or, less likely, from a gaseous circumstellar disk. If GD 31 was once a Hyades member, then it would be the first identified white dwarf Hyad with a cooling age >340 Myr.

  16. Evidence for White Dwarfs with Strange-Matter Cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathews, Grant J.; Suh, Insaeng; Lan, Nguyen Q.; Otsuki, Kaori; Weber, Fridolin

    2008-09-01

    We summarize masses and radii for a number of white dwarfs as deduced from a combination of proper motion studies, Hipparcos parallax distances, effective temperatures, and binary or spectroscopic masses. A puzzling feature of these data, however, is that some stars appear to have radii which are significantly smaller than that expected for a standard electron-degenerate white-dwarf equations of state. We construct a projection of white-dwarf radii for fixed effective mass and conclude that there is at least marginal evidence for bimodality in the radius distribution for white dwarfs. We argue that if such compact white dwarfs exist it is unlikely that they contain an iron core. We propose an alternative of strange-quark matter within the white-dwarf core. We also discuss the impact of the so-called color-flavor locked (CFL) state in strange-matter core associated with color superconductivity. We show that the data exhibit several features consistent with the expected mass-radius relation of strange dwarfs. We identify eight nearby white dwarfs which are possible candidates for strange matter cores and suggest observational tests of this hypothesis.

  17. Evidence for White Dwarfs with Strange-Matter Cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathews, Grant; Suh, Insaeng; Lan, Nguyen; Zech, William; Otsuki, Kaori; Weber, Friedolin

    2006-10-01

    We summarize masses and radii for a number of white dwarfs as deduced from a combination of proper motion studies, Hipparcos parallax distances, effective temperatures, and binary or spectroscopic masses. A puzzling feature of these data, however, is that some stars appear to have radii which are significantly smaller than that expected for a standard electron-degenerate white-dwarf equations of state. We construct a projection of white-dwarf radii for fixed effective mass and conclude that there is at least marginal evidence for bimodality in the radius distribution for white dwarfs. We argue that if such compact white dwarfs exist it is unlikely that they contain an iron core. We propose an alternative of strange-quark matter within the white-dwarf core. We also discuss the impact of the so-called color-flavor locked (CFL) state in strange-matter core associated with color superconductivity. We show that the data exhibit several features consistent with the expected mass-radius relation of strange dwarfs. We identify eight nearby white dwarfs which are possible candidates for strange matter cores and suggest observational tests of this hypothesis.

  18. Analysis of white dwarfs with strange-matter cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathews, G. J.; Suh, I.-S.; O'Gorman, B.; Lan, N. Q.; Zech, W.; Otsuki, K.; Weber, F.

    2006-06-01

    We summarize masses and radii for a number of white dwarfs as deduced from a combination of proper motion studies, Hipparcos parallax distances, effective temperatures and binary or spectroscopic masses. A puzzling feature of these data, however, is that some stars appear to have radii which are significantly smaller than that expected for a standard electron-degenerate white-dwarf equations of state. We construct a projection of white-dwarf radii for fixed effective mass and conclude that there is at least marginal evidence for bimodality in the radius distribution for white dwarfs. We argue that if such compact white dwarfs exist it is unlikely that they contain an iron core. We propose an alternative of strange-quark matter within the white-dwarf core. We also discuss the impact of the so-called color-flavour-locked (CFL) state in strange-matter core associated with color superconductivity. We show that the data exhibit several features consistent with the expected mass-radius relation of strange dwarfs. We identify eight nearby white dwarfs which are possible candidates for strange-matter cores and suggest observational tests of this hypothesis.

  19. White dwarf evolutionary sequences for low-metallicity progenitors: The impact of third dredge-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Althaus, Leandro G.; Camisassa, María E.; Miller Bertolami, Marcelo M.; Córsico, Alejandro H.; García-Berro, Enrique

    2015-04-01

    Context. White dwarfs are nowadays routinely used as reliable cosmochronometers, allowing several stellar populations to be dated. Aims: We present new white dwarf evolutionary sequences for low-metallicity progenitors. This is motivated by the recent finding that residual H burning in low-mass white dwarfs resulting from Z = 0.0001 progenitors is the main energy source over a significant part of their evolution. Methods: White dwarf sequences have been derived from full evolutionary calculations that take the entire history of progenitor stars into account, including the thermally pulsing and the post-asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phases. Results: We show that for progenitor metallicities in the range 0.00003 ≲ Z ≲ 0.001, and in the absence of carbon enrichment from the occurrence of a third dredge-up episode, the resulting H envelope of the low-mass white dwarfs is thick enough to make stable H burning the most important energy source even at low luminosities. This has a significant impact on white dwarf cooling times. This result is independent of the adopted mass-loss rate during the thermally-pulsing and post-AGB phases and in the planetary nebulae stage. Conclusions: We conclude that in the absence of third dredge-up episodes, a significant part of the evolution of low-mass white dwarfs resulting from low-metallicity progenitors is dominated by stable H burning. Our study opens the possibility of using the observed white dwarf luminosity function of low-metallicity globular clusters to constrain the efficiency of third dredge up episodes during the thermally-pulsing AGB phase of low-metallicity progenitors.

  20. WHITE DWARF/M DWARF BINARIES AS SINGLE DEGENERATE PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-20

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, M{sub V} {approx}> 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and M{sub V} {approx}> 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a 'magnetic bottle' connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the 'nova limit' and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  1. White Dwarf/M Dwarf Binaries as Single Degenerate Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-01

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, MV >~ 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and MV >~ 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a "magnetic bottle" connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the "nova limit" and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  2. Wave energy in white dwarf atmospheres. I - Magnetohydrodynamic energy spectra for homogeneous DB and layered DA stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Zdzislaw E.

    1987-01-01

    The radiative damping of acoustic and MHD waves that propagate through white dwarf photospheric layers is studied, and other damping processes that may be important for the propagation of the MHD waves are calculated. The amount of energy remaining after the damping processes have occurred in different types of waves is estimated. The results show that lower acoustic fluxes should be expected in layered DA and homogeneous DB white dwarfs than had previously been estimated. Acoustic emission manifests itself in an enhancement of the quadrupole term, but this term may become comparable to or even lower than the dipole term for cool white dwarfs. Energy carried by the acoustic waves is significantly dissipated in deep photospheric layers, mainly because of radiative damping. Acoustically heated corona cannot exist around DA and DB white dwarfs in a range T(eff) = 10,000-30,000 K and for log g = 7 and 8. However, relatively hot and massive white dwarfs could be exceptions.

  3. PG1258+593 and its common proper motion magnetic white dwarf counterpart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girven, J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Külebi, B.; Steeghs, D.; Jordan, S.; Marsh, T. R.; Koester, D.

    2010-05-01

    We confirm SDSSJ130033.48+590407.0 as a common proper motion companion to the well-studied hydrogen-atmosphere (DA) white dwarf PG1258+593 (GD322). The system lies at a distance of 68 +/- 3pc, where the angular separation of 16.1 +/- 0.1arcsec corresponds to a minimum binary separation of 1091 +/- 7au. SDSSJ1300+5904 is a cool (Teff = 6300 +/- 300K) magnetic white dwarf (B ~= 6mG). PG1258+593 is a DA white dwarf with Teff = 14790 +/- 77K and logg = 7.87 +/- 0.02. Using the white dwarf mass-radius relation implies the masses of SDSSJ1300+5904 and PG1258+593 are 0.54 +/- 0.06 and 0.54 +/- 0.01Msolar, respectively, and therefore a cooling age difference of 1.67 +/- 0.05Gyr. Adopting main-sequence lifetimes from stellar models, we derive an upper limit of 2.2Msolar for the mass of the progenitor of PG1258+593. A plausible range of initial masses is 1.4-1.8 Msolar for PG1258+593 and 2-3 Msolar for SDSSJ1300+5904. Our analysis shows that white dwarf common proper motion binaries can potentially constrain the white dwarf initial mass-final mass relation and the formation mechanism for magnetic white dwarfs. The magnetic field of SDSSJ1300+5904 is consistent with an Ap progenitor star. A common envelope origin of the system cannot be excluded, but requires a triple system as progenitor.

  4. HELIUM CORE WHITE DWARFS IN CATACLYSMIC VARIABLES

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.; Bildsten, Lars; Idan, Irit

    2009-11-01

    Binary evolution predicts a population of helium core (M < 0.5 M{sub sun}) white dwarfs (WDs) that are slowly accreting hydrogen-rich material from low-mass main-sequence or brown dwarf donors with orbital periods less than 4 hr. Four binaries are presently known in the Milky Way that will reach such a mass-transferring state in a few Gyr. Despite these predictions and observations of progenitor binaries, there are still no secure cases of helium core WDs among the mass-transferring cataclysmic variables. This led us to calculate the fate of He WDs once accretion begins at a rate M-dot<10{sup -10}M-odot yr{sup -1} set by angular momentum losses. We show here that the cold He core temperatures (T{sub c} < 10{sup 7} K) and low M-dot thermonuclear runaway. Shara and collaborators noted that these large accumulated masses may lead to exceptionally long classical nova (CN) events. For a typical donor star of 0.2 M{sub sun}, such binaries will only yield a few hundred CNe, making these events rare among all CNe. We calculate the reheating of the accreting WD, allowing a comparison to the measured WD effective temperatures in quiescent dwarf novae and raising the possibility that WD seismology may be the best way to confirm the presence of a He WD. We also find that a very long (>1000 yr) stable burning phase occurs after the CN outburst, potentially explaining enigmatic short orbital period supersoft sources like RX J0537-7034 (P{sub orb} = 3.5 hr) and 1E 0035.4-7230 (P{sub orb} = 4.1 hr).

  5. The g-modes of white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sobouti, Y.; Khajehpour, M. R. H.; Dixit, V. V.

    1980-01-01

    The neutral g-modes of a degenerate fluid at zero temperature are analyzed. The g-modes of a degenerate fluid at finite but small temperatures are then expanded in terms of those of the zero temperature fluid. For nonrelativistic degenerate fluids it is found that (1) the g-eigenvalues are proportional to T mu(6)sub e mu(-1)sub i, where T is the internal temperature of the fluid, mu sub e and mu sub i are the mean molecular weights of electrons and ions, respectively; (2) the ion pressure is solely responsible for driving the g-modes. For white dwarfs of about a solar mass, the periods of the g-oscillations are in the range of a few hundredths of seconds.

  6. REMNANTS OF BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Raskin, Cody; Scannapieco, Evan; Timmes, F. X.; Fryer, Chris; Rockefeller, Gabriel

    2012-02-10

    We carry out a comprehensive smooth particle hydrodynamics simulation survey of double-degenerate white dwarf binary mergers of varying mass combinations in order to establish correspondence between initial conditions and remnant configurations. We find that all but one of our simulation remnants share general properties such as a cold, degenerate core surrounded by a hot disk, while our least massive pair of stars forms only a hot disk. We characterize our remnant configurations by the core mass, the rotational velocity of the core, and the half-mass radius of the disk. We also find that some of our simulations with very massive constituent stars exhibit helium detonations on the surface of the primary star before complete disruption of the secondary. However, these helium detonations are insufficiently energetic to ignite carbon, and so do not lead to prompt carbon detonations.

  7. Remnant planetary systems around bright white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, Sara D.; Belardi, Claudia; Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, A.

    2016-06-01

    We cross-correlate several sources of archival photometry for 1265 bright (V ˜ 16 mag) white dwarfs (WDs) with available high signal-to-noise spectroscopy. We find 381 WDs with archival Spitzer+IRAC data and investigate this subsample for infrared excesses due to circumstellar dust. This large data set reveals 15 dusty WDs, including three new debris discs and the hottest WD known to host dust (WD 0010+280). We study the frequency of debris discs at WDs as function of mass. The frequency peaks at 12.5 per cent for 0.7-0.75 M⊙ WDs (with 3 M⊙ main-sequence star progenitors) and falls off for stars more massive than this, which mirrors predicted planet occurrence rates for stars of different masses.

  8. Future Observations of White Dwarfs from Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.; Casewell, S. L.

    2015-06-01

    We outline two possible future space missions suitable for the study of white dwarfs. These lie at the extreme ends of the spectrum of such opportunities in terms of cost and timescale. The SIRIUS extreme ultraviolet spectrograph will be proposed for the ESA/Chinese Academy of Sciences small, ≍ 50M Euro, mission. If selected it will fly in 2021. ATLAST is planned to be a very large UVOIR space observatory to provide a true replacement for the capabilities of HST. If it goes ahead, it will be a several billion-dollar project and will not fly before 2030. The paper provides further details on the technical capabilities of these space telescopes.

  9. Complexity and white-dwarf structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sañudo, J.; Pacheco, A. F.

    2009-02-01

    From the low-mass non-relativistic case to the extreme relativistic limit, the density profile of a white dwarf is used to evaluate the C complexity measure [R. López-Ruiz, H.L. Mancini, X. Calbet, Phys. Lett. A 209 (1995) 321]. Similarly to the recently reported atomic case where, by averaging shell effects, complexity grows with the atomic number [C.P. Panos, K.Ch. Chatzisavvas, Ch.C. Moustakidis, E.G. Kyrkou, Phys. Lett. A 363 (2007) 78; A. Borgoo, F. De Proft, P. Geerlings, K.D. Sen, Chem. Phys. Lett. 444 (2007) 186; J. Sañudo, R. López-Ruiz, Int. Rev. Phys. 2 (2008) 223], here complexity grows as a function of the star mass reaching a maximum finite value in the Chandrasekhar limit.

  10. UBV photometry of hot white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheselka, Mathew; Holberg, J. B.; Watkins, Ron; Collins, James; Tweedy, R. W.

    1993-12-01

    Johnson UBV photometry has been obtained for a set of hot degenerate stars, primarily DA and DO white dwarfs from among those detected in the Palomar-Green survey of UV excess objects. Most of our program stars have estimated effective temperatures (Teff) in the range 22,000 to 80,000 K and have no previous photometry. Some objects selected are also x-ray and extreme ultraviolet sources from the ROSAT all sky survey. The importance of precise photometric measurements in the analysis of x-ray data is discussed. A discrepancy between the observed colors and predicted colors is noted, and possibly accounted for by difficulties in defining the atmospheric cutoff of the U band and a general lack of hot stars used to define the photometric transformation between theoretical and observed colors.

  11. On General Relativistic Uniformly Rotating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Rueda, Jorge A.; Ruffini, Remo; Siutsou, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    The properties of uniformly rotating white dwarfs (RWDs) are analyzed within the framework of general relativity. Hartle's formalism is applied to construct the internal and external solutions to the Einstein equations. The white dwarf (WD) matter is described by the relativistic Feynman-Metropolis-Teller equation of state which generalizes that of Salpeter by taking into account the finite size of the nuclei, and the Coulomb interactions as well as electroweak equilibrium in a self-consistent relativistic fashion. The mass M, radius R, angular momentum J, eccentricity epsilon, and quadrupole moment Q of RWDs are calculated as a function of the central density ρ c and rotation angular velocity Ω. We construct the region of stability of RWDs (J-M plane) taking into account the mass-shedding limit, inverse β-decay instability, and the boundary established by the turning points of constant J sequences which separates stable from secularly unstable configurations. We found the minimum rotation periods ~0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 2.2 s and maximum masses ~1.500, 1.474, 1.467, 1.202 M ⊙ for 4He, 12C, 16O, and 56Fe WDs, respectively. By using the turning-point method, we found that RWDs can indeed be axisymmetrically unstable and we give the range of WD parameters where this occurs. We also construct constant rest-mass evolution tracks of RWDs at fixed chemical composition and show that, by losing angular momentum, sub-Chandrasekhar RWDs (mass smaller than maximum static one) can experience both spin-up and spin-down epochs depending on their initial mass and rotation period, while super-Chandrasekhar RWDs (mass larger than maximum static one) only spin up.

  12. ON GENERAL RELATIVISTIC UNIFORMLY ROTATING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Rueda, Jorge A.; Ruffini, Remo; Siutsou, Ivan E-mail: jorge.rueda@icra.it E-mail: siutsou@icranet.org

    2013-01-10

    The properties of uniformly rotating white dwarfs (RWDs) are analyzed within the framework of general relativity. Hartle's formalism is applied to construct the internal and external solutions to the Einstein equations. The white dwarf (WD) matter is described by the relativistic Feynman-Metropolis-Teller equation of state which generalizes that of Salpeter by taking into account the finite size of the nuclei, and the Coulomb interactions as well as electroweak equilibrium in a self-consistent relativistic fashion. The mass M, radius R, angular momentum J, eccentricity {epsilon}, and quadrupole moment Q of RWDs are calculated as a function of the central density {rho} {sub c} and rotation angular velocity {Omega}. We construct the region of stability of RWDs (J-M plane) taking into account the mass-shedding limit, inverse {beta}-decay instability, and the boundary established by the turning points of constant J sequences which separates stable from secularly unstable configurations. We found the minimum rotation periods {approx}0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 2.2 s and maximum masses {approx}1.500, 1.474, 1.467, 1.202 M {sub Sun} for {sup 4}He, {sup 12}C, {sup 16}O, and {sup 56}Fe WDs, respectively. By using the turning-point method, we found that RWDs can indeed be axisymmetrically unstable and we give the range of WD parameters where this occurs. We also construct constant rest-mass evolution tracks of RWDs at fixed chemical composition and show that, by losing angular momentum, sub-Chandrasekhar RWDs (mass smaller than maximum static one) can experience both spin-up and spin-down epochs depending on their initial mass and rotation period, while super-Chandrasekhar RWDs (mass larger than maximum static one) only spin up.

  13. Studying planetary debris disks around isolated, hot white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brinkworth, Carolyn; Gaensicke, Boris; Marsh, Tom; Hoard, Donald; Girven, Jonathan

    2010-06-01

    While more than 440 extrasolar planets orbiting main sequence stars have been discovered, the destiny of planetary systems through the late stages of the evolution of their host stars is very uncertain. We identified metal-rich (CaII and MgII emission) gas disks around 5 relatively young, hot white dwarfs, three of which were the subject of a previous Spitzer program in Cycle-5. The Cycle-5 data revealed a large, dusty extension to the gaseous debris disks, likely originating with the tidal breakup of an asteroid left over from an ancient planetary system. Our recent intensive studies of the three original systems have now turned up variability in the line profiles of the gaseous disks, suggesting the exciting possibility that we are witnessing the real-time dynamical evolution of planetary debris around these white dwarfs. We propose to extend this study to two newly-discovered, cooler members of this small sample of objects, to determine whether dust and gas can also coexist around cooler stars. Since these stars should be too cool to produce the observed CaII emission, we suspect that there is additional mechanical heating in these systems, caused by the recent impacts of asteroids. If so, CaII emission would likely be the signature of the youngest, freshest debris disks around these stars.

  14. A SEARCH FOR ASTEROIDS, MOONS, AND RINGS ORBITING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Howell, Steve B.; Kawaler, Steven D.

    2010-03-20

    Do white dwarfs host asteroid systems? Although several lines of argument suggest that white dwarfs may be orbited by large populations of asteroids, transits would provide the most direct evidence. We demonstrate that the Kepler mission has the capability to detect transits of white dwarfs by asteroids. Because white-dwarf asteroid systems, if they exist, are likely to contain many asteroids orbiting in a spatially extended distribution, discoveries of asteroid transits can be made by monitoring only a small number of white dwarfs, compatible with Kepler's primary mission, which is to monitor stars with potentially habitable planets. Possible future missions that survey 10 times as many stars with similar sensitivity and minute-cadence monitoring can establish the characteristics of asteroid systems around white dwarfs, such as the distribution of asteroid sizes and semimajor axes. Transits by planets would be more dramatic, but the probability that they will occur is lower. Ensembles of planetary moons and/or the presence of rings around planets can also produce transits detectable by Kepler. The presence of moons and rings can significantly increase the probability that Kepler will discover planets orbiting white dwarfs, even while monitoring only a small number of them.

  15. THE FREQUENCY OF DEBRIS DISKS AT WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Barber, Sara D.; Patterson, Adam J.; Kilic, Mukremin; Leggett, S. K.; Dufour, P.; Bloom, J. S.; Starr, D. L.

    2012-11-20

    We present near- and mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy from PAIRITEL, IRTF, and Spitzer of a metallicity-unbiased sample of 117 cool, hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs (WDs) from the Palomar-Green survey and find five with excess radiation in the infrared, translating to a 4.3{sup +2.7} {sub -1.2}% frequency of debris disks. This is slightly higher than, but consistent with the results of previous surveys. Using an initial-final mass relation, we apply this result to the progenitor stars of our sample and conclude that 1-7 M {sub Sun} stars have at least a 4.3% chance of hosting planets; an indirect probe of the intermediate-mass regime eluding conventional exoplanetary detection methods. Alternatively, we interpret this result as a limit on accretion timescales as a fraction of WD cooling ages; WDs accrete debris from several generations of disks for {approx}10 Myr. The average total mass accreted by these stars ranges from that of 200 km asteroids to Ceres-sized objects, indicating that WDs accrete moons and dwarf planets as well as solar system asteroid analogs.

  16. RE 0044+09: A new K dwarf rapid rotator with a white dwarf companion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kellett, Barry J.; Bromage, Gordon E.; Brown, Alexander; Jeffries, Robin D.; James, David J.; Kilkenny, David; Robb, Russell M.; Wonnacott, David; Lloyd, Christopher; Clayton, C.

    1995-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new K dwarf rapid rotator with a potential white dwarf companion. The white dwarf accounts for over 90% of the observed extreme ultraviolet flux detected from this system. Analysis of ROSAT Wide Field Camera (WFC) and IUE data both suggest a white dwarf temperature of approximately 28,700 K. Optical photometry and the IUE long wavelength prime (LWP) spectrum (with the white dwarf contribution removed) imply that the late-type star has a spectral type of K1-3 V, and a distance of 55 +/- 5 pc. Using this distance, the observed IUE SWP flux, and the best-fit temperature results in a white dwarf radius of 0.0088 solar radius. The estimated white dwarf mass is then approximately 0.91 solar mass; somewhat over-massive compared to field white dwarfs. Optical photometry of the K star reveals a 'spot' modulation period of approximately 10 hr (now observed over 3 yr). However, radial velocity observations have revealed no significant variations. Spectroscopic observations place a low limit on the lithium abundance, but do show rapid rotation with a v sin i of 90 +/- 10 km/s. The K star was detected as a radio source at 3.6 cm (on two occasions) and 6 cm by the Very Large Array (VLA). The most likely evolutionary scenario is that the K star and hot white dwarf from either a wide binary or common proper motion pair with an age of 0.1-0.1 Gyr-consistent with the evolutionary timescale of the white dwarf and the rapid rotation of the K star. However, from the proper motion of the K star, this system does not seem to be associated with any of the known young stellar groups.

  17. The Extraordinary Cataclysmic Binary RU Pegasi: The Hottest White Dwarf in a Dwarf Nova?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Urban, Joel

    2002-06-01

    We present the results of the first multicomponent synthetic spectral analysis of International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) archival spectra of the long-period dwarf nova RU Peg during quiescence. The best-fit, high-gravity, solar composition photosphere models yield Teff=50,000-53,000 K with scale factor distances of 250 pc. Optically thick accretion disk models imply accretion rates between 1×10-9 and 1×10-10Msolar yr-1 in order to match the steeply sloping far-UV continuum. However, the best-fit accretion disk models yield distances from 600 to 1300 pc, well beyond the estimated distance range of 130-300 pc. Using rough theoretical flux arguments and the distance estimates, we find better agreement between the observed far-UV luminosity and the predicted far-UV luminosity of a hot, massive, white dwarf model than with an accretion disk model. RU Peg appears to contain the hottest white dwarf yet found in a dwarf nova. We cannot rule out that the far-UV energy distribution is due to a multitemperature white dwarf with cooler, more slowly rotating higher latitudes and a rapidly spinning, hotter equatorial belt. We discuss implications of our analysis for theoretical predictions of the disk instability theory of dwarf nova outbursts. We discuss a comparison between RU Peg's white dwarf and the observed properties of other analyzed white dwarfs in dwarf novae.

  18. A Disintegrating Minor Planet Transiting a White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Johnson, John Asher; Rappaport, Saul; Bieryla, Allyson; Irwin, Jonathan; Lewis, John; Charbonneau, David; Latham, David W.; Ciardi, David; Schaefer, Laura; Kipping, David; Angus, Ruth; Eastman, Jason; Wright, Jason; McCrady, Nate; Wittenmyer, Robert; Dufour, Patrick

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated suggesting that the photospheres of many white dwarfs are polluted by the remnants of small rocky bodies leftover from the progenitors' planetary systems. The evidence for this scenario is typically indirect and circumstantial. We report observations of a disintegrating minor planet transiting a polluted white dwarf. The transits are 5 minutes long, up to 40% deep, have an asymmetric profile and highly variable transit depths. This system provides strong corroborating evidence for the planet accretion model for white dwarf pollution and lets us watch the destruction of a solar system in real time.

  19. The Boundary Layer-White Dwarf Connection: CV White Dwarf Rotation and Line Formation Regions in the Prototype Dwarf Nova U Geminorum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward

    1994-01-01

    The central accreting object in compact binaries and other accreting systems is usually hidden from direct observation, enshrouded by optically thick accretion disks which are opaque to the radiation emitted by the central object as it accretes matter. In the dwarf nova U Gem the underlying white dwarf accreter is clearly exposed in the far UV during dwarf nova quiescence. By probing the white dwarf with the sensitivity and velocity resolution of GHRS, just after the deposition of mass, energy and angular momentum into its envelope by the dwarf nova outburst event and also later in quiescence, we will obtain fundamental information such as: (1) the first rate of rotation of a CV white dwarf and hence the expected temperature and extent of the boundary layer during the high accretion (dwarf nova outburst) episode; (2) the delineation of the lower temperature line formation regions associated with the rotating, average (30-40,000K), photosphere of the white dwarf from the line formation region(s) of higher temperature ion species (e.g. NV 1238,1242) (boundary layer/accretion belt or putative hot corona?) surrounding the white dwarf; (3) the velocity amplitude and hence mass and gravitational redshift of the U Gem white dwarf; (4) the possible presence of persisting (but weaker in quiescence) radiation- driven selective ion wind (5) line profile variations to test physical mech- anisms that control the flow of accreted elements and hence abundance changes (diffusion, mixing, dilution, dredgeup and ongoing

  20. A low-temperature companion to a white dwarf star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Zuckerman, B.

    1988-01-01

    An infrared object located about 120 AU from the white dwarf GD165 has been discovered. With the exception of the possible brown dwarf companion to Giclas 29-38 reported last year, the companion to GD165 is the coolest (2100 K) dwarf star ever reported and, according to some theoretical models, it should be a substellar brown dwarf with a mass between 0.06 and 0.08 solar mass. These results, together with newly discovered low-mass stellar companions to white dwarfs, change the investigation of very low-mass stars from the study of a few chance objects to that of a statistical distribution. In particular, it appears that very low-mass stars and perhaps even brown dwarfs could be quite common in the Galaxy.

  1. The stellar seismology of hot white dwarfs and planetary nebula nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1987-01-01

    The pulsation properties of hot white dwarfs make it possible to determine their mass, surface composition, rotation, and rate of evolution, and provide constraints on their internal structure. Period spacings are sensitive measures of stellar mass and indicate surface layer structure. Measurement of the rate of period change for these stars provide a way to determine their cooling rates. Attention is also given to how well (or poorly) models of excitation of the pulsations fit within current models of planetary nebula nuclei and hot white dwarfs.

  2. 70 DA WHITE DWARFS IDENTIFIED IN LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, J. K.; Luo, A. L.; Zhao, G.; Oswalt, T. D. E-mail: gzhao@bao.ac.cn E-mail: toswalt@fit.edu

    2013-06-01

    We present a spectroscopically identified catalog of 70 DA white dwarfs (WDs) from the LAMOST pilot survey. Thirty-five are found to be new identifications after cross-correlation with the Eisenstein et al. and Villanova catalogs. The effective temperature and gravity of these WDs are estimated by Balmer lines fitting. Most of them are hot WDs. The cooling times and masses of these WDs are estimated by interpolation in theoretical evolution tracks. The peak of the mass distribution is found to be {approx}0.6 M {sub Sun }, which is consistent with prior work in the literature. The distances of these WDs are estimated using the method of synthetic spectral distances. All of these WDs are found to be in the Galactic disk from our analysis of space motions. Our sample supports the expectation that WDs with high mass are concentrated near the plane of the Galactic disk.

  3. Physical Properties of the Current Census of Northern White Dwarfs within 40 pc of the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limoges, M.-M.; Bergeron, P.; Lépine, S.

    2015-08-01

    We present a detailed description of the physical properties of our current census of white dwarfs within 40 pc of the Sun, based on an exhaustive spectroscopic survey of northern hemisphere candidates from the SUPERBLINK proper motion database. Our method for selecting white dwarf candidates is based on a combination of theoretical color-magnitude relations and reduced proper motion diagrams. We reported in an earlier publication the discovery of nearly 200 new white dwarfs, and we present here the discovery of an additional 133 new white dwarfs, among which we identify 96 DA, 3 DB, 24 DC, 3 DQ, and 7 DZ stars. We further identify 178 white dwarfs that lie within 40 pc of the Sun, representing a 40% increase of the current census, which now includes 492 objects. We estimate the completeness of our survey at between 66% and 78%, allowing for uncertainties in the distance estimates. We also perform a homogeneous model atmosphere analysis of this 40 pc sample and find a large fraction of massive white dwarfs, indicating that we are successfully recovering the more massive, and less luminous objects often missed in other surveys. We also show that the 40 pc sample is dominated by cool and old white dwarfs, which populate the faint end of the luminosity function, although trigonometric parallaxes will be needed to shape this part of the luminosity function more accurately. Finally, we identify 4 probable members of the 20 pc sample, 4 suspected double degenerate binaries, and we also report the discovery of two new ZZ Ceti pulsators.

  4. Active states and structure transformations in accreting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boneva, Daniela; Kaygorodov, Pavel

    2016-07-01

    Active states in white dwarfs are usually associated with light curve's effects that concern to the bursts, flickering or flare-up occurrences. It is common that a gas-dynamics source exists for each of these processes there. We consider the white dwarf binary stars with accretion disc around the primary. We suggest a flow transformation modeling of the mechanisms that are responsible for ability to cause some flow instability and bring the white dwarfs system to the outburst's development. The processes that cause the accretion rate to sufficiently increase are discussed. Then the transition from a quiescent to an active state is realized. We analyze a quasi-periodic variability in the luminosity of white dwarf binary stars systems. The results are supported with an observational data.

  5. Three eclipsing white dwarf plus main sequence binaries from SDSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyrzas, S.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Marsh, T. R.; Aungwerojwit, A.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Southworth, J.; Rodríguez-Gil, P.; Schreiber, M. R.; Koester, D.

    2009-06-01

    We identify SDSS 0110+1326, SDSS 0303+0054 and SDSS 1435+3733 as three eclipsing white dwarf plus main sequence binaries from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and report on their follow-up observations. Orbital periods for the three systems are established through multi-season photometry. Time-resolved spectroscopic observations lead to the determination of the radial velocities of the secondary stars. A decomposition technique of the SDSS spectra is used to estimate the surface gravities and effective temperatures of the white dwarfs, as well as the spectral types of the secondaries. By combining the constraints from the spectral decomposition, the radial velocity data and the modeling of the systems' light curves, we determine the physical parameters of the stellar components. Two of the white dwarfs are of low mass (Mwd ~ 0.4 Modot), while the third white dwarf is unusually massive (MWD ~ 0.8-0.9 Modot) for a post-common envelope system.

  6. Circumstellar debris and pollution at white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2016-04-01

    Circumstellar disks of planetary debris are now known or suspected to closely orbit hundreds of white dwarf stars. To date, both data and theory support disks that are entirely contained within the preceding giant stellar radii, and hence must have been produced during the white dwarf phase. This picture is strengthened by the signature of material falling onto the pristine stellar surfaces; disks are always detected together with atmospheric heavy elements. The physical link between this debris and the white dwarf host abundances enables unique insight into the bulk chemistry of extrasolar planetary systems via their remnants. This review summarizes the body of evidence supporting dynamically active planetary systems at a large fraction of all white dwarfs, the remnants of first generation, main-sequence planetary systems, and hence provide insight into initial conditions as well as long-term dynamics and evolution.

  7. A variational approach to understanding white dwarf evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.; Winget, D. E.

    1989-01-01

    A variational approach is used to map out the effects that uncertainties in the theoretical model parameters have upon the derived ages near the observed cutoff in the white dwarf luminosity function. Two representative sequences are assessed, simulating a white dwarf with a 50/50 C/O mixture in the core and an outer helium layer and a white dwarf with a C/O convective overshooting profile. The differential effects that the variation of selected model input quantities has on the ages are reported, and it is concluded that internal theoretical uncertainties are small and getting smaller with time, and the results underscore the power of using the observed white dwarf luminosity function for studying the history of star formation in the Galaxy.

  8. A search for cataclysmic binaries containing strongly magnetic white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bond, H. E.; Chanmugam, G.

    1982-01-01

    The AM Herculis type binaries which contain accreting white dwarfs with surface magnetic fields of a few times 10 to the seventh power gauss were studied. If white dwarfs in cataclysmic binaries have a range of field strengths similar to that among single white dwarfs. AM Her like systems should exist with fields as high as 3 x 10 to the eighth power gauss. It is suggested that such objects will not have the strong optical polarization of the AM Her variables; however, they exhibit high harmonic cyclotron emission, making them spectacular UV sources. We made IUE observations of seven candidate cataclysmic variables selected for optical similarity to AM Her binaries. Although all seven objects were detected in the UV, none display unusually strong UV continua. It is suggested that the distribution of magnetic field strengths among single white dwarfs may be different from that among binaries.

  9. VizieR Online Data Catalog: White dwarf main-sequence binaries (Rebassa-Mansergas+, 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Agurto-Gangas, C.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gansicke, B. T.; Koester, D.

    2014-07-01

    The spectroscopic catalogue of white dwarf main-sequence (WDMS) binaries from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the largest and most homogeneous sample of compact binary stars currently known. However, because of selection effects, the current sample is strongly biased against systems containing cool white dwarfs and/or early-type companions, which are predicted to dominate the intrinsic population. In this study, we present colour selection criteria that combines optical (ugriz DR8 SDSS) plus infrared (yjhk DR9 UKIRT Infrared Sky Survey, JHK Two Micron All Sky Survey and/or W1W2 Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) magnitudes to select 3419 photometric candidates of harbouring cool white dwarfs and/or dominant (M dwarf) companions. We demonstrate that 84 percent of our selected candidates are very likely genuine WDMS binaries, and that the white dwarf effective temperatures and secondary star spectral types of 71 percent of our selected sources are expected to be below <~10000-15000K, and concentrated at ~M2-3, respectively. We also present an updated version of the spectroscopic SDSS WDMS binary catalogue, which incorporates 47 new systems from SDSS DR8. The bulk of the DR8 spectroscopy is made up of main-sequence stars and red giants that were targeted as part of the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) Survey, therefore the number of new spectroscopic WDMS binaries in DR 8 is very small compared to previous SDSS data releases. Despite their low number, DR8 WDMS binaries are found to be dominated by systems containing cool white dwarfs and therefore represent an important addition to the spectroscopic sample. The updated SDSS DR8 spectroscopic catalogue of WDMS binaries consists of 2316 systems. We compare our updated catalogue with recently published lists of WDMS binaries and conclude that it currently represents the largest, most homogeneous and cleanest sample of spectroscopic WDMS binaries from SDSS. (5 data files).

  10. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Johnson, John Asher; Rappaport, Saul; Bieryla, Allyson; Irwin, Jonathan; Lewis, John Arban; Kipping, David; Brown, Warren R.; Dufour, Patrick; Ciardi, David R.; Angus, Ruth; Schaefer, Laura; Latham, David W.; Charbonneau, David; Beichman, Charles; Eastman, Jason; McCrady, Nate; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Wright, Jason T.

    2015-10-01

    Most stars become white dwarfs after they have exhausted their nuclear fuel (the Sun will be one such). Between one-quarter and one-half of white dwarfs have elements heavier than helium in their atmospheres, even though these elements ought to sink rapidly into the stellar interiors (unless they are occasionally replenished). The abundance ratios of heavy elements in the atmospheres of white dwarfs are similar to the ratios in rocky bodies in the Solar System. This fact, together with the existence of warm, dusty debris disks surrounding about four per cent of white dwarfs, suggests that rocky debris from the planetary systems of white-dwarf progenitors occasionally pollutes the atmospheres of the stars. The total accreted mass of this debris is sometimes comparable to the mass of large asteroids in the Solar System. However, rocky, disintegrating bodies around a white dwarf have not yet been observed. Here we report observations of a white dwarf--WD 1145+017--being transited by at least one, and probably several, disintegrating planetesimals, with periods ranging from 4.5 hours to 4.9 hours. The strongest transit signals occur every 4.5 hours and exhibit varying depths (blocking up to 40 per cent of the star's brightness) and asymmetric profiles, indicative of a small object with a cometary tail of dusty effluent material. The star has a dusty debris disk, and the star's spectrum shows prominent lines from heavy elements such as magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron, and nickel. This system provides further evidence that the pollution of white dwarfs by heavy elements might originate from disrupted rocky bodies such as asteroids and minor planets.

  11. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    PubMed

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Johnson, John Asher; Rappaport, Saul; Bieryla, Allyson; Irwin, Jonathan; Lewis, John Arban; Kipping, David; Brown, Warren R; Dufour, Patrick; Ciardi, David R; Angus, Ruth; Schaefer, Laura; Latham, David W; Charbonneau, David; Beichman, Charles; Eastman, Jason; McCrady, Nate; Wittenmyer, Robert A; Wright, Jason T

    2015-10-22

    Most stars become white dwarfs after they have exhausted their nuclear fuel (the Sun will be one such). Between one-quarter and one-half of white dwarfs have elements heavier than helium in their atmospheres, even though these elements ought to sink rapidly into the stellar interiors (unless they are occasionally replenished). The abundance ratios of heavy elements in the atmospheres of white dwarfs are similar to the ratios in rocky bodies in the Solar System. This fact, together with the existence of warm, dusty debris disks surrounding about four per cent of white dwarfs, suggests that rocky debris from the planetary systems of white-dwarf progenitors occasionally pollutes the atmospheres of the stars. The total accreted mass of this debris is sometimes comparable to the mass of large asteroids in the Solar System. However, rocky, disintegrating bodies around a white dwarf have not yet been observed. Here we report observations of a white dwarf--WD 1145+017--being transited by at least one, and probably several, disintegrating planetesimals, with periods ranging from 4.5 hours to 4.9 hours. The strongest transit signals occur every 4.5 hours and exhibit varying depths (blocking up to 40 per cent of the star's brightness) and asymmetric profiles, indicative of a small object with a cometary tail of dusty effluent material. The star has a dusty debris disk, and the star's spectrum shows prominent lines from heavy elements such as magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron, and nickel. This system provides further evidence that the pollution of white dwarfs by heavy elements might originate from disrupted rocky bodies such as asteroids and minor planets. PMID:26490620

  12. Determination of the Core Composition of White Dwarfs in M67

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Amélie; Fontaine, Gilles; Brassard, Pierre

    2015-06-01

    Since stellar helium thermonuclear burning is still not well constrained, the exact proportion of carbon and oxygen in the core of white dwarfs remains largely unknown. Given that the cooling time of these objects depends on their composition, it is thus crucial to constrain the latter in order to use white dwarfs as cosmochronometers. To address this, we compared theoretical luminosty functions built for a wide range of compositions to the observed luminosity function of the coeval white dwarfs in the M67 cluster. Theoretical luminosity functions were determined from 300 state-of-the-art evolutionary sequences, combined with models for the stellar formation rate, initial mass function, and initial-to-final mass relationship. Since the age of M67 is known to a good precision , this comparison allowed us to determine the mean carbon-to-oxygen ratio of its white dwarf population. Assuming that the white dwarfs in M67 are 80% DA's and 20% DB's with standard "thick" envelopes, we find that their core composition is dominated by oxygen.

  13. ANCIENT PLANETARY SYSTEMS ARE ORBITING A LARGE FRACTION OF WHITE DWARF STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.; Melis, C.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Koester, D. E-mail: cmelis@ucsd.ed E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.ed

    2010-10-10

    Infrared studies have revealed debris likely related to planet formation in orbit around {approx}30% of youthful, intermediate mass, main-sequence stars. We present evidence, based on atmospheric pollution by various elements heavier than helium, that a comparable fraction of the white dwarf descendants of such main-sequence stars are orbited by planetary systems. These systems have survived, at least in part, through all stages of stellar evolution that precede the white dwarf. During the time interval ({approx}200 million years) that a typical polluted white dwarf in our sample has been cooling it has accreted from its planetary system the mass of one of the largest asteroids in our solar system (e.g., Vesta or Ceres). Usually, this accreted mass will be only a fraction of the total mass of rocky material that orbits these white dwarfs; for plausible planetary system configurations we estimate that this total mass is likely to be at least equal to that of the Sun's asteroid belt, and perhaps much larger. We report abundances of a suite of eight elements detected in the little studied star G241-6 that we find to be among the most heavily polluted of all moderately bright white dwarfs.

  14. The white dwarf luminosity function - A possible probe of the galactic halo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamanaha, Christopher M.; Silk, Joseph; Wood, M. A.; Winget, D. E.

    1990-01-01

    The dynamically inferred dark halo mass density, amounting to above 0.01 solar masses/cu pc at the sun's Galactocentric radius, can be composed of faint white dwarfs provided that the halo formed in a sufficiently early burst of star formation. The model is constrained by the observed disk white dwarf luminosity function which falls off below log (L/solar L) = -4.4, due to the onset of star formation in the disk. By using a narrow range for the initial mass function and an exponentially decaying halo star formation rate with an e-folding time equal to the free-fall time, all the halo dark matter is allowed to be in cool white dwarfs which lie beyond the falloff in the disk luminosity function. Although it is unlikely that all the dark matter is in these dim white dwarfs, a definite signature in the low-luminosity end of the white dwarf luminosity function is predicted even if they comprise only 1 percent of the dark matter. Current CCD surveys should answer the question of the existence of this population within the next few years.

  15. WHITE-DWARF-MAIN-SEQUENCE BINARIES IDENTIFIED FROM THE LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Ren Juanjuan; Luo Ali; Li Yinbi; Wei Peng; Zhao Jingkun; Zhao Yongheng; Song Yihan; Zhao Gang E-mail: lal@nao.cas.cn

    2013-10-01

    We present a set of white-dwarf-main-sequence (WDMS) binaries identified spectroscopically from the Large sky Area Multi-Object fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST, also called the Guo Shou Jing Telescope) pilot survey. We develop a color selection criteria based on what is so far the largest and most complete Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR7 WDMS binary catalog and identify 28 WDMS binaries within the LAMOST pilot survey. The primaries in our binary sample are mostly DA white dwarfs except for one DB white dwarf. We derive the stellar atmospheric parameters, masses, and radii for the two components of 10 of our binaries. We also provide cooling ages for the white dwarf primaries as well as the spectral types for the companion stars of these 10 WDMS binaries. These binaries tend to contain hot white dwarfs and early-type companions. Through cross-identification, we note that nine binaries in our sample have been published in the SDSS DR7 WDMS binary catalog. Nineteen spectroscopic WDMS binaries identified by the LAMOST pilot survey are new. Using the 3{sigma} radial velocity variation as a criterion, we find two post-common-envelope binary candidates from our WDMS binary sample.

  16. Evaporation and accretion of extrasolar comets following white dwarf kicks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Nicholas; Metzger, Brian D.; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-03-01

    Several lines of observational evidence suggest that white dwarfs receive small birth kicks due to anisotropic mass-loss. If other stars possess extrasolar analogues to the Solar Oort cloud, the orbits of comets in such clouds will be scrambled by white dwarf natal kicks. Although most comets will be unbound, some will be placed on low angular momentum orbits vulnerable to sublimation or tidal disruption. The dusty debris from these comets will manifest itself as an IR excess temporarily visible around newborn white dwarfs; examples of such discs may already have been seen in the Helix Nebula, and around several other young white dwarfs. Future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope may distinguish this hypothesis from alternatives such as a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt analogue. Although competing hypotheses exist, the observation that ≳15 per cent of young white dwarfs possess such discs, if interpreted as indeed being cometary in origin, provides indirect evidence that low-mass gas giants (thought necessary to produce an Oort cloud) are common in the outer regions of extrasolar planetary systems. Hydrogen abundances in the atmospheres of older white dwarfs can, if sufficiently low, also be used to place constraints on the joint parameter space of natal kicks and exo-Oort cloud models.

  17. Pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables: The marriage of ZZ Cet and dwarf nova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, Brian; Woudt, Patrick A.

    2004-05-01

    There are now four dwarf novae known with white dwarf primaries that show large amplitude non-radial oscillations of the kind seen in ZZ Cet stars. We compare the properties of these stars and point out that by the end of Sloan Digital Sky Survey more than 30 should be known.

  18. ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF COMPACT WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, David L.; Bildsten, Lars; Steinfadt, Justin D. R. E-mail: bildsten@kitp.ucsb.edu

    2012-10-10

    The newfound prevalence of extremely low mass (ELM, M{sub He} < 0.2 M{sub Sun }) helium white dwarfs (WDs) in tight binaries with more massive WDs has raised our interest in understanding the nature of their mass transfer. Possessing small (M{sub env} {approx} 10{sup -3} M{sub Sun }) but thick hydrogen envelopes, these objects have larger radii than cold WDs and so initiate mass transfer of H-rich material at orbital periods of 6-10 minutes. Building on the original work of D'Antona et al., we confirm the 10{sup 6} yr period of continued inspiral with mass transfer of H-rich matter and highlight the fact that the inspiraling direct-impact double WD binary HM Cancri likely has an ELM WD donor. The ELM WDs have less of a radius expansion under mass loss, thus enabling a larger range of donor masses that can stably transfer matter and become a He mass transferring AM CVn binary. Even once in the long-lived AM CVn mass transferring stage, these He WDs have larger radii due to their higher entropy from the prolonged H-burning stage.

  19. TWO NEW TIDALLY DISTORTED WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.

    2012-04-10

    We identify two new tidally distorted white dwarfs (WDs), SDSS J174140.49+652638.7 and J211921.96-001825.8 (hereafter J1741 and J2119). Both stars are extremely low mass (ELM, {<=} 0.2 M{sub Sun }) WDs in short-period, detached binary systems. High-speed photometric observations obtained at the McDonald Observatory reveal ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming in both systems; J1741, with a minimum companion mass of 1.1 M{sub Sun }, has one of the strongest Doppler beaming signals ever observed in a binary system (0.59% {+-} 0.06% amplitude). We use the observed ellipsoidal variations to constrain the radius of each WD. For J1741, the star's radius must exceed 0.074 R{sub Sun }. For J2119, the radius exceeds 0.10 R{sub Sun }. These indirect radius measurements are comparable to the radius measurements for the bloated WD companions to A-stars found by the Kepler spacecraft, and they constitute some of the largest radii inferred for any WD. Surprisingly, J1741 also appears to show a 0.23% {+-} 0.06% reflection effect, and we discuss possible sources for this excess heating. Both J1741 and J2119 are strong gravitational wave sources, and the time-of-minimum of the ellipsoidal variations can be used to detect the orbital period decay. This may be possible on a timescale of a decade or less.

  20. Liberating exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Matthew J.; Veras, Dimitri; Holman, Matthew J.; Gänsicke, Boris T.

    2016-03-01

    Previous studies indicate that more than a quarter of all white dwarf (WD) atmospheres are polluted by remnant planetary material, with some WDs being observed to accrete the mass of Pluto in 106 yr. The short sinking time-scale for the pollutants indicates that the material must be frequently replenished. Moons may contribute decisively to this pollution process if they are liberated from their parent planets during the post-main-sequence evolution of the planetary systems. Here, we demonstrate that gravitational scattering events amongst planets in WD systems easily trigger moon ejection. Repeated close encounters within tenths of planetary Hill radii are highly destructive to even the most massive, close-in moons. Consequently, scattering increases both the frequency of perturbing agents in WD systems, as well as the available mass of polluting material in those systems, thereby enhancing opportunities for collision and fragmentation and providing more dynamical pathways for smaller bodies to reach the WD. Moreover, during intense scattering, planets themselves have pericentres with respect to the WD of only a fraction of an astronomical unit, causing extreme Hill-sphere contraction, and the liberation of moons into WD-grazing orbits. Many of our results are directly applicable to exomoons orbiting planets around main-sequence stars.

  1. DISCOVERY OF AN ULTRAMASSIVE PULSATING WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

    Hermes, J. J.; Castanheira, Barbara G.; Winget, D. E.; Montgomery, M. H.; Harrold, Samuel T.; Kepler, S. O.; Gianninas, A.; Brown, Warren R.

    2013-07-01

    We announce the discovery of the most massive pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarf (WD) ever discovered, GD 518. Model atmosphere fits to the optical spectrum of this star show it is a 12, 030 {+-} 210 K WD with a log g =9.08 {+-} 0.06, which corresponds to a mass of 1.20 {+-} 0.03 M{sub Sun }. Stellar evolution models indicate that the progenitor of such a high-mass WD endured a stable carbon-burning phase, producing an oxygen-neon-core WD. The discovery of pulsations in GD 518 thus offers the first opportunity to probe the interior of a WD with a possible oxygen-neon core. Such a massive WD should also be significantly crystallized at this temperature. The star exhibits multi-periodic luminosity variations at timescales ranging from roughly 425 to 595 s and amplitudes up to 0.7%, consistent in period and amplitude with the observed variability of typical ZZ Ceti stars, which exhibit non-radial g-mode pulsations driven by a hydrogen partial ionization zone. Successfully unraveling both the total mass and core composition of GD 518 provides a unique opportunity to investigate intermediate-mass stellar evolution, and can possibly place an upper limit to the mass of a carbon-oxygen-core WD, which in turn constrains Type Ia supernovae progenitor systems.

  2. Evidence for very nearby hidden white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuhrmann, K.; Chini, R.; Kaderhandt, L.; Chen, Z.; Lachaume, R.

    2016-06-01

    We report the discovery of a tertiary component to the prominent and nearby (d = 14 pc) visual binary α Fornacis. The new invisible component is part of a 4-d short-period Ba-Bb subsystem, whose K-type α For Ba primary shows a striking [Ba/Fe] = +0.26 dex overabundance, at variance with a close to solar [Ba/Fe] = +0.04 dex abundance for its distant visual companion α For A. For the even nearer (d = 8 pc) multiple star ξ Ursae Majoris and its alike 4-d Ba-Bb subsystem, we similarly find [Ba/Fe] = +0.37 dex for its G-type ξ UMa Ba primary, compared to a significantly lower [Ba/Fe] = +0.12 dex for the visual companion ξ UMa A. In both cases, the differential barium enrichment is direct evidence for short-period white dwarf systems and the creation of blue straggler stars through mass transfer and wind accretion, for their close and distant companions, respectively. These findings also imply that conventional stellar age datings for both α For and ξ UMa are likely not reliable.

  3. Effective geometry of a white dwarf

    SciTech Connect

    Bini, D.; Cherubini, C.; Filippi, S.

    2011-03-15

    The ''effective geometry'' formalism is used to study the perturbations of a white dwarf described as a self-gravitating fermion gas with a completely degenerate relativistic equation of state of barotropic type. The quantum nature of the system causes an absence of homological properties, manifested instead by polytropic stars, and requires a parametric study of the solutions both at the numerical and analytical level. We have explicitly derived a compact analytical parametric approximate solution of Pade type, which gives density curves and stellar radii in good accordance with already existing numerical results. After validation of this new type of approximate solutions, we use them to construct the effective acoustic metric governing general perturbations following Chebsch's formalism. Even in this quantum case, the stellar surface exhibits a curvature singularity due to the vanishing of density, as already evidenced in past studies on nonquantum self-gravitating polytropic stars. The equations of the theory are finally numerically integrated in the simpler case of irrotational spherical pulsating perturbations, including the effect of backreaction, in order to have a dynamical picture of the process occurring in the acoustic metric.

  4. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, Alexandros; Bell, Keaton J.; Curd, Brandon; Brown, Warren R.; Hermes, J. J.; Dufour, Patrick; Wisniewski, John P.; Winget, D. E.; Winget, K. I.

    2015-12-01

    We present the serendipitous discovery of eclipse-like events around the massive white dwarf SDSS J152934.98+292801.9 (hereafter J1529+2928). We selected J1529+2928 for time-series photometry based on its spectroscopic temperature and surface gravity, which place it near the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Instead of pulsations, we detect photometric dips from this white dwarf every 38 minutes. Follow-up optical spectroscopy observations with Gemini reveal no significant radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar and brown dwarf companions. A disintegrating planet around this white dwarf cannot explain the observed light curves in different filters. Given the short period, the source of the photometric dips must be a dark spot that comes into view every 38 minutes due to the rotation of the white dwarf. Our optical spectroscopy does not show any evidence of Zeeman splitting of the Balmer lines, limiting the magnetic field strength to B < 70 kG. Since up to 15% of white dwarfs display kG magnetic fields, such eclipse-like events should be common around white dwarfs. We discuss the potential implications of this discovery on transient surveys targeting white dwarfs, like the K2 mission and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. This work is based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, McDonald Observatory, and the Apache Point Observatory 3.5-m telescope. The latter is owned and operated by the Astrophysical Research Consortium. Gemini Observatory is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina).

  5. Very low mass stars and white dwarfs in NGC 6397

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paresce, Francesco; De Marchi, Guido; Romaniello, Martino

    1995-01-01

    Deep Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) images in wide bands centered at 606 and 802 nm were taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) 4.6 min from the center of the galactic globular cluster NGC 6397. The images were used to accurately position approximately 2120 stars detected in the field on a color magnitude diagram down to a limiting magnitude m(sub 814) approximately = m(sub I) approximately = 26 determined reliably and solely by counting statistics. A white dwarf sequence and a rich, narrow cluster main sequence are detected for the first time, the latter stretching from m(sub 814) = 18.5 to m(sub 814) = 24.0 where it becomes indistinguishable from the field population. Two changes of slope of the main sequence at m(sub 814) approximately = 20 and m(sub 814) approximately = 22.5 are evident. The corresponding luminosity function increases slowly from M(sub 814) approximately = 6.5 to 8.5 are expected from ground-based observations but then drops sharply from there dwon to the measurement limit. The corresponding mass function obtained bu using the only presently available mass-luminosity function for the cluster's metallicity rises to a plateau between approximately 0.25 and approximately 0.15 solar mass, but drops toward the expected mass limit of the normal hydrogen burning main sequence at approximately 0.1 solar mass. This result is in clear contrast to that obtained from the ground and implies either a substantial modification of the cluster's initial mass function due to dynamical evolution in its lifetime, or that very low mass stars are not produced in any dynamically significant amount by clusters of this type. The white dwarf sequence is in reasonable agreement with a cooling sequence of models of mass 0.5 solar mass at the canonical distance of NGC 6397 with a scatter that is most likely due to photometric errors, but may also reflect real differences in mass or chemical composition. Contamination from unresolved galaxies, which cannot be

  6. Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bravo, E.; Gil-Pons, P.; Gutiérrez, J. L.; Doherty, C. L.

    2016-05-01

    Recently, it has been found that off-center carbon burning in a subset of intermediate-mass stars does not propagate all the way to the center, resulting in a class of hybrid CONe cores. The implications of a significant presence of carbon in the resulting massive degenerate cores have not been thoroughly explored so far. Here, we consider the possibility that stars hosting these hybrid CONe cores might belong to a close binary system and, eventually, become white dwarfs accreting from a nondegenerate companion at rates leading to a supernova explosion. We computed the hydrodynamical phase of the explosion of Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs harboring hybrid cores, assuming that the explosion starts at the center; this explosion occurs either as a detonation, as may be expected in some degenerate merging scenarios, or as a deflagration that afterward transitions into a delayed detonation. We assume these hybrid cores are made of a central CO volume, of mass MCO, surrounded by an ONe shell. We show that, in the case of a pure detonation, a medium-sized carbon-rich region, MCO (<0.4 M⊙), results in the ejection of a small fraction of the mantle while leaving a massive bound remnant. Part of this remnant is made of the products of the detonation, that is, Fe-group nuclei, but they are buried in its inner regions unless convection is activated during the ensuing cooling and shrinking phase of the remnant. In contrast, and somehow paradoxically, delayed detonations do not leave remnants other than for the minimum MCO we explored of MCO = 0.2 M⊙, and even in this case the remnant is as small as 0.13 M⊙. The ejecta produced by these delayed detonations are characterized by slightly smaller masses of 56Ni and substantially smaller kinetic energies than the ejecta obtained for a delayed detonation of a "normal" CO white dwarf. The optical emission expected from these explosions most likely do not match the observational properties of typical Type Ia supernovae

  7. Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bravo, E.; Gil-Pons, P.; Gutiérrez, J. L.; Doherty, C. L.

    2016-04-01

    Recently, it has been found that off-center carbon burning in a subset of intermediate-mass stars does not propagate all the way to the center, resulting in a class of hybrid CONe cores. The implications of a significant presence of carbon in the resulting massive degenerate cores have not been thoroughly explored so far. Here, we consider the possibility that stars hosting these hybrid CONe cores might belong to a close binary system and, eventually, become white dwarfs accreting from a nondegenerate companion at rates leading to a supernova explosion. We computed the hydrodynamical phase of the explosion of Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs harboring hybrid cores, assuming that the explosion starts at the center; this explosion occurs either as a detonation, as may be expected in some degenerate merging scenarios, or as a deflagration that afterward transitions into a delayed detonation. We assume these hybrid cores are made of a central CO volume, of mass MCO, surrounded by an ONe shell. We show that, in the case of a pure detonation, a medium-sized carbon-rich region, MCO (<0.4 M⊙), results in the ejection of a small fraction of the mantle while leaving a massive bound remnant. Part of this remnant is made of the products of the detonation, that is, Fe-group nuclei, but they are buried in its inner regions unless convection is activated during the ensuing cooling and shrinking phase of the remnant. In contrast, and somehow paradoxically, delayed detonations do not leave remnants other than for the minimum MCO we explored of MCO = 0.2 M⊙, and even in this case the remnant is as small as 0.13 M⊙. The ejecta produced by these delayed detonations are characterized by slightly smaller masses of 56Ni and substantially smaller kinetic energies than the ejecta obtained for a delayed detonation of a "normal" CO white dwarf. The optical emission expected from these explosions most likely do not match the observational properties of typical Type Ia supernovae

  8. New white dwarf stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, I.; Koester, D.; Ourique, G.; Kleinman, S. J.; Romero, A. D.; Nitta, A.; Eisenstein, D. J.; Costa, J. E. S.; Külebi, B.; Jordan, S.; Dufour, P.; Giommi, Paolo; Rebassa-Mansergas, Alberto

    2015-02-01

    We report the discovery of 9088 new spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs and subdwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10. We obtain Teff, log g and mass for hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) and helium atmosphere white dwarf stars (DBs), and estimate the calcium/helium abundances for the white dwarf stars with metallic lines (DZs) and carbon/helium for carbon-dominated spectra DQs. We found 1 central star of a planetary nebula, 2 new oxygen spectra on helium atmosphere white dwarfs, 71 DQs, 42 hot DO/PG1159s, 171 white dwarf+main-sequence star binaries, 206 magnetic DAHs, 327 continuum-dominated DCs, 397 metal-polluted white dwarfs, 450 helium-dominated white dwarfs, 647 subdwarfs and 6887 new hydrogen-dominated white dwarf stars.

  9. A White Dwarf-Based Investigation of the IRAC Photometric Absolute Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, Jay; Bergeron, Pierre

    2006-05-01

    We propose a SPITZER Archive Program to use the extensive set of DA (pure hydrogen) white dwarfs in the SPITZER Science Archive to: 1) perform an independent investigation of the absolute calibration of the IRAC bands, 2) to evaluated the claim (Kilic et al. 2005) that cool white dwarfs possess unexplained flux deficits in the IRAC 4.5 micron and 8 micron channels, and 3) to systematically investigate the effects of Collisionally Induced Opacities and other opacity sources in cool white dwarfs. Our proposed data set consists primarily of the large set of those DA white dwarfs which have been observed with IRAC, AND which possess spectroscopically determined temperatures and gravities. These stars are placed on the HST photometric scale, with its well defined links to Vega, to optical fluxes, and to the 2MASS Near-IR bands. Model atmosphere fluxes, precisely matching the optical and 2MASS photometry and optical spectroscopy, are used to predict the corresponding IRAC fluxes. This procedure is demonstrated for a set of published IRAC observations.

  10. DUSTY DISKS AROUND WHITE DWARFS. I. ORIGIN OF DEBRIS DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Dong Ruobing; Wang Yan; Lin, D. N. C.; Liu, X.-W. E-mail: yuw123@psu.ed E-mail: liuxw@bac.pku.edu.c

    2010-06-01

    A significant fraction of the mature FGK stars have cool dusty disks at least an order of magnitude brighter than the solar system's outer zodiacal light. Since such dusts must be continually replenished, they are generally assumed to be the collisional fragments of residual planetesimals analogous to the Kuiper-Belt objects. At least 10% of solar-type stars also bear gas giant planets. The fraction of stars with known gas giants or detectable debris disks (or both) appears to increase with the stellar mass. Here, we examine the dynamical evolution of systems of long-period gas giant planets and residual planetesimals as their host stars evolve off the main sequence, lose mass, and form planetary nebula around remnant white dwarf cores. The orbits of distant gas giant planets and super-km-size planetesimals expand adiabatically. During the most intense asymptotic giant branch mass-loss phase, sub-meter-size particles migrate toward their host stars due to the strong hydrodynamical drag by the intense stellar wind. Along their migration paths, gas giant planets capture and sweep up sub-km-size planetesimals onto their mean-motion resonances. These planetesimals also acquire modest eccentricities which are determined by the mass of the perturbing planets, and the rate and speed of stellar mass loss. The swept-up planetesimals undergo disruptive collisions which lead to the production of grains with an extended size range. The radiation drag on these particles is ineffective against the planets' resonant barrier and they form 30-50 AU size rings which can effectively reprocess the stellar irradiation in the form of FIR continuum. We identify the recently discovered dust ring around the white dwarf WD 2226-210 at the center of the Helix nebula as a prototype of such disks and suggest such rings may be common.