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Sample records for low-mass white dwarf

  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. THE BINARY FRACTION OF LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Justin M.; Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2011-04-01

    We describe spectroscopic observations of 21 low-mass ({<=}0.45 M{sub sun}) white dwarfs (WDs) from the Palomar-Green survey obtained over four years. We use both radial velocities and infrared photometry to identify binary systems, and find that the fraction of single, low-mass WDs is {<=}30%. We discuss the potential formation channels for these single stars including binary mergers of lower-mass objects. However, binary mergers are not likely to explain the observed number of single low-mass WDs. Thus, additional formation channels, such as enhanced mass loss due to winds or interactions with substellar companions, are likely.

  3. 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

  4. PULSATIONS IN HYDROGEN BURNING LOW-MASS HELIUM WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Steinfadt, Justin D. R.; Bildsten, Lars; Arras, Phil E-mail: bildsten@kitp.ucsb.ed

    2010-07-20

    Helium core white dwarfs (WDs) with mass M {approx}< 0.20 M {sub sun} undergo several Gyr of stable hydrogen burning as they evolve. We show that in a certain range of WD and hydrogen envelope masses, these WDs may exhibit g-mode pulsations similar to their passively cooling, more massive carbon/oxygen core counterparts, the ZZ Cetis. Our models with stably burning hydrogen envelopes on helium cores yield g-mode periods and period spacings longer than the canonical ZZ Cetis by nearly a factor of 2. We show that core composition and structure can be probed using seismology since the g-mode eigenfunctions predominantly reside in the helium core. Though we have not carried out a fully nonadiabatic stability analysis, the scaling of the thermal time in the convective zone with surface gravity highlights several low-mass helium WDs that should be observed in search of pulsations: NLTT 11748, SDSS J0822+2753, and the companion to PSR J1012+5307. Seismological studies of these He core WDs may prove especially fruitful, as their luminosity is related (via stable hydrogen burning) to the hydrogen envelope mass, which eliminates one model parameter.

  5. Most Double Degenerate Low-mass White Dwarf Binaries Merge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin; Kenyon, Scott J.; Gianninas, A.

    2016-06-01

    We estimate the merger rate of double degenerate binaries containing extremely low mass (ELM; \\lt 0.3 M ⊙) white dwarfs (WDs) in the Galaxy. Such WDs are detectable for timescales of 0.1–1 Gyr in the ELM Survey; the binaries they reside in have gravitational wave merger times of 0.001–100 Gyr. To explain the observed distribution requires that most ELM WD binary progenitors detach from the common envelope phase with <1 hr orbital periods. We calculate the local space density of ELM WD binaries and estimate a merger rate of 3 × 10‑3 yr‑1 over the entire disk of the Milky Way; the merger rate in the halo is 10 times smaller. The ELM WD binary merger rate exceeds by a factor of 40 the formation rate of stable mass transfer AM CVn binaries, marginally exceeds the rate of underluminous supernovae, and is identical to the formation rate of R CrB stars. On this basis, we conclude that ELM WD binaries can be the progenitors of all observed AM CVn and possibly underluminous supernovae; however, the majority of He+CO WD binaries go through unstable mass transfer and merge, e.g., into single massive ∼1 M ⊙ WDs.

  6. Radius constraints from high-speed photometry of 20 low-mass white dwarf binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Hermes, J. J.; Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, A.; Chote, Paul; Sullivan, D. J.; Winget, D. E.; Bell, Keaton J.; Falcon, R. E.; Winget, K. I.; Harrold, Samuel T.; Montgomery, M. H.; Mason, Paul A.

    2014-09-01

    We carry out high-speed photometry on 20 of the shortest-period, detached white dwarf binaries known and discover systems with eclipses, ellipsoidal variations (due to tidal deformations of the visible white dwarf), and Doppler beaming. All of the binaries contain low-mass white dwarfs with orbital periods of less than four hr. Our observations identify the first eight tidally distorted white dwarfs, four of which are reported for the first time here. We use these observations to place empirical constraints on the mass-radius relationship for extremely low-mass (≤0.30 M {sub ☉}) white dwarfs. We also detect Doppler beaming in several of these binaries, which confirms their high-amplitude radial-velocity variability. All of these systems are strong sources of gravitational radiation, and long-term monitoring of those that display ellipsoidal variations can be used to detect spin-up of the tidal bulge due to orbital decay.

  7. Low mass stellar and substellar companionship among nearby white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radiszcz, R.; Méndez, R. A.

    2009-05-01

    This work is a systematic, deep search for stellar and substellar objects orbiting nearby white dwarfs (WDs). The scientific interest spans testing specific predictions of common envelope evolutionary phase models, as well as providing constraints to planetary system evolution in advanced stages of its parent star (Livio & Soker 1984; Willes & Wu 2005). Additionally, we seek to explore the hypothesis about the origin of metal lines in hydrogen WDs, produced by the accretion of tidal disturbed asteroidal or cometary material. This could be linked to the presence of a undetected substellar object that perturbed the orbits of these asteroids or comets (Debes & Sigurdsson 2002). Here, we show preliminary results of this project.

  8. LP 400-22, A Very Low Mass and High-Velocity White Dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane; Oswalt, Terry D.; Smith, J. Allyn; Silvestri, Nicole M.

    2006-01-01

    We report the identification of LP 400-22 (WD 2234+222) as a very low mass and high-velocity white dwarf. The ultraviolet GALEX and optical photometric colors and a spectral line analysis of LP 400-22 show this star to have an effective temperature of 11,080+/-140 K and a surface gravity of log g = 6.32 +/-0.08. Therefore, this is a helium-core white dwarf with a mass of 0.17 M,. The tangential velocity of this white dwarf is 414+/-43 km/s, making it one of the fastest moving white dwarfs known. We discuss probable evolutionary scenarios for this remarkable object.

  9. DISCOVERY OF A BRIGHT, EXTREMELY LOW MASS WHITE DWARF IN A CLOSE DOUBLE DEGENERATE SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Vennes, S.; Kawka, A.; Nemeth, P.; Thorstensen, J. R.; Skinner, J. N.; Pigulski, A.; Steslicki, M.; Kolaczkowski, Z.; Srodka, P.

    2011-08-10

    We report the discovery of a bright (V {approx} 13.7), extremely low mass white dwarf in a close double degenerate system. We originally selected GALEX J171708.5+675712 for spectroscopic follow-up among a group of white dwarf candidates in an ultraviolet-optical reduced proper-motion diagram. The new white dwarf has a mass of 0.18 M{sub sun} and is the primary component of a close double degenerate system (P = 0.246137 days, K{sub 1} = 288 km s{sup -1}) comprising a fainter white dwarf secondary with M{sub 2} {approx} 0.9 M{sub sun}. Light curves phased with the orbital ephemeris show evidence of relativistic beaming and weaker ellipsoidal variations. The light curves also reveal secondary eclipses (depth {approx}8 mmag) while the primary eclipses appear partially compensated by the secondary gravitational deflection and are below detection limits. Photospheric abundance measurements show a nearly solar composition of Si, Ca, and Fe (0.1-1 sun), while the normal kinematics suggest a relatively recent formation history. Close binary evolutionary scenarios suggest that extremely low mass white dwarfs form via a common-envelope phase and possible Roche lobe overflow.

  10. A SPITZER SEARCH FOR SUBSTELLAR COMPANIONS TO LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; McLeod, B.

    2010-01-01

    The formation scenarios for single low-mass (M < 0.45 M{sub sun}) white dwarfs (WDs) include enhanced mass loss from a metal-rich progenitor star or a common envelope phase of a solar-like star with a close-in massive planet or a brown dwarf. Both scenarios suggest that low-mass WDs may have planets. Here, we present a Spitzer IRAC search for substellar and planetary mass companions to 14 low-mass WDs. One of our targets, HS 1653+7753, displays near- and mid-infrared flux excess. However, follow-up MMT observations show that this excess is due to a nearby resolved source, which is mostly likely a background object. Another target, PG 2257+162, shows flux excess compatible with a late-type stellar companion. We do not detect substellar companions to any of the remaining targets. In addition, eight of these stars do not show any radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar mass companions including other WDs. We conclude that a significant fraction of the low-mass WDs in our sample do not have stellar or massive brown dwarf companions.

  11. Two new pulsating low-mass pre-white dwarfs or SX Phoenicis stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, M. A.; Kanaan, A.; Córsico, A. H.; Kepler, S. O.; Althaus, L. G.; Koester, D.; Sánchez Arias, J. P.

    2016-03-01

    Context. The discovery of pulsations in low-mass stars opens an opportunity to probe their interiors and determine their evolution by employing the tools of asteroseismology. Aims: We aim to analyse high-speed photometry of SDSS J145847.02+070754.46 and SDSS J173001.94+070600.25 and discover brightness variabilities. In order to locate these stars in the Teff - log g diagram, we fit optical spectra (SDSS) with synthetic non-magnetic spectra derived from model atmospheres. Methods: To carry out this study, we used the photometric data we obtained for these stars with the 2.15 m telescope at CASLEO, Argentina. We analysed their light curves and applied the discrete Fourier transform (FT) to determine the pulsation frequencies. Finally, we compare both stars in the Teff - log g diagram, with two known pre-white dwarfs and seven pulsating pre-ELM white dwarf stars, δ Scuti, and SX Phe stars Results: We report the discovery of pulsations in SDSS J145847.02+070754.46 and SDSS J173001.94+070600.25. We determine their effective temperature and surface gravity to be Teff = 7972 ± 200 K, log g = 4.25 ± 0.5 and Teff = 7925 ± 200 K, log g = 4.25 ± 0.5, respectively. With these parameters, these new pulsating low-mass stars can be identified with either ELM white dwarfs (with ~0.17 M⊙) or more massive SX Phe stars. We identified pulsation periods of 3278.7 and 1633.9 s for SDSS J145847.02+070754.46 and a pulsation period of 3367.1 s for SDSS J173001.94+070600.25. These two new objects, together with those of Maxted et al. (2013, 2014), indicate the possible existence of a new instability domain towards the late stages of evolution of low-mass white dwarf stars, although their identification with SX Phe stars cannot be discarded. Visiting Astronomer, Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan.

  12. A RADIO SEARCH FOR PULSAR COMPANIONS TO SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Agueeros, Marcel A.; Camilo, Fernando; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Anderson, Scott F.; Kleinman, S. J.; Liebert, James W.

    2009-05-20

    We have conducted a search for pulsar companions to 15 low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs; M <0.4 M {sub sun}) at 820 MHz with the NRAO Green Bank Telescope (GBT). These LMWDs were spectroscopically identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and do not show the photometric excess or spectroscopic signature associated with a companion in their discovery data. However, LMWDs are believed to evolve in binary systems and to have either a more massive white dwarf (WD) or a neutron star (NS) as a companion. Indeed, evolutionary models of low-mass X-ray binaries, the precursors of millisecond pulsars (MSPs), produce significant numbers of LMWDs, suggesting that the SDSS LMWDs may have NS companions. No convincing pulsar signal is detected in our data. This is consistent with the findings of van Leeuwen et al., who conducted a GBT search for radio pulsations at 340 MHz from unseen companions to eight SDSS WDs (five are still considered LMWDs; the three others are now classified as 'ordinary' WDs). We discuss the constraints our nondetections place on the probability P {sub MSP} that the companion to a given LMWD is a radio pulsar in the context of the luminosity and acceleration limits of our search; we find that P {sub MSP} < 10{sup +4} {sub -2}%.

  13. 3D Model Atmospheres for Extremely Low-mass White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Gianninas, A.; Kilic, M.; Ludwig, H.-G.; Steffen, M.; Freytag, B.; Hermes, J. J.

    2015-08-01

    We present an extended grid of mean three-dimensional (3D) spectra for low-mass, pure-hydrogen atmosphere DA white dwarfs (WDs). We use CO5BOLD radiation-hydrodynamics 3D simulations covering Teff = 6000–11,500 K and log g = 5–6.5 (g in cm s‑2) to derive analytical functions to convert spectroscopically determined 1D temperatures and surface gravities to 3D atmospheric parameters. Along with the previously published 3D models, the 1D to 3D corrections are now available for essentially all known convective DA WDs (i.e., log g = 5–9). For low-mass WDs, the correction in temperature is relatively small (a few percent at the most), but the surface gravities measured from the 3D models are lower by as much as 0.35 dex. We revisit the spectroscopic analysis of the extremely low-mass (ELM) WDs, and demonstrate that the 3D models largely resolve the discrepancies seen in the radius and mass measurements for relatively cool ELM WDs in eclipsing double WD and WD + millisecond pulsar binary systems. We also use the 3D corrections to revise the boundaries of the ZZ Ceti instability strip, including the recently found ELM pulsators.

  14. The ELM Survey. VII. Orbital Properties of Low-Mass White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Warren R.; Gianninas, A.; Kilic, Mukremin; Kenyon, Scott J.; Allende Prieto, Carlos

    2016-02-01

    We present the discovery of 15 extremely low-mass (5\\lt {log}g\\lt 7) white dwarf (WD) candidates, 9 of which are in ultra-compact double-degenerate binaries. Our targeted extremely low-mass Survey sample now includes 76 binaries. The sample has a lognormal distribution of orbital periods with a median period of 5.4 hr. The velocity amplitudes imply that the binary companions have a normal distribution of mass with 0.76 M⊙ mean and 0.25 M⊙ dispersion. Thus extremely low-mass WDs are found in binaries with a typical mass ratio of 1:4. Statistically speaking, 95% of the WD binaries have a total mass below the Chandrasekhar mass, and thus are not type Ia supernova progenitors. Yet half of the observed binaries will merge in less than 6 Gyr due to gravitational wave radiation; probable outcomes include single massive WDs and stable mass transfer AM CVn binaries. Based on observations obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.

  15. SDSS J184037.78+642312.3: THE FIRST PULSATING EXTREMELY LOW MASS WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-10

    We report the discovery of the first pulsating extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarf (WD), SDSS J184037.78+642312.3 (hereafter J1840). This DA (hydrogen-atmosphere) WD is by far the coolest and the lowest-mass pulsating WD, with T{sub eff} = 9100 {+-} 170 K and log g = 6.22 {+-} 0.06, which corresponds to a mass of {approx}0.17 M{sub Sun }. This low-mass pulsating WD greatly extends the DAV (or ZZ Ceti) instability strip, effectively bridging the log g gap between WDs and main-sequence stars. We detect high-amplitude variability in J1840 on timescales exceeding 4000 s, with a non-sinusoidal pulse shape. Our observations also suggest that the variability is multi-periodic. The star is in a 4.6 hr binary with another compact object, most likely another WD. Future, more extensive time-series photometry of this ELM WD offers the first opportunity to probe the interior of a low-mass, presumably He-core WD using the tools of asteroseismology.

  16. SHORT-PERIOD g-MODE PULSATIONS IN LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS TRIGGERED BY H-SHELL BURNING

    SciTech Connect

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-20

    The detection of pulsations in white dwarfs with low mass offers the possibility of probing their internal structures through asteroseismology and placing constraints on the binary evolutionary processes involved in their formation. In this Letter, we assess the impact of stable H burning on the pulsational stability properties of low-mass He-core white dwarf models resulting from binary star evolutionary calculations. We found that besides a dense spectrum of unstable radial modes and nonradial g and p modes driven by the κ mechanism due to the partial ionization of H in the stellar envelope, some unstable g modes with short pulsation periods are also powered by H burning via the ε mechanism of mode driving. This is the first time that ε destabilized modes are found in models representative of cool white dwarf stars. The short periods recently detected in the pulsating low-mass white dwarf SDSS J111215.82+111745.0 could constitute the first evidence of the existence of stable H burning in these stars, in particular in the so-called extremely low-mass white dwarfs.

  17. The timescale of low-mass proto-helium white dwarf evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Istrate, A. G.; Tauris, T. M.; Langer, N.; Antoniadis, J.

    2014-11-01

    Context. A large number of low-mass (≲0.20 M⊙) helium white dwarfs (He WDs) have recently been discovered. The majority of these are orbiting another WD or a millisecond pulsar (MSP) in a close binary system; a few examples are found to show pulsations or to have a main-sequence star companion. There appear to be discrepancies between the current theoretical modelling of such low-mass He WDs and a number of key observed cases, indicating that their formation scenario yet remains to be fully understood. Aims: Here we investigate the formation of detached proto-He WDs in close-orbit low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). Our prime focus is to examine the thermal evolution and the contraction phase towards the WD cooling track and investigate how this evolution depends on the WD mass. Our calculations are then compared to the most recent observational data. Methods: Numerical calculations with a detailed stellar evolution code were used to trace the mass-transfer phase in a large number of close-orbit LMXBs with different initial values of donor star mass, neutron star mass, orbital period, and strength of magnetic braking. Subsequently, we followed the evolution of the detached low-mass proto-He WDs, including stages with residual shell hydrogen burning and vigorous flashes caused by unstable CNO burning. Results: We find that the time between Roche-lobe detachment until the low-mass proto-He WD reaches the WD cooling track is typically Δtproto = 0.5-2 Gyr, depending systematically on the WD mass and therefore on its luminosity. The lowest WD mass for developing shell flashes is ~0.21 M⊙ for progenitor stars of mass M2 ≤ 1.5 M⊙ (and ~0.18 M⊙ for M2 = 1.6 M⊙). Conclusions: The long timescale of low-mass proto-He WD evolution can explain a number of recent observations, including some MSP systems hosting He WD companions with very low surface gravities and high effective temperatures. We find no evidence for Δtproto to depend on the occurrence of flashes and

  18. Pulsating low-mass white dwarfs in the frame of new evolutionary sequences. III. The pre-ELM white dwarf instability strip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.; Serenelli, A. M.; Kepler, S. O.; Jeffery, C. S.; Corti, M. A.

    2016-04-01

    Context. Many low-mass (M⋆/M⊙ ≲ 0.45) and extremely low-mass (ELM, M⋆/M⊙ ≲ 0.18-0.20) white-dwarf stars are currently being found in the field of the Milky Way. Some of these stars exhibit long-period gravity-mode (g-mode) pulsations, and constitute the class of pulsating white dwarfs called ELMV stars. In addition, two low-mass pre-white dwarfs, which could be precursors of ELM white dwarfs, have been observed to show multiperiodic photometric variations. They could constitute a new class of pulsating low-mass pre-white dwarf stars. Aims: Motivated by this finding, we present a detailed nonadiabatic pulsation study of such stars, employing full evolutionary sequences of low-mass He-core pre-white dwarf models. Methods: Our pulsation stability analysis is based on a set of low-mass He-core pre-white dwarf models with masses ranging from 0.1554 to 0.2724 M⊙, which were derived by computing the nonconservative evolution of a binary system consisting of an initially 1 M⊙ ZAMS star and a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star companion. We have considered models in which element diffusion is accounted for and also models in which it is neglected. Results: We confirm and explore in detail a new instability strip in the domain of low gravities and low effective temperatures of the Teff - log g diagram, where low-mass pre-white dwarfs are currently found. The destabilized modes are radial and nonradial p and g modes excited by the κ - γ mechanism acting mainly at the zone of the second partial ionization of He, with non-negligible contributions from the region of the first partial ionization of He and the partial ionization of H. The computations with element diffusion are unable to explain the pulsations observed in the two known pulsating pre-white dwarfs, suggesting that element diffusion might be inhibited at these stages of the pre-white dwarf evolution. Our nonadiabatic models without diffusion, on the other hand, naturally explain the existence and range of

  19. Formation of millisecond pulsars with low-mass helium white dwarf companions in very compact binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Kun; Li, X.-D.

    2014-08-20

    Binary millisecond pulsars (BMSPs) are thought to have evolved from low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). If the mass transfer in LMXBs is driven by nuclear evolution of the donor star, the final orbital period is predicted to be well correlated with the mass of the white dwarf (WD), which is the degenerate He core of the donor. Here we show that this relation can be extended to very small WD mass (∼0.14-0.17 M {sub ☉}) and narrow orbital period (about a few hours), depending mainly on the metallicities of the donor stars. There is also discontinuity in the relation, which is due to the temporary contraction of the donor when the H-burning shell crosses the hydrogen discontinuity. BMSPs with low-mass He WD companions in very compact binaries can be accounted for if the progenitor binary experienced very late Case A mass transfer. The WD companion of PSR J1738+0333 is likely to evolve from a Pop II star. For PSR J0348+0432, to explain its extreme compact orbit in the Roche-lobe-decoupling phase, even lower metallicity (Z = 0.0001) is required.

  20. The Mass Distribution of Companions to Low-mass White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Jeff J.; Price-Whelan, Adrian M.; Agüeros, Marcel A.

    2014-12-01

    Measuring the masses of companions to single-line spectroscopic binary stars is (in general) not possible because of the unknown orbital plane inclination. Even when the mass of the visible star can be measured, only a lower limit can be placed on the mass of the unseen companion. However, since these inclination angles should be isotropically distributed, for a large enough, unbiased sample, the companion mass distribution can be deconvolved from the distribution of observables. In this work, we construct a hierarchical probabilistic model to infer properties of unseen companion stars given observations of the orbital period and projected radial velocity of the primary star. We apply this model to three mock samples of low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs; M <~ 0.45 M ⊙) and a sample of post-common-envelope binaries. We use a mixture of two Gaussians to model the WD and neutron star (NS) companion mass distributions. Our model successfully recovers the initial parameters of these test data sets. We then apply our model to 55 WDs in the extremely low-mass (ELM) WD Survey. Our maximum a posteriori model for the WD companion population has a mean mass μWD = 0.74 M ⊙, with a standard deviation σWD = 0.24 M ⊙. Our model constrains the NS companion fraction f NS to be <16% at 68% confidence. We make samples from the posterior distribution publicly available so that future observational efforts may compute the NS probability for newly discovered LMWDs.

  1. THE MASS DISTRIBUTION OF COMPANIONS TO LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Andrews, Jeff J.; Price-Whelan, Adrian M.; Agüeros, Marcel A.

    2014-12-20

    Measuring the masses of companions to single-line spectroscopic binary stars is (in general) not possible because of the unknown orbital plane inclination. Even when the mass of the visible star can be measured, only a lower limit can be placed on the mass of the unseen companion. However, since these inclination angles should be isotropically distributed, for a large enough, unbiased sample, the companion mass distribution can be deconvolved from the distribution of observables. In this work, we construct a hierarchical probabilistic model to infer properties of unseen companion stars given observations of the orbital period and projected radial velocity of the primary star. We apply this model to three mock samples of low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs; M ≲ 0.45 M {sub ☉}) and a sample of post-common-envelope binaries. We use a mixture of two Gaussians to model the WD and neutron star (NS) companion mass distributions. Our model successfully recovers the initial parameters of these test data sets. We then apply our model to 55 WDs in the extremely low-mass (ELM) WD Survey. Our maximum a posteriori model for the WD companion population has a mean mass μ{sub WD} = 0.74 M {sub ☉}, with a standard deviation σ{sub WD} = 0.24 M {sub ☉}. Our model constrains the NS companion fraction f {sub NS} to be <16% at 68% confidence. We make samples from the posterior distribution publicly available so that future observational efforts may compute the NS probability for newly discovered LMWDs.

  2. Discovery of Three Pulsating, Mixed-atmosphere, Extremely Low-mass White Dwarf Precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Curd, Brandon; Fontaine, G.; Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin

    2016-05-01

    We report the discovery of pulsations in three mixed-atmosphere, extremely low-mass white dwarf (ELM WD, M ≤slant 0.3 M ⊙) precursors. Following the recent discoveries of pulsations in both ELM and pre-ELM WDs, we targeted pre-ELM WDs with mixed H/He atmospheres with high-speed photometry. We find significant optical variability in all three observed targets with periods in the range 320-590 s, consistent in timescale with theoretical predictions of p-mode pulsations in mixed-atmosphere ≈0.18 M ⊙ He-core pre-ELM WDs. This represents the first empirical evidence that pulsations in pre-ELM WDs can only occur if a significant amount of He is present in the atmosphere. Future, more extensive, timeseries photometry of the brightest of the three new pulsators offers an excellent opportunity to constrain the thickness of the surface H layer, which regulates the cooling timescales for ELM WDs. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which 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), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina), and Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil).

  3. Discovery of Three Pulsating, Mixed-atmosphere, Extremely Low-mass White Dwarf Precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Curd, Brandon; Fontaine, G.; Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin

    2016-05-01

    We report the discovery of pulsations in three mixed-atmosphere, extremely low-mass white dwarf (ELM WD, M ≤slant 0.3 M ⊙) precursors. Following the recent discoveries of pulsations in both ELM and pre-ELM WDs, we targeted pre-ELM WDs with mixed H/He atmospheres with high-speed photometry. We find significant optical variability in all three observed targets with periods in the range 320–590 s, consistent in timescale with theoretical predictions of p-mode pulsations in mixed-atmosphere ≈0.18 M ⊙ He-core pre-ELM WDs. This represents the first empirical evidence that pulsations in pre-ELM WDs can only occur if a significant amount of He is present in the atmosphere. Future, more extensive, timeseries photometry of the brightest of the three new pulsators offers an excellent opportunity to constrain the thickness of the surface H layer, which regulates the cooling timescales for ELM WDs. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which 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), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina), and Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil).

  4. THE ELM SURVEY. III. A SUCCESSFUL TARGETED SURVEY FOR EXTREMELY LOW MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, Scott J.; Kilic, Mukremin; Allende Prieto, Carlos E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu E-mail: callende@iac.es

    2012-01-10

    Extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarfs (WDs) with masses < 0.25 M{sub Sun} are rare objects that result from compact binary evolution. Here, we present a targeted spectroscopic survey of ELM WD candidates selected by color. The survey is 71% complete and has uncovered 18 new ELM WDs. Of the seven ELM WDs with follow-up observations, six are short-period binaries and four have merger times less than 5 Gyr. The most intriguing object, J1741+6526, likely has either a pulsar companion or a massive WD companion making the system a possible supernova Type Ia or an Ia progenitor. The overall ELM survey has now identified 19 double degenerate binaries with <10 Gyr merger times. The significant absence of short orbital period ELM WDs at cool temperatures suggests that common envelope evolution creates ELM WDs directly in short period systems. At least one-third of the merging systems are halo objects, thus ELM WD binaries continue to form and merge in both the disk and the halo.

  5. THE ELM SURVEY. I. A COMPLETE SAMPLE OF EXTREMELY LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin; Kenyon, Scott J.; Prieto, Carlos Allende E-mail: mkilic@cfa.harvard.ed E-mail: callende@iac.e

    2010-11-10

    We analyze radial velocity observations of the 12 extremely low-mass (ELM), with {<=}0.25 M{sub sun}, white dwarfs (WDs) in the MMT Hypervelocity Star Survey. Eleven of the twelve WDs are binaries with orbital periods shorter than 14 hr; the one non-variable WD is possibly a pole-on system among our non-kinematically selected targets. Our sample is unique: it is complete in a well-defined range of apparent magnitude and color. The orbital mass functions imply that the unseen companions are most likely other WDs, although neutron star companions cannot be excluded. Six of the eleven systems with orbital solutions will merge within a Hubble time due to the loss of angular momentum through gravitational wave radiation. The quickest merger is J0923+3028, a g = 15.7 ELM WD binary with a 1.08 hr orbital period and a {<=}130 Myr merger time. The chance of a supernova Ia event among our ELM WDs is only 1%-7%, however. Three binary systems (J0755+4906, J1233+1602, and J2119-0018) have extreme mass ratios and will most likely form stable mass-transfer AM CVn systems. Two of these objects, SDSS J1233+1602 and J2119-0018, are the lowest surface gravity WDs ever found; both show Ca II absorption likely from accretion of circumbinary material. We predict that at least one of our WDs is an eclipsing detached double WD system, important for constraining helium core WD models.

  6. Discovery of four new low-mass white-dwarf companions in the Kepler data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faigler, Simchon; Kull, Ilya; Mazeh, Tsevi; Kiefer, Flavien; Latham, David W.; Bloemen, Steven

    2015-12-01

    We report the discovery of four new short-period eclipsing systems in the Kepler light curves, consisting of an A-star primary and a low-mass white-dwarf (WD) secondary (dA+WD) - KIC 4169521, KOI-3818, KIC 2851474 and KIC 9285587. These add to the 6 Kepler, and 19 non-Kepler, previously known short-period eclipsing dA+WD binaries.The discoveries were made through searching the light curves of bright Kepler stars for BEaming, Ellipsoidal and Reflection (BEER) modulations that are consistent with a compact companion, using the BEER search algorithm. This was followed by inspection of the search top hits, looking for eclipsing systems with a secondary eclipse deeper than the primary one, as expected for a WD that is hotter than the primary star. Follow-up spectroscopic radial-velocity (RV) observations confirmed the binarity of the systems. We derive the systems' parameters through analyses of the light curves' eclipses and phase modulations, combined with RV orbital solutions and stellar evolution models.The four systems' orbital periods of 1.17-3.82 days and WD masses of 0.19-0.22 Msun are similar to those reported for the previously known systems. These values are consistent with evolution models of such systems, that undergo a stable mass transfer from the WD progenitor to the current A star.For KIC 4169521 we derive a bloated WD radius of 0.09 Rsun that is well within the WD radius range of 0.04-0.43 Rsun of the known systems. For the remaining three systems we report WD radii of 0.026-0.035 Rsun, the smallest WD radii derived so far for short-period eclipsing dA+WD binaries.As suggested before, the previously known systems, together with KIC 4169521, all with hot and bloated WD secondaries, represent young systems probably at a proto-WD, or initial WD cooling track stage. The other three new systems - KOI-3818, KIC 2851474, and KIC 9285587, are probably positioned further along the WD cooling track, and extend the known population to older systems with cooler

  7. THE NEWLY DISCOVERED PULSATING LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS: AN EXTENSION OF THE ZZ CETI INSTABILITY STRIP

    SciTech Connect

    Van Grootel, V.; Dupret, M.-A.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.

    2013-01-01

    In light of the exciting discovery of g-mode pulsations in extremely low-mass, He-core DA white dwarfs, we report on the results of a detailed stability survey aimed at explaining the existence of these new pulsators as well as their location in the spectroscopic Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. To this aim, we calculated some 28 evolutionary sequences of DA models with various masses and chemical layering. These models are characterized by the so-called ML2/{alpha} = 1.0 convective efficiency and take into account the important feedback effect of convection on the atmospheric structure. We pulsated the models with the nonadiabatic code MAD, which incorporates a detailed treatment of time-dependent convection. On the other hand, given the failure of all nonadiabatic codes, including MAD, to account properly for the red edge of the strip, we resurrect the idea that the red edge is due to energy leakage through the atmosphere. We thus estimated the location of that edge by requiring that the thermal timescale in the driving region-located at the base of the H convection zone-be equal to the critical period beyond which l = 1 g-modes cease to exist. Using this approach, we find that our theoretical ZZ Ceti instability strip accounts remarkably well for the boundaries of the empirical strip, including the low-gravity, low-temperature regime where the three new pulsators are found. We also account for the relatively long periods observed in these stars, and thus conclude that they are true ZZ Ceti stars, but with low masses.

  8. DISCOVERY OF PULSATIONS, INCLUDING POSSIBLE PRESSURE MODES, IN TWO NEW EXTREMELY LOW MASS, He-CORE WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Bell, Keaton J.; Harrold, Samuel T.; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, Scott J.; Gianninas, A.; Kilic, Mukremin

    2013-03-10

    We report the discovery of the second and third pulsating extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarfs (WDs), SDSS J111215.82+111745.0 (hereafter J1112) and SDSS J151826.68+065813.2 (hereafter J1518). Both have masses < 0.25 M{sub Sun} and effective temperatures below 10, 000 K, establishing these putatively He-core WDs as a cooler class of pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere WDs (DAVs, or ZZ Ceti stars). The short-period pulsations evidenced in the light curve of J1112 may also represent the first observation of acoustic (p-mode) pulsations in any WD, which provide an exciting opportunity to probe this WD in a complimentary way compared to the long-period g-modes that are also present. J1112 is a T{sub eff} =9590 {+-} 140 K and log g =6.36 {+-} 0.06 WD. The star displays sinusoidal variability at five distinct periodicities between 1792 and 2855 s. In this star, we also see short-period variability, strongest at 134.3 s, well short of the expected g-modes for such a low-mass WD. The other new pulsating WD, J1518, is a T{sub eff} =9900 {+-} 140 K and log g =6.80 {+-} 0.05 WD. The light curve of J1518 is highly non-sinusoidal, with at least seven significant periods between 1335 and 3848 s. Consistent with the expectation that ELM WDs must be formed in binaries, these two new pulsating He-core WDs, in addition to the prototype SDSS J184037.78+642312.3, have close companions. However, the observed variability is inconsistent with tidally induced pulsations and is so far best explained by the same hydrogen partial-ionization driving mechanism at work in classic C/O-core ZZ Ceti stars.

  9. Gravitational waves, pulsations, and more : high-speed photometry of low-mass, He-core white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, J. J.

    2013-08-01

    This dissertation is an observational exploration of the exciting physics that can be enabled by high-speed photometric monitoring of extremely low-mass (< 0.25 Msun) white dwarf stars, which are found in some of the most compact binaries known. It includes the cleanest indirect detection of gravitational waves at visible wavelengths, the discovery of pulsations in He-core WDs, the strongest evidence for excited p-mode pulsations in a WD, the discovery of the first tidally distorted WDs and their use to constrain the low-end of the WD mass-radius relationship, and the strongest cases of Doppler beaming observed in a binary system. It is the result of the more than 220 nights spent at McDonald Observatory doing high-speed photometry with the Argos instrument on the 2.1 m Otto Struve telescope, which has led to a number of additional exciting results, including the discovery of an intermediate timescale in the evolution of cooling DA WDs and the discovery of the most massive pulsating WD, which should have an ONe-core and should be highly crystallized.

  10. HELIUM SHELL DETONATIONS ON LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS AS A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR SN 2005E

    SciTech Connect

    Waldman, Roni; Livne, Eli; Glasner, Ami; Sauer, Daniel; Perets, Hagai; Mazzali, Paolo; Truran, James W.; Gal-Yam, Avishay

    2011-09-01

    Recently, several Type Ib supernovae (SNe; with the prototypical SN 2005E) have been shown to have atypical properties. These SNe are faint (absolute peak magnitude of {approx} - 15) and fast SNe that show unique composition. They are inferred to have low ejecta mass (a few tenths of a solar mass) and to be highly enriched in calcium, but poor in silicon elements and nickel. These SNe were therefore suggested to belong to a new class of calcium-rich faint SNe explosions. Their properties were proposed to be the result of helium detonations that may occur on helium accreting white dwarfs. In this paper, we theoretically study the scenario of helium detonations and focus on the results of detonations in accreted helium layers on low-mass carbon-oxygen (CO) cores. We present new results from one-dimensional simulations of such explosions, including their light curves and spectra. We find that when the density of the helium layer is low enough the helium detonation produces large amounts of intermediate elements, such as calcium and titanium, together with a large amount of unburnt helium. Alternatively, enough carbon enrichment of the accreted helium as a result of convective undershoot at the early stages of the runaway can avoid the production of iron group elements as the alpha particles are consumed avoiding iron production. Our results suggest that the properties of calcium-rich faint SNe could indeed be consistent with the helium-detonation scenario on small CO cores. Above a certain density (larger CO cores) the detonation leaves mainly {sup 56}Ni and unburnt helium, and the predicted spectrum will unlikely fit the unique features of this class of SNe. Finally, none of our studied models reproduces the bright, fast-evolving light curves of another type of peculiar SNe suggested to originate in helium detonations (SNe 1885A, 1939B, and 2002bj).

  11. The Instability Strip of ZZ Ceti White Dwarfs and Its Extension to the Extremely Low Mass Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Grootel, V.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Dupret, M.-A.

    2013-12-01

    The determination of the location of the theoretical ZZ Ceti instability strip in the log g - Teff diagram has remained a challenge over the years, due to the lack of a suitable treatment for convection in these stars. We report here a detailed stability survey over the whole ZZ Ceti regime, including the very low masses where three pulsators have recently been found. With this in mind, we computed twenty-nine evolutionary sequences of DA models with various masses and chemical layering. These models are characterized by the so-called ML2/α = 1.0 convective efficiency and take into account the important feedback effect of convection on the atmospheric structure. We computed power spectra for these models with the Liège nonadiabatic pulsation code MAD, which is the only one to conveniently incorporate a full time-dependent convection treatment and, thus, provides the best available description of the blue edge of the instability strip. On the other hand, given the failure of all nonadiabatic codes to properly account for the red edge of the strip, including MAD, we tested the idea that the red edge is due to energy leakage through the atmosphere. Using this approach, we found that our theoretical ZZ Ceti instability strip accounts remarkably well for the boundaries of the empirical strip.

  12. SDSS J074511.56+194926.5: Discovery of a metal-rich and tidally distorted extremely low mass white dwarf

    SciTech Connect

    Gianninas, A.; Barber, Sara D.; Kilic, Mukremin; Hermes, J. J.; Harrold, Samuel T.; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, Scott J.; Dufour, P.

    2014-02-01

    We present the discovery of an unusual, tidally distorted extremely low mass white dwarf (WD) with nearly solar metallicity. Radial velocity measurements confirm that this is a compact binary with an orbital period of 2.6975 hr and a velocity semi-amplitude of K = 108.7 km s{sup –1}. Analysis of the hydrogen Balmer lines yields an effective temperature of T {sub eff} = 8380 K and a surface gravity of log g = 6.21 that in turn indicate a mass of M = 0.16 M {sub ☉} and a cooling age of 4.2 Gyr. In addition, a detailed analysis of the observed metal lines yields abundances of log (Mg/H) = –3.90, log (Ca/H) = –5.80, log (Ti/H) = –6.10, log (Cr/H) = –5.60, and log (Fe/H) = –4.50, similar to the sun. We see no evidence of a debris disk from which these metals would be accreted, though the possibility cannot entirely be ruled out. Other potential mechanisms to explain the presence of heavy elements are discussed. Finally, we expect this system to ultimately undergo unstable mass transfer and merge to form a ∼0.3-0.6 M {sub ☉} WD in a few Gyr.

  13. BEER Analysis of Kepler and CoRoT Light Curves. IV. Discovery of Four New Low-mass White-Dwarf Companions in the Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faigler, S.; Kull, I.; Mazeh, T.; Kiefer, F.; Latham, D. W.; Bloemen, S.

    2015-12-01

    We report the discovery of four short-period eclipsing systems in the Kepler light curves, consisting of an A-star primary and a low-mass white dwarf (WD) secondary (dA+WD)—KIC 4169521, KOI-3818, KIC 2851474, and KIC 9285587. The systems show BEaming, Ellipsoidal and Reflection (BEER) phase modulations together with primary and secondary eclipses. These add to the 6 Kepler and 18 WASP short-period eclipsing dA+WD binaries that were previously known. The light curves, together with follow-up spectroscopic observations, allow us to derive the masses, radii, and effective temperatures of the two components of the four systems. The orbital periods, of 1.17-3.82 days, and WD masses, of 0.19-0.22 M⊙, are similar to those of the previously known systems. The WD radii of KOI-3818, KIC 2851474, and KIC 9285587 are 0.026, 0.035, and 0.026 R⊙, respectively, the smallest WD radii derived so far for short-period eclipsing dA+WD binaries. These three binaries extend the previously known population to older systems with cooler and smaller WD secondaries. KOI-3818 displays evidence for a fast-rotating primary and a minute but significant eccentricity, ˜1.5 × 10-3. These features are probably the outcome of the mass-transfer process.

  14. Time evolution of high-energy emissions of low-mass stars. I. Age determination using stellar chronology with white dwarfs in wide binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcés, A.; Catalán, S.; Ribas, I.

    2011-07-01

    Context. Stellar ages are extremely difficult to determine and often subject to large uncertainties, especially for field low-mass stars. We plan to carry out a calibration of the decrease in high-energy emissions of low-mass GKM stars with time, and therefore precise age determination is a key ingredient. The overall goal of our research is to study the time evolution of these high-energy emissions as an essential input to studying exoplanetary atmospheres. Aims: We propose to determine stellar ages with a methodology based on wide binaries. We are interested in systems composed of a low-mass star and a white dwarf (WD), where the latter serves as a stellar chronometer for the system. We aim at obtaining reliable ages for a sample of late-type stars older than 1 Gyr. Methods: We selected a sample of wide binaries composed by a DA type WD and a GKM companion. High signal-to-noise, low-resolution spectroscopic observations were obtained for most of the WD members of the sample. Atmospheric parameters were determined by fitting the spectroscopic data to appropiate WD models. The total ages of the systems were derived by using cooling sequences, an initial-final mass relationship and evolutionary tracks, to account for the progenitor life. Results: The spectroscopic observations have allowed us to determine ages for the binary systems using WDs as cosmochronometers. We obtained reliable ages for 27 stars between 1 and 5 Gyr, which is a range where age determination becomes difficult for field objects. Roughly half of these systems have cooling ages that contribute at least 30% the total age. We select those for further study since their age estimate should be less prone to systematic errors coming from the initial-final mass relationship. Conclusions: We have determined robust ages for a sizeable sample of GKM stars that can be subsequently used to study the time evolution of their emissions associated to stellar magnetic activity. Based on observations collected at

  15. Stellar Evolution in NGC 6791: Mass Loss on the Red Giant Branch and the Formation of Low-Mass White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalirai, Jasonjot S.; Bergeron, P.; Hansen, Brad M. S.; Kelson, Daniel D.; Reitzel, David B.; Rich, R. Michael; Richer, Harvey B.

    2007-12-01

    We present the first detailed study of the properties (temperatures, gravities, and masses) of the NGC 6791 white dwarf population. This unique stellar system is both one of the oldest (8 Gyr) and most metal-rich ([Fe/H]~+0.4) open clusters in our Galaxy and has a color-magnitude diagram (CMD) that exhibits both a red giant clump and a much hotter extreme horizontal branch. Fitting the Balmer lines of the white dwarfs in the cluster using Keck/LRIS spectra suggests that most of these stars are undermassive, =0.43+/-0.06 Msolar, and therefore could not have formed from canonical stellar evolution involving the helium flash at the tip of the red giant branch. We show that at least 40% of NGC 6791's evolved stars must have lost enough mass on the red giant branch to avoid the flash and therefore did not convert helium into carbon-oxygen in their core. Such increased mass loss in the evolution of the progenitors of these stars is consistent with the presence of the extreme horizontal branch in the CMD. This unique stellar evolutionary channel also naturally explains the recent finding of a very young age (2.4 Gyr) for NGC 6791 from white dwarf cooling theory; helium-core white dwarfs in this cluster will cool ~3 times slower than carbon-oxygen-core stars, and therefore the corrected white dwarf cooling age is in fact >~7 Gyr, consistent with the well-measured main-sequence turnoff age. These results provide direct empirical evidence that mass loss is much more efficient in high-metallicity environments and therefore may be critical in interpreting the ultraviolet upturn in elliptical galaxies. 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. Based on observations obtained at the

  16. New light on dark stars. Red dwarfs, low-mass stars, brown dwarfs.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, I. N.; Hawley, S. L.

    This book presents a comprehensive discussion of both the astrophysical structure of individual M dwarf and brown dwarf star, and their collective statistical properties as a Galactic stellar population. The first section of the book discusses M dwarfs and brown dwarfs as individual objects - their observational properties, formation, internal structure and atmospheres. The second section deals with M dwarfs from the Galactic perspective - the number of stars, their possible contribution to dark matter and the missing mass and their use as probes of the stellar populations that make up our Galaxy. Contents: (1) Astronomical concepts. (2) Basic observational properties of low-mass dwarfs. (3) The structure, formation and evolution of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. (4) The photosphere. (5) Stellar activity. (6) A Galactic structure primer. (7) The stellar luminosity function. (8) The mass function. (9) Brown dwarfs: new light on dark stars. (10) Extrasolar planets. (11) M dwarfs in the Galactic halo. Appendix: The 8 parsec sample.

  17. Luminosity functions for very low mass stars and brown dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laughlin, Gregory; Bodenheimer, Peter

    1993-01-01

    A theoretical investigation of the luminosity function for low-mass objects to constrain the stellar initial mass function at the low-mass end is reported. The ways in which luminosity functions for low-mass stars are affected by star formation histories, brown dwarf and premain-sequence cooling rates and main-sequence mass luminosity relations, and the IMF are examined. Cooling rates and the mass-luminosity relation are determined through a new series of evolutionary calculations for very low mass stars and brown dwarfs in the range 0.05-0.50 solar mass. Model luminosity functions are constructed for specific comparison with the results of four recent observational surveys. The likelihood that the stellar mass function in the solar neighborhood is increasing at masses near the bottom of the main sequence and perhaps at lower masses is confirmed. In the most optimistic case, brown dwarfs contribute half of the local missing disk mass. The actual contribution is likely to be considerably less.

  18. Fundamental Properties of Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Michael C.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Allard, France; Blake, Cullen H.; Bonnefoy, M.; Cody, Ann Marie; Kraus, Adam; Day-Jones, A. C.; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes

    2009-02-16

    Precise measurements of the fundamental properties of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs are key to understanding the physics underlying their formation and evolution. While there has been great progress over the last decade in studying the bulk spectrophotometric properties of low-mass objects, direct determination of their masses, radii, and temperatures have been very sparse. Thus, theoretical predictions of low-mass evolution and ultracool atmospheres remain to be rigorously tested. The situation is alarming given that such models are widely used, from the determination of the low-mass end of the initial mass function to the characterization of exoplanets.An increasing number of mass, radius, and age determinations are placing critical constraints on the physics of low-mass objects. A wide variety of approaches are being pursued, including eclipsing binary studies, astrometric-spectroscopic orbital solutions, interferometry, and characterization of benchmark systems. In parallel, many more systems suitable for concerted study are now being found, thanks to new capabilities spanning both the very widest (all-sky surveys) and very narrowest (diffraction-limited adaptive optics) areas of the sky. This Cool Stars 15 splinter session highlighted the current successes and limitations of this rapidly growing area of precision astrophysics.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. OGLE-2014-BLG-0257L: A Microlensing Brown Dwarf Orbiting a Low-mass M Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, C.; Jung, Y. K.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Bozza, V.; Szymański, M. K.; Soszyński, I.; Poleski, R.; Kozłowski, S.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Skowron, J.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; OGLE Collaboration

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we report the discovery of a binary composed of a brown dwarf (BD) and a low-mass M dwarf from observation of the microlensing event OGLE-2014-BLG-0257. The resolution of the very brief caustic crossing combined with the detection of subtle continuous deviation in the lensing light curve induced by the Earth’s orbital motion enable us to precisely measure both the Einstein radius {θ }{{E}} and the lens parallax {π }{{E}}, which are the two quantities needed to unambiguously determine the mass and distance to the lens. It is found that the companion is a substellar BD with a mass of 0.036+/- 0.005 {M}ȯ (37.7+/- 5.2 {M}{{J}}) and it is orbiting an M dwarf with a mass of 0.19+/- 0.02 {M}ȯ . The binary is located at a distance of 1.25 ± 0.13 kpc toward the Galactic bulge and the projected separation between the binary components is 0.61 ± 0.07 au. The separation scaled by the mass of the host is 3.2 {{au}}/{M}ȯ . Based on the assumption that separations scale with masses, the discovered BD is located in the BD desert. With the growing sample of BDs in various environments, microlensing will provide a powerful probe of BDs in the Galaxy.

  12. Search for Low-Mass Planets Around Late-M Dwarfs Using IRD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omiya, Masashi; Sato, Bun'ei; Harakawa, Hiroki; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Hirano, Teruyuki; Narita, Norio

    2014-04-01

    We have a plan to conduct a Doppler planet search for low-mass planets around nearby middle-to-late M dwarfs using IRD. IRD is the near-infrared high-precision radial velocity instrument for the Subaru 8.2-m telescope. We expect to achieve the accuracy of the radial velocity measurements of 1 m/s using IRD with a frequency comb as a wavelengh calibrator. Thus, we would detect super-Earths in habitable zone and low-mass rocky planets in close-in orbits around late-M dwarfs. In this survey, we aim to understand and discuss statistical properties of low-mass planets around low-mass M dwarfs compared with those derived from theoretical simulations.

  13. Young Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in IC 348

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhman, K. L.

    1999-11-01

    I present new results from a continuing program to identify and characterize the low-mass stellar and substellar populations in the young cluster IC 348 (0.5-10 Myr). Optical spectroscopy has revealed young objects with spectral types as late as M8.25. The intrinsic J-H and H-K colors of these sources are dwarflike, whereas the R-I and I-J colors appear intermediate between the colors of dwarfs and giants. Furthermore, the spectra from 6500 to 9500 Å are reproduced well with averages of standard dwarf and giant spectra, suggesting that such averages should be used in the classification of young late-type sources. An H-R diagram is constructed for the low-mass population in IC 348 (K6-M8). The presumably coeval components of the young quadruple system GG Tau (White et al.) and the locus of stars in IC 348 are used as empirical isochrones to test the theoretical evolutionary models. The calculations of Burrows et al. do not appear to be consistent with the data at these earliest stages of stellar evolution. There is fair agreement between the data and the model isochrones of D'Antona & Mazzitelli, except near the hydrogen-burning limit. The agreement cannot be improved by changing the conversion between spectral types and effective temperatures. On the other hand, for the models of Baraffe et al., an adjustment of the temperature scale to progressively warmer temperatures at later M types, intermediate between dwarfs and giants, brings all components of GG Tau onto the same model isochrone and gives the population of IC 348 a constant age and age spread as a function of mass. When other observational constraints are considered, such as the dynamical masses of GM Aur, DM Tau, and GG Tau A, the models of Baraffe et al. are the most consistent with observations of young systems. With compatible temperature scales, the models of both D'Antona & Mazzitelli and Baraffe et al. suggest that the hydrogen-burning mass limit occurs near M6 at ages of <~10 Myr. Thus, several

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. TiNy Titans: The Role of Dwarf-Dwarf Interactions in Low-mass Galaxy Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stierwalt, S.; Besla, G.; Patton, D.; Johnson, K.; Kallivayalil, N.; Putman, M.; Privon, G.; Ross, G.

    2015-05-01

    We introduce TiNy Titans (TNT), the first systematic study of star formation and the subsequent processing of the interstellar medium in interacting dwarf galaxies. Here we present the first results from a multiwavelength observational program based on a sample of 104 dwarf galaxy pairs selected from a range of environments within the spectroscopic portion of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and caught in various stages of interaction. The TNT dwarf pairs span mass ratios of M*,1/M*,2 < 10, projected separations <50 kpc, and pair member masses of 7 < log({{M}*}/{{M}⊙ }) < 9.7. The dwarf-dwarf merger sequence, as defined by TNT at z = 0, demonstrates conclusively and for the first time that the star formation enhancement observed for massive galaxy pairs also extends to the dwarf mass range. Star formation is enhanced in paired dwarfs in otherwise isolated environments by a factor of 2.3 (±0.7) at pair separations <50 kpc relative to unpaired analogs. The enhancement decreases with increasing pair separation and extends out to pair separations as large as 100 kpc. Starbursts, defined by Hα EQW >100 Å, occur in 20% of the TNT dwarf pairs, regardless of environment, compared to only 6%-8% of the matched unpaired dwarfs. Starbursts can be triggered throughout the merger (i.e., out to large pair separations) and not just approaching coalescence. Despite their enhanced star formation and triggered starbursts, most TNT dwarf pairs have similar gas fractions relative to unpaired dwarfs of the same stellar mass. Thus, there may be significant reservoirs of diffuse, non-star-forming neutral gas surrounding the dwarf pairs, or the gas consumption timescales may be long in the starburst phase. The only TNT dwarf pairs with low gas fractions (fgas\\lt 0.4) and the only dwarfs, either paired or unpaired, with Hα EQW < 2 Å are found near massive galaxy hosts. We conclude that dwarf-dwarf interactions are significant drivers of galaxy evolution at the low-mass end, but

  18. 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)

  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. 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.

  1. Southern Very Low Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in Wide Binary and Multiple Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caballero, José Antonio

    2007-09-01

    The results of the Königstuhl survey in the Southern Hemisphere are presented. I have searched for common proper motion companions to 173 field very low mass stars and brown dwarfs with spectral types >M5.0 V and magnitudes J<~14.5 mag. I have measured for the first time the common proper motion of two new wide systems containing very low mass components, Königstuhl 2 AB and 3 A-BC. Together with Königstuhl 1 AB and 2M 0126-50 AB, they are among the widest systems in their respective classes (r=450-11,900 AU). I have determined the minimum frequency of field wide multiples (r>100 AU) with late-type components at 5.0%+/-1.8% and the frequency of field wide late-type binaries with mass ratios q>0.5 at 1.2%+/-0.9%. These values represent a key diagnostic of evolution history and low-mass star and brown dwarf formation scenarios. In addition, the proper motions of 62 field very low mass dwarfs are measured here for the first time.

  2. Spitzer Spectroscopy of Low-Mass Dwarfs - Clouds and Chemistry at the Bottom of the IMF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roellig, Thomas L.

    2006-01-01

    Brown dwarfs and low-mass stars show evidence of complicated atmospheres, including a variety of molecular species and clouds. Infrared observations are one of the best probes of the physics of these objects, but up until recently these observations have been limited in studies from ground-based telescopes by atmospheric absorption and insufficient sensitivity. With the launch of the Spitzer Space Telescope with its Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) instrument we now have the capability to undertake a systematic study of the atmospheric structure and chemistry in these cool objects. The IRS Dim Suns team has compiled spectra from objects ranging from M1 dwarfs with effective temperatures 3,800K of down to T8 dwarfs with effective temperatures of 700. This talk will present these results and discuss their implications for our understanding of cool dwarf atmospheric physics and structure.

  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. 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.

  5. Calcium rich transients: tidal detonations of white dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccarone, Thomas

    2013-09-01

    We propose for a 40 kilosecond TOO observation of a new Ca-rich gap transient. These enigmatic objects, with properties intermediate between those of classical novae and Type Ia supernovae, can be well-explained by tidal detonations of low mass white dwarfs by intermediate mass black holes. In such a case, fall-back accretion of the tidal debris would power an X-ray source for which we propose to search. Because supermassive black holes will swallow white dwarfs whole, a successful outcome to this proposal would both explain the Ca-rich gap transients *and* establish the existence of intermediate mass black holes.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Fundmental Parameters of Low-Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John A.; Bowler, Brendan; Shkolnik, Evgenya

    2016-01-01

    Despite advances in evolutionary models of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, these models remain poorly constrained by observations. In order to test these predictions directly, masses of individual stars must be measured and combined with broadband photometry and medium-resolution spectroscopy to probe stellar atmospheres. I will present results from an astrometric and spectroscopic survey of low-mass pre-main sequence binary stars to measure individual dynamical masses and compare to model predictions. This is the first systematic test of a large number of stellar systems of intermediate age between young star-forming regions and old field stars. Stars in our sample are members of the Tuc-Hor, AB Doradus, and beta Pictoris moving groups, the last of which includes GJ 3305 AB, the wide binary companion to the imaged exoplanet host 51 Eri. I will also present results of Spitzer observations of secondary eclipses of LHS 6343 C, a T dwarf transiting one member of an M+M binary in the Kepler field. By combining these data with Kepler photometry and radial velocity observations, we can measure the luminosity, mass, and radius of the brown dwarf. This is the first non-inflated brown dwarf for which all three of these parameters have been measured, providing the first benchmark to test model predictions of the masses and radii of field T dwarfs. I will discuss these results in the context of K2 and TESS, which will find additional benchmark transiting brown dwarfs over the course of their missions, including a description of the first planet catalog developed from K2 data and a program to search for transiting planets around mid-M dwarfs.

  9. The atomic and molecular content of disks around very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Pascucci, I.; Herczeg, G.; Carr, J. S.; Bruderer, S.

    2013-12-20

    There is growing observational evidence that disk evolution is stellar-mass-dependent. Here, we show that these dependencies extend to the atomic and molecular content of disk atmospheres. We analyze a unique dataset of high-resolution Spitzer/IRS spectra from eight very low mass star and brown dwarf disks. We report the first detections of Ne{sup +}, H{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}, and tentative detections of H{sub 2}O toward these faint and low-mass disks. Two of our [Ne II] 12.81 μm emission lines likely trace the hot (≥5000 K) disk surface irradiated by X-ray photons from the central stellar/sub-stellar object. The H{sub 2} S(2) and S(1) fluxes are consistent with arising below the fully or partially ionized surface traced by the [Ne II] emission in gas at ∼600 K. We confirm the higher C{sub 2}H{sub 2}/HCN flux and column density ratio in brown dwarf disks previously noted from low-resolution IRS spectra. Our high-resolution spectra also show that the HCN/H{sub 2}O fluxes of brown dwarf disks are on average higher than those of T Tauri disks. Our LTE modeling hints that this difference extends to column density ratios if H{sub 2}O lines trace warm ≥600 K disk gas. These trends suggest that the inner regions of brown dwarf disks have a lower O/C ratio than those of T Tauri disks, which may result from a more efficient formation of non-migrating icy planetesimals. An O/C = 1, as inferred from our analysis, would have profound implications on the bulk composition of rocky planets that can form around very low mass stars and brown dwarfs.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Abundance ratios of red giants in low-mass ultra-faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    François, P.; Monaco, L.; Bonifacio, P.; Moni Bidin, C.; Geisler, D.; Sbordone, L.

    2016-04-01

    Context. Low-mass dwarf spheroidal galaxies are key objects for our understanding of the chemical evolution of the pristine Universe and the Local Group of galaxies. Abundance ratios in stars of these objects can be used to better understand their star formation and chemical evolution. Aims: We report on the analysis of a sample of 11 stars belonging to five different ultra-faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies (UfDSph) that is based on X-Shooter spectra obtained at the VLT. Methods: Medium-resolution spectra have been used to determine the detailed chemical composition of their atmosphere. We performed a standard 1D LTE analysis to compute the abundances. Results: Considering all the stars as representative of the same population of low-mass galaxies, we found that the [α/Fe] ratios vs.s [Fe/H] decreases as the metallicity of the star increases in a way similar to that which is found for the population of stars that belong to dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The main difference is that the solar [α/Fe] is reached at a much lower metallicity for the UfDSph than for the dwarf spheroidal galaxies. We report for the first time the abundance of strontium in CVn II. The star we analyzed in this galaxy has a very high [Sr/Fe] and a very low upper limit of barium which makes it a star with an exceptionally high [Sr/Ba] ratio.

  13. 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.

  14. ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY IN GIANT PLANETS, BROWN DWARFS, AND LOW-MASS DWARF STARS. III. IRON, MAGNESIUM, AND SILICON

    SciTech Connect

    Visscher, Channon; Lodders, Katharina; Fegley, Bruce E-mail: lodders@wustl.ed

    2010-06-20

    We use thermochemical equilibrium calculations to model iron, magnesium, and silicon chemistry in the atmospheres of giant planets, brown dwarfs, extrasolar giant planets (EGPs), and low-mass stars. The behavior of individual Fe-, Mg-, and Si-bearing gases and condensates is determined as a function of temperature, pressure, and metallicity. Our equilibrium results are thus independent of any particular model atmosphere. The condensation of Fe metal strongly affects iron chemistry by efficiently removing Fe-bearing species from the gas phase. Monatomic Fe is the most abundant Fe-bearing gas throughout the atmospheres of EGPs and L dwarfs, and in the deep atmospheres of giant planets and T dwarfs. Mg- and Si-bearing gases are effectively removed from the atmosphere by forsterite (Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) and enstatite (MgSiO{sub 3}) cloud formation. Monatomic Mg is the dominant magnesium gas throughout the atmospheres of EGPs and L dwarfs and in the deep atmospheres of giant planets and T dwarfs. Silicon monoxide (SiO) is the most abundant Si-bearing gas in the deep atmospheres of brown dwarfs and EGPs, whereas SiH{sub 4} is dominant in the deep atmosphere of Jupiter and other gas giant planets. Several other Fe-, Mg-, and Si-bearing gases become increasingly important with decreasing effective temperature. In principle, a number of Fe, Mg, and Si gases are potential tracers of weather or diagnostic of temperature in substellar atmospheres.

  15. Identification and characterization of low mass stars and brown dwarfs using Virtual Observatory tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aberasturi, Miriam

    2015-11-01

    Context: Two thirds of the stars in our galactic neighborhood (d < 10 pc) are M-dwarfs which also constitute the most common stellar objects in the Milky Way. This property, combined with their small stellar masses and radii, increases the likelihood of detecting terrestrial planets through radial velocity and transit techniques, making them very adequate targets for the exoplanet hunting projects. Nevertheless, M dwarfs have associated different observational difficulties. They are cool objects whose emission radiation peaks at infrared wavelengths and, thus, with a low surface brightness in the optical range. Also, the photometric variability as well as the significant chromospheric activity hinder the radial velocity and transit determinations. It is necessary, therefore, to carry out a detailed characterization of M-dwarfs before building a shortlist with the best possible candidates for exoplanet searches. Brown dwarfs (BDs) are self-gravitating objects that do not get enough mass to maintain a sufficiently high temperature in their core for stable hydrogen fusion. They represent the link between low-mass stars and giant planets. Due to their low temperatures, BDs emit significant flux at mid-infrared wavelength which makes this range very adequate to look for this type of objects. The Virtual Observatory (VO) is an international initiative designed to help the astronomical community in the exploitation of the multi-wavelength information that resides in data archives. In the last years the Spanish Virtual Observatory is conducting a number of projects focused on the study of substellar objects taking advantage of Virtual Observatory tools for an easy data access and analysis of large area surveys. This is the framework where this thesis has been carried out. This dissertation addresses three problems in the framework of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, namely, the search for brown dwarf candidates crossmatching catalogues (Chapter 4), the search for nearby

  16. Massive double white dwarfs and the AM CVn birthrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Heinke, Craig O.; Gianninas, A.; Benni, P.; Agüeros, M. A.

    2016-08-01

    We present Chandra and Swift X-ray observations of four extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarfs with massive companions. We place stringent limits on X-ray emission from all four systems, indicating that neutron star companions are extremely unlikely and that the companions are almost certainly white dwarfs. Given the observed orbital periods and radial velocity amplitudes, the total masses of these binaries are greater than 1.02-1.39 M⊙. The extreme mass ratios between the two components make it unlikely that these binary white dwarfs will merge and explode as Type Ia or underluminous supernovae. Instead, they will likely go through stable mass transfer through an accretion disc and turn into interacting AM CVn. Along with three previously known systems, we identify two of our targets, J0811 and J2132, as systems that will definitely undergo stable mass transfer. In addition, we use the binary white dwarf sample from the ELM Survey to constrain the inspiral rate of systems with extreme mass ratios. This rate, 1.7 × 10-4 yr-1, is consistent with the AM CVn space density estimated from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Hence, stable mass transfer double white dwarf progenitors can account for the entire AM CVn population in the Galaxy.

  17. A COMPREHENSIVE SPECTROSCOPIC ANALYSIS OF DB WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Bergeron, P.; Wesemael, F.; Dufour, Pierre; Beauchamp, A.; Hunter, C.; Gianninas, A.; Limoges, M.-M.; Dufour, Patrick; Fontaine, G.; Saffer, Rex A.; Ruiz, M. T.; Liebert, James E-mail: wesemael@astro.umontreal.ca E-mail: limoges@astro.umontreal.ca E-mail: fontaine@astro.umontreal.ca E-mail: chris.hunter@yale.edu E-mail: mtruiz@das.uchile.cl

    2011-08-10

    We present a detailed analysis of 108 helium-line (DB) white dwarfs based on model atmosphere fits to high signal-to-noise optical spectroscopy. We derive a mean mass of 0.67 M{sub sun} for our sample, with a dispersion of only 0.09 M{sub sun}. White dwarfs also showing hydrogen lines, the DBA stars, comprise 44% of our sample, and their mass distribution appears similar to that of DB stars. As in our previous investigation, we find no evidence for the existence of low-mass (M < 0.5 M{sub sun}) DB white dwarfs. We derive a luminosity function based on a subset of DB white dwarfs identified in the Palomar-Green Survey. We show that 20% of all white dwarfs in the temperature range of interest are DB stars, although the fraction drops to half this value above T{sub eff} {approx} 20,000 K. We also show that the persistence of DB stars with no hydrogen features at low temperatures is difficult to reconcile with a scenario involving accretion from the interstellar medium, often invoked to account for the observed hydrogen abundances in DBA stars. We present evidence for the existence of two different evolutionary channels that produce DB white dwarfs: the standard model where DA stars are transformed into DB stars through the convective dilution of a thin hydrogen layer and a second channel where DB stars retain a helium atmosphere throughout their evolution. We finally demonstrate that the instability strip of pulsating V777 Her white dwarfs contains no non-variables, if the hydrogen content of these stars is properly accounted for.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. MICROLENSING DISCOVERY OF A POPULATION OF VERY TIGHT, VERY LOW MASS BINARY BROWN DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, J.-Y.; Han, C.; Udalski, A.; Sumi, T.; Gaudi, B. S.; Gould, A.; Bennett, D. P.; Dominik, M.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Tsapras, Y.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Furusawa, K.; Itow, Y.; Bond, I. A.; Ling, C. H.; Botzler, C. S.; Freeman, M.; Chote, P.; Fukui, A.; Collaboration: MOA Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; muFUN Collaboration; MiNDSTEp Consortium; PLANET Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; and others

    2013-05-10

    Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD mass function provide critical empirical diagnostics of these mechanisms. We present the discovery via gravitational microlensing of two very low mass, very tight binary systems. These binaries have directly and precisely measured total system masses of 0.025 M{sub Sun} and 0.034 M{sub Sun }, and projected separations of 0.31 AU and 0.19 AU, making them the lowest-mass and tightest field BD binaries known. The discovery of a population of such binaries indicates that BD binaries can robustly form at least down to masses of {approx}0.02 M{sub Sun }. Future microlensing surveys will measure a mass-selected sample of BD binary systems, which can then be directly compared to similar samples of stellar binaries.

  2. Models of very-low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Allard, F; Homeier, D; Freytag, B

    2012-06-13

    Within the next few years, GAIA and several instruments aiming to image extrasolar planets will be ready. In parallel, low-mass planets are being sought around red dwarfs, which offer more favourable conditions, for both radial velocity detection and transit studies, than solar-type stars. In this paper, the authors of a model atmosphere code that has allowed the detection of water vapour in the atmosphere of hot Jupiters review recent advances in modelling the stellar to substellar transition. The revised solar oxygen abundances and cloud model allow the photometric and spectroscopic properties of this transition to be reproduced for the first time. Also presented are highlight results of a model atmosphere grid for stars, brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. PMID:22547243

  3. Models of very-low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Allard, F.; Homeier, D.; Freytag, B.

    2012-01-01

    Within the next few years, GAIA and several instruments aiming to image extrasolar planets will be ready. In parallel, low-mass planets are being sought around red dwarfs, which offer more favourable conditions, for both radial velocity detection and transit studies, than solar-type stars. In this paper, the authors of a model atmosphere code that has allowed the detection of water vapour in the atmosphere of hot Jupiters review recent advances in modelling the stellar to substellar transition. The revised solar oxygen abundances and cloud model allow the photometric and spectroscopic properties of this transition to be reproduced for the first time. Also presented are highlight results of a model atmosphere grid for stars, brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. PMID:22547243

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Identification and characterization of low mass stars and brown dwarfs using Virtual Observatory tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aberasturi, Miriam

    2015-11-01

    Context: Two thirds of the stars in our galactic neighborhood (d < 10 pc) are M-dwarfs which also constitute the most common stellar objects in the Milky Way. This property, combined with their small stellar masses and radii, increases the likelihood of detecting terrestrial planets through radial velocity and transit techniques, making them very adequate targets for the exoplanet hunting projects. Nevertheless, M dwarfs have associated different observational difficulties. They are cool objects whose emission radiation peaks at infrared wavelengths and, thus, with a low surface brightness in the optical range. Also, the photometric variability as well as the significant chromospheric activity hinder the radial velocity and transit determinations. It is necessary, therefore, to carry out a detailed characterization of M-dwarfs before building a shortlist with the best possible candidates for exoplanet searches. Brown dwarfs (BDs) are self-gravitating objects that do not get enough mass to maintain a sufficiently high temperature in their core for stable hydrogen fusion. They represent the link between low-mass stars and giant planets. Due to their low temperatures, BDs emit significant flux at mid-infrared wavelength which makes this range very adequate to look for this type of objects. The Virtual Observatory (VO) is an international initiative designed to help the astronomical community in the exploitation of the multi-wavelength information that resides in data archives. In the last years the Spanish Virtual Observatory is conducting a number of projects focused on the study of substellar objects taking advantage of Virtual Observatory tools for an easy data access and analysis of large area surveys. This is the framework where this thesis has been carried out. This dissertation addresses three problems in the framework of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, namely, the search for brown dwarf candidates crossmatching catalogues (Chapter 4), the search for nearby

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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).

  12. Extremely Low Mass: The Circumstellar Envelope of a Potential Proto-Brown Dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    What is the environment for planet formation around extremely low mass stars? Is the environment around brown dwarfs and extremely low mass stars conducive and sufficiently massive for planet production? The determining conditions may be set very early in the process of the host object's formation. IRAS 16253-2429, the source of the Wasp-Waist Nebula seen in Spitzer IRAC images, is an isolated, very low luminosity ("VeLLO") Class 0 protostar in the nearby rho Ophiuchi cloud. We present VLA ammonia mapping observations of the dense gas envelope feeding the central core accreting system. We find a flattened envelope perpendicular to the outflow axis, and gas cavities that appear to cradle the outflow lobes as though carved out by the flow and associated (apparently precessing) jet, indicating environmental disruption. Based on the NH3 (1,1) and (2,2) emission distribution, we derive the mass, velocity fields and temperature distribution for the envelope. We discuss the combined evidence for this source to be one of the youngest and lowest mass sources in formation yet known, and discuss the ramifications for planet formation potential in this extremely low mass system.

  13. 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

  14. Low mass star and brown dwarf formation in the Orion B molecular cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Joanna Lisa

    I present an extensive near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic survey of young, low mass objects in the Orion B molecular cloud. Results of this survey are used to investigate the shape of the low mass initial mass function (IMF) and examine the stellar and substellar populations of three young clusters in Orion B, ultimately placing observational constraints on models of brown dwarf formation. Classical star formation theory predicts that the minimum mass required for the birth of a star is roughly one solar mass. However, studies of Galactic field stars have revealed many smaller objects, including significant populations of sub-solar mass stars (M[Asymptotically = to]0.2-0.3[Special characters omitted.] ) and brown dwarfs (M<0.08[Special characters omitted.] ). The origin of these objects remains an unsolved problem in modern astrophysics. Using FLAMINGOS on the Kitt Peak National Observatory 2.1 and 4 meter telescopes, I have completed a new J, H , and K -band imaging survey of ~6 square degrees of Orion B and compiled a new library of ~200 JH spectra of M stars in the young clusters NGC 2024, NGC 2068, and NGC 2071. I combine the photometry and spectroscopy to construct Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams, inferring masses and ages for cluster members using pre-main sequence evolutionary models. Median ages, substellar disk frequencies, IMFs, and the abundance of brown dwarfs ( R ss ) are determined and the spatial distribution of M stars is discussed. The results show the IMF peaks for the Orion B clusters (M peak [Asymptotically = to]0.2-0.3[Special characters omitted.] ) are consistent with each other but different from isolated star forming regions such as Taurus. There is also evidence for a dependence of the peak mass on local gas density. A significant fraction of brown dwarfs are shown to have an infrared excess, indicative of circumsubstellar disks. Finally, I find that the R ss is not universal but varies from region to region. After examining the

  15. THE SURVEY OF H I IN EXTREMELY LOW-MASS DWARFS (SHIELD)

    SciTech Connect

    Cannon, John M.; Engstrom, Eric; Allan, John; Erny, Grace; Fliss, Palmer; Smith, AnnaLeigh

    2011-09-20

    We present first results from the Survey of H I in Extremely Low-mass Dwarfs (SHIELD), a multi-configuration Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) study of the neutral gas contents and dynamics of galaxies with H I masses in the 10{sup 6}-10{sup 7} M{sub sun} range detected by the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) survey. We describe the survey motivation and concept demonstration using Very Large Array imaging of six low-mass galaxies detected in early ALFALFA data products. We then describe the primary scientific goals of SHIELD and present preliminary EVLA and WIYN 3.5 m imaging of the 12 SHIELD galaxies. With only a few exceptions, the neutral gas distributions of these extremely low-mass galaxies are centrally concentrated. In only one system have we detected H I column densities higher than 10{sup 21} cm{sup -2}. Despite this, the stellar populations of all of these systems are dominated by blue stars. Further, we find ongoing star formation as traced by H{alpha} emission in 10 of the 11 galaxies with H{alpha} imaging obtained to date. Taken together these results suggest that extremely low-mass galaxies are forming stars in conditions different from those found in more massive systems. While detailed dynamical analysis requires the completion of data acquisition, the most well-resolved system is amenable to meaningful position-velocity analysis. For AGC 749237, we find well-ordered rotation of 30 km s{sup -1} at {approx}40'' distance from the dynamical center. At the adopted distance of 3.2 Mpc, this implies the presence of a {approx}>1 x 10{sup 8} M{sub sun} dark matter halo and a baryon fraction {approx}<0.1.

  16. 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.

  17. Multi-fibre optical spectroscopy of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in Upper Scorpius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodieu, N.; Dobbie, P. D.; Hambly, N. C.

    2011-03-01

    Context. Knowledge of the mass function in open clusters constitutes one way to critically examine the formation mechanisms proposed to explain the existence of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. Aims: The aim of the project is to determine as accurately as possible the shape of the mass function across the stellar/substellar boundary in the young (5 Myr) and nearby (d = 145 pc) Upper Sco association. Methods: We have obtained multi-fibre intermediate-resolution (R ~ 1100) optical (~5750-8800 Å) spectroscopy of 94 photometric and proper motion selected low-mass star and brown dwarf candidates in Upper Sco with the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. Results: We have estimated the spectral types and measured the equivalent widths of youth (Hα) and gravity (Na I and K I) diagnostic features to confirm the spectroscopic membership of about 95% of the photometric and proper motion candidates extracted from 6.5 square degrees surveyed in Upper Sco by the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Galactic Clusters Survey (GCS). We also detect lithium in the spectra with the highest signal-to-noise, consolidating our conclusions about their youth. Furthermore, we derive an estimate of the efficiency of the photometric and proper motion selections used in our earlier studies using spectroscopic data obtained for a large number of stars falling into the instrument's field-of-view. We have estimated the effective temperatures and masses for each new spectroscopic member using the latest evolutionary models available for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. Combining the current optical spectroscopy presented here with near-infrared spectroscopy obtained for the faintest photometric candidates, we confirm the shape and slope of our earlier photometric mass function. The luminosity function drawn from the spectroscopic sample of 113 USco members peaks at around M6 and is flat at later spectral type. We may detect the presence of the M7/M8 gap in the luminosity

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). IV. THE OUTER ARCHITECTURE OF M DWARF PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Tamura, Motohide

    2015-01-01

    We present results from a high-contrast adaptive optics imaging search for giant planets and brown dwarfs (≳1 M {sub Jup}) around 122 newly identified nearby (≲40 pc) young M dwarfs. Half of our targets are younger than 135 Myr and 90% are younger than the Hyades (620 Myr). After removing 44 close stellar binaries (implying a stellar companion fraction of >35.4% ± 4.3% within 100 AU), 27 of which are new or spatially resolved for the first time, our remaining sample of 78 single M dwarfs makes this the largest imaging search for planets around young low-mass stars (0.1-0.6 M {sub ☉}) to date. Our H- and K-band coronagraphic observations with Keck/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO achieve typical contrasts of 12-14 mag and 9-13 mag at 1'', respectively, which correspond to limiting planet masses of 0.5-10 M {sub Jup} at 5-33 AU for 85% of our sample. We discovered four young brown dwarf companions: 1RXS J235133.3+312720 B (32 ± 6 M {sub Jup}; L0{sub −1}{sup +2}; 120 ± 20 AU), GJ 3629 B (64{sub −23}{sup +30} M {sub Jup}; M7.5 ± 0.5; 6.5 ± 0.5 AU), 1RXS J034231.8+121622 B (35 ± 8 M {sub Jup}; L0 ± 1; 19.8 ± 0.9 AU), and 2MASS J15594729+4403595 B (43 ± 9 M {sub Jup}; M8.0 ± 0.5; 190 ± 20 AU). Over 150 candidate planets were identified; we obtained follow-up imaging for 56% of these but all are consistent with background stars. Our null detection of planets enables strong statistical constraints on the occurrence rate of long-period giant planets around single M dwarfs. We infer an upper limit (at the 95% confidence level) of 10.3% and 16.0% for 1-13 M {sub Jup} planets between 10-100 AU for hot-start and cold-start (Fortney) evolutionary models, respectively. Fewer than 6.0% (9.9%) of M dwarfs harbor massive gas giants in the 5-13 M {sub Jup} range like those orbiting HR 8799 and β Pictoris between 10-100 AU for a hot-start (cold-start) formation scenario. The frequency of brown dwarf (13-75 M {sub Jup}) companions to single

  1. Planets around Low-mass Stars (PALMS). IV. The Outer Architecture of M Dwarf Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Tamura, Motohide

    2015-01-01

    We present results from a high-contrast adaptive optics imaging search for giant planets and brown dwarfs (gsim1 M Jup) around 122 newly identified nearby (lsim40 pc) young M dwarfs. Half of our targets are younger than 135 Myr and 90% are younger than the Hyades (620 Myr). After removing 44 close stellar binaries (implying a stellar companion fraction of >35.4% ± 4.3% within 100 AU), 27 of which are new or spatially resolved for the first time, our remaining sample of 78 single M dwarfs makes this the largest imaging search for planets around young low-mass stars (0.1-0.6 M ⊙) to date. Our H- and K-band coronagraphic observations with Keck/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO achieve typical contrasts of 12-14 mag and 9-13 mag at 1'', respectively, which correspond to limiting planet masses of 0.5-10 M Jup at 5-33 AU for 85% of our sample. We discovered four young brown dwarf companions: 1RXS J235133.3+312720 B (32 ± 6 M Jup; L0+2-1; 120 ± 20 AU), GJ 3629 B (64+30-23 M Jup; M7.5 ± 0.5; 6.5 ± 0.5 AU), 1RXS J034231.8+121622 B (35 ± 8 M Jup; L0 ± 1; 19.8 ± 0.9 AU), and 2MASS J15594729+4403595 B (43 ± 9 M Jup; M8.0 ± 0.5; 190 ± 20 AU). Over 150 candidate planets were identified; we obtained follow-up imaging for 56% of these but all are consistent with background stars. Our null detection of planets enables strong statistical constraints on the occurrence rate of long-period giant planets around single M dwarfs. We infer an upper limit (at the 95% confidence level) of 10.3% and 16.0% for 1-13 M Jup planets between 10-100 AU for hot-start and cold-start (Fortney) evolutionary models, respectively. Fewer than 6.0% (9.9%) of M dwarfs harbor massive gas giants in the 5-13 M Jup range like those orbiting HR 8799 and β Pictoris between 10-100 AU for a hot-start (cold-start) formation scenario. The frequency of brown dwarf (13-75 M Jup) companions to single M dwarfs between 10-100 AU is 2.8+2.4-1.5%. Altogether we find that giant planets, especially massive ones, are rare

  2. Do circumstellar disks regulate rotation in young very low mass stars and brown dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Ledesma, M. V.; Mundt, R.; Eislöffel, J.

    Rotational studies at a variety of ages and masses are important for con- straining the angular momentum evolution of young stellar objects. Of particular interest are the very low mass (VLM) stars and brown dwarfs (BDs), because of the significant lack of known rotational periods in that mass range. We present results of an extensive rotational study in the Orion Nebula Clus- ter from where 487 new rotational periods were measured. In order to inves- tigate a rotation-disk correlation, we derived near infrared (NIR) excesses (from IJHK photometry) for a sample of 732 very low mass periodic vari- ables. We found a highly significant rotation-disk correlation for objects with masses between 0.4-0.075 M , in which objects with NIR excess tend to rotate slower than objects without NIR excess. Interestingly we found no corre- lation in the substellar regime. We discuss possible scenarios which may explain the lack of rotation-disk connection in the substellar mass regime.

  3. A pulsation search among young brown dwarfs and very-low-mass stars

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, Ann Marie; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.

    2014-12-01

    In 2005, Palla and Baraffe proposed that brown dwarfs (BDs) and very-low-mass stars (VLMSs; < 0.1 solar masses) may be unstable to radial oscillations during the pre-main-sequence deuterium burning phase. With associated periods of one to four hours, this potentially new class of pulsation offers unprecedented opportunities to probe the interiors and evolution of low-mass objects in the 1-15 million year age range. Following up on reports of short-period variability in young clusters, we designed a high-cadence photometric monitoring campaign to search for deuterium-burning pulsation among a sample of 348 BDs and VLMSs in the four young clusters σ Orionis, Chamaeleon I, IC 348, and Upper Scorpius. In the resulting light curves we achieved sensitivity to periodic signals of amplitude several millimagnitudes, on timescales from 15 minutes to two weeks. Despite the exquisite data quality, we failed to detect any periodicities below seven hours. We conclude that D-burning pulsations are not able to grow to observable amplitudes in the early pre-main sequence. In spite of the nondetection, we did uncover a rich set of variability behavior—both periodic and aperiodic—on day to week timescales. We present new compilations of variable sources from our sample, as well as three new candidate cluster members in Chamaeleon I.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. New circumstellar disk candidates around young low mass stars and brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucher, Anne; Lafrenière, David; Gagné, Jonathan; Malo, Lison; Doyon, Rene

    2015-12-01

    It is now common knowledge that circumstellar disks are signposts of past or ongoing planetary system formation. Their presence and their properties, in relation to those of their host star, also bear valuable information about the process of star formation itself. To address these questions, we started a project to uncover new circumstellar disks around newly identified low mass star and brown dwarf candidates in nearby young kinematic associations. Being near the stellar/substellar mass boundary, these hosts - and their potential disks - are particularly interesting to study both star and planet formation. We used a least squares approach to fit synthetic spectra to the observed photometric data of each star, covering from 0.8 µm up to 22 µm, and then identified candidates showing a significant excess compared to the best fits. We then carefully looked at the data for these candidates to filter out those biased by contaminants or other artefacts. We ended up with a list of 4 young stars and brown dwarfs strongly suspected of being surrounded by a disk. Here we will present our search method and some properties of our newly identified disk-bearing candidates.

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Evolution of Helium White Dwarfs of Low and Intermediate Masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Althaus, L. G.; Benvenuto, O. G.

    1997-03-01

    We present detailed calculations of the evolution of low-mass, helium white dwarf models with masses from M = 0.1 to M = 0.5 M⊙ at intervals of 0.05 M⊙ and with a metallicity of Z = 10-3. For this purpose, we have taken fully into account finite-temperature effects by means of a detailed and updated stellar evolutionary code, in which the convective energy transport is described according to the new model for turbulent convection developed by Canuto & Mazzitelli. Furthermore, our code considers the most recent opacity data computed by the Livermore Group (OPAL data), and also the new equation of state for helium plasmas developed by Saumon, Chabrier, & Van Horn. Neutrino emission is fully taken into account as well. For models with M <= 0.3 M⊙ we started our calculations from fully convective models located at the helium-Hayashi line for each configuration, far away from the white dwarf regime. By contrast, the evolutionary sequences corresponding to 0.35, 0.4, 0.45, and 0.5 M⊙ were started from initial models resembling white dwarf structures. This was necessary in order to avoid the onset of helium burning. A consequence of this constraint is the existence of a ``forbidden region'' in the HR diagram above log (L/L⊙) = -0.25 and hotter than log Teff = 4.45, where helium white dwarfs can exist only for brief intervals. All the models were evolved to log (L/L⊙) = -5. The evolutionary tracks in the HR diagram have been carefully analyzed, and we found that the convective efficiency affects the tracks noticeably only in the high-luminosity (pre-white dwarf) regime. We also examined the evolution of central conditions, neutrino luminosity, radii, surface gravity, and ages. Central densities, radii, and surface gravities asymptotically approach the zero temperature Hamada-Salpeter results, as expected. Neutrino losses are important for the more massive helium white dwarf configurations and should be taken into account in detailed evolutionary studies of

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Gyrochronology of Low-mass Stars - Age-Rotation-Activity Relations for Young M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidder, Benjamin; Shkolnik, E.; Skiff, B.

    2014-01-01

    New rotation periods for 34 young <300 Myr), early-M dwarfs within 25 parsecs were measured using photometric data collected with telescopes at Lowell Observatory during 2012 and 2013. An additional 25 rotation periods for members of the same sample were found in the literature. Ages were derived from Hα and X-ray emission, lithium absorption, surface gravity, and kinematic association of members of known young moving groups (YMGs). We compared rotation periods with the estimated ages as well as indicators of magnetic activity, with the intention of strengthening age-rotation-activity relations and assessing the possible use of gyrochronology in young, low-mass stars. We compared ages and rotation periods of our target stars to cluster members spanning 1-600 Myr. Rotation periods at every age exhibit a large scatter, with values typically ranging from 0.2 to 15 days. This suggests that gyrochronology for individual field stars will not be possible without a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that govern angular momentum evolution. Yet, on average, the data still support the predicted trends for spin-up during contraction and spin-down on the main sequence, with the turnover occurring at around 150 Myr for early Ms. This suggests that rotation period distributions can be helpful in evaluating the ages of coeval groups of stars. Many thanks to the National Science Foundation for their support through the Research Experience for Undergraduates Grant AST- 1004107.

  18. Very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs from 2MASS and DENIS.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chester, T.

    2MASS (Two Micron All Sky Survey) and DENIS (DEep Near-Infrared survey of the Southern sky) will provide a sample of very low mass stars that is complete to a distance of 50 pc, even for the latest M star currently known. This compares with the current completeness out to 5 - 10 pc. This sample will contain 1,000 to 10,000 times more M stars than currently cataloged. This catalog will be free from proper motion selection effects and will not be limited by the completeness of optical magnitude studies. Evidence from several square degrees of proto-camera data processed and examined to date, shows that roughly 1 source is found in every square degree that has no counterpart on a POSS I plate. The first of these sources was found to be a binary system with component stars of roughly equal brightness having an M6 - M7 combined spectrum. The author discusses the effectiveness of these surveys for detecting brown dwarfs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. A HERSCHEL SURVEY OF COLD DUST IN DISKS AROUND BROWN DWARFS AND LOW-MASS STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Harvey, Paul M.; Evans, Neal J. II; Henning, Thomas; Liu Yao; Wolf, Sebastian; Menard, Francois; Pinte, Christophe; Pascucci, Ilaria E-mail: nje@astro.as.utexas.edu E-mail: wolf@astrophysik.uni-kiel.de E-mail: yliu@pmo.ac.cn E-mail: christophe.pinte@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr E-mail: pascucci@lpl.arizona.edu

    2012-08-10

    We report the complete photometric results from our Herschel study which is the first comprehensive program to search for far-infrared emission from cold dust around young brown dwarfs (BDs). We surveyed 50 fields containing 51 known or suspected BDs and very low mass stars that have evidence of circumstellar disks based on Spitzer photometry and/or spectroscopy. The objects with known spectral types range from M3 to M9.5. Four of the candidates were subsequently identified as extragalactic objects. Of the remaining 47 we have successfully detected 36 at 70 {mu}m and 14 at 160 {mu}m with signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) greater than 3, as well as several additional possible detections with low S/N. The objects exhibit a range of [24]-[70] {mu}m colors suggesting a range in mass and/or structure of the outer disk. We present modeling of the spectral energy distributions of the sample and discuss trends visible in the data. Using two Monte Carlo radiative transfer codes we investigate disk masses and geometry. We find a very wide range in modeled total disk masses from less than 10{sup -6} M{sub Sun} up to 10{sup -3} M{sub Sun} with a median disk mass of the order of 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -5} M{sub Sun }, suggesting that the median ratio of disk mass to central object mass may be lower than for T Tauri stars. The disk scale heights and flaring angles, however, cover a range consistent with those seen around T Tauri stars. The host clouds in which the young BDs and low-mass stars are located span a range in estimated age from {approx}1-3 Myr to {approx}10 Myr and represent a variety of star-forming environments. No obvious dependence on cloud location or age is seen in the disk properties, though the statistical significance of this conclusion is not strong.

  11. Formation of high-field magnetic white dwarfs from common envelopes.

    PubMed

    Nordhaus, Jason; Wellons, Sarah; Spiegel, David S; Metzger, Brian D; Blackman, Eric G

    2011-02-22

    The origin of highly magnetized white dwarfs has remained a mystery since their initial discovery. Recent observations indicate that the formation of high-field magnetic white dwarfs is intimately related to strong binary interactions during post-main-sequence phases of stellar evolution. If a low-mass companion, such as a planet, brown dwarf, or low-mass star, is engulfed by a post-main-sequence giant, gravitational torques in the envelope of the giant lead to a reduction of the companion's orbit. Sufficiently low-mass companions in-spiral until they are shredded by the strong gravitational tides near the white dwarf core. Subsequent formation of a super-Eddington accretion disk from the disrupted companion inside a common envelope can dramatically amplify magnetic fields via a dynamo. Here, we show that these disk-generated fields are sufficiently strong to explain the observed range of magnetic field strengths for isolated, high-field magnetic white dwarfs. A higher-mass binary analogue may also contribute to the origin of magnetar fields. PMID:21300910

  12. Formation of high-field magnetic white dwarfs from common envelopes

    PubMed Central

    Nordhaus, Jason; Wellons, Sarah; Spiegel, David S.; Metzger, Brian D.; Blackman, Eric G.

    2011-01-01

    The origin of highly magnetized white dwarfs has remained a mystery since their initial discovery. Recent observations indicate that the formation of high-field magnetic white dwarfs is intimately related to strong binary interactions during post-main-sequence phases of stellar evolution. If a low-mass companion, such as a planet, brown dwarf, or low-mass star, is engulfed by a post-main-sequence giant, gravitational torques in the envelope of the giant lead to a reduction of the companion’s orbit. Sufficiently low-mass companions in-spiral until they are shredded by the strong gravitational tides near the white dwarf core. Subsequent formation of a super-Eddington accretion disk from the disrupted companion inside a common envelope can dramatically amplify magnetic fields via a dynamo. Here, we show that these disk-generated fields are sufficiently strong to explain the observed range of magnetic field strengths for isolated, high-field magnetic white dwarfs. A higher-mass binary analogue may also contribute to the origin of magnetar fields. PMID:21300910

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. Direct measurements of the fundamental properties of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupuy, Trent J.

    2010-10-01

    [approximate]2 at a given mass, which means that model-based substellar mass determinations (e.g., for directly imaged extrasolar planets and the low-mass initial mass function) may be systematically overestimating the masses. (3) We have employed our large sample of binary orbits to carry out a novel test of the earliest evolutionary stages, by using the distribution of orbital eccentricities to distinguish between competing models of brown dwarf formation.

  17. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). II. A LOW-MASS COMPANION TO THE YOUNG M DWARF GJ 3629 SEPARATED BY 0.''2

    SciTech Connect

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Tamura, Motohide

    2012-09-01

    We present the discovery of a 0.''2 companion to the young M dwarf GJ 3629 as part of our high-contrast adaptive optics imaging search for giant planets around low-mass stars with the Keck-II and Subaru telescopes. Two epochs of imaging confirm that the pair is comoving and reveal signs of orbital motion. The primary exhibits saturated X-ray emission which, together with its UV photometry from GALEX, points to an age younger than {approx}300 Myr. At these ages the companion lies below the hydrogen burning limit with a model-dependent mass of 46 {+-} 16 M{sub Jup} based on the system's photometric distance of 22 {+-} 3 pc. Resolved YJHK photometry of the pair indicates a spectral type of M7 {+-} 2 for GJ 3629 B. With a projected separation of 4.4 {+-} 0.6 AU and an estimated orbital period of 21 {+-} 5 yr, GJ 3629 AB is likely to yield a dynamical mass in the next several years, making it one of only a handful of brown dwarfs to have a measured mass and an age constrained from the stellar primary.

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Near-IR spectroscopy of low-mass binaries and brown dwarfs (Mace, 2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mace, G. N.

    2014-05-01

    The mass of a star at formation determines its subsequent evolution and demise. Low-mass stars are the most common products of star formation and their long main-sequence lifetimes cause them to accumulate over time. Star formation also produces many substellar-mass objects known as brown dwarfs, which emerge from their natal molecular clouds and continually cool as they age, pervading the Milky Way. Low-mass stars and brown dwarfs exhibit a wide range of physical characteristics and their abundance make them ideal subjects for testing formation and evolution models. I have examined a pair of pre-main sequence spectroscopic binaries and used radial velocity variations to determine orbital solutions and mass ratios. Additionally, I have employed synthetic spectra to estimate their effective temperatures and place them on theoretical Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams. From this analysis I discuss the formation and evolution of young binary systems and place bounds on absolute masses and radii. I have also studied the late-type T dwarfs revealed by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). This includes the exemplar T8 subdwarf Wolf 1130C, which has the lowest inferred metallicity in the literature and spectroscopic traits consistent with old age. Comparison to synthetic spectra implies that the dispersion in near-infrared colors of late-type T dwarfs is a result of age and/or thin sul de clouds. With the updated census of the L, T, and Y dwarfs we can now study specific brown dwarf subpopulations. Finally, I present a number of future studies that would develop our understanding of the physical qualities of T dwarf color outliers and disentangle the tracers of age and atmospheric properties. The thesis is available at: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~gmace/thesis.html (7 data files).

  19. Herschel/PACS view of disks around low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the TW Hydrae association

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yao; Herczeg, Gregory J.; Gong, Munan; Allers, Katelyn N.; Brown, Joanna M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; van Dishoeck, Ewine F.

    2015-01-01

    We conducted Herschel/PACS observations of five very low-mass stars or brown dwarfs located in the TW Hya association with the goal of characterizing the properties of disks in the low stellar mass regime. We detected all five targets at 70 μm and 100 μm and three targets at 160 μm. Our observations, combined with previous photometry from 2MASS, WISE, and SCUBA-2, enabled us to construct spectral energy distributions (SEDs) with extended wavelength coverage. Using sophisticated radiative transfer models, we analyzed the observed SEDs of the five detected objects with a hybrid fitting strategy that combines the model grids and the simulated annealing algorithm and evaluated the constraints on the disk properties via the Bayesian inference method. The modeling suggests that disks around low-mass stars and brown dwarfs are generally flatter than their higher mass counterparts, but the range of disk mass extends to well below the value found in T Tauri stars, and the disk scale heights are comparable in both groups. The inferred disk properties (i.e., disk mass, flaring, and scale height) in the low stellar mass regime are consistent with previous findings from large samples of brown dwarfs and very low-mass stars. We discuss the dependence of disk properties on their host stellar parameters and find a significant correlation between the Herschel far-IR fluxes and the stellar effective temperatures, probably indicating that the scaling between the stellar and disk masses (i.e., Mdisk ∝ M⋆) observed mainly in low-mass stars may extend down to the brown dwarf regime. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Metallicities of Low Mass Inefficient Star Forming Dwarfs in S4G: Testing the Closed Box Paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, Myles; Stirewalt, Sabrina; Sheth, Kartik; de Swardt, Bonita; Walter, Donald

    2015-03-01

    Low mass dwarf galaxies are the most numerous extragalactic population in the Local Universe. Many gas-rich dwarfs appear to be forming stars less efficiently than normal, massive disk galaxies and are therefore important laboratories for the study of star formation. Here we present new observations using the Palomar Double Spectrograph for 19 dwarf galaxies from the S4G Survey with the lowest stellar to HI mass ratios. Preliminary analysis of the data indicate a wide range of metallicities which vary by as much as 0.5 dex in a single galaxy in different star forming regions. Such a dispersion in metallicities favors an open box model and the results suggest a varied star formation history, possibly induced via minor mergers and accretion. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory(NRAO), National Science Foundation(NSF), and the National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) Cville Cohort. Additional support was provided by NSF Awards AST-0750814 and AST-1358913 to South Carolina State University.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The Initial Mass Function of Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in Young Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhman, K. L.; Rieke, G. H.; Young, Erick T.; Cotera, Angela S.; Chen, H.; Rieke, Marcia J.; Schneider, Glenn; Thompson, Rodger I.

    2000-09-01

    We have obtained images of the Trapezium Cluster (140''×140'' 0.3 pc×0.3 pc) with the Hubble Space Telescope Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). Combining these data with new ground-based K-band spectra (R=800) and existing spectral types and photometry, we have constructed an H-R diagram and used it and other arguments to infer masses and ages. To allow comparison with the results of our previous studies of IC 348 and ρ Oph, we first use the models of D'Antona & Mazzitelli. With these models, the distributions of ages of comparable samples of stars in the Trapezium, ρ Oph, and IC 348 indicate median ages of ~0.4 Myr for the first two regions and ~1-2 Myr for the latter. The low-mass initial mass functions (IMFs) in these sites of clustered star formation are similar over a wide range of stellar densities (ρ Oph, n=0.2-1×103 pc-3 IC 348, n=1×103 pc-3 Trapezium, n=1-5×104 pc-3) and other environmental conditions (e.g., presence or absence of OB stars). With current data, we cannot rule out modest variations in the substellar mass functions among these clusters. We then make the best estimate of the true form of the IMF in the Trapezium by using the evolutionary models of Baraffe et al. and an empirically adjusted temperature scale and compare this mass function to recent results for the Pleiades and the field. All of these data are consistent with an IMF that is flat or rises slowly from the substellar regime to about 0.6 Msolar and then rolls over into a power law that continues from about 1 Msolar to higher masses with a slope similar to or somewhat larger than the Salpeter value of 1.35. For the Trapezium, this behavior holds from our completeness limit of ~0.02 Msolar and probably, after a modest completeness correction, even from 0.01-0.02 Msolar. These data include ~50 likely brown dwarfs. We test the predictions of theories of the IMF against (1) the shape of the IMF, which is not log-normal, in clusters and the field, (2) the

  9. Precise atmospheric parameters for the shortest-period binary white dwarfs: gravitational waves, metals, and pulsations

    SciTech Connect

    Gianninas, A.; Kilic, Mukremin; Dufour, P.; Bergeron, P.; Brown, Warren R.; Hermes, J. J.

    2014-10-10

    We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 61 low-mass white dwarfs and provide precise atmospheric parameters, masses, and updated binary system parameters based on our new model atmosphere grids and the most recent evolutionary model calculations. For the first time, we measure systematic abundances of He, Ca, and Mg for metal-rich, extremely low mass white dwarfs and examine the distribution of these abundances as a function of effective temperature and mass. Based on our preliminary results, we discuss the possibility that shell flashes may be responsible for the presence of the observed He and metals. We compare stellar radii derived from our spectroscopic analysis to model-independent measurements and find good agreement except for white dwarfs with T {sub eff} ≲ 10,000 K. We also calculate the expected gravitational wave strain for each system and discuss their significance to the eLISA space-borne gravitational wave observatory. Finally, we provide an update on the instability strip of extremely low mass white dwarf pulsators.

  10. Precise Atmospheric Parameters for the Shortest-period Binary White Dwarfs: Gravitational Waves, Metals, and Pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Dufour, P.; Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Bergeron, P.; Hermes, J. J.

    2014-10-01

    We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 61 low-mass white dwarfs and provide precise atmospheric parameters, masses, and updated binary system parameters based on our new model atmosphere grids and the most recent evolutionary model calculations. For the first time, we measure systematic abundances of He, Ca, and Mg for metal-rich, extremely low mass white dwarfs and examine the distribution of these abundances as a function of effective temperature and mass. Based on our preliminary results, we discuss the possibility that shell flashes may be responsible for the presence of the observed He and metals. We compare stellar radii derived from our spectroscopic analysis to model-independent measurements and find good agreement except for white dwarfs with T eff <~ 10,000 K. We also calculate the expected gravitational wave strain for each system and discuss their significance to the eLISA space-borne gravitational wave observatory. Finally, we provide an update on the instability strip of extremely low mass white dwarf pulsators. Based on observations obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Spectroscopic Analysis of Hot (Pre-) White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reindl, Nicole

    2015-03-01

    In this work, different kinds of hot (pre-) white dwarfs (WD) were analyzed by means of static and expanding non-LTE model atmospheres to obtain a better understanding of the late, hot stages of stellar evolution. In the first paper, Reindl et al. (2014c), we derived for the first time the temporal evolution of the atmospheric parameters of the unusually quick evolving, hydrogen-rich central star of planetary nebula (CSPN) SAO 244567. We confirm that SAO 244567 must be a low-mass star (M < 0.55 M ). The slow evolution of the respective canonical stellar evolutionary models is, however, in strong contradiction to the observed fast evolution and the young planetary nebula. We speculate that the star could be a late He-shell flash object. Alternatively, it could be the outcome of a close-binary evolution. Then SAO 244567 would be a low-mass (0.35 M ) helium pre-WD after the common-envelope phase, during which the planetary nebula was ejected. The paper Reindl et al. (2014b) aimed to obtain clues about the nature of the exotic O(He) stars. The new optical spectra allowed a more precise determination of the atmospheric parameters of the two CSPNe, K 1- 27 and LoTr 4. Furthermore, upper limits for the mass-loss rates of K 1- 27, LoTr 4, HS 1522+6615, and HS 2209+8229 were derived. Finally, the atmospheric parameters of the O(He) stars were compared to those of other helium-dominated stars and stellar evolution calculations in order to explain a helium-dominated stellar evolution sequence. In Reindl et al. (2014a), we identified 24 DO WDs in the tenth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and analyzed them for the first time by means of non-LTE model atmospheres. Two of our objects are the coolest DO WDs ever discovered that still show a considerable amount of carbon in the atmosphere. This is in strong contradiction with diffusion calculations and we suggested that a weak mass-loss is present in DO WDs. The mass distribution of DO WDs beyond the wind limit

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Brown dwarfs and low-mass stars in the Pleiades and Praesepe: membership and binarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinfield, D. J.; Dobbie, P. D.; Jameson, R. F.; Steele, I. A.; Jones, H. R. A.; Katsiyannis, A. C.

    2003-07-01

    We present near-infrared J-, H- and K-band photometry and optical spectroscopy of low-mass star and brown dwarf (BD) candidates in the Pleiades and Praesepe open clusters. We flag non-members from their position in K, I-K and J, J-K colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs), and J-H, H-K two-colour diagrams. In general, the dust-free NextGen model isochrones of the Lyon Group fit the K, I-K CMDs well for stars with I-K~ 1.5-3.5. However, Pleiades stars with K~= 10.5-13 (MK~= 5-7.5) are rather redder than the isochrones. We also identify this effect amongst αPer sources from the literature, but find no evidence of it for field stars from the literature. The NextGen isochrones fit the J, J-K CMDs of both clusters very well in this photometric range. It is possible that the I-K colour of youthful stars is affected by the presence of magnetic activity. The Lyon Group's Dusty isochrones fit both K, I-K and K, J-K Pleiades CMDs well for I-K~= 4.3-6/J-K~= 1.1-1.4. In between these colour ranges the Pleiades cluster sequence comprises three portions. Starting at the bluer side, there is a gap where very few sources are found (the gap size is ΔI~ 0.5, ΔJ~ΔK~ 0.3), probably resulting from a sharp local drop in the magnitude-mass relation. Then the sequence is quite flat from I-K~ 3.5-4. Finally, the sequence turns over and drops down to join the Dusty isochrone. We also compare model atmosphere colours to the two-colour diagrams of the clusters. The NextGen models are seen to be ~0.1 too blue in H-K and ~0.1 too red in J-H for Teff > 4000 K. However, they are in reasonable agreement with the data at Teff~ 3200 K. For Teff~ 2800-3150 K, the colours of Pleiades and Praesepe sources are significantly different, where Praesepe sources are ~0.1 bluer in J-H and up to ~0.1 redder in H-K. These differences could result from gravity-sensitive molecular opacities. Cooler Praesepe sources then agree well with the dusty models, suggesting that dust is beginning to form in Praesepe sources

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Radial velocities of very low mass stars and candidate brown dwarf members of the Hyades and Pleiades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, John R.; Liebert, James; Giampapa, Mark; Macintosh, Bruce; Reid, Neill; Hamilton, Donald

    1994-01-01

    We have determined H alpha equivalent widths and radial velocities with 1 sigma accuracies of approximately 5 km s(exp -1) for approximately 20 candidate very low mass members of the Hyades and Pleiades clusters. The radial velocities for the Hyades sample suggest that nearly all of these stars are indeed highly probable members of the Hyades. The faintest stars in the Hyades sample have masses of order 0.1 solar mass. We also obtained radial velocities for four candidate very low mass members of the Pleiades and two objects that are candidate BD Pleiads. All of these stars have apparent V magnitudes fainter than the Hyades stars we observed, and the resultant radial velocity accuracy is worse. We believe that the three brighter stars are indeed likely very low mass stellar members of the Pleiades, whereas the status of the two brown dwarf candidates is uncertain. The Hyades stars we have observed and the three Pleiades very low mass stars are the lowest mass members of any open cluster whose membership has been confirmed by radial velocities and whose chromospheric activity has been measured. We see no change in chromospheric activity at the boundary where stars are expected to become fully convective (M approximately equals 0.3 solar mass) in either cluster. In the Pleiades, however, there may be a decrease in chromospheric activity for stars with (V-I)(sub K) greater than 3.5 (M less than or equal to 0.1 solar mass).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. THE ELM SURVEY. V. MERGING MASSIVE WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, Scott J.; Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, A.; Allende Prieto, Carlos E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu E-mail: alexg@nhn.ou.edu

    2013-05-20

    We present the discovery of 17 low-mass white dwarfs (WDs) in short-period (P {<=} 1 day) binaries. Our sample includes four objects with remarkable log g {approx_equal} 5 surface gravities and orbital solutions that require them to be double degenerate binaries. All of the lowest surface gravity WDs have metal lines in their spectra implying long gravitational settling times or ongoing accretion. Notably, six of the WDs in our sample have binary merger times <10 Gyr. Four have {approx}>0.9 M{sub Sun} companions. If the companions are massive WDs, these four binaries will evolve into stable mass transfer AM CVn systems and possibly explode as underluminous supernovae. If the companions are neutron stars, then these may be millisecond pulsar binaries. These discoveries increase the number of detached, double degenerate binaries in the ELM Survey to 54; 31 of these binaries will merge within a Hubble time.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Physical Properties of Young Brown Dwarfs and Very Low Mass Stars Inferred from High-resolution Model Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Emily L.; Barman, T.; Mclean, Ian S.; Prato, L.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

    2010-01-01

    By comparing near-infrared spectra with atmospheric models, we infer the effective temperature, surface gravity, projected rotational velocity, and radial velocity for 21 very low mass stars and brown dwarfs. The unique sample consists of two sequences in spectral type from M6-M9, one of 5-10 Myr objects and one of >1 Gyr field objects. A third sequence is comprised of only ~M6 objects with ages ranging from <1 Myr to >1 Gyr. Spectra were obtained in the J band at medium (R ~ 2000) and high (R ~ 20,000) resolutions with NIRSPEC on the Keck II telescope. Synthetic spectra were generated from atmospheric structures calculated with the PHOENIX model atmosphere code. Using multi-dimensional least-squares fitting and Monte Carlo routines we determine the best-fit model parameters for each observed spectrum and note which spectral regions provide consistent results. We identify successes in the reproduction of observed features by atmospheric models, including pressure-broadened K I lines, and investigate deficiencies in the models, particularly missing FeH opacity, that will need to be addressed in order to extend our analysis to cooler objects. The precision that can be obtained for each parameter using medium- and high-resolution near-infrared spectra is estimated and the implications for future studies of very low mass stars and brown dwarfs are discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Membership, binarity and accretion among very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs of the σ Orionis cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenyon, M. J.; Jeffries, R. D.; Naylor, Tim; Oliveira, J. M.; Maxted, P. F. L.

    2005-01-01

    Intermediate-resolution (R~ 7000) spectroscopy is presented for 76 photometrically selected very low-mass (0.04 < M < 0.3 Msolar) candidate members of the young cluster around σ Orionis (σ Ori). More than two-thirds appear to be genuine cluster members on the basis that they exhibit LiI 6708-Åabsorption, weak NaI 8183/8195 Åfeatures and a radial velocity consistent with the cluster mean. Photometric selection alone therefore appears to be very effective in identifying cluster members in this mass range. Only six objects appear to be certain non-members; however, a substantial subset of 13 candidates have ambiguous or contradictory indications of membership and lack Li absorption. Together with an observed spread in the equivalent width of the Li absorption feature in the cooler stars of our sample, this indicates that there may be deficiencies in our understanding of the formation of this line in cool, low-gravity objects. Four candidate binary cluster members are identified. Consideration of sampling and radial velocity measurement precision leads us to conclude that either the fraction of very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in small separation (a < 1 au) binary systems is larger than in field M-dwarfs, or the distribution of separations is much less skewed towards large separations. This conclusion hinges critically on the correct identification of the small number of binary candidates, although it remains significant even when only the candidate members displaying Li absorption are considered. Broadened Hα emission, indicative of circum(sub)stellar accretion discs is found in five or six of the candidate cluster members, three of which probably have substellar masses. The fraction of accretors (10 +/- 5 per cent) is similar to that found in stars of higher mass in the σ Ori cluster using Hα emission as a diagnostic, but much lower than found for very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs of younger clusters. The time-scale for accretion rates to drop to <~10

  14. Forged in FIRE: cusps, cores and baryons in low-mass dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oñorbe, Jose; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael; Bullock, James S.; Hopkins, Philip F.; Kereš, Dušan; Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André; Quataert, Eliot; Murray, Norman

    2015-12-01

    We present multiple ultrahigh resolution cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of M⋆ ≃ 104-6.3 M⊙ dwarf galaxies that form within two Mvir = 109.5-10 M⊙ dark matter halo initial conditions. Our simulations rely on the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) implementation of star formation feedback and were run with high enough force and mass resolution to directly resolve structure on the ˜200 pc scales. The resultant galaxies sit on the M⋆ versus Mvir relation required to match the Local Group stellar mass function via abundance matching. They have bursty star formation histories and also form with half-light radii and metallicities that broadly match those observed for local dwarfs at the same stellar mass. We demonstrate that it is possible to create a large (˜1 kpc) constant-density dark matter core in a cosmological simulation of an M⋆ ≃ 106.3 M⊙ dwarf galaxy within a typical Mvir = 1010 M⊙ halo - precisely the scale of interest for resolving the `too big to fail' problem. However, these large cores are not ubiquitous and appear to correlate closely with the star formation histories of the dwarfs: dark matter cores are largest in systems that form their stars late (z ≲ 2), after the early epoch of cusp building mergers has ended. Our M⋆ ≃ 104 M⊙ dwarf retains a cuspy dark matter halo density profile that matches that of a dark-matter-only run of the same system. Though ancient, most of the stars in our ultrafaint form after reionization; the ultraviolet field acts mainly to suppress fresh gas accretion, not to boil away gas that is already present in the protodwarf.

  15. Grids of white dwarf evolutionary models with masses from M=0.1 to 1.2 m_solar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benvenuto, O. G.; Althaus, L. G.

    1999-02-01

    We present detailed evolutionary calculations for carbon-oxygen- and helium-core white dwarf models with masses ranging from M= 0.1 to 1.2 M_solar and for metallicities Z = 0.001 and 0. The sequences cover a wide range of hydrogen envelopes as well. We have taken finite-temperature effects fully into account by means of a detailed white dwarf evolutionary code, in which updated radiative opacities and equations of state for hydrogen and helium plasmas are considered. The energy transport by convection is treated within the formalism of the full-spectrum turbulence theory, as given by the self-consistent model of Canuto, Goldman & Mazzitelli. Convective mixing, crystallization, hydrogen burning and neutrino energy losses are taken into account as well. The set of models presented here is very detailed and should be valuable, particularly for the interpretation of observational data on low-mass white dwarfs recently discovered in numerous binary configurations, and also for the general problem of determining the theoretical luminosity function for white dwarfs. In this context, we compare our cooling sequences with the observed white dwarf luminosity function recently improved by Leggett, Ruiz & Bergeron and we obtain an age for the Galactic disc of ~ 8 Gyr. Finally, we apply the results of this paper to derive stellar masses of a sample of low-mass white dwarfs.

  16. A statistical analysis of seeds and other high-contrast exoplanet surveys: massive planets or low-mass brown dwarfs?

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Spiegel, David S.; McElwain, Michael W.; Grady, C. A.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Guyon, O.; Goto, M.; Hashimoto, J.; and others

    2014-10-20

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ∼60 M {sub J} brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD–35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ∼30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ∼5 M {sub J}, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)∝M {sup –0.65} {sup ±} {sup 0.60} a {sup –0.85} {sup ±} {sup 0.39} (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M {sub J} companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs.

  17. A Statistical Analysis of SEEDS and Other High-contrast Exoplanet Surveys: Massive Planets or Low-mass Brown Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; McElwain, Michael W.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Spiegel, David S.; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Brandner, W.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Feldt, M.; Golota, T.; Goto, M.; Grady, C. A.; Guyon, O.; Hashimoto, J.; Hayano, Y.; Hayashi, M.; Hayashi, S.; Henning, T.; Hodapp, K. W.; Inutsuka, S.; Ishii, M.; Iye, M.; Janson, M.; Kandori, R.; Knapp, G. R.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Kwon, J.; Matsuo, T.; Miyama, S.; Morino, J.-I.; Moro-Martín, A.; Nishimura, T.; Pyo, T.-S.; Serabyn, E.; Suto, H.; Suzuki, R.; Takami, M.; Takato, N.; Terada, H.; Thalmann, C.; Tomono, D.; Watanabe, M.; Yamada, T.; Takami, H.; Usuda, T.; Tamura, M.

    2014-10-01

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ~60 M J brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD-35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ~30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ~5 M J, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)vpropM -0.65 ± 0.60 a -0.85 ± 0.39 (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M J companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  18. White dwarfs with hydrogen-deficient atmospheres and the dark matter content of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, S.; Camacho, J.; Isern, J.; García-Berro, E.

    2010-02-01

    Context. The nature of the several microlensing events observed by the MACHO team towards the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is still a subject of debate. Low-mass substellar objects and stars with masses larger than 1 Msun have been ruled out as major components of a massive astrophysical compact halo object (MACHO) galactic halo, while stars of half a solar mass seem to be viable candidates. Main sequence stars have been already discarded, and there are tight restrictions on the role played by white dwarfs with hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. Aims: In this paper we evaluate the contribution to the dark matter content of the Galaxy of white dwarfs with hydrogen-deficient atmospheres. Methods: For this purpose we use a Monte Carlo simulator which incorporates up-to-date evolutionary sequences of white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres. We also take into account detailed descriptions of the thick disk and the halo of our Galaxy as well as of a reliable model of the LMC. Results: We find that the contribution of white dwarfs with hydrogen-deficient atmospheres moderately increases the theoretical estimate of the optical depth with respect to the value obtained when only hydrogen-rich white dwarfs are considered. We also find that the contribution of the thick disk population of white dwarfs is comparable to the halo contribution. However, the contributions of both the halo and the thick disk white-dwarf populations are still insufficient to explain the number of events observed by the MACHO team. Conclusions: Finally, we find that the contribution to the halo dark matter of the entire population under study is less than 10% at the 95% conficence level.

  19. THE ELM SURVEY. II. TWELVE BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGER SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, S. J.; Prieto, Carlos Allende; Agueeros, M. A.; Heinke, Craig

    2011-01-20

    We describe new radial velocity and X-ray observations of extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM WDs, {approx}0.2 M{sub sun}) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 and the MMT Hypervelocity Star survey. We identify four new short period binaries, including two merger systems. These observations bring the total number of short period binary systems identified in our survey to 20. No main-sequence or neutron star companions are visible in the available optical photometry, radio, and X-ray data. Thus, the companions are most likely WDs. Twelve of these systems will merge within a Hubble time due to gravitational wave radiation. We have now tripled the number of known merging WD systems. We discuss the characteristics of this merger sample and potential links to underluminous supernovae, extreme helium stars, AM CVn systems, and other merger products. We provide new observational tests of the WD mass-period distribution and cooling models for ELM WDs. We also find evidence for a new formation channel for single low-mass WDs through binary mergers of two lower mass objects.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Brown Dwarf Kinematics Project. II. Details on Nine Wide Common Proper Motion Very Low Mass Companions to Nearby Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Burgasser, Adam J.; West, Andrew A.; Bochanski, John J.; Cruz, Kelle L.; Shara, Michael M.; Walter, Frederick M.

    2010-01-01

    We report on nine wide common proper motion systems containing late-type M, L, or T companions. We confirm six previously reported companions, and identify three new systems. The ages of these systems are determined using diagnostics for both stellar primaries and low-mass secondaries and masses for the secondaries are inferred using evolutionary models. Of our three new discoveries, the M3+T6.5 pair G 204-39 and SDSS J1758+4633 has an age constrained to 0.5-1.5 Gyr making the secondary a potentially useful brown dwarf benchmark. The G5+L4 pair G 200-28 and SDSS J1416+5006 has a projected separation of ~25,000 AU making it one of the widest and lowest binding energy systems known to date. The system containing NLTT 2274 and SDSS J0041+1341 is an older M4+L0 (>4.5 Gyr) pair which shows Hα activity in the secondary but not the primary making it a useful tracer of age/mass/activity trends. Two of the nine systems have discrepant component ages that emerge from stellar or ultracool diagnostics indicating possible shortcomings in our understanding of the age diagnostics of stars and brown dwarfs. We find a resolved binary frequency for widely separated (>100 AU) low-mass companions (i.e., at least a triple system) which is at least twice the frequency found for the field ultracool dwarf population. The ratio of triples to binaries and quadruples to binaries is also high for this sample: 3:5 and 1:4, respectively, compared to 8 pc sample values of 1:4 and 1:26. The additional components in these wide companion systems indicates a formation mechanism that requires a third or fourth component to maintain gravitational stability or facilitate the exchange of angular momentum. The binding energies for the nine multiples discussed in this text are among the lowest known for wide low-mass systems, suggesting that weakly bound, low-to-intermediate mass (0.2 M sun < M tot< 1.0 M sun) multiples can form and survive to exist in the field (1-8 Gyr). This paper includes data

  3. THE BROWN DWARF KINEMATICS PROJECT. II. DETAILS ON NINE WIDE COMMON PROPER MOTION VERY LOW MASS COMPANIONS TO NEARBY STARS ,

    SciTech Connect

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Shara, Michael M.; Burgasser, Adam J.; West, Andrew A.; Bochanski, John J.; Cruz, Kelle L.; Walter, Frederick M.

    2010-01-15

    We report on nine wide common proper motion systems containing late-type M, L, or T companions. We confirm six previously reported companions, and identify three new systems. The ages of these systems are determined using diagnostics for both stellar primaries and low-mass secondaries and masses for the secondaries are inferred using evolutionary models. Of our three new discoveries, the M3+T6.5 pair G 204-39 and SDSS J1758+4633 has an age constrained to 0.5-1.5 Gyr making the secondary a potentially useful brown dwarf benchmark. The G5+L4 pair G 200-28 and SDSS J1416+5006 has a projected separation of {approx}25,000 AU making it one of the widest and lowest binding energy systems known to date. The system containing NLTT 2274 and SDSS J0041+1341 is an older M4+L0 (>4.5 Gyr) pair which shows H{alpha} activity in the secondary but not the primary making it a useful tracer of age/mass/activity trends. Two of the nine systems have discrepant component ages that emerge from stellar or ultracool diagnostics indicating possible shortcomings in our understanding of the age diagnostics of stars and brown dwarfs. We find a resolved binary frequency for widely separated (>100 AU) low-mass companions (i.e., at least a triple system) which is at least twice the frequency found for the field ultracool dwarf population. The ratio of triples to binaries and quadruples to binaries is also high for this sample: 3:5 and 1:4, respectively, compared to 8 pc sample values of 1:4 and 1:26. The additional components in these wide companion systems indicates a formation mechanism that requires a third or fourth component to maintain gravitational stability or facilitate the exchange of angular momentum. The binding energies for the nine multiples discussed in this text are among the lowest known for wide low-mass systems, suggesting that weakly bound, low-to-intermediate mass (0.2 M {sub sun} < M {sub tot}< 1.0 M {sub sun}) multiples can form and survive to exist in the field (1-8 Gyr)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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}.

  8. 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.

  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. 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. 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.

  13. Near-infrared imaging of white dwarfs with candidate debris disks

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Zhongxiang; Tziamtzis, Anestis; Wang, Xuebing

    2014-02-10

    We have carried out JHK{sub s} imaging of 12 white dwarf debris disk candidates from the WIRED Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 catalog, aiming to confirm or rule out disks among these sources. On the basis of positional identification and the flux density spectra, we find that seven white dwarfs have excess infrared emission, but mostly at Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer W1 and W2 bands. Four are due to nearby red objects consistent with background galaxies or very low mass dwarfs, and one exhibits excess emission at JHK{sub s} consistent with an unresolved L0 companion at the correct distance. While our photometry is not inconsistent with all seven excesses arising from disks, the stellar properties are distinct from the known population of debris disk white dwarfs, making the possibility questionable. In order to further investigate the nature of these infrared sources, warm Spitzer imaging is needed, which may help resolve galaxies from the white dwarfs and provide more accurate flux measurements.

  14. Emission line diagnostics for accretion and outflows in young very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelzer, B.; Alcalá, J. M.; Whelan, E.; Scholz, A.

    2014-01-01

    We discuss accretion and outflow properties of three very low-mass young stellar objects based on broad-band mid-resolution X-Shooter/VLT spectra. Our targets (FU Tau A, 2M1207-39, and Par-Lup3-4) have spectral types between M5 and M8, ages between 1Myr and ~ 10Myr, and are known to be accreting from previous studies. The final objective of our project is the determination of mass outflow to accretion rate for objects near or within the substellar regime as a probe for the T Tauri phase of brown dwarfs and the investigation of variability in the accretion and outflow processes.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Atmospheric Chemistry in Giant Planets, Brown Dwarfs, and Low-Mass Dwarf Stars. II. Sulfur and Phosphorus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visscher, Channon; Lodders, Katharina; Fegley, Bruce, Jr.

    2006-09-01

    Thermochemical equilibrium and kinetic calculations are used to model sulfur and phosphorus chemistry in giant planets, brown dwarfs, and extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). The chemical behavior of individual S- and P-bearing gases and condensates is determined as a function of pressure, temperature, and metallicity. The results are independent of particular model atmospheres, and in principle, the equilibrium composition along the pressure-temperature profile of any object can be determined. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the dominant S-bearing gas throughout substellar atmospheres and approximately represents the atmospheric sulfur inventory. Silicon sulfide (SiS) is a potential tracer of weather in substellar atmospheres. Disequilibrium abundances of phosphine (PH3) approximately representative of the total atmospheric phosphorus inventory are expected to be mixed upward into the observable atmospheres of giant planets and T dwarfs. In hotter objects, several P-bearing gases (e.g., P2, PH3, PH 2, PH, and HCP) become increasingly important at high temperatures.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. YOUNG BROWN DWARFS AT HIGH CADENCE: WARM SPITZER TIME SERIES MONITORING OF VERY LOW MASS {sigma} ORIONIS CLUSTER MEMBERS

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, Ann Marie; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.

    2011-11-01

    The continuous temporal coverage and high photometric precision afforded by space observatories have opened up new opportunities for the study of variability processes in young stellar cluster members. Of particular interest is the phenomenon of deuterium-burning pulsation in brown dwarfs (BDs) and very low mass stars, whose existence on 1-4 hr timescales has been proposed but not yet borne out by observations. To investigate short-timescale variability in young, low-mass objects, we carried out high-precision, high-cadence time series monitoring with the Warm Spitzer mission on 14 low mass stars and BDs in the {approx}3 Myr {sigma} Orionis cluster. The flux in many of our raw light curves is strongly correlated with subpixel position and can vary systematically by as much as 10%. We present a new approach to disentangle true stellar variability from this 'pixel-phase effect', which is more pronounced in Warm Spitzer observations as compared to the cryogenic mission. The light curves after correction reveal that most of the sample is devoid of variability down to the few-millimagnitude (mmag) level, on the minute to day timescales probed. However, one exceptional BD displays erratic brightness changes at the 10%-15% level, suggestive of variable obscuration by dusty material. The uninterrupted 24 hr datastream and sub-1% photometric precision enable limits on pulsation in the near-infrared. If this phenomenon is present in our light curves, then its amplitude must lie below 2-3 mmag. In addition, we present three field eclipsing binaries and one pulsator for which optical ground-based data are also available.

  3. Multi-object and long-slit spectroscopy of very low mass brown dwarfs in the Orion Nebular Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suenaga, Takuya; Tamura, Motohide; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Ishii, Miki; Lucas, Philip W.

    2014-04-01

    We present the results of an H- and K-band multi-object and long-slit spectroscopic survey of substellar mass candidates in the outer regions of the Orion Nebula Cluster. The spectra were obtained using MOIRCS on the 8.2 m Subaru telescope and ISLE on the 1.88 m telescope of Okayama Astrophysical Observatory. Eight out of twelve spectra show strong water absorption and we confirm that their effective temperatures are ≤ 3000 K (spectral type ≥ M6) from a chi-square fit to synthetic spectra. We plot our sources on an HR diagram overlaid with theoretical isochrones of low-mass objects and identify three new young brown dwarf candidates. One of the three new candidates is a cool object near the brown dwarf and planetary mass boundary. Based on our observations and those of previous studies, we determine the stellar (0.08 < M/M⊙ < 1) to substellar (0.03 < M/M⊙ < 0.08) mass number ratio in the outer regions of the Orion Nebular Cluster to be 3.5 ± 0.8. In combination with the number ratio reported for the central region (3.3^{+0.8} _{-0.7}), this result suggests the number ratio does not simply change with the distance from the center of the Orion Nebular Cluster.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. SEARCH FOR VERY LOW-MASS BROWN DWARFS AND FREE-FLOATING PLANETARY-MASS OBJECTS IN TAURUS

    SciTech Connect

    Quanz, Sascha P.; Goldman, Bertrand; Henning, Thomas; Brandner, Wolfgang; Burrows, Adam; Hofstetter, Lorne W.

    2010-01-01

    The number of low-mass brown dwarfs and even free floating planetary-mass objects in young nearby star-forming (SF) regions and associations is continuously increasing, offering the possibility to study the low-mass end of the initial mass function in greater detail. In this paper, we present six new candidates for (very) low-mass objects in the Taurus SF region one of which was recently discovered in parallel by Luhman et al. The underlying data we use is part of a new database from a deep near-infrared survey at the Calar Alto observatory. The survey is more than 4 mag deeper than the Two Micron All Sky Survey and covers currently approx1.5 deg{sup 2}. Complementary optical photometry from Sloan Digital Sky Survey were available for roughly 1.0 deg{sup 2}. After selection of the candidates using different color indices, additional photometry from Spitzer/IRAC was included in the analysis. In greater detail, we focus on two very faint objects for which we obtained J-band spectra. Based on comparison with reference spectra, we derive a spectral type of L2 +- 0.5 for one object, making it the object with the latest spectral type in Taurus known today. From models, we find the effective temperature to be 2080 +- 140 K and the mass 5-15 Jupiter masses. For the second source, the J-band spectrum does not provide definite proof of the young, low-mass nature of the object, as the expected steep water vapor absorption at 1.33 mum is not present in the data. We discuss the probability that this object might be a background giant or carbon star. If it were a young Taurus member, however, a comparison to theoretical models suggests that it lies close to or even below the deuterium burning limit (<13 M{sub Jup}) as well. A first proper motion analysis for both objects shows that they are good candidates for being Taurus members.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Helium Shells on Sub-Chandrasekhar White Dwarfs: Ignition and Convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, Adam M.; Zingale, Michael; Nonaka, Andrew; Almgren, Ann; Bell, John

    2015-01-01

    Sub-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs accreting an envelope of helium allow for a range of explosive phenomena that could yield a variety of observable transients. Helium novae, so-called "point" Ia supernovae (.Ia SNe), rapid decline type Ia, and normal type Ia supernovae are all potential outcomes of helium accretion onto sub-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs. In this talk we outline why these systems have received a great deal of scrutiny recently and present our 3D models of convective nuclear burning in the helium envelope. We focus on thin, low-mass envelopes that are the best candidates for yielding normal type Ia supernovae. The envelope is modeled with the low-Mach hydrodynamics code Maestro. Maestro is optimized for modeling sub-sonic convective flow over long timescales while still being able to capture local compressibility effects due to nuclear burning as well as large-scale adjustments of stellar hydrostatic equilibrium. With it we model the convective burning in low-mass helium shells for carbon/oxygen white dwarf cores of 0.8, 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 solar masses. For a suite of models we characterize the geometry, timing, and thermodynamics of ignition as well as the envelope's convective properties. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for the viability of these systems as transient progenitors with a focus on normal type Ia supernovae.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. THE CORE COMPOSITION OF A WHITE DWARF IN A CLOSE DOUBLE-DEGENERATE SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Vennes, S.; Kawka, A.

    2012-01-20

    We report the identification of the double-degenerate system NLTT 16249 that comprises a normal, hydrogen-rich (DA) white dwarf and a peculiar, carbon-polluted white dwarf (DQ) showing photospheric traces of nitrogen. We disentangled the observed spectra and constrained the properties of both stellar components. In the evolutionary scenario commonly applied to the sequence of DQ white dwarfs, both carbon and nitrogen would be dredged up from the core. The C/N abundance ratio ( Almost-Equal-To 50) in the atmosphere of this unique DQ white dwarf suggests the presence of unprocessed material ({sup 14}N) in the core or in the envelope. Helium burning in the DQ progenitor may have terminated early on the red giant branch after a mass-ejection event leaving unprocessed material in the core, although current mass estimates do not favor the presence of a low-mass helium core. Alternatively, some nitrogen in the envelope may have survived an abridged helium-core burning phase prior to climbing the asymptotic giant branch. Based on available data, we estimate a relatively short orbital period (P {approx}< 13 hr) and ongoing spectroscopic observations will help determine precise orbital parameters.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Chandra and MMT observations of low-mass black hole active galactic nuclei accreting at low rates in dwarf galaxies

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, W.; Zhou, H.; Dou, L.; Dong, X.-B.; Wang, T.-G.; Fan, X.

    2014-02-10

    We report on Chandra X-ray observations of four candidate low-mass black hole (M {sub bh} ≲ 10{sup 6} M {sub ☉}) active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that have the estimated Eddington ratios among the lowest (∼10{sup –2}) found for this class. The aims are to validate the nature of their AGNs and to confirm the low Eddington ratios that are derived from the broad Hα line, and to explore this poorly studied regime in the AGN parameter space. Among them, two objects with the lowest significance of the broad lines are also observed with the Multi-Mirror Telescope, and the high-quality optical spectra taken confirm them as Seyfert 1 AGNs and as having small black hole masses. X-ray emission is detected from the nuclei of two of the galaxies, which is variable on timescales of ∼10{sup 3} s, whereas no significant (or only marginal at best) detection is found for the remaining two. The X-ray luminosities are on the order of 10{sup 41} erg s{sup –1} or even lower, on the order of 10{sup 40} erg s{sup –1} for non-detections, which are among the lowest regimes ever probed for Seyfert galaxies. The low X-ray luminosities, compared to their black hole masses derived from Hα, confirm their low accretion rates assuming typical bolometric corrections. Our results hint at the existence of a possibly large population of under-luminous low-mass black holes in the local universe. An off-nucleus ultra-luminous X-ray source in one of the dwarf galaxies is detected serendipitously, with a luminosity (6-9)× 10{sup 39} erg s{sup –1} in 2-10 keV.

  12. X-Shooter study of accretion in ρ-Ophiucus: very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manara, C. F.; Testi, L.; Natta, A.; Alcalá, J. M.

    2015-07-01

    We present new VLT/X-Shooter optical and near-infrared spectra of a sample of 17 candidate young low-mass stars and brown dwarfs located in the ρ-Ophiucus cluster. We derived the spectral type and extinction for all the targets, and then we determined their physical parameters. All the objects but one have M⋆≲0.6 M⊙, and eight have mass below or close to the hydrogen-burning limit. Using the intensity of various permitted emission lines present in their spectra, we determined the accretion luminosity and mass accretion rates (Ṁacc) for all the objects. When compared with previous works targeting the same sample, we find that, in general, these objects are not as strongly accreting as previously reported, and we suggest that the reason is our more accurate estimate of the photospheric parameters. We also compare our findings with recent works in other slightly older star-forming regions, such as Lupus, to investigate possible differences in the accretion properties, but we find that the accretion properties for our targets have the same dependence on the stellar and substellar parameters as in the other regions. This leads us to conclude that we do not find evidence for a different dependence of Ṁacc with M⋆ when comparing low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. Moreover, we find a similar small (≲1 dex) scatter in the Ṁacc-M⋆ relation as in some of our recent works in other star-forming regions, and no significant differences in Ṁacc due to different ages or properties of the regions. The latter result suffers, however, from low statistics and sample selection biases in the current studies. The small scatter in the Ṁacc-M⋆ correlation confirms that mass accretion rate measurements in the literature based on uncertain photospheric parameters and single accretion indicators, such as the Hα width, can lead to a scatter that is unphysically large. Our studies show that only broadband spectroscopic surveys coupled with a detailed analysis of the

  13. The Star Formation Histories of Local Group Dwarf Galaxies. III. Characterizing Quenching in Low-mass Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weisz, Daniel R.; Dolphin, Andrew E.; Skillman, Evan D.; Holtzman, Jon; Gilbert, Karoline M.; Dalcanton, Julianne J.; Williams, Benjamin F.

    2015-05-01

    We explore the quenching of low-mass galaxies (104 ≲ {{M}\\star } ≲ 108 {{M}⊙ }) as a function of lookback time using the star formation histories (SFHs) of 38 Local Group dwarf galaxies. The SFHs were derived by analyzing color-magnitude diagrams of resolved stellar populations in archival Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 imaging. We find: (1) lower-mass galaxies quench earlier than higher-mass galaxies; (2) inside of Rvirial there is no correlation between a satellite’s current proximity to a massive host and its quenching epoch; and (3) there are hints of systematic differences in the quenching times of M31 and Milky Way (MW) satellites, although the sample size and uncertainties in the SFHs of M31 dwarfs prohibit definitive conclusions. Combined with results from the literature, we qualitatively consider the redshift evolution (z = 0-1) of the quenched galaxy fraction over ˜7 dex in stellar mass (104 ≲ {{M}\\star } ≲ 1011.5 {{M}⊙ }). The quenched fraction of all galaxies generally increases toward the present, with both the lowest and highest-mass systems exhibiting the largest quenched fractions at all redshifts. In contrast, galaxies between {{M}\\star } ˜ 108-1010 {{M}⊙ } have the lowest quenched fractions. We suggest that such intermediate-mass galaxies are the least efficient at quenching. Finally, we compare our quenching times with predictions for infall times for low-mass galaxies associated with the MW. We find that some of the lowest-mass satellites (e.g., CVn II, Leo IV) may have been quenched before infall, while higher-mass satellites (e.g., Leo I, Fornax) typically quench ˜1-4 Gyr after infall. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA constract NAS 5-26555.

  14. Adaptive Optics imaging of VHS 1256-1257: A Low Mass Companion to a Brown Dwarf Binary System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Jordan M.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Close, Laird M.; Eisner, Josh A.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Hinz, Philip M.; Males, Jared R.; Morley, Caroline V.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Ward-Duong, Kimberly

    2016-02-01

    Recently, Gauza et al. reported the discovery of a companion to the late M-dwarf, VHS J125601.92-125723.9 (VHS 1256-1257). The companion’s absolute photometry suggests its mass and atmosphere are similar to the HR 8799 planets. However, as a wide companion to a late-type star, it is more accessible to spectroscopic characterization. We discovered that the primary of this system is an equal-magnitude binary. For an age ˜300 Myr the A and B components each have a mass of {64.6}-2.0+0.8 {M}{Jup}, and the b component has a mass of {11.2}-1.8+9.7, making VHS 1256-1257 only the third brown dwarf triple system. There exists some tension between the spectrophotometric distance of 17.2 ± 2.6 pc and the parallax distance of 12.7 ± 1.0 pc. At 12.7 pc VHS 1256-1257 A and B would be the faintest known M7.5 objects, and are even faint outliers among M8 types. If the larger spectrophotmetric distance is more accurate than the parallax, then the mass of each component increases. In particular, the mass of the b component increases well above the deuterium burning limit to ˜ 35 {M}{Jup} and the mass of each binary component increases to {73}-17+20 {M}{Jup}. At 17.1 pc, the UVW kinematics of the system are consistent with membership in the AB Dor moving group. The architecture of the system resembles a hierarchical stellar multiple suggesting it formed via an extension of the star formation process to low masses. Continued astrometric monitoring will resolve this distance uncertainty and will provide dynamical masses for a new benchmark system.

  15. THE ELM SURVEY. IV. 24 WHITE DWARF MERGER SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, S. J.; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Heinke, Craig O.; Agueeros, M. A.; Kleinman, S. J.

    2012-06-01

    We present new radial velocity and X-ray observations of extremely low mass (ELM, {approx}0.2 M{sub Sun }) white dwarf (WD) candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 area. We identify seven new binary systems with 1-18 hr orbital periods. Five of the systems will merge due to gravitational wave radiation within 10 Gyr, bringing the total number of merger systems found in the ELM Survey to 24. The ELM Survey has now quintupled the known merger WD population. It has also discovered the eight shortest period detached binary WD systems currently known. We discuss the characteristics of the merger and non-merger systems observed in the ELM Survey, including their future evolution. About half of the systems have extreme mass ratios. These are the progenitors of the AM Canum Venaticorum systems and Type Ia supernovae. The remaining targets will lead to the formation of extreme helium stars, subdwarfs, or massive WDs. We identify three targets that are excellent gravitational wave sources. These should be detected by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna like missions within the first year of operation. The remaining targets are important indicators of what the Galactic foreground may look like for gravitational wave observatories.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Low mass stars, brown dwarf candidates and the mass function of the young open cluster NGC 2547

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffries, R. D.; Naylor, Tim; Devey, C. R.; Totten, E. J.

    2004-07-01

    We present a catalogue of RcIcZ photometry over an area of 0.855 square degrees, centred on the young open cluster NGC 2547. The survey is substantially complete to limits of Rc= 21.5, Ic= 19.5, Z= 19.5. We use the catalogue to define a sample of NGC 2547 candidates with model-dependent masses of about 0.05 -1.0 Msolar. After correcting for incompleteness and estimating contamination by foreground field dwarfs, we investigate the mass function of the cluster, its binary content, and search for evidence of mass segregation among the lower mass stars. There is ample evidence for mass segregation between high (>3 Msolar) and lower mass stars, but over the range 0.1 < M < 0.7 Msolar, the data are consistent with no further mass segregation. By fitting King profiles we conclude that at least 60 per cent of the low-mass stellar population are contained within our survey. The cluster mass function is remarkably similar to the Pleiades for 0.075 < M < 0.7 Msolar. Because of its age (~= 30 Myr), we demonstrate that this mass function is robust to a number of systematic uncertainties likely to affect older and younger clusters and is therefore one of the best available estimates for the initial mass function in young disc populations. For 0.05 < M < 0.075 Msolar there is some evidence for a deficit of brown dwarfs in NGC 2547 compared with other clusters. This deficit may extend to lower masses or may only be a dip, perhaps caused by an imperfect understanding of the mass-magnitude relationship at temperatures of around 2800 K. Incompleteness in both our survey and the luminosity functions from which we estimate contamination by foreground objects leave this question open. The binary fraction for systems with mass ratios greater than about 0.5 is 20-35 per cent for M dwarfs in NGC 2547, quite consistent with that found in the field and other young clusters. The full photometric catalogue and our lists of candidate cluster members are made available in electronic format.

  2. Evolutionary models for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs: Uncertainties and limits at very young ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baraffe, I.; Chabrier, G.; Allard, F.; Hauschildt, P. H.

    2002-02-01

    We analyse pre-Main Sequence evolutionary tracks for low mass stars with masses m <= 1.4 Msun based on the Baraffe et al. (\\cite{Bar98}) input physics. We also extend the recent Chabrier et al. (2000) evolutionary models based on dusty atmosphere to young brown dwarfs down to one mass of Jupiter. We analyse current theoretical uncertainties due to molecular line lists, convection and initial conditions. Simple tests on initial conditions show the high uncertainties of models at ages la 1 Myr. We find a significant sensitivity of atmosphere profiles to the treatment of convection at low gravity and Teff < 4000 K, whereas it vanishes as gravity increases. This effect adds another source of uncertainty on evolutionary tracks at very early phases. We show that at low surface gravity (log g <~ 3.5) the common picture of vertical Hayashi lines with constant Teff is oversimplified. The effect of a variation of initial deuterium abundance is studied. We compare our models with evolutionary tracks available in the literature and discuss the main differences. We finally analyse to what extent current observations of young systems provide a good test for pre-Main Sequence tracks.

  3. The M-dwarfs in Multiples (MINMS) survey - I. Stellar multiplicity among low-mass stars within 15 pc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward-Duong, K.; Patience, J.; De Rosa, R. J.; Bulger, J.; Rajan, A.; Goodwin, S. P.; Parker, Richard J.; McCarthy, D. W.; Kulesa, C.

    2015-05-01

    We present a large-scale, volume-limited companion survey of 245 late-K to mid-M (K7-M6) dwarfs within 15 pc. Infrared adaptive optics (AO) data were analysed from the Very Large Telescope, Subaru Telescope, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, and MMT Observatory to detect close companions to the sample from ˜ 1 to 100 au, while digitized wide-field archival plates were searched for wide companions from ˜ 100 to 10 000 au. With sensitivity to the bottom of the main sequence over a separation range of 3 to 10 000 au, multiple AO and wide-field epochs allow us to confirm candidates with common proper motions, minimize background contamination, and enable a measurement of comprehensive binary statistics. We detected 65 comoving stellar companions and find a companion star fraction of 23.5 ± 3.2 per cent over the 3 au to 10 000 au separation range. The companion separation distribution is observed to rise to a higher frequency at smaller separations, peaking at closer separations than measured for more massive primaries. The mass ratio distribution across the q = 0.2-1.0 range is flat, similar to that of multiple systems with solar-type primaries. The characterization of binary and multiple star frequency for low-mass field stars can provide crucial comparisons with star-forming environments and hold implications for the frequency and evolutionary histories of their associated discs and planets.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Spectroscopy of the DA white dwarfs - Automatic atmospheric parameterization and mass distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmahan, Robert K.

    1989-01-01

    A method for the automatic calculation of the atmospheric parameters (Teff and log g) of hydrogen-rich degenerate stars from low-resolution spectra is described, and then applied to the spectra of 53 DA white dwarfs. A value for the width of the DA mass distribution of sigma M/solar-M not greater than +0.10 is obtained using the proposed approach. The data indicate that the distribution is asymmetrically skewed to low masses; however, there is also evidence of a high-mass non-Gaussian tail.

  3. 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.

  4. Not Alone: Tracing the Origins of Very-Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs Through Multiplicity Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgasser, A. J.; Reid, I. N.; Siegler, N.; Close, L.; Allen, P.; Lowrance, P.; Gizis, J.

    The properties of multiple stellar systems have long provided important empirical constraints for star-formation theories, enabling (along with several other lines of evidence) a concrete, qualitative picture of the birth and early evolution of normal stars. At very low masses (VLM; M ? 0.1 solar mass), down to and below the hydrogen-burning minimum mass, our understanding of formation processes is not as clear, with several competing theories now under consideration. One means of testing these theories is through the empirical characterization of VLM multiple systems. Here, we review the results of various VLM multiplicity studies to date. These systems can be generally characterized as closely separated (93% have projected separations ? < 20 AU), near equal-mass (77% have M2/M1 ? 0.8) and occurring infrequently (perhaps 10-30% of systems are binary). Both the frequency and maximum separation of stellar and brown dwarf binaries steadily decrease for lower system masses, suggesting that VLM binary formation and/or evolution may be a mass-dependent process. There is evidence for a fairly rapid decline in the number of loosely bound systems below ~0.3 solar mass, corresponding to a factor of 10-20 increase in the minimum binding energy of VLM binaries as compared to more massive stellar binaries. This wide-separation "desert" is present among both field (~1-5 G.y.) and older (>100 m.y.) cluster systems, while the youngest (<10 m.y.) VLM binaries, particularly those in nearby, low-density star-forming regions, appear to have somewhat different systemic properties. We compare these empirical trends to predictions laid out by current formation theories, and outline future observational studies needed to probe the full parameter space of the lowest-mass multiple systems.

  5. Spin and Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-08-01

    The magnetism and rotation of white dwarf (WD) stars are investigated in relation to a hydromagnetic dynamo operating in the progenitor during shell burning phases. The downward pumping of angular momentum in the convective envelope, in combination with the absorption of a planet or tidal spin-up from a binary companion, can trigger strong dynamo action near the core-envelope boundary. Several arguments point to the outer core as the source for a magnetic field in the WD remnant: the outer third of a ˜ 0.55 {M}⊙ WD is processed during the shell burning phase(s) of the progenitor; the escape of magnetic helicity through the envelope mediates the growth of (compensating) helicity in the core, as is needed to maintain a stable magnetic field in the remnant; and the intense radiation flux at the core boundary facilitates magnetic buoyancy within a relatively thick tachocline layer. The helicity flux into the growing core is driven by a dynamical imbalance with a latitude-dependent rotational stress. The magnetic field deposited in an isolated massive WD is concentrated in an outer shell of mass ≲ 0.1 {M}⊙ and can reach ˜10 MG. A buried toroidal field experiences moderate ohmic decay above an age ˜0.3 Gyr, which may lead to growth or decay of the external magnetic field. The final WD spin period is related to a critical spin rate below which magnetic activity shuts off and core and envelope decouple; it generally sits in the range of hours to days. WD periods ranging up to a year are possible if the envelope re-expands following a late thermal pulse.

  6. 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.

  7. New pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, R.; Uthas, H.; Ytre-Eide, M.; Solheim, J.-E.; Warner, B.

    2006-07-01

    The number of discovered non-radially pulsating white dwarfs (WDs) in cataclysmic variables (CVs) is increasing rapidly by the aid of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We performed photometric observations of two additional objects, SDSS J133941.11+484727.5 (SDSS 1339), independently discovered as a pulsator by Gänsicke et al., and SDSS J151413.72+454911.9, which we identified as a CV/ZZ Ceti hybrid. In this Letter we present the results of the remote observations of these targets performed with the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) during the Nordic-Baltic Research School at Molėtai Observatory, and follow-up observations executed by NOT in service mode. We also present three candidates we found to be non-pulsating. The results of our observations show that the main pulsation frequencies agree with those found in previous CV/ZZ Ceti hybrids, but specifically for SDSS 1339 the principal period differs slightly between individual observations and also from the recent independent observation by Gänsicke et al. Analysis of SDSS colour data for the small sample of pulsating and non-pulsating CV/ZZ Ceti hybrids found so far seems to indicate that the r - i colour could be a good marker for the instability strip of this class of pulsating WDs. Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. E-mail: ricky@astro.lu.se

  8. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dan, M.; Guillochon, J.; Brüggen, M.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E.; Rosswog, S.

    2015-12-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs (WDs) has for many years not been considered as the favoured model for the progenitor system of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). But recent years have seen a change of opinion as a number of studies, both observational and theoretical, have concluded that they should contribute significantly to the observed SN Ia rate. In this paper, we study the ignition and propagation of detonation through post-merger remnants and we follow the resulting nucleosynthesis up to the point where a homologous expansion is reached. In our study we cover the entire range of WD masses and compositions. For the emergence of a detonation we study three different setups. The first two are guided by the merger remnants from our earlier simulations, while for the third one the ignitions were set by placing hotspots with properties determined by spatially resolved calculations taken from the literature. There are some caveats to our approach which we investigate. We carefully compare the nucleosynthetic yields of successful explosions with SN Ia observations. Only three of our models are consistent with all the imposed constraints and potentially lead to a standard Type Ia event. The first one, a 0.45 M⊙ helium (He) + 0.9 M⊙ carbon-oxygen (CO) WD system produces a sub-luminous, SN 1991bg-like event while the other two, a 0.45 M⊙ He+1.1 M⊙ oxygen-neon WD system and a 1.05 + 1.05 M⊙ system with two CO WDs, are good candidates for common SNe Ia.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Observational Constraints on the White Dwarf Mass-Radius Relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhital, Saurav; Oswalt, Terry D.; Holberg, J. B.; Zhao, Jingkun

    2014-08-01

    We propose to measure gravitational redshifts for white dwarf stars that have distant, non-interacting main-sequence companions. With independent radius constraints obtained from parallaxes and surface gravity determinations obtained by fitting the Balmer series from our spectra, we will make improved estimates of white dwarf masses and radii that can be critically compared with theoretical mass-radius relations specific to each star. These observations will allow us to examine serious discrepancies between the theoretical and empirical measurements of the white dwarf mass-radius relation and extend the range of masses over which it has been tested, spanning 0.5-1.2 Msun. Currently, the measured radius for only a single WD matches its predicted value within 5%. With the expected precision of ≲5% for over half the sample, we will also distinguish whether the white dwarfs have ``thick'' or ``thin'' H envelopes. Using the same spectra, we will also estimate the metallicity of the main-sequence companion and examine how the initial-final-mass ratio for WDs depends on metallicity. Thus, this project will put robust constraints on two fundamental relations that govern our understanding of white dwarfs: the mass-ratio and the initial-final-mass relations.

  12. A DEEPLY ECLIPSING DETACHED DOUBLE HELIUM WHITE DWARF BINARY

    SciTech Connect

    Parsons, S. G.; Marsh, T. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Drake, A. J.; Koester, D.

    2011-07-10

    Using Liverpool Telescope+RISE photometry we identify the 2.78 hr period binary star CSS 41177 as a detached eclipsing double white dwarf binary with a 21,100 K primary star and a 10,500 K secondary star. This makes CSS 41177 only the second known eclipsing double white dwarf binary after NLTT 11748. The 2 minute long primary eclipse is 40% deep and the secondary eclipse 10% deep. From Gemini+GMOS spectroscopy, we measure the radial velocities of both components of the binary from the H{alpha} absorption line cores. These measurements, combined with the light curve information, yield white dwarf masses of M{sub 1} = 0.283 {+-} 0.064 M{sub sun} and M{sub 2} = 0.274 {+-} 0.034 M{sub sun}, making them both helium core white dwarfs. As an eclipsing, double-lined spectroscopic binary, CSS 41177 is ideally suited to measuring precise, model-independent masses and radii. The two white dwarfs will merge in roughly 1.1 Gyr to form a single sdB star.

  13. Do all barium stars have a white dwarf companion?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dominy, J. F.; Lambert, D. L.

    1983-01-01

    International Ultraviolet Explorer short-wavelength, low-dispersion spectra were analyzed for four barium, two mild barium, and one R-type carbon star in order to test the hypothesis that the barium and related giants are produced by mass transfer from a companion now present as a white dwarf. An earlier tentative identification of a white dwarf companion to the mild barium star Zeta Cyg is confirmed. For the other stars, no ultraviolet excess attributable to a white dwarf is seen. Limits are set on the bolometric magnitude and age of a possible white dwarf companion. Since the barium stars do not have obvious progenitors among main-sequence and subgiant stars, mass transfer must be presumed to occur when the mass-gaining star is already on the giant branch. This restriction, and the white dwarf's minimum age, which is greater than 8 x 10 to the 8th yr, determined for several stars, effectively eliminates the hypothesis that mass transfer from an asymptotic giant branch star creates a barium star. Speculations are presented on alternative methods of producing a barium star in a binary system.

  14. White Dwarfs in HETDEX: Preparation for the Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanheira, B. G.; Winget, D. E.

    2015-06-01

    In the past decade, large scale surveys have discovered a large number of white dwarf stars. Many new aspects have been revealed, including the discovery of the DQVs, close-in non-contact binary systems, and debris disks around many stars. Unfortunately, the population statistics of the newly discovered white dwarf stars are poorly constrained, because of the various methods used to assign objects to fibers for spectroscopic observations in the SDSS survey. A white dwarf sample that is magnitude limited, with well-constrained selection criteria, is needed. The HET Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) will use the 9.2 m HET at McDonald Observatory and a set of more than 100 spectrographs to map the three-dimensional positions of one million galaxies, to probe dark energy. In this unique magnitude limited survey, all objects that fall into the fibers will be observed. We expect to observe spectroscopically about 10,00 white dwarf stars. In this paper, we will present the specifications and current status of HETDEX, which will start taking data in Fall 2014. We will also show our first results from observations of white dwarf stars using an identical spectrograph with the 2.7m HJS Telescope and discuss some of the approaches we have been working on in preparation for this exciting survey.

  15. 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.

  16. Wind-driven evolution of white dwarf binaries to type Ia supernovae

    SciTech Connect

    Ablimit, Iminhaji; Xu, Xiao-jie; Li, X.-D.

    2014-01-01

    In the single-degenerate scenario for the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), a white dwarf rapidly accretes hydrogen- or helium-rich material from its companion star and appears as a supersoft X-ray source. This picture has been challenged by the properties of the supersoft X-ray sources with very low mass companions and the observations of several nearby SNe Ia. It has been pointed out that the X-ray radiation or the wind from the accreting white dwarf can excite winds or strip mass from the companion star, thus significantly influencing the mass transfer processes. In this paper, we perform detailed calculations of the wind-driven evolution of white dwarf binaries. We present the parameter space for the possible SN Ia progenitors and for the surviving companions after the SNe. The results show that the ex-companion stars of SNe Ia have characteristics more compatible with the observations, compared with those in the traditional single-degenerate scenario.

  17. The initiation and propagation of helium detonations in white dwarf envelopes

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.; Moore, Kevin

    2014-12-10

    Detonations in helium-rich envelopes surrounding white dwarfs have garnered attention as triggers of faint thermonuclear '.Ia' supernovae and double detonation Type Ia supernovae. However, recent studies have found that the minimum size of a hotspot that can lead to a helium detonation is comparable to, or even larger than, the white dwarf's pressure scale height, casting doubt on the successful ignition of helium detonations in these systems. In this paper, we examine the previously neglected effects of C/O pollution and a full nuclear reaction network, and we consider hotspots with spatially constant pressure in addition to constant density hotspots. We find that the inclusion of these effects significantly decreases the minimum hotspot size for helium-rich detonation ignition, making detonations far more plausible during turbulent shell convection or during double white dwarf mergers. The increase in burning rate also decreases the minimum shell mass in which a helium detonation can successfully propagate and alters the composition of the shell's burning products. The ashes of these low-mass shells consist primarily of silicon, calcium, and unburned helium and metals and may explain the high-velocity spectral features observed in most Type Ia supernovae.

  18. BANYAN. V. A SYSTEMATIC ALL-SKY SURVEY FOR NEW VERY LATE-TYPE LOW-MASS STARS AND BROWN DWARFS IN NEARBY YOUNG MOVING GROUPS

    SciTech Connect

    Gagné, Jonathan; Lafrenière, David; Doyon, René; Malo, Lison; Artigau, Étienne

    2015-01-10

    We present the BANYAN All-Sky Survey (BASS) catalog, consisting of 228 new late-type (M4-L6) candidate members of nearby young moving groups (YMGs) with an expected false-positive rate of ∼13%. This sample includes 79 new candidate young brown dwarfs and 22 planetary-mass objects. These candidates were identified through the first systematic all-sky survey for late-type low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in YMGs. We cross-matched the Two Micron All Sky Survey and AllWISE catalogs outside of the galactic plane to build a sample of 98,970 potential ≥M5 dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and calculated their proper motions with typical precisions of 5-15 mas yr{sup –1}. We selected highly probable candidate members of several YMGs from this sample using the Bayesian Analysis for Nearby Young AssociatioNs II tool (BANYAN II). We used the most probable statistical distances inferred from BANYAN II to estimate the spectral type and mass of these candidate YMG members. We used this unique sample to show tentative signs of mass segregation in the AB Doradus moving group and the Tucana-Horologium and Columba associations. The BASS sample has already been successful in identifying several new young brown dwarfs in earlier publications, and will be of great interest in studying the initial mass function of YMGs and for the search of exoplanets by direct imaging; the input sample of potential close-by ≥M5 dwarfs will be useful to study the kinematics of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs and search for new proper motion pairs.

  19. BANYAN. V. A Systematic All-sky Survey for New Very Late-type Low-mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in Nearby Young Moving Groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagné, Jonathan; Lafrenière, David; Doyon, René; Malo, Lison; Artigau, Étienne

    2015-01-01

    We present the BANYAN All-Sky Survey (BASS) catalog, consisting of 228 new late-type (M4-L6) candidate members of nearby young moving groups (YMGs) with an expected false-positive rate of ~13%. This sample includes 79 new candidate young brown dwarfs and 22 planetary-mass objects. These candidates were identified through the first systematic all-sky survey for late-type low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in YMGs. We cross-matched the Two Micron All Sky Survey and AllWISE catalogs outside of the galactic plane to build a sample of 98,970 potential >=M5 dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and calculated their proper motions with typical precisions of 5-15 mas yr-1. We selected highly probable candidate members of several YMGs from this sample using the Bayesian Analysis for Nearby Young AssociatioNs II tool (BANYAN II). We used the most probable statistical distances inferred from BANYAN II to estimate the spectral type and mass of these candidate YMG members. We used this unique sample to show tentative signs of mass segregation in the AB Doradus moving group and the Tucana-Horologium and Columba associations. The BASS sample has already been successful in identifying several new young brown dwarfs in earlier publications, and will be of great interest in studying the initial mass function of YMGs and for the search of exoplanets by direct imaging; the input sample of potential close-by >=M5 dwarfs will be useful to study the kinematics of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs and search for new proper motion pairs.

  20. DISCOVERY OF A VERY LOW MASS TRIPLE WITH LATE-M AND T DWARF COMPONENTS: LP 704-48/SDSS J0006-0852AB

    SciTech Connect

    Burgasser, Adam J.; Luk, Christopher; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Nicholls, Christine P.; Dhital, Saurav; Prato, L.; West, Andrew A.; Lepine, Sebastien

    2012-10-01

    We report the identification of the M9 dwarf SDSS J000649.16-085246.3 as a spectral binary and radial velocity (RV) variable with components straddling the hydrogen-burning mass limit. Low-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy reveals spectral features indicative of a T dwarf companion, and spectral template fitting yields component types of M8.5 {+-} 0.5 and T5 {+-} 1. High-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy with Keck/NIRSPEC reveals pronounced RV variations with a semi-amplitude of 8.2 {+-} 0.4 km s{sup -1}. From these we determine an orbital period of 147.6 {+-} 1.5 days and eccentricity of 0.10 {+-} 0.07, making SDSS J0006-0852AB the third tightest very low mass binary known. This system is also found to have a common proper motion companion, the inactive M7 dwarf LP 704-48, at a projected separation of 820 {+-} 120 AU. The lack of H{alpha} emission in both M dwarf components indicates that this system is relatively old, as confirmed by evolutionary model analysis of the tight binary. LP 704-48/SDSS J0006-0852AB is the lowest-mass confirmed triple identified to date, and one of only seven candidate and confirmed triples with total masses below 0.3 M{sub Sun} currently known. We show that current star and brown dwarf formation models cannot produce triple systems like LP 704-48/SDSS J0006-0852AB, and we rule out Kozai-Lidov perturbations and tidal circularization as a viable mechanism to shrink the inner orbit. The similarities between this system and the recently uncovered low-mass eclipsing triples NLTT 41135AB/41136 and LHS 6343ABC suggest that substellar tertiaries may be common in wide M dwarf pairs.

  1. Planets around Low-mass Stars. III. A Young Dusty L Dwarf Companion at the Deuterium-burning Limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Dupuy, Trent J.

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of an L-type companion to the young M3.5V star 2MASS J01225093-2439505 at a projected separation of 1.''45 (≈52 AU) as part of our adaptive optics imaging search for extrasolar giant planets around young low-mass stars. 2MASS 0122-2439 B has very red near-infrared colors similar to the HR 8799 planets and the reddest known young/dusty L dwarfs in the field. Moderate-resolution (R ≈ 3800) 1.5-2.4 μm spectroscopy reveals a near-infrared spectral type of L4-L6 and an angular H-band shape, confirming its cool temperature and young age. The kinematics of 2MASS 0122-2439 AB are marginally consistent with members of the ~120 Myr AB Dor young moving group based on the photometric distance to the primary (36 ± 4 pc) and our radial velocity measurement of 2MASS 0122-2439 A from Keck/HIRES. We adopt the AB Dor group age for the system, but the high energy emission, lack of Li I λ6707 absorption, and spectral shape of 2MASS 0122-2439 B suggest a range of ~10-120 Myr is possible. The age and luminosity of 2MASS 0122-2439 B fall in a strip where "hot-start" evolutionary model mass tracks overlap as a result of deuterium burning. Several known substellar companions also fall in this region (2MASS J0103-5515 ABb, AB Pic b, κ And b, G196-3 B, SDSS 2249+0044 B, LP 261-75 B, HD 203030 B, and HN Peg B), but their dual-valued mass predictions have largely been unrecognized. The implied mass of 2MASS 0122-2439 B is ≈12-13 M Jup or ≈22-27 M Jup if it is an AB Dor member, or possibly as low as 11 M Jup if the wider age range is adopted. Evolutionary models predict an effective temperature for 2MASS 0122-2439 B that corresponds to spectral types near the L/T transition (≈1300-1500 K) for field objects. However, we find a mid-L near-infrared spectral type, indicating that 2MASS 0122-2439 B represents another case of photospheric dust being retained to cooler temperatures at low surface gravities, as seen in the spectra of young (8-30 Myr) planetary

  2. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS. III. A YOUNG DUSTY L DWARF COMPANION AT THE DEUTERIUM-BURNING LIMIT ,

    SciTech Connect

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Dupuy, Trent J.

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of an L-type companion to the young M3.5V star 2MASS J01225093-2439505 at a projected separation of 1.''45 ( Almost-Equal-To 52 AU) as part of our adaptive optics imaging search for extrasolar giant planets around young low-mass stars. 2MASS 0122-2439 B has very red near-infrared colors similar to the HR 8799 planets and the reddest known young/dusty L dwarfs in the field. Moderate-resolution (R Almost-Equal-To 3800) 1.5-2.4 {mu}m spectroscopy reveals a near-infrared spectral type of L4-L6 and an angular H-band shape, confirming its cool temperature and young age. The kinematics of 2MASS 0122-2439 AB are marginally consistent with members of the {approx}120 Myr AB Dor young moving group based on the photometric distance to the primary (36 {+-} 4 pc) and our radial velocity measurement of 2MASS 0122-2439 A from Keck/HIRES. We adopt the AB Dor group age for the system, but the high energy emission, lack of Li I {lambda}6707 absorption, and spectral shape of 2MASS 0122-2439 B suggest a range of {approx}10-120 Myr is possible. The age and luminosity of 2MASS 0122-2439 B fall in a strip where ''hot-start'' evolutionary model mass tracks overlap as a result of deuterium burning. Several known substellar companions also fall in this region (2MASS J0103-5515 ABb, AB Pic b, {kappa} And b, G196-3 B, SDSS 2249+0044 B, LP 261-75 B, HD 203030 B, and HN Peg B), but their dual-valued mass predictions have largely been unrecognized. The implied mass of 2MASS 0122-2439 B is Almost-Equal-To 12-13 M{sub Jup} or Almost-Equal-To 22-27 M{sub Jup} if it is an AB Dor member, or possibly as low as 11 M{sub Jup} if the wider age range is adopted. Evolutionary models predict an effective temperature for 2MASS 0122-2439 B that corresponds to spectral types near the L/T transition ( Almost-Equal-To 1300-1500 K) for field objects. However, we find a mid-L near-infrared spectral type, indicating that 2MASS 0122-2439 B represents another case of photospheric dust being

  3. SpeX SPECTROSCOPY OF UNRESOLVED VERY LOW MASS BINARIES. I. IDENTIFICATION OF 17 CANDIDATE BINARIES STRADDLING THE L DWARF/T DWARF TRANSITION

    SciTech Connect

    Burgasser, Adam J.; Cruz, Kelle L.; Cushing, Michael; Looper, Dagny L.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Reid, I. Neill

    2010-02-20

    We report the identification of 17 candidate brown dwarf binaries whose components straddle the L dwarf/T dwarf transition. These sources were culled from a large near-infrared spectral sample of L and T dwarfs observed with the Infrared Telescope Facility SpeX spectrograph. Candidates were selected on the basis of spectral ratios which segregate known (resolved) L dwarf/T dwarf pairs from presumably single sources. Composite templates, constructed by combining 13,581 pairs of absolute flux-calibrated spectra, are shown to provide statistically superior fits to the spectra of our 17 candidates as compared to single templates. Ten of these candidates appear to have secondary components that are significantly brighter than their primaries over the 1.0-1.3 {mu}m band, indicative of rapid condensate depletion at the L dwarf/T dwarf transition. Our results support prior indications of enhanced multiplicity amongst early-type T dwarfs; 53% +- 7% of the T0-T4 dwarfs in our spectral sample are found to be either resolved or unresolved (candidate) pairs, although this is consistent with an intrinsic (volume complete) brown dwarf binary fraction of only 15%. If verified, this sample of spectral binaries more than doubles the number of known L dwarf/T dwarf transition pairs, enabling a broader exploration of this poorly understood phase of brown dwarf atmospheric evolution.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Detection of a white dwarf in a visual binary system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1992-01-01

    The F6 giant HD 160365 was detected to have a white dwarf companion about 8 arcsec south of the star. The UV energy distribution observed with IUE shows that the white dwarf has an effective temperature of 23,000 +/- 2000 K. If log g = 8 the Lya profile indicates an effective temperature around 24,500 K. Using the theoretical models by Wesemael et al. (1980) one finds a visual magnitude of m(V) about 16.5. For T(eff) = 24,500 K one expects for a white dwarf a luminosity of log L/L(solar) about 1.3 and M(V) about 10.67. This gives a distance modulus for the system of m(V) - M(V) = 5.83 and an absolute magnitude M(V)= 0.3 for the giant.

  7. Detection of a white dwarf in a visual binary system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1980-01-01

    The F6 giant HD 160365 was detected to have a white dwarf companion about 8 arcsec south of the star. The UV energy distribution observed with International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) shows that the white dwarf has an effective temperature of 23,000 +/- 2,000 K. If log g = 8 the Ly(alpha) profile indicates an effective temperature around 24,500 K. Using the theoretical models, one finds a visual magnitude of m(sub v) is approximately 16.5. For T(sub eff) = 24,500 K one expects for a white dwarf a luminosity of log L/solar luminosity is approximately -1.3 and M(sub V) is approximately 10.67. This gives a distance modulus for the system of m(sub v) - M(sub V) = 5.83 and an absolute magnitude M(sub v) = 0.3 for the giant.

  8. The atmospheric parameters of nearby white dwarfs revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giammichele, N.; Bergeron, P.; Dufour, P.

    2010-11-01

    We present improved atmospheric parameters of nearby white dwarfs lying within 20 pc of the Sun. The aim of the current study is to obtain the best statistical model of the least-biased sample of the white dwarf population. A homogeneous analysis of the local population is performed combining detailed spectroscopic and photometric analyses based on improved model atmosphere calculations for various spectral types including DA, DQ, and DZ stars. The spectroscopic technique is applied to all stars in our sample for which optical spectra are available. Photometric energy distributions, when available, are also combined to trigonometric parallax measurements to derive effective temperatures, stellar radii, as well as atmospheric compositions. A revised catalog of white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is completed. Effective temperature, mass distributions, and luminosity function are also discussed.

  9. Spin-up and mixing in accreting white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Livio, M.; Truran, J.W.

    1987-07-01

    It is demonstrated that existing theories of mixing in accreting white dwarfs encounter difficulties when confronted with observations of enrichments in nova ejecta. Arguments are presented, based on the Ekman spin-up process, which suggest that angular momentum transport from the accreted material to the white dwarf is more efficient than previously thought. This should lead to matter spreading over the entire white dwarf surface, as well as inward mixing. It is shown that when efficient transfer of angular momentum is taken into account, the gross features of nova outbursts can be reproduced, with the runaway occuring in a mixed layer. Some implications of the results for DQ Her, the hibernation model of novae, recurrent novae, and soft X-ray emission are discussed. 63 references.

  10. 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.

  11. GRMHD formulation of highly super-Chandrasekhar rotating magnetized white dwarfs: stable configurations of non-spherical white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2015-11-01

    Here we extend the exploration of significantly super-Chandrasekhar magnetized white dwarfs by numerically computing axisymmetric stationary equilibria of differentially rotating magnetized polytropic compact stars in general relativity (GR), within the ideal magnetohydrodynamic regime. We use a general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) framework that describes rotating and magnetized axisymmetric white dwarfs, choosing appropriate rotation laws and magnetic field profiles (toroidal and poloidal). The numerical procedure for finding solutions in this framework uses the 3 + 1 formalism of numerical relativity, implemented in the open source XNS code. We construct equilibrium sequences by varying different physical quantities in turn, and highlight the plausible existence of super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs, with masses in the range of 2-3 solar mass, with central (deep interior) magnetic fields of the order of 1014 G and differential rotation with surface time periods of about 1-10 s. We note that such white dwarfs are candidates for the progenitors of peculiar, overluminous Type Ia supernovae, to which observational evidence ascribes mass in the range 2.1-2.8 solar mass. We also present some interesting results related to the structure of such white dwarfs, especially the existence of polar hollows in special cases.

  12. An Update on the Quirks of Pulsating, Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula; Mukadam, Anjum S.; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Hermes, J. J.; Toloza, Odette

    2015-06-01

    At the 18th European White Dwarf Workshop, we reported results for several dwarf novae containing pulsating white dwarfs that had undergone an outburst in 2006-2007. HST and optical data on the white dwarfs in GW Lib, EQ Lyn and V455 And all showed different behaviors in the years following their outbursts. We continued to follow these objects for the last 2 years, providing timescales of 6-7 years past outburst. All three reached their optical quiescent values within 4 years but pulsational stability has not returned. EQ Lyn showed its pre-outburst pulsation period after 3 years, but it continues to show photometric variability that alternates between pulsation and disk superhump periods while remaining at quiescence. V455 And has almost reached its pre-outburst pulsation period, while GW Lib still remains heated and with a different pulsation spectrum than at quiescence. These results indicate that asteroseismology provides a unique picture of the effects of outburst heating on the white dwarf.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ultraviolet and visual spectroscopy of DB white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G.; Nelan, E. P.

    1987-01-01

    Visual wavelength and ultraviolet spectroscopy and model atmospheres of DB white dwarfs are reported. The results yield no evidence for lines of C or any other element besides H or He in the spectra. Upper limits for carbon are in the range C:He less than 10 to the -5th to the -7th for the ultraviolet data and C:He less than 0.01-0.001 for the visual. The upper limits are consistent with the convective dredging theory for the origin of the atmospheric carbon observed in the cooler DQ members of the helium-rich white dwarf sequence. Additional new DBA stars are reported.

  17. Do Some X-ray Stars Have White Dwarf Companions?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

    Some Be stars which are intermittent C-ray sources may have white dwarf companions rather than neutron stars. It is not possible to prove or rule out the existence of Be+WD systems using X-ray or optical data. However, the presence of a white dwarf could be established by the detection of its EUV continuum shortward of the Be star's continuum turnover at 1OOOA. Either the detection or the nondetection of Be+WD systems would have implications for models of Be star variability, models of Be binary system formation and evolution, and models of wind-fed accretion.

  18. Do some x-ray stars have white dwarf companions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

    Some Be stars which are intermittent X-ray sources may have white dwarf companions rather than neutron stars. It is not possible to prove or rule out the existence of Be + WD systems using X-ray or optical data. However, the presence of a white dwarf could be established by the detection of its EUV continuum shortward of the Be star's continuum turnover at 100 A. Either the detection or the nondetection of Be + WD systems would have implications for models of Be star variability, models of Be binary system formation and evolution, and models of wind-fed accretion.

  19. Astro-archaeology - The white dwarfs and hot subwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1991-01-01

    By 'astroarcheology' is presently meant the effort to ascertain the Galaxy's past in light of what is found in its most ancient, white dwarf constituents. Attention is given to the controversial role of the hot subdwarfs and the theory of white dwarf spectral evolution, as well as to the concept of the 'Whole Earth Telescope', involving continuous photometric coverage of rapidly varying astronomical sources and thereby eliminating the otherwise troublesome diurnal gaps in data. Much higher resolution of the power spectra of these objects is attainable by these means than any current alternative.

  20. An analytical model of accretion onto white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ospina, N.; Hernanz, M.

    2013-05-01

    The analytical model of Frank et al. (2002) has been used to investigate the structure of the accretion stream onto white dwarfs (WD). In particular, the post-shock region (temperature, density and gas velocity distributions) and X-ray spectrum emitted by this region. We have obtained the temperature, density and gas velocity distributions of the emission region for different masses of white dwarfs and at different positions in the shock coordinate. Also, we calculated the emitted spectrum for different WD masses and at different positions of the shock with the principal objective of study the accretion at different points of the emission region.

  1. FORETELLINGS OF RAGNAROeK: WORLD-ENGULFING ASYMPTOTIC GIANTS AND THE INHERITANCE OF WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Mustill, Alexander J.; Villaver, Eva

    2012-12-20

    The search for planets around white dwarf stars, and evidence for dynamical instability around them in the form of atmospheric pollution and circumstellar disks, raises questions about the nature of planetary systems that can survive the vicissitudes of the asymptotic giant branch (AGB). We study the competing effects, on planets at several AU from the star, of strong tidal forces arising from the star's large convective envelope, and of the planets' orbital expansion due to stellar mass loss. We study, for the first time, the evolution of planets while following each thermal pulse on the AGB. For Jovian planets, tidal forces are strong, and can pull into the envelope planets initially at {approx}3 AU for a 1 M{sub Sun} star and {approx}5 AU for a 5 M{sub Sun} star. Lower-mass planets feel weaker tidal forces, and terrestrial planets initially within 1.5-3 AU enter the stellar envelope. Thus, low-mass planets that begin inside the maximum stellar radius can survive, as their orbits expand due to mass loss. The inclusion of a moderate planetary eccentricity slightly strengthens the tidal forces experienced by Jovian planets. Eccentric terrestrial planets are more at risk, since their eccentricity does not decay and their small pericenter takes them inside the stellar envelope. We also find the closest radii at which planets will be found around white dwarfs, assuming that any planet entering the stellar envelope is destroyed. Planets are in that case unlikely to be found inside {approx}1.5 AU of a white dwarf with a 1 M{sub Sun} progenitor and {approx}10 AU of a white dwarf with a 5 M{sub Sun} progenitor.

  2. The Accretion Rates and White Dwarf Components of Nova-Like Cataclysmic Variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizusawa, Trisha; Merritt, J.; Bonaro, M.; Foran, S.; Plumberg, C.; Stewart, H.; Wiley, T.; Ballouz, R.; Sion, E.

    2009-01-01

    We present the results of a multi-component synthetic spectral analysis of the archival far ultraviolet spectra of several key nova-like variables including members of the SW Sex, RW Tri, UX UMa and VY Scl subclasses: KR Aur, V795 Her, BP Lyn, V825 Her, HL Aqr, RW Tri and V425 Cas. Accretion rates as well as the flux contribution of the accreting white dwarf are included in our analysis. Except for RW Tri which has a reliable trigonometric parallax, we computed the distances to the nova-like systems using the method of Knigge(2006, MNRAS, 373, 484). For KR Aur, we find that the white dwarf has T_eff = 29,000 +/- 2000K, log g = 8.4 and contributes 18% of the FUV flux while an accretion disk with accretion rate Mdot = 3 x 10-10 Msun/yr at an inclination of 41 degrees, contributes the remainder. Our analysis of seven archival IUE spectra of RW Tri at its parallax distance consistently yields a low mass (0.4 Msun) white dwarf and an average accretion rate, Mdot = 6.3 x 10-9 Msun/yr. We find that an accreting white dwarf rather than accretion disk dominates the far UV spectrum of V425 Cas while HL Aqr's and V825 Her's FUV spectra are dominated by an accretion disk with Mdot = 1 x 10-9 Msun/yr and 3 x 10-9 Msun/yr, respectively. For BP Lyn we find Mdot = 1 x 10-8 Msun/yr and we explore the possiblity that V795 Her is an intermediate polar. We discuss the implications of our results for the evolutionary status of nova-like variables. This work is supported by NSF grant AST-0807892 to Villanova University and by the Delaware Space Grant Consortium

  3. Mass-radius relation of strongly magnetized white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Prasanta; Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2016-07-01

    We study the strongly magnetized white dwarf configurations in a self-consistent manner as a progenitor of the over-luminous type-Ia supernovae. We compute static equilibria of white dwarf stars containing a strong magnetic field and present the modification of white dwarf mass-radius relation caused by the magnetic field. From a static equilibrium study, we find that a maximum white dwarf mass of about 1.9 M_{⊙} may be supported if the interior poloidal field is as strong as approximately 10^{10} T. On the other hand, if the field is purely toroidal the maximum mass can be more than 5 M_⊙. All these modifications are mainly from the presence of Lorenz force. The effects of i) modification of equation of state due to Landau quantization ii) electrostatic interaction due to ions, ii) general relativistic calculation on the stellar structure and, iii) field geometry are also considered. These strongly magnetised configurations are sensitive to magnetic instabilities where the perturbations grow at the corresponding Alfven time scales.

  4. 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.

  5. Observational Constraints on the White Dwarf Mass--Radius Relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oswalt, Terry D.; Dhital, Saurav; Mizusawa, Trisha; Holberg, Jay B.; Zhao, Jingkun

    2014-02-01

    We propose to measure gravitational redshifts for white dwarf stars that have distant, non-interacting main-sequence companions. With independent radius constraints obtained from parallaxes and surface gravity determinations obtained by fitting the Balmer series from our spectra, we will make improved estimates of white dwarf masses and radii that can be critically compared with theoretical mass-radius relations specific to each star. These observations will allow us to examine serious discrepancies between the theoretical and empirical measurements of the white dwarf mass-radius relation and extend the range of masses over which it has been tested, spanning 0.5-1.2 Msun. Currently, the measured radius for only a single WD matches its predicted value. Using the same spectra, we will also estimate the metallicity of the main-sequence companion and examine how the initial-final-mass ratio for WDs depends on metallicity. Thus, this project will put robust constraints on two fundamental relations that govern our understanding of white dwarfs: the mass-ratio and the initial-final-mass relations.

  6. First Detection of Krypton and Xenon in a White Dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Werner, Klaus; Rauch, Thomas; Ringat, Ellen; Kruk, Jeffrey W.

    2012-01-01

    We report on the first detection of the noble gases krypton (Z = 36) and xenon (54) in a white dwarf. About 20 KrVI-VII and Xe VI-VII lines were discovered in the ultraviolet spectrum of the hot DO-type white dwarf RE 0503-289. The observations, performed with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, also reveal highly ionized photospheric lines from other trans-iron group elements, namely Ga (31), Ge (32), As (33), Se (34), Mo (42), Sn (50), Te (52), and I (53), from which gallium and molybdenum are new discoveries in white dwarfs, too. For Kr and Xe, we performed an NLTE analysis and derived mass fractions of log Kr = -4.3 plus or minus 0.5 and log Xe = -4.2 plus or minus 0.6, corresponding to an enrichment by factors of 450 and 3800, respectively, relative to the Sun. The origin of the large overabundances is unclear. We discuss the roles of neutron-capture nucleosynthesis in the-precursor star and radiation-driven diffusion. It is possible that diffusion is insignificant and thaI the observed metal abundances constrain the evolutionary history of the star. Its hydrogen deficiency may be the consequence of a late helium-shell nash or a binary white dwarf merger.

  7. FIRST DETECTION OF KRYPTON AND XENON IN A WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

    Werner, Klaus; Rauch, Thomas; Ringat, Ellen; Kruk, Jeffrey W.

    2012-07-01

    We report on the first detection of the noble gases krypton (Z = 36) and xenon (54) in a white dwarf. About 20 Kr VI- VII and Xe VI- VII lines were discovered in the ultraviolet spectrum of the hot DO-type white dwarf RE 0503-289. The observations, performed with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, also reveal highly ionized photospheric lines from other trans-iron group elements, namely Ga (31), Ge (32), As (33), Se (34), Mo (42), Sn (50), Te (52), and I (53), from which gallium and molybdenum are new discoveries in white dwarfs, too. For Kr and Xe, we performed an NLTE analysis and derived mass fractions of log Kr = -4.3 {+-} 0.5 and log Xe = -4.2 {+-} 0.6, corresponding to an enrichment by factors of 450 and 3800, respectively, relative to the Sun. The origin of the large overabundances is unclear. We discuss the roles of neutron-capture nucleosynthesis in the precursor star and radiation-driven diffusion. It is possible that diffusion is insignificant and that the observed metal abundances constrain the evolutionary history of the star. Its hydrogen deficiency may be the consequence of a late helium-shell flash or a binary white dwarf merger.

  8. UV Spectroscopy of a Peculiar White Dwarf Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCully, Curtis

    2012-10-01

    While type Ia supernovae {SNe Ia} have been extremely useful for studying the cosmic expansion history, their explosion mechanism and progenitor system remain unsolved problems. Moreover, as large samples of SNe are observed, the diversity among these explosions has grown: not all exploding white dwarfs look like normal SNe Ia. Understanding why these "peculiar" objects are different from the normal ones can help explain the standard SN Ia scenario, as well as give us a better understanding of the many endpoints of stellar evolution. Connecting observations to physical models has been difficult for both normal and peculiar white dwarf supernovae. The ultraviolet is an unexplored wavelength region for peculiar SNe Ia; the high opacity in the UV from typical thermonuclear burning products means that the UV flux in white dwarf supernovae is very sensitive to the outermost layers of ejecta. This material is the least processed, and is thus an ideal place to look for clues to progenitors and explosion mechanisms. Here we propose target-of-opportunity UV spectroscopy of a peculiar white dwarf SN using the STIS NUV-MAMA instrument to add a unique piece of the puzzle connecting peculiar SNe Ia and their progenitors.

  9. FURTHER DEFINING SPECTRAL TYPE 'Y' AND EXPLORING THE LOW-MASS END OF THE FIELD BROWN DWARF MASS FUNCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Davy Kirkpatrick, J.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Griffith, Roger L.; Marsh, Kenneth A.; Cushing, Michael C.; Mace, Gregory N.; Wright, Edward L.; McLean, Ian S.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Eisenhardt, Peter R.; Mainzer, Amanda K.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Tinney, C. G.; Parker, Stephen; Salter, Graeme

    2012-07-10

    We present the discovery of another seven Y dwarfs from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Using these objects, as well as the first six WISE Y dwarf discoveries from Cushing et al., we further explore the transition between spectral types T and Y. We find that the T/Y boundary roughly coincides with the spot where the J - H colors of brown dwarfs, as predicted by models, turn back to the red. Moreover, we use preliminary trigonometric parallax measurements to show that the T/Y boundary may also correspond to the point at which the absolute H (1.6 {mu}m) and W2 (4.6 {mu}m) magnitudes plummet. We use these discoveries and their preliminary distances to place them in the larger context of the solar neighborhood. We present a table that updates the entire stellar and substellar constituency within 8 pc of the Sun, and we show that the current census has hydrogen-burning stars outnumbering brown dwarfs by roughly a factor of six. This factor will decrease with time as more brown dwarfs are identified within this volume, but unless there is a vast reservoir of cold brown dwarfs invisible to WISE, the final space density of brown dwarfs is still expected to fall well below that of stars. We also use these new Y dwarf discoveries, along with newly discovered T dwarfs from WISE, to investigate the field substellar mass function. We find that the overall space density of late-T and early-Y dwarfs matches that from simulations describing the mass function as a power law with slope -0.5 < {alpha} < 0.0; however, a power law may provide a poor fit to the observed object counts as a function of spectral type because there are tantalizing hints that the number of brown dwarfs continues to rise from late-T to early-Y. More detailed monitoring and characterization of these Y dwarfs, along with dedicated searches aimed at identifying more examples, are certainly required.

  10. Chandra Grating Spectroscopy of Three Hot White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adamczak, J.; Werner, K.; Rauch, T.; Schuh, S.; Drake, J. J.; Kruk, J. W.

    2013-01-01

    High-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopic observations of single hot white dwarfs are scarce. With the Chandra Low-Energy Transmission Grating, we have observed two white dwarfs, one is of spectral type DA (LB1919) and the other is a non-DA of spectral type PG1159 (PG1520+525). The spectra of both stars are analyzed, together with an archival Chandra spectrum of another DA white dwarf (GD246). Aims. The soft X-ray spectra of the two DA white dwarfs are investigated in order to study the effect of gravitational settling and radiative levitation of metals in their photospheres. LB1919 is of interest because it has a significantly lower metallicity than DAs with otherwise similar atmospheric parameters. GD246 is the only white dwarf known that shows identifiable individual iron lines in the soft X-ray range. For the PG1159 star, a precise effective temperature determination is performed in order to confine the position of the blue edge of the GW Vir instability region in the HRD. Methods. The Chandra spectra are analyzed with chemically homogeneous as well as stratified NLTE model atmospheres that assume equilibrium between gravitational settling and radiative acceleration of chemical elements. Archival EUV and UV spectra obtained with EUVE, FUSE, and HST are utilized to support the analysis. Results. No metals could be identified in LB1919. All observations are compatible with a pure hydrogen atmosphere. This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of hot DA white dwarfs that exhibit light and heavy metals and to the stratified models that predict significant metal abundances in the atmosphere. For GD246 we find that neither stratified nor homogeneous models can fit the Chandra spectrum. The Chandra spectrum of PG1520+525 constrains the effective temperature to T(sub eff) = 150 000 +/- 10 000 K. Therefore, this nonpulsating star together with the pulsating prototype of the GWVir class (PG1159-035) defines the location of the blue edge of the GWVir instability region

  11. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamczak, J.; Werner, K.; Rauch, T.; Schuh, S.; Drake, J. J.; Kruk, J. W.

    2012-10-01

    Context. High-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopic observations of single hot white dwarfs are scarce. With the Chandra Low-Energy Transmission Grating, we have observed two white dwarfs, one is of spectral type DA (LB 1919) and the other is a non-DA of spectral type PG 1159 (PG 1520+525). The spectra of both stars are analyzed, together with an archival Chandra spectrum of another DA white dwarf (GD 246). Aims: The soft X-ray spectra of the two DA white dwarfs are investigated in order to study the effect of gravitational settling and radiative levitation of metals in their photospheres. LB 1919 is of interest because it has a significantly lower metallicity than DAs with otherwise similar atmospheric parameters. GD 246 is the only white dwarf known that shows identifiable individual iron lines in the soft X-ray range. For the PG 1159 star, a precise effective temperature determination is performed in order to confine the position of the blue edge of the GW Vir instability region in the HRD. Methods: The Chandra spectra are analyzed with chemically homogeneous as well as stratified NLTE model atmospheres that assume equilibrium between gravitational settling and radiative acceleration of chemical elements. Archival EUV and UV spectra obtained with EUVE, FUSE, and HST are utilized to support the analysis. Results: No metals could be identified in LB 1919. All observations are compatible with a pure hydrogen atmosphere. This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of hot DA white dwarfs that exhibit light and heavy metals and to the stratified models that predict significant metal abundances in the atmosphere. For GD 246 we find that neither stratified nor homogeneous models can fit the Chandra spectrum. The Chandra spectrum of PG 1520+525 constrains the effective temperature to Teff = 150 000 ± 10 000 K. Therefore, this nonpulsating star together with the pulsating prototype of the GW Vir class (PG 1159 - 035) defines the location of the blue edge of the GW Vir

  12. 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

  13. Sirius B - A still mysterious white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wesemael, F.; Fontaine, G.

    1982-02-01

    Observations and knowledge of Sirius B, the companion star to Sirius A are reviewed, noting the solar mass and terrestrial radius of the dwarf. The system is 2.65 pc distant, with separation between the stars oscillating from 8-32 AU. Spectral observations are best obtained when the stars are at maximum distance, and redshifts which affirm the theory of relativity have been detected. Copernicus satellite observations have also revealed the emissions of UV and X rays from the dwarf. It is noted that Grecian records over 2000 yr old cite Sirius as a red star, which implies that the dwarf was then a red star since Sirius A is a main sequence star, an implication which does not correspond with the known evolution of stars. Another mystery is cited, that of the tribal records of the Sudanese Dogon, which maintains an ancient legend of Sirius A having an invisible companion called Digitaria, composed of a substance called segala, which cannot be lifted by all the humans on earth combined.

  14. Observations of the Ultraviolet Spectra of Helium (DB) White Dwarfs and a Study of the Ultraviolet Spectra of White Dwarfs Containing Carbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    Strong ultraviolet carbon lines were detected in the spectrum of the southern DC white dwarf BPM 11668. Observations of a number of hotter DB white dwarfs with IUE show no evidence of carbon features. Two additional DA white dwarfs were observed that have the strong unidentified absorption near 1400 A which now seems to be identified with another lower temperature feature as satellite lines to Lyman alpha radiation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. SpeX spectroscopy of unresolved very low mass binaries. II. Identification of 14 candidate binaries with late-M/early-L and T dwarf components

    SciTech Connect

    Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella C.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Nicholls, Christine P.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Looper, Dagny L.; Schmidt, Sarah J.; Cruz, Kelle; West, Andrew A.; Gizis, John E.; Metchev, Stanimir

    2014-10-20

    Multiplicity is a key statistic for understanding the formation of very low mass (VLM) stars and brown dwarfs. Currently, the separation distribution of VLM binaries remains poorly constrained at small separations (≤1 AU), leading to uncertainty in the overall binary fraction. We approach this problem by searching for late-M/early-L plus T dwarf spectral binaries whose combined light spectra exhibit distinct peculiarities, allowing for separation-independent identification. We define a set of spectral indices designed to identify these systems, and we use a spectral template fitting method to confirm and characterize spectral binary candidates from a library of 815 spectra from the SpeX Prism Spectral Libraries. We present 11 new binary candidates, confirm 3 previously reported candidates, and rule out 2 previously identified candidates, all with primary and secondary spectral types in the range M7-L7 and T1-T8, respectively. We find that subdwarfs and blue L dwarfs are the primary contaminants in our sample and propose a method for segregating these sources. If confirmed by follow-up observations, these systems may add to the growing list of tight separation binaries, whose orbital properties may yield further insight into brown dwarf formation scenarios.

  18. 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.

  19. The discovery of non-radially pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woudt, P. A.; Warner, B.; Pretorius, M. L.; Dale, D.

    2005-08-01

    The group of known non-radially pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables (CVs) has quintupled in the last year. These are all systems of low mass-transfer rate in which the central white dwarf is located in the ZZ Ceti instability strip (Teff ˜ 11,000 - 12,500 K). Due to the low mass-transfer rate, these systems are intrinsically faint and it is only due to surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) that this population of CV/ZZ hybrids is being uncovered in a systematic way. It is estimated that among the ˜ 400 CVs expected in the SDSS, about ˜ 32 systems will be CV/ZZ stars. Within such a sample undoubtedly some (low amplitude ZZ Ceti pulsators) will exist that are suitable for detailed analysis and identification of pulsation modes in order to study the influence of accretion on the internal structure of white dwarfs. Here we present results from our ongoing high-speed photometric survey (using the UCT CCD) of the newly identified SDSS CV/ZZ stars, including two CV/ZZ candidates.

  20. A 1.05 M{sub ☉} companion to PSR J2222–0137: The coolest known white dwarf?

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, David L.; Boyles, Jason; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Lorimer, Duncan R.; Dunlap, Bart H.; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.; Deller, Adam T.; Ransom, Scott M.; Stairs, Ingrid H.

    2014-07-10

    The recycled pulsar PSR J2222–0137 is one of the closest known neutron stars (NSs) with a parallax distance of 267{sub −0.9}{sup +1.2} pc and an edge-on orbit. We measure the Shapiro delay in the system through pulsar timing with the Green Bank Telescope, deriving a low pulsar mass (1.20 ± 0.14 M{sub ☉}) and a high companion mass (1.05 ± 0.06 M{sub ☉}) consistent with either a low-mass NS or a high-mass white dwarf. We can largely reject the NS hypothesis on the basis of the system's extremely low eccentricity (3 × 10{sup –4})—too low to have been the product of two supernovae under normal circumstances. However, despite deep optical and near-infrared searches with Southern Astrophysical Research and the Keck telescopes we have not discovered the optical counterpart of the system. This is consistent with the white dwarf hypothesis only if the effective temperature is <3000 K, a limit that is robust to distance, mass, and atmosphere uncertainties. This would make the companion to PSR J2222–0137 one of the coolest white dwarfs ever observed. For the implied age to be consistent with the age of the Milky Way requires the white dwarf to have already crystallized and entered the faster Debye-cooling regime.

  1. A 1.05 M ⊙ Companion to PSR J2222-0137: The Coolest Known White Dwarf?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, David L.; Boyles, Jason; Dunlap, Bart H.; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.; Deller, Adam T.; Ransom, Scott M.; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Lorimer, Duncan R.; Stairs, Ingrid H.

    2014-07-01

    The recycled pulsar PSR J2222-0137 is one of the closest known neutron stars (NSs) with a parallax distance of 267_{-0.9}^{+1.2} pc and an edge-on orbit. We measure the Shapiro delay in the system through pulsar timing with the Green Bank Telescope, deriving a low pulsar mass (1.20 ± 0.14 M ⊙) and a high companion mass (1.05 ± 0.06 M ⊙) consistent with either a low-mass NS or a high-mass white dwarf. We can largely reject the NS hypothesis on the basis of the system's extremely low eccentricity (3 × 10-4)—too low to have been the product of two supernovae under normal circumstances. However, despite deep optical and near-infrared searches with Southern Astrophysical Research and the Keck telescopes we have not discovered the optical counterpart of the system. This is consistent with the white dwarf hypothesis only if the effective temperature is <3000 K, a limit that is robust to distance, mass, and atmosphere uncertainties. This would make the companion to PSR J2222-0137 one of the coolest white dwarfs ever observed. For the implied age to be consistent with the age of the Milky Way requires the white dwarf to have already crystallized and entered the faster Debye-cooling regime.

  2. DB white dwarf evolution in the frame of the full spectrum turbulence theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benvenuto, O. G.; Althaus, L. G.

    1997-07-01

    , according to the new theories for convection, non-variable DB white dwarfs falling within the instability strip cannot be low-mass configurations. In order to compare with previous computations, we include in our calculations the most common parametrizations of the mixing-length theory usually employed in almost all previous white dwarf studies. In this context, we find that the ML2 parametrization provides a reasonable agreement with the observed blue edge for the DB instability strip. However, the profile of the outer convective zone given by the mixing-length theory is markedly different from that given by both of the new convective formulations.

  3. M dwarfs in the Local Milky Way: The Field Low-Mass Stellar Luminosity and Mass Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Bochanski, John J., Jr.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.

    2006-06-01

    Modern sky surveys, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Two-Micron All Sky Survey, have revolutionized how Astronomy is done. With millions of photometric and spectroscopic observations, global observational properties can be studied with unprecedented statistical significance. Low-mass stars dominate the local Milky Way, with tens of millions observed by SDSS within a few kpc. Thus, they make ideal tracers of the Galactic potential, and the thin and thick disks. In this thesis dissertation, I present my efforts to characterize the local low-mass stellar population, using a collection of observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). First, low-mass stellar template spectra were constructed from the co-addition of thousands of SDSS spectroscopic observations. These template spectra were used to quantify the observable changes introduced by chromospheric activity and metallicity. Furthermore, the average ugriz colors were measured as a function of spectral type. Next, the local kinematic structure of the Milky Way was quantified, using a special set of SDSS spectroscopic observations. Combining proper motions and radial velocities (measured using the spectral templates), along with distances, the full UVW space motions of over 7000 low-mass stars along one line of sight were computed. These stars were also separated kinematically to investigate other observational differences between the thin and thick disks. Finally, this dissertation details a project designed to measure the luminosity and mass functions of low-mass stars. Using a new technique optimized for large surveys, the field luminosity function (LF) and local stellar density profile are measured simultaneously. The sample size used to estimate the LF is nearly three orders of magnitude larger than any previous study, offering a definitive measurement of this quantity. The observed LF is transformed into a mass function (MF) and compared to previous studies.

  4. The ultracool dwarf DENIS-P J104814.7-395606. Chromospheres and coronae at the low-mass end of the main-sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelzer, B.; Alcalá, J.; Biazzo, K.; Ercolano, B.; Crespo-Chacón, I.; López-Santiago, J.; Martínez-Arnáiz, R.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Rigliaco, E.; Leone, F.; Cupani, G.

    2012-01-01

    Context. Several diagnostics ranging from the radio to the X-ray band are suitable for investigating the magnetic activity of late-type stars. Empirical connections between the emission at different wavelengths place constraints on the nature and efficiency of the emission mechanism and the physical conditions in different atmospheric layers. The activity of ultracool dwarfs, at the low-mass end of the main-sequence, is poorly understood. Aims: We perform a multi-wavelength study of one of the nearest M9 dwarfs, DENIS-P J104814.7-395606 (4 pc), to examine its position within the group of magnetically active ultracool dwarfs, and, in general, advance our understanding of these objects by comparing them to early-M type dwarf stars and the Sun. Methods: We obtained an XMM-Newton observation of DENIS-P J104814.7-395606 and a broad-band spectrum from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared with X-Shooter. From this dataset, we derive the X-ray properties, stellar parameters, kinematics, and the emission-line spectrum tracing chromospheric activity. We integrate these data by compiling the activity parameters of ultracool dwarfs from the literature. Results: Our deep XMM-Newton observation provides the first X-ray detection of DENIS-P J104814.7-395606 (log Lx = 25.1), as well as the first measurement of its V band brightness (V = 17.35 mag). The flux-flux relations between X-ray and chromospheric activity indicators are here for the first time extended into the regime of the ultracool dwarfs. The approximate agreement of DENIS-P J104814.7-395606 and other ultracool dwarfs with flux-flux relations for early-M dwarfs suggests that the same heating mechanisms work in the atmospheres of ultracool dwarfs, albeit weaker as judged from their lower fluxes. The observed Balmer decrements of DENIS 1048-3956 are compatible with optically thick plasma in local thermal equilibrium (LTE) at low, nearly photospheric temperature or optically thin LTE plasma at 20 000 K. Describing the

  5. Quantum gases and white dwarfs with quantum gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussa, Mohamed

    2014-11-01

    This paper addresses the effect of a generalized uncertainty principle produced by different approaches of quantum gravity within the Planck scale on statistical and thermodynamical properties of ideal fermion and boson gases. The partition function and some thermodynamical properties are investigated. The Bose-Einstein condensation and the ground state properties of fermion gases are also considered. The target approach is extended to a white dwarf as an application. The modified mass-radius relation is calculated. A decrease in the pressure of degenerate fermions due to the presence of quantum gravity leads to a contraction in the star radius. It is also found that the gravity background does not result in any change in white dwarf stability.

  6. 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.

  7. Mock LISA data challenge for the Galactic white dwarf binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Blaut, Arkadiusz; Babak, Stanislav; Krolak, Andrzej

    2010-03-15

    We present data analysis methods used in the detection and estimation of parameters of gravitational-wave signals from the white dwarf binaries in the mock LISA data challenge. Our main focus is on the analysis of challenge 3.1, where the gravitational-wave signals from more than 6x10{sup 7} Galactic binaries were added to the simulated Gaussian instrumental noise. The majority of the signals at low frequencies are not resolved individually. The confusion between the signals is strongly reduced at frequencies above 5 mHz. Our basic data analysis procedure is the maximum likelihood detection method. We filter the data through the template bank at the first step of the search, then we refine parameters using the Nelder-Mead algorithm, we remove the strongest signal found and we repeat the procedure. We detect reliably and estimate parameters accurately of more than ten thousand signals from white dwarf binaries.

  8. A Pulsational Study of Crystallized White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.

    1998-03-01

    The DAV BPM 37093 should have a substantially crystallized core based on its mass and temperature. Using this as a motivation, we examine the way in which a crystalline interior affects the nonradial g-mode frequencies of a white dwarf star. We confine ourselves to a relatively massive model within the DA instability strip (M_⋆ = 1.1Msun), since crystallization in this temperature range should be important only for high-mass white dwarfs. We find that crystallization has a significant effect on the mean period spacing of adjacent radial overtones, of order 10--30 %. Thus, a correct pulsational treatment of crystallization is vital if we are to make reliable asteroseismological measurements of a given stars' properties.

  9. A gaseous metal disk around a white dwarf.

    PubMed

    Gänsicke, B T; Marsh, T R; Southworth, J; Rebassa-Mansergas, A

    2006-12-22

    The destiny of planetary systems through the late evolution of their host stars is very uncertain. We report a metal-rich gas disk around a moderately hot and young white dwarf. A dynamical model of the double-peaked emission lines constrains the outer disk radius to just 1.2 solar radii. The likely origin of the disk is a tidally disrupted asteroid, which has been destabilized from its initial orbit at a distance of more than 1000 solar radii by the interaction with a relatively massive planetesimal object or a planet. The white dwarf mass of 0.77 solar mass implies that planetary systems may form around high-mass stars. PMID:17185598

  10. Testing Common Envelopes on Double White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandez, Jose L. A.; Ivanova, Natalia; Lombardi, James C., Jr.

    2015-06-01

    The formation of a double white dwarf binary likely involves a common envelope (CE) event between a red giant and a white dwarf (WD) during the most recent episode of Roche lobe overflow mass transfer. We study the role of recombination energy with hydrodynamic simulations of such stellar interactions. We find that the recombination energy helps to expel the common envelope entirely, while if recombination energy is not taken into account, a significant fraction of the common envelope remains bound. We apply our numerical methods to constrain the progenitor system for WD 1101+364 - a double WD binary that has well-measured mass ratio of q=0.87±0.03 and an orbital period of 0.145 days. Our best-fit progenitor for the pre-common envelope donor is a 1.5 ⊙ red giant.

  11. The optical emission from oscillating white dwarf radiative shock waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.; Rashed, Hussain; Wolff, Michael T.

    1991-01-01

    The hypothesis that quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are due to the oscillatory instability of radiative shock waves discovered by Langer et al. (1981, 1092) is examined. The time-dependent optical spectra of oscillating radiative shocks produced by flows onto magnetic white dwarfs are calculated. The results are compared with the observations of the AM Her QPO sources V834 Cen, AN UMa, EF Eri, and VV Pup. It is found that the shock oscillation model has difficulties with aspects of the observations for each of the sources. For VV Pup, AN UMa, and V834 Cen, the cyclotron luminosities for the observed magnetic fields of these systems, based on our calculations, are large. The strong cyclotron emission probably stabilizes the shock oscillations. For EF Eri, the mass of the white dwarf based on hard X-ray observations is greater than 0.6 solar mass.

  12. Mock LISA data challenge for the Galactic white dwarf binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Błaut, Arkadiusz; Babak, Stanislav; Królak, Andrzej

    2010-03-01

    We present data analysis methods used in the detection and estimation of parameters of gravitational-wave signals from the white dwarf binaries in the mock LISA data challenge. Our main focus is on the analysis of challenge 3.1, where the gravitational-wave signals from more than 6×107 Galactic binaries were added to the simulated Gaussian instrumental noise. The majority of the signals at low frequencies are not resolved individually. The confusion between the signals is strongly reduced at frequencies above 5 mHz. Our basic data analysis procedure is the maximum likelihood detection method. We filter the data through the template bank at the first step of the search, then we refine parameters using the Nelder-Mead algorithm, we remove the strongest signal found and we repeat the procedure. We detect reliably and estimate parameters accurately of more than ten thousand signals from white dwarf binaries.

  13. The white dwarf affair: Chandrasekhar, Eddington and the limiting mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gooneratne, Sakura

    A thesis describing and analysing the controversy between Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Arthur Stanley Eddington over the limiting mass of white dwarf stars. The aim of the thesis is to discover why the controversy occurred and to analyse the reasons behind Eddington's rejection of relativistic degeneracy and the limiting mass. The ultimate reason behind Eddington's attack on relativistic degeneracy was found to be Eddington's severe objection to singularities which was apparent long before Chandrasekhar's discovery of the limiting mass and occurred in three separate areas of research undertaken by Eddington during this period: astrophysics, cosmology, general relativity and Dirac's relativistic equation of the electron which led to Eddington's fundamental theory. The thesis will focus on the problem of the limiting mass of white dwarfs between 1929 and 1935 but will use the problem to analyse Eddington's view of singularities within the three different research areas spanning two decades from 1916 to 1936. The Chandrasekhar-Eddington controversy is set within Eddington's earlier controversies with James Jeans and Edward Arthur Milne who together with Eddington founded theoretical astrophysics during the 1920s. The thesis will examine the problem of white dwarfs within the context of the earlier controversies on stellar structure. As well as the technical analysis of the controversy, the thesis will also analyse the social dynamics and interactions within the astronomical community and their impact on the controversies. The aim of this thesis is to create a more complete picture of the Chandrasekhar-Eddington controversy by analysing Eddington's arguments for rejecting relativistic degeneracy, the limiting mass of white dwarfs and singularities not just within the context of astrophysics, but also cosmology, general relativity and quantum mechanics and to provide some new explanations as to why Eddington opposed relativistic degeneracy.

  14. Cosmological Fast Radio Bursts from Binary White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiyama, Kazumi

    2014-10-01

    So far, ~10 fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been reported by the Parks radio telescope and the Arecibo observatory. The dispersion measures indicate that the sources are at cosmological distance, and the full sky event rate can be quite large ~10,000/day. If this is really the case, the FRBs are a promising target of multi-messenger astronomy in the coming years. I will present our cosmological binary white dwarf merger model, and also discuss future prospects of FRB astrophysics

  15. 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)

  16. Theoretical White Dwarf Spectra via the Internet: Quality Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ringat, E.; Reindl, N.

    2013-01-01

    The first decade of the Virtual Observatory (VO) built up services and tools for data conservation, handling, processing, analysis, etc. A new challenge in the immensely growing VO in operation is continuous quality control at different authority levels. Here we shed light on various aspects of theoretical white dwarf spectra that are provided via the registered TheoSSA VO service. We present benchmark tests that enable the VO user to judge their quality.

  17. 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.

  18. Future Far-UV Studies of Hot White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.

    We are beginning to understand the evolution of the hot white dwarfs, but even with telescopes such as IUE and HST, we have still only observed a modest number of the most interesting objects with the spectral resolution and signal-to-noise required. This is in part arises from the intense competition for HST time, against both optical and IR observations as well as other far-UV bids. A key requirement of any new far-UV telescope is sufficient sensitivity to observe most of the ~100 or so brightest hot white dwarfs at high spectral resolution. A spectral resolving power of at least 30,000 is required for studies of white dwarfs. First it is necessary to detect and resolve photospheric, circumstellar and interstellar absorption features. Interstellar/circumstellar features may have several components that can only be separated in velocity space. For example, it is interesting to note that IUE was unable to resolve the photospheric and circumstellar CIV components of G191-B2B, discovered by the HST STIS instrument, leading to a serious overestimate of the carbon abundance in this star. There may be similar components in other stars observed only by IUE. In those stars that have highly stratified atmospheres, the detailed shape of the absorption lines is sensitive to the atmospheric structure. High-resolution observations of the line shapes can provide us with a direct probe of atmospheric structure.

  19. Feige 7 - A hot, rotating magnetic white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liebert, J.; Angel, J. R. P.; Stockman, H. S.; Spinrad, H.; Beaver, E. A.

    1977-01-01

    Results are reported for image-tube-scanner and digicon observations of Feige 7, a faint blue star identified as a probable white dwarf. It is found that this star is a magnetic white dwarf showing a very rich spectrum with Zeeman subcomponents of both hydrogen and neutral helium as well as periodic spectrum and circular-polarization variations. A polarization period of 2.2 hr is computed, and a surface magnetic-field strength of about 18 MG is determined by matching features of the absorption spectrum to Zeeman components. It is suggested that the only reasonable explanation for the periodic variations in circular polarization is an oblique rotator with the spin axis approximately in the plane of the sky and tilted by about 24 deg to the magnetic axis. An effective temperature in the range from 20,000 to 25,000 K is estimated, an absolute magnitude of about 10.5 is derived, and the atmosphere is shown to be helium-dominated. The evolution of Feige 7 is discussed in terms of possible magnetic-field effects on atmospheric composition, rotation velocity (5.5 km/s for a radius of 7000 km), and the origin of white-dwarf magnetic fields.

  20. THE SPECTRAL TYPES OF WHITE DWARFS IN MESSIER 4

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, D. Saul; Richer, Harvey B.; Rich, R. Michael; Reitzel, David R.; Kalirai, Jason S.

    2009-11-01

    We present the spectra of 24 white dwarfs in the direction of the globular cluster Messier 4 obtained with the Keck/LRIS and Gemini/GMOS spectrographs. Determining the spectral types of the stars in this sample, we find 24 type DA and 0 type DB (i.e., atmospheres dominated by hydrogen and helium, respectively). Assuming the ratio of DA/DB observed in the field with effective temperature between 15,000-25,000 K, i.e., 4.2:1, holds for the cluster environment, the chance of finding no DBs in our sample simply due to statistical fluctuations is only 6 x 10{sup -3}. The spectral types of the approx100 white dwarfs previously identified in open clusters indicate that DB formation is strongly suppressed in that environment. Furthermore, all the approx10 white dwarfs previously identified in other globular clusters are exclusively type DA. In the context of these two facts, this finding suggests that DB formation is suppressed in the cluster environment in general. Though no satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon exists, we discuss several possibilities.

  1. A faint type of supernova from a white dwarf with a helium-rich companion.

    PubMed

    Perets, H B; Gal-Yam, A; Mazzali, P A; Arnett, D; Kagan, D; Filippenko, A V; Li, W; Arcavi, I; Cenko, S B; Fox, D B; Leonard, D C; Moon, D-S; Sand, D J; Soderberg, A M; Anderson, J P; James, P A; Foley, R J; Ganeshalingam, M; Ofek, E O; Bildsten, L; Nelemans, G; Shen, K J; Weinberg, N N; Metzger, B D; Piro, A L; Quataert, E; Kiewe, M; Poznanski, D

    2010-05-20

    Supernovae are thought to arise from two different physical processes. The cores of massive, short-lived stars undergo gravitational core collapse and typically eject a few solar masses during their explosion. These are thought to appear as type Ib/c and type II supernovae, and are associated with young stellar populations. In contrast, the thermonuclear detonation of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, whose mass approaches the Chandrasekhar limit, is thought to produce type Ia supernovae. Such supernovae are observed in both young and old stellar environments. Here we report a faint type Ib supernova, SN 2005E, in the halo of the nearby isolated galaxy, NGC 1032. The 'old' environment near the supernova location, and the very low derived ejected mass ( approximately 0.3 solar masses), argue strongly against a core-collapse origin. Spectroscopic observations and analysis reveal high ejecta velocities, dominated by helium-burning products, probably excluding this as a subluminous or a regular type Ia supernova. We conclude that it arises from a low-mass, old progenitor, likely to have been a helium-accreting white dwarf in a binary. The ejecta contain more calcium than observed in other types of supernovae and probably large amounts of radioactive (44)Ti. PMID:20485429

  2. NO NEUTRON STAR COMPANION TO THE LOWEST MASS SDSS WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

    Agueeros, Marcel A.; Camilo, Fernando; Heinke, Craig; Kilic, Mukremin; Anderson, Scott F.; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Freire, Paulo; Kleinman, Scot J.; Liebert, James W.

    2009-08-01

    SDSS J091709.55+463821.8 (hereafter J0917+4638) is the lowest surface gravity white dwarf (WD) currently known, with log g = 5.55 {+-} 0.05 (M {approx} 0.17 M{sub sun}). Such low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs) are believed to originate in binaries that evolve into WD/WD or WD/neutron star (NS) systems. An optical search for J0917+4638's companion showed that it must be a compact object with a mass {>=}0.28 M{sub sun}. Here we report on Green Bank Telescope 820 MHz and XMM-Newton X-ray observations of J0917+4638 intended to uncover a potential NS companion to the LMWD. No convincing pulsar signal is detected in our radio data. Our X-ray observation also failed to detect X-ray emission from J0917+4638's companion, while we would have detected any of the millisecond radio pulsars in 47 Tuc. We conclude that the companion is almost certainly another WD.

  3. A faint type of supernova from a white dwarf with a helium-rich companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, H. B.; Gal-Yam, A.; Mazzali, P. A.; Arnett, D.; Kagan, D.; Filippenko, A. V.; Li, W.; Arcavi, I.; Cenko, S. B.; Fox, D. B.; Leonard, D. C.; Moon, D.-S.; Sand, D. J.; Soderberg, A. M.; Anderson, J. P.; James, P. A.; Foley, R. J.; Ganeshalingam, M.; Ofek, E. O.; Bildsten, L.; Nelemans, G.; Shen, K. J.; Weinberg, N. N.; Metzger, B. D.; Piro, A. L.; Quataert, E.; Kiewe, M.; Poznanski, D.

    2010-05-01

    Supernovae are thought to arise from two different physical processes. The cores of massive, short-lived stars undergo gravitational core collapse and typically eject a few solar masses during their explosion. These are thought to appear as type Ib/c and type II supernovae, and are associated with young stellar populations. In contrast, the thermonuclear detonation of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, whose mass approaches the Chandrasekhar limit, is thought to produce type Ia supernovae. Such supernovae are observed in both young and old stellar environments. Here we report a faint type Ib supernova, SN 2005E, in the halo of the nearby isolated galaxy, NGC 1032. The `old' environment near the supernova location, and the very low derived ejected mass (~0.3 solar masses), argue strongly against a core-collapse origin. Spectroscopic observations and analysis reveal high ejecta velocities, dominated by helium-burning products, probably excluding this as a subluminous or a regular type Ia supernova. We conclude that it arises from a low-mass, old progenitor, likely to have been a helium-accreting white dwarf in a binary. The ejecta contain more calcium than observed in other types of supernovae and probably large amounts of radioactive 44Ti.

  4. Diagnostics of models and observations in the contexts of exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and very low-mass stars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopytova, Taisiya

    2016-01-01

    When studying isolated brown dwarfs and directly imaged exoplanets with insignificant orbital motion,we have to rely on theoretical models to determine basic parameters such as mass, age, effective temperature, and surface gravity.While stellar and atmospheric models are rapidly evolving, we need a powerful tool to test and calibrate them.In my thesis, I focussed on comparing interior and atmospheric models with observational data, in the effort of taking into account various systematic effects that can significantly influence the data analysis.As a first step, about 460 candidate member os the Hyades were screened for companions using diffraction limited imaging observation (both our own data and archival data). As a result I could establish the single star sequence for the Hyades comprising about 250 stars (Kopytova et al. 2015, accepted to A&A). Open clusters contain many coeval objects of the same chemical composition and age, and spanning a range of masses. We compare the obtained sequence with a set of theoretical isochrones identifying systematic offsets and revealing probable issues in the models.However, there are many cases when it is impossible to test models before comparing them with observations.As a second step, we apply atmospheric models for constraining parameters of WISE 0855-07, the coolest known Y dwarf(Kopytova et al. 2014, ApJ 797, 3). We demonstrate the limits of constraining effective temperature and the presence/absence of water clouds.As a third step, we introduce a novel method to take into account the above-mentioned systematics. We construct a "systematics vector" that allows us to reveal problematic wavelength ranges when fitting atmospheric models to observed near-infrared spectraof brown dwarfs and exoplanets (Kopytova et al., in prep.). This approach plays a crucial role when retrieving abundances for these objects, in particularly, a C/O ratio. The latter parameter is an important key to formation scenarios of brown dwarf and

  5. Granulation properties of giants, dwarfs, and white dwarfs from the CIFIST 3D model atmosphere grid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Ludwig, H.-G.; Freytag, B.; Steffen, M.; Caffau, E.

    2013-09-01

    Three-dimensional model atmospheres for giants, dwarfs, and white dwarfs, computed with the CO5BOLD code and part of the CIFIST grid, have been used for spectroscopic and asteroseismic studies. Unlike existing plane-parallel 1D structures, these simulations predict the spatially and temporally resolved emergent intensity so that granulation can be analysed, which provides insights on how convective energy transfer operates in stars. The wide range of atmospheric parameters of the CIFIST 3D simulations (3600 < Teff (K) < 13 000 and 1 < log g < 9) allows the comparison of convective processes in significantly different environments. We show that the relative intensity contrast is correlated with both the Mach and Péclet numbers in the photosphere. The horizontal size of granules varies between 3 and 10 times the local pressure scale height, with a tight correlation between the factor and the Mach number of the flow. Given that convective giants, dwarfs, and white dwarfs cover the same range of Mach and Péclet numbers, we conclude that photospheric convection operates in a very similar way in those objects. Table 1 and Appendix A are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  6. 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

  7. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). I. A SUBSTELLAR COMPANION TO THE YOUNG M DWARF 1RXS J235133.3+312720

    SciTech Connect

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Cieza, Lucas A.; Kraus, Adam L.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Tamura, Motohide

    2012-07-10

    We report the discovery of a brown dwarf companion to the young M dwarf 1RXS J235133.3+312720 as part of a high contrast imaging search for planets around nearby young low-mass stars with Keck-II/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO. The 2.''4 ({approx}120 AU) pair is confirmed to be comoving from two epochs of high-resolution imaging. Follow-up low- and moderate-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of 1RXS J2351+3127 B with IRTF/SpeX and Keck-II/OSIRIS reveals a spectral type of L0{sup +2}{sub -1}. The M2 primary star 1RXS J2351+3127 A exhibits X-ray and UV activity levels comparable to young moving group members with ages of {approx}10-100 Myr. UVW kinematics based the measured radial velocity of the primary and the system's photometric distance (50 {+-} 10 pc) indicate it is likely a member of the {approx}50-150 Myr AB Dor moving group. The near-infrared spectrum of 1RXS J2351+3127 B does not exhibit obvious signs of youth, but its H-band morphology shows subtle hints of intermediate surface gravity. The spectrum is also an excellent match to the {approx}200 Myr M9 brown dwarf LP 944-20. Assuming an age of 50-150 Myr, evolutionary models imply a mass of 32 {+-} 6 M{sub Jup} for the companion, making 1RXS J2351+3127 B the second lowest-mass member of the AB Dor moving group after the L4 companion CD-35 2722 B and one of the few benchmark brown dwarfs known at young ages.

  8. 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

  9. IDENTIFICATION OF A WIDE, LOW-MASS MULTIPLE SYSTEM CONTAINING THE BROWN DWARF 2MASS J0850359+105716

    SciTech Connect

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Bochanski, John J.; Looper, Dagny L.; West, Andrew A.; Van der Bliek, Nicole S.

    2011-03-15

    We report our discovery of NLTT 20346 as an M5+M6 companion system to the tight binary (or triple) L dwarf 2MASS J0850359+105716. This nearby ({approx}31 pc), widely separated ({approx}7700 AU) quadruple system was identified through a cross-match of proper motion catalogs. Follow-up imaging and spectroscopy of NLTT 20346 revealed it to be a magnetically active M5+M6 binary with components separated by {approx}2'' (50-80 AU). Optical spectroscopy of the components shows only moderate H{alpha} emission corresponding to a statistical age of {approx}5-7 Gyr for both M dwarfs. However, NLTT 20346 is associated with the XMM-Newton source J085018.9+105644, and based on X-ray activity the age of NLTT 20346 is between 250 and 450 Myr. Strong Li absorption in the optical spectrum of 2MASS J0850+1057 indicates an upper age limit of 0.8-1.5 Gyr, favoring the younger age for the primary. Using evolutionary models in combination with an adopted system age of 0.25-1.5 Gyr indicates a total mass for 2MASS J0850+1057 of 0.07 {+-} 0.02 M{sub sun}, if it is a binary. NLTT 20346/2MASS J0850+1057 joins a growing list of hierarchical systems containing brown dwarf binaries and is among the lowest binding energy associations found in the field. Formation simulations via gravitational fragmentation of massive extended disks have successfully produced a specific analog to this system.

  10. A Survey of Helium Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steeghs, Daniel

    2005-01-01

    We have initiated a survey of the X-ray spectral properties of double white binaries using XMM-Newton. Three of our sources were indeed observed with XMM during AO-3. We have analyzed these data using the latest data reduction software and have also extracted several archival data sets of similar systems from the XMM archive. The first paper presenting the X-ray spectral and variability properties of four of these binary systems has been submitted in January 2005. We have also secured some optical ground-based spectroscopy and are currently analyzing the spectral signatures in more detail. We are also continuing this survey with additional approved XMM observations during AO-4 and anticipate additional publications in the near future.

  11. 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.

  12. Initial-Final Mass Relation for 3 to 4 M⊙ Progenitors of White Dwarfs from the Single Cluster NGC 2099

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    We have expanded the sample of observed white dwarfs in the rich open cluster NGC 2099 (M37) with the Keck Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer. Of 20 white dwarf candidates, the spectroscopy shows 19 to be true white dwarfs, with 14 of these having high signal-to-noise ratio. We find 11 of these 14 to be consistent with singly evolved cluster members. They span a mass range of ˜0.7-0.95 {M}⊙ , excluding a low-mass outlier, corresponding to progenitor masses of ˜3-4 {M}⊙ . This region of the initial-final mass relation (IFMR) has large scatter and a slope that remains to be precisely determined. With this large sample of white dwarfs that belong to a single age and metallicity population, we find an IFMR of (0.171 ± 0.057)M{}{initial}+0.219+/- 0.187{M}⊙ , significantly steeper than the linear relation adopted over the full observed white dwarf mass range in many previous studies. Comparison of this new relation from the solar-metallicity NGC 2099 to 18 white dwarfs in the metal-rich Hyades and Praesepe shows that their IFMR also has a consistently steep slope. This strong consistency also suggests that there is no significant metallicity dependence of the IFMR at this mass and metallicity range. As a result, the IFMR can be more reliably determined with this broad sample of 29 total white dwarfs, giving M{}{final} = (0.163 ± 0.022)M{}{initial} + 0.238 ± 0.071 {M}⊙ from {M}{initial} of 3-4 {M}⊙ . A steep IFMR in this mass range indicates that the full IFMR is nonlinear. 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 and was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

  13. GASEOUS MATERIAL ORBITING THE POLLUTED, DUSTY WHITE DWARF HE 1349-2305

    SciTech Connect

    Melis, Carl; Burgasser, Adam J.; Dufour, P.; Farihi, J.; Bochanski, J.; Parsons, S. G.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Koester, D.; Swift, Brandon J.

    2012-05-20

    We present new spectroscopic observations of the polluted, dusty, helium-dominated atmosphere white dwarf star HE 1349-2305. Optical spectroscopy reveals weak Ca II infrared triplet emission indicating that metallic gas debris orbits and is accreted by the white dwarf. Atmospheric abundances are measured for magnesium and silicon while upper limits for iron and oxygen are derived from the available optical spectroscopy. HE 1349-2305 is the first gas disk-hosting white dwarf star identified among previously known polluted white dwarfs. Further characterization of the parent body polluting this star will require ultraviolet spectroscopy.

  14. High-speed Photometric Observations of ZZ Ceti White Dwarf Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, E. M.; Limoges, M.-M.; Gianninas, A.; Bergeron, P.; Fontaine, G.; Dufour, P.; O'Malley, C. J.; Guvenen, B.; Biddle, L. I.; Pearson, K.; Deyoe, T. W.; Bullivant, C. W.; Hermes, J. J.; Van Grootel, V.; Grosjean, M.

    2015-06-01

    We present high-speed photometric observations of ZZ Ceti white dwarf candidates drawn from the spectroscopic survey of bright DA stars from the Villanova White Dwarf Catalog by Gianninas et al., and from the recent spectroscopic survey of white dwarfs within 40 parsecs of the Sun by Limoges et al. We report the discovery of six new ZZ Ceti pulsators from these surveys, and several photometrically constant DA white dwarfs, which we then use to refine the location of the ZZ Ceti instability strip.

  15. Prospective EUV observations of hot DA white dwarfs with the EUV Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finley, David S.; Malina, Roger F.; Bowyer, Stuart

    1987-01-01

    The Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) will perform a high sensitivity EUV all-sky survey. A major category of sources which will be detected with the EUVE instruments consists of hot white dwarfs. Detailed preliminary studies of synthetic EUV observations of white dwarfs have been carried out using the predicted EUVE instrumental response functions. Using available information regarding space densities of white dwarfs and the distribution of neutral hydrogen in the interstellar medium, the numbers of DA white dwarfs which will be detectable in the different EUV bandpasses have been estimated.

  16. Absolute Proper Motions to B~22.5. IV. Faint, Low-Velocity White Dwarfs and the White Dwarf Population Density Law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majewski, S. R.; Siegel, M. H.

    2002-04-01

    The reduced proper-motion diagram (RPMD) for a complete sample of 819 faint (B<=22.5) stars with high-accuracy proper motions (σμ~1 mas yr-1) in an area of 0.3 deg2 in the north Galactic pole field SA 57 is investigated. Eight stars with very large reduced proper motions are identified as faint white dwarf candidates. On the basis of larger than 6 σ measured proper motions and the lack of photometric variability over a 20 yr baseline, we discriminate these white dwarf candidates from the several times more numerous quasi-stellar objects (QSOs), which can potentially occupy a similar location in the RPMD. For comparison, less than 4 σ proper motions and photometric variability are found in all but one of 35 spectroscopically confirmed QSOs in the same field. While spectroscopic confirmation of their status as white dwarfs is a necessary, but difficult, outstanding task, we discuss the implausibility that these stars could be any kind of survey contaminant. High-quality proper motions lend confidence in our ability to separate white dwarfs from subdwarfs in the RPMD. If bona fide white dwarfs, the eight candidates found here represent a portion of the white dwarf population that hitherto has remained uninvestigated by previous surveys by virtue of the faint magnitudes and low proper motions of the stars. This faint, low-velocity sample represents an increase in the white dwarf sky surface density to B=22.5 by an order of magnitude than that found in the previously most complete surveys to this depth. However, because the majority of the stars discovered here are at projected distances of more than a disk scale height above the Galactic midplane, their existence does not affect significantly the typical estimates of the local white dwarf density. On the other hand, as distant white dwarf candidates with low, typically thin-disk-like transverse velocities (<40 km s-1), the newly discovered stars suggest a disk white dwarf scale height larger than the values of 250

  17. A THERMAL INFRARED IMAGING STUDY OF VERY LOW MASS, WIDE-SEPARATION BROWN DWARF COMPANIONS TO UPPER SCORPIUS STARS: CONSTRAINING CIRCUMSTELLAR ENVIRONMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip M.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Hoffmann, William F.; Rieke, George; Rodigas, Timothy; Skemer, Andrew; Vaitheeswaran, Vidhya; Currie, Thayne; Esposito, Simone; Pinna, Enrico; Puglisi, Alfio; Hill, John M.; Jones, Terry; Kim, Jihun; Leisenring, Jarron; Meyer, Michael; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Nelson, Matthew J.; and others

    2013-04-10

    We present a 3-5 {mu}m LBT/MMT adaptive optics imaging study of three Upper Scorpius stars with brown dwarf (BD) companions with very low masses/mass ratios (M{sub BD} <25 M{sub Jup}; M{sub BD}/M{sub *} Almost-Equal-To 1%-2%) and wide separations (300-700 AU): GSC 06214, 1RXS 1609, and HIP 78530. We combine these new thermal IR data with existing 1-4 {mu}m and 24 {mu}m photometry to constrain the properties of the BDs and identify evidence for circumprimary/circumsecondary disks in these unusual systems. We confirm that GSC 06214B is surrounded by a disk, further showing that this disk produces a broadband IR excess due to small dust near the dust sublimation radius. An unresolved 24 {mu}m excess in the system may be explained by the contribution from this disk. 1RXS 1609B exhibits no 3-4 {mu}m excess, nor does its primary; however, the system as a whole has a modest 24 {mu}m excess, which may come from warm dust around the primary and/or BD. Neither object in the HIP 78530 system exhibits near- to mid-IR excesses. We additionally find that the 1-4 {mu}m colors of HIP 78530B match a spectral type of M3 {+-} 2, inconsistent with the M8 spectral type assigned based on its near-IR spectrum, indicating that it may be a low-mass star rather than a BD. We present new upper limits on additional low-mass companions in the system (<5 M{sub Jup} beyond 175 AU). Finally, we examine the utility of circumsecondary disks as probes of the formation histories of wide BD companions, finding that the presence of a disk may disfavor BD formation near the primary with subsequent outward scattering.

  18. The dwarfs beyond: The stellar-to-halo mass relation for a new sample of intermediate redshift low-mass galaxies

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Sarah H.; Ellis, Richard S.; Newman, Andrew B.; Benson, Andrew

    2014-02-20

    A number of recent challenges to the standard ΛCDM paradigm relate to discrepancies that arise in comparing the abundance and kinematics of local dwarf galaxies with the predictions of numerical simulations. Such arguments rely heavily on the assumption that the Local Volume's dwarf and satellite galaxies form a representative distribution in terms of their stellar-to-halo mass ratios. To address this question, we present new, deep spectroscopy using DEIMOS on Keck for 82 low-mass (10{sup 7}-10{sup 9} M {sub ☉}), star-forming galaxies at intermediate redshift (0.2 < z < 1). For 50% of these we are able to determine resolved rotation curves using nebular emission lines and thereby construct the stellar mass Tully-Fisher relation to masses as low as 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉}. Using scaling relations determined from weak lensing data, we convert this to a stellar-to-halo mass relation for comparison with abundance matching predictions. We find a discrepancy between our observations and the predictions from abundance matching in the sense that we observe 3-12 times more stellar mass at a given halo mass. We suggest possible reasons for this discrepancy, as well as improved tests for the future.

  19. The binary Feige 24 - The mass, radius, and gravitational redshift of the DA white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vennes, Stephane; Shipman, Harry L.; Thorstensen, John R.; Thejll, Peter

    1991-01-01

    Observations are reported which refine the binary ephemeris of the Feige 24 system, which contains a peculiar hot DA white dwarf and an M dwarf with an atmosphere illuminated by extreme ultraviolet radiation from the white dwarf. With the new ephemeris and a set of IUE high-dispersion spectra, showing phase-dependent redshifted C IV, N V, and Si IV resonance lines, the orbital velocity, and hence the mass (0.54 + or - 0.20 solar masses), and the gravitational redshift of the white dwarf (14.1 + or - 5.2 km/s) are determined independently. It is shown that the measured Einstein redshift is consistent with an estimated radius for the white dwarf obtained from a model atmosphere solid angle and a parallax measurement. This radius is twice the Hamada-Salpeter radius for the given mass and offers a prospect to investigate the presence of a massive hydrogen envelope in that white dwarf star.

  20. AN OPTICALLY OBSCURED AGN IN A LOW MASS, IRREGULAR DWARF GALAXY: A MULTI-WAVELENGTH ANALYSIS OF J1329+3234

    SciTech Connect

    Secrest, N. J.; Satyapal, S.; Gliozzi, M.; Rothberg, B.; Mowry, W. S.; Rosenberg, J. L.; Ellison, S. L.; Fischer, J.; Schmitt, H.

    2015-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are found ubiquitously in large, bulge-dominated galaxies throughout the local universe, yet little is known about their presence and properties in bulgeless and low-mass galaxies. This is a significant deficiency, since the mass distribution and occupation fraction of nonstellar black holes provide important observational constraints on SMBH seed formation theories and many dwarf galaxies have not undergone major mergers that would erase information on their original black hole population. Using data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, we discovered hundreds of bulgeless and dwarf galaxies that display mid-infrared signatures of extremely hot dust highly suggestive of powerful accreting massive black holes, despite having no signatures of black hole activity at optical wavelengths. Here we report, in our first follow-up X-ray investigation of this population, that the irregular dwarf galaxy J132932.41+323417.0 (z = 0.0156) contains a hard, unresolved X-ray source detected by XMM-Newton with luminosity L {sub 2-10} {sub keV} = 2.4 × 10{sup 40} erg s{sup –1}, over two orders of magnitude greater than that expected from star formation, strongly suggestive of the presence of an accreting massive black hole. While enhanced X-ray emission and hot dust can be produced in extremely low metallicity environments, J132932.41+323417.0 is not extremely metal poor (≈40% solar). With a stellar mass of 2.0 × 10{sup 8} M {sub ☉}, this galaxy is similar in mass to the Small Magellanic Cloud, and is one of the lowest mass galaxies with evidence for a massive nuclear black hole currently known.

  1. An Optically Obscured AGN in a Low Mass, Irregular Dwarf Galaxy: A Multi-Wavelength Analysis of J1329+3234

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Secrest, N. J.; Satyapal, S.; Gliozzi, M.; Rothberg, B.; Ellison, S. L.; Mowry, W. S.; Rosenberg, J. L.; Fischer, J.; Schmitt, H.

    2015-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are found ubiquitously in large, bulge-dominated galaxies throughout the local universe, yet little is known about their presence and properties in bulgeless and low-mass galaxies. This is a significant deficiency, since the mass distribution and occupation fraction of nonstellar black holes provide important observational constraints on SMBH seed formation theories and many dwarf galaxies have not undergone major mergers that would erase information on their original black hole population. Using data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, we discovered hundreds of bulgeless and dwarf galaxies that display mid-infrared signatures of extremely hot dust highly suggestive of powerful accreting massive black holes, despite having no signatures of black hole activity at optical wavelengths. Here we report, in our first follow-up X-ray investigation of this population, that the irregular dwarf galaxy J132932.41+323417.0 (z = 0.0156) contains a hard, unresolved X-ray source detected by XMM-Newton with luminosity L 2-10 keV = 2.4 × 1040 erg s-1, over two orders of magnitude greater than that expected from star formation, strongly suggestive of the presence of an accreting massive black hole. While enhanced X-ray emission and hot dust can be produced in extremely low metallicity environments, J132932.41+323417.0 is not extremely metal poor (≈40% solar). With a stellar mass of 2.0 × 108 M ⊙, this galaxy is similar in mass to the Small Magellanic Cloud, and is one of the lowest mass galaxies with evidence for a massive nuclear black hole currently known.

  2. SDSS M-dwarfs with WISE Signatures of Infrared Excess: Evidence of Warm Circumstellar Material in Low-Mass Field Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theissen, Christopher; West, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Using dMs from the SDSS Data Release 7 spectroscopic catalog, we searched the WISE catalog to investigate the mid-infrared properties of cool field dwarfs. We developed SDSS and WISE color-color selection criteria to select 334 M dwarfs 0.5% of the DR7 catalog) that show infrared excess above typical M dwarf photosphere levels at 12 and/or 22 μm. 80% of the stars in our sample are found at high Galactic latitudes (|b| > 20°) but close to the Galactic plane (87% with |Z| < 200 pc). We also find 63 stars in close proximity to the Orion complex that have not been previously identified. We perform synthetic photometry and characterize the dust populations inferred from each infrared excess. We also investigate the possibility that these infrared excesses could arise from ultracool binary companions by modeling combined dM+ultracool companion binary spectral energy distributions from theoretical tracks. We find that none of our stars show IR excesses consistent with ultracool companions at the 3σ level. From the SDSS spectra we measure surface gravity dependent features (K, Na, and the CaH3 index), and examine tracers of youth (Hα, UV emission, and Li absorption). We find that less than 6% of our sample shows a reliable indication of youth, implying that we are likely probing an older population of field stars (>1 Gyr). We estimate UVW space motions, and find the majority of stars exhibit kinematics expected of disk stars, with the exception of four stars that exhibit extremely high velocities (total velocity > 400 km/s). Lastly, we study the fraction of low-mass stars exhibiting infrared excess as a function of Galactic height and find the fraction of dMs with excesses quickly declines past |Z| > 200 pc., and that earlier spectral types have a higher disk fraction close to the Galactic plane than later spectral types, supporting the notion of mass and age dependent disk evolution. This sample indicates that disks may persist for timescales much longer than

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The response of a helium white dwarf to an exploding Type Ia supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papish, Oded; Soker, Noam; García-Berro, Enrique; Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela

    2015-05-01

    We conduct numerical simulations of the interacting ejecta from an exploding CO white dwarf (WD) with a He WD donor in the double-detonation scenario for Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), and study the possibility of exploding the companion WD. We also study the long time imprint of the collision on the supernova remnant. When the donor He WD has a low mass, MWD = 0.2 M⊙, it is at a distance of ˜0.08 R⊙ from the explosion, and helium is not ignited. The low-mass He WD casts an `ejecta shadow' behind it. By evolving the ejecta for longer times, we find that the outer parts of the shadowed side are fainter and its boundary with the ambient gas is somewhat flat. More massive He WD donors, MWD ≃ 0.4 M⊙, must be closer to the CO WD to transfer mass. At a distance of a ≲ 0.045 R⊙ helium is detonated and the He WD explodes, leading to a triple detonation scenario. In the explosion of the donor WD approximately 0.15 M⊙ of unburned helium is ejected. This might be observed as a peculiar Type Ib supernova.

  6. THE DISCOVERY OF BINARY WHITE DWARFS THAT WILL MERGE WITHIN 500 Myr

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, S. J.; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Panei, J. A.

    2010-06-10

    We present radial velocity observations of four extremely low-mass (0.2 M {sub sun}) white dwarfs (WDs). All four stars show peak-to-peak radial velocity variations of 540-710 km s{sup -1} with 1.0-5.9 hr periods. The optical photometry rules out main-sequence companions. In addition, no millisecond pulsar companions are detected in radio observations. Thus, the invisible companions are most likely WDs. Two of the systems are the shortest period binary WDs yet discovered. Due to the loss of angular momentum through gravitational radiation, three of the systems will merge within 500 Myr. The remaining system will merge within a Hubble time. The mass functions for three of the systems imply companions more massive than 0.46 M {sub sun}; thus, those are carbon/oxygen core WDs. The unknown inclination angles prohibit a definitive conclusion about the future of these systems. However, the chance of a supernova Ia event is only 1%-5%. These systems are likely to form single R Coronae Borealis stars, providing evidence for a WD + WD merger mechanism for these unusual objects. One of the systems, SDSS J105353.89+520031.0, has a 70% chance of having a low-mass WD companion. This system will probably form a single helium-enriched subdwarf O star. All four WD systems have unusual mass ratios of {<=}0.2-0.8 that may also lead to the formation of AM CVn systems.

  7. 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.

  8. Thomson scattering in magnetic fields. [of white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitney, Barbara

    1989-01-01

    The equation of transfer in Thomson scattering atmospheres with magnetic fields is solved using Monte Carlo methods. Two cases, a plane parallel atmosphere with a magnetic field perpendicular to the atmosphere, and a dipole star, are investigated. The wavelength dependence of polarization from plane-parallel atmosphere is qualitatively similar to that observed in the magnetic white dwarf Grw+70 deg 8247, and the field strength determined by the calculation, 320 MG, is quantitatively similar to that determined from the line spectrum. The dipole model does not resemble the data as well as the single plane-parallel atmosphere.

  9. White dwarfs in an ungravity-inspired model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertolami, Orfeu; Mariji, Hodjat

    2016-05-01

    An ungravity-inspired model is employed to examine the astrophysical parameters of white dwarf stars (WDs) using polytropic and degenerate gas approaches. Based on the observed properties such as mass, radius, and luminosity of selected WDs, namely, Sirius B and ɛ Reticulum, bounds on the characteristic length and scaling dimension of the ungravity (UG) model are estimated. The UG effect on the Chandrasekhar limit for WDs is shown. The UG model is examined in the study of ultramassive WDs, e.g., EUVE J1746-706. The UG-inspired model implies that a new location for some WDs on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is found.

  10. Magnetohydrostatics in the polar caps of accreting magnetized white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hameury, J. M.; Lasota, J. P.

    1985-04-01

    The mechanism of quasi-periodic luminosity variations seen in cataclysmic variable stars is investigated theoretically. Numerical calculations are performed for the model proposed by Livio (1984), in which matter accreted onto the polar caps of a magnetized white dwarf causes repeated breaking of the magnetic-field lines; the method is based (by analogy) on the analysis of magnetic-field disruption in magnetized neutron stars of Hameury et al. (1983). It is found that any such magnetic-field breaking gives recurrence times orders of magnitude greater than those actually observed in magnetized cataclysmic variables suggesting that some other mechanism must be found for the quasi-periodic variations.

  11. WD 0158-160, a new pulsating DB white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilkenny, D.

    2016-03-01

    The DB star, WD 0158-160 (=EC 01585-1600) is shown to be a variable white dwarf with a rich pulsation spectrum, dominated by a strong variation with a frequency near 1637 μHz (amplitude ˜0.024 mag, period 598 s), though at least 10 frequencies are detected between about 1285 and 5747 μHz (780-173 s) in a relatively small data set. At ˜14.5 mag, the star is one of the brightest known DBV stars.

  12. Microlensing discovery of a tight, low-mass-ratio planetary-mass object around an old field brown dwarf

    SciTech Connect

    Han, C.; Jung, Y. K.; Udalski, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Kubiak, M.; Pietrzyński, G.; Soszyński, I.; Skowron, J.; Kozłowski, S.; Poleski, R.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Sumi, T.; Gaudi, B. S.; Gould, A.; Bennett, D. P.; Tsapras, Y.; Abe, F.; Bond, I. A.; Collaboration: OGLE Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; μFUN Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; and others

    2013-11-20

    Observations of accretion disks around young brown dwarfs (BDs) have led to the speculation that they may form planetary systems similar to normal stars. While there have been several detections of planetary-mass objects around BDs (2MASS 1207-3932 and 2MASS 0441-2301), these companions have relatively large mass ratios and projected separations, suggesting that they formed in a manner analogous to stellar binaries. We present the discovery of a planetary-mass object orbiting a field BD via gravitational microlensing, OGLE-2012-BLG-0358Lb. The system is a low secondary/primary mass ratio (0.080 ± 0.001), relatively tightly separated (∼0.87 AU) binary composed of a planetary-mass object with 1.9 ± 0.2 Jupiter masses orbiting a BD with a mass 0.022 M {sub ☉}. The relatively small mass ratio and separation suggest that the companion may have formed in a protoplanetary disk around the BD host in a manner analogous to planets.

  13. 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

  14. Deuterium Burning in Massive Giant Planets and Low-mass Brown Dwarfs Formed by Core-nucleated Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodenheimer, Peter; D'Angelo, Gennaro; Lissauer, Jack J.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Saumon, Didier

    2013-06-01

    Using detailed numerical simulations, we study the formation of bodies near the deuterium-burning limit according to the core-nucleated giant planet accretion scenario. The objects, with heavy-element cores in the range 5-30 M ⊕, are assumed to accrete gas up to final masses of 10-15 Jupiter masses (M Jup). After the formation process, which lasts 1-5 Myr and which ends with a "cold-start," low-entropy configuration, the bodies evolve at constant mass up to an age of several Gyr. Deuterium burning via proton capture is included in the calculation, and we determined the mass, M 50, above which more than 50% of the initial deuterium is burned. This often-quoted borderline between giant planets and brown dwarfs is found to depend only slightly on parameters, such as core mass, stellar mass, formation location, solid surface density in the protoplanetary disk, disk viscosity, and dust opacity. The values for M 50 fall in the range 11.6-13.6 M Jup, in agreement with previous determinations that do not take the formation process into account. For a given opacity law during the formation process, objects with higher core masses form more quickly. The result is higher entropy in the envelope at the completion of accretion, yielding lower values of M 50. For masses above M 50, during the deuterium-burning phase, objects expand and increase in luminosity by one to three orders of magnitude. Evolutionary tracks in the luminosity versus time diagram are compared with the observed position of the companion to Beta Pictoris.

  15. Planets around Low-mass Stars (PALMS). I. A Substellar Companion to the Young M Dwarf 1RXS J235133.3+312720

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Cieza, Lucas A.; Kraus, Adam L.; Tamura, Motohide

    2012-07-01

    We report the discovery of a brown dwarf companion to the young M dwarf 1RXS J235133.3+312720 as part of a high contrast imaging search for planets around nearby young low-mass stars with Keck-II/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO. The 2farcs4 (~120 AU) pair is confirmed to be comoving from two epochs of high-resolution imaging. Follow-up low- and moderate-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of 1RXS J2351+3127 B with IRTF/SpeX and Keck-II/OSIRIS reveals a spectral type of L0+2 -1. The M2 primary star 1RXS J2351+3127 A exhibits X-ray and UV activity levels comparable to young moving group members with ages of ~10-100 Myr. UVW kinematics based the measured radial velocity of the primary and the system's photometric distance (50 ± 10 pc) indicate it is likely a member of the ~50-150 Myr AB Dor moving group. The near-infrared spectrum of 1RXS J2351+3127 B does not exhibit obvious signs of youth, but its H-band morphology shows subtle hints of intermediate surface gravity. The spectrum is also an excellent match to the ~200 Myr M9 brown dwarf LP 944-20. Assuming an age of 50-150 Myr, evolutionary models imply a mass of 32 ± 6 M Jup for the companion, making 1RXS J2351+3127 B the second lowest-mass member of the AB Dor moving group after the L4 companion CD-35 2722 B and one of the few benchmark brown dwarfs known at young ages. 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.

  16. Supernovae from Direct Collisions of White Dwarfs and the Role of Helium Shell Ignition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papish, Oded; Perets, Hagai Binyamin

    2016-05-01

    Models for supernovae (SNe) arising from thermonuclear explosions of white dwarfs (WDs) have been studied extensively over the past few decades, mostly focusing on the single-degenerate (accretion of material by a WD) and double-degenerate (WD–WD merger) scenarios. In recent years it was suggested that direct WD–WD collisions provide an additional channel for such explosions. Here we extend the studies of such explosions and explore the role of helium shells in affecting the thermonuclear explosions. We study the impact of both low-mass (˜0.01 M ⊙) and high-mass (≥0.1 M ⊙) helium shells. We find that detonation of the massive helium layers precedes the detonation of the WD carbon–oxygen (CO) bulk during the collision and can change the evolution of the explosion and the outcomes for the cases of high-mass He shells. In particular, the He shell detonation propagates on the WD surface and inefficiently burns material prior to the CO detonation that later follows in the central parts of the WD. Such evolution leads to greater production of intermediate elements, producing larger yields of 44Ti and 48Cr relative to the pure CO–CO WD collisions. Collisions of WDs with a low-mass He shell do not give rise to helium detonation, but helium burning does precede the CO bulk detonation. Such collisions eject at high velocity a low mass of burned material enriched with intermediate elements and produce smaller changes in the overall explosion outcomes. The various effects arising from the contribution of low-/high-mass He layers change the kinematics and the morphological structure of collision-induced SNe and may thereby provide unique observational signatures for such SNe and play a role in the chemical enrichment of galaxies and the production of intermediate elements and positrons from their longer-term decay.

  17. Neutron stars and white dwarfs in galactic halos?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryu, Dongsu; Olive, Keith A.; Silk, Joseph

    1990-01-01

    The possibility that galactic halos are composed of stellar remnants such as neutron stars and white dwarfs is discussed. On the basis of a simple model for the evolution of galactic halos, researchers follow the history of halo matter, luminosity, and metal and helium abundances. They assume conventional yields for helium and the heavier elements. By comparing with the observational constraints, which may be considered as fairly conservative, it is found that, for an exponentially decreasing star formation rate (SFR) with e-folding time tau, only values between 6 x 10(8) less than similar to tau less than similar to 2 x 10(9) years are allowed together with a very limited range of masses for the initial mass function (IMF). Star formation is allowed for 2 solar mass less than similar to m less than similar to 8 solar mass if tau = 2 x 10(9) years, and for 4 solar mass less than similar to m less than similar to 6 solar mass if tau = 10(9) years. For tau = 6 x 10(8) years, the lower and upper mass limits merge to similar to 5 solar mass. Researchers conclude that, even though the possibility of neutron stars as halo matter may be ruled out, that of white dwarfs may still be a viable hypothesis, though with very stringent constraints on allowed parameters, that merits further consideration.

  18. Neutron stars and white dwarfs in galactic halos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryu, Dongsu; Olive, Keith A.; Silk, Joseph

    1989-01-01

    The possibility that galactic halos are composed of stellar remnants such as neutron stars and white dwarfs is discussed. On the basis of a simple model for the evolution of galactic halos, researchers follow the history of halo matter, luminosity, and metal and helium abundances. They assume conventional yields for helium and the heavier elements. By comparing with the observational constraints, which may be considered as fairly conservative, it is found that, for an exponentially decreasing star formation rate (SFR) with e-folding time tau, only values between 6 x 10(8) less than similar to tau less than similar to 2 x 10(9) years are allowed together with a very limited range of masses for the initial mass function (IMF). Star formation is allowed for 2 solar mass less than similar to m less than similar to 8 solar mass if tau = 2 x 10(9) years, and for 4 solar mass less than similar to m less than similar to 6 solar mass if tau = 10(9) years. For tau = 6 x 10(8) years, the lower and upper mass limits merge to similar to 5 solar mass. Researchers conclude that, even though the possibility of neutron stars as halo matter may be ruled out, that of white dwarfs may still be a viable hypothesis, though with very stringent constraints on allowed parameters, that merits further consideration.

  19. Angular Momentum Transport in Double White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motl, Patrick M.; Tohline, Joel E.; Frank, Juhan

    2006-11-01

    We present simulations of dynamical mass transfer in a double white dwarf binary with an initial mass ratio of 0.4. The binary components are approximated as polytropes of index n = 3/2 and the synchronously rotating, semi-detached equilibrium binary is evolved hydrodynamically with the gravitational potential being computed through the solution of Poisson's equation. Upon initiating deep contact, the mass transfer rate grows by more than an order of magnitude over approximately ten orbits, as would be expected for dynamically unstable mass transfer. However, the mass transfer rate then reaches a peak value, the binary expands and the mass transfer event subsides over approximately 30 orbits. Despite the loss of orbital angular momentum into the spin of the accreting star, we find that the accretor's spin saturates and the binary responds as one would expect for a system with an accretion disk filling a substantial fraction of the accretor's Roche lobe. It appears that double white dwarf binaries may be more resilient against merger than previously anticipated though our simulations do not include radiation forces which may ultimately fill a common envelope which dooms the binary.

  20. White Dwarfs for Calibrating the Dark Energy Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allyn Smith, J.; Wester, William; Tucker, Douglas Lee; Fix, Mees B.; Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Gulledge, Deborah J.; McDonald, Christopher P.; Allam, Sahar S.; James, David

    2016-01-01

    The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is surveying some 5000 square degrees in the southern hemisphere in the grizY filter system using the new Dark Energy Camera. In order to verify meeting photometric calibration requirements, we are obtaining imaging of several hundred white dwarfs (confirmed and candidates) to select nearly 100 or more hydrogen atmosphere (DA) white dwarfs for spectroscopy in the DES footprint. The spectra that are obtained will be extracted and used to derive synthetic spectra that can be compared with DES measurements from imaging in each of the DES grizY filters. This comparison should be able to verify and help calibrate the survey to a level better than 2% photometrically and to better than 0.5% in colors. We will discuss the observational and modeling effort required to develop a well-characterized DAs sample and present some preliminary results. This set would form the basis of a larger set of southern hemisphere survey calibration stars, and additionally serve as a legacy calibration set in the upcoming era of the LSST survey and the giant segmented mirror observatories. These stars will be used to establish and monitor the color zero points for the DES photometric system and can be used to search for systematic errors in the color zero points over the DES footprint. These stars will also be used as some of the primary standards for the DES photometric system which will allow nightly atmospheric monitoring during DES operations.

  1. 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.

  2. Thermonuclear Supernova Explosions From Hybrid White Dwarf Progenitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willcox, Donald E.; Townsley, Dean; Calder, Alan; Denissenkov, Pavel; Herwig, Falk

    2016-01-01

    Motivated by recent results in stellar evolution in which convective boundary mixing in SAGB stars can give rise to hybrid white dwarf (WD) stars with a C-O core inside an O-Ne shell, we simulate thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae from these hybrid progenitors. We use the FLASH code to perform multidimensional simulations in the deflagration to detonation transition (DDT) explosion paradigm from progenitor models produced with the MESA stellar evolution code that include the thermal energetics of the Urca process. We performed a suite of DDT simulations over a range of ignition conditions and compare to previous results from a suite of C-O white dwarfs. Despite significant variability within each suite, distinguishing trends are apparent in their Ni-56 yields and the kinetic properties of their ejecta. We comment on the feasibility of these hybrid WD explosions as the source of some classes of observed subluminous events. This research was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant DE-FG02-87ER40317 and by resources at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University. The software used in this work was in part developed by the DOE-supported ASC/Alliances Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes at the University of Chicago.

  3. Prevention of accretion onto white dwarfs by stellar winds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdonald, James

    1992-01-01

    There is indirect observational evidence that hot white dwarfs may have weak stellar winds. In this paper, the interaction between such a wind and the flow of ISM material in the gravitational field of the white dwarf is investigated with the aim of finding limits on the mass-loss rate and terminal velocity of winds capable of preventing accretion from the ISM. The limiting cases of no relative motion of the star and the ISM and supersonic relative motion of the star through ISM are separately investigated. Each case is treated by generalizing models for the interaction between the solar wind and the local ISM to include the effects of gravity. It is found that, for wind velocities expected for radiatively driven winds, mass-loss rates as low as 10 exp -21 solar mass/yr are sufficient to prevent accretion from the hot phase of the ISM. To prevent accretion during passages through cold clouds, wind mass-loss rates of order 10 exp -18 to 10 exp -17 are required.

  4. LIMB-DARKENING COEFFICIENTS FOR ECLIPSING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Gianninas, A.; Strickland, B. D.; Kilic, Mukremin; Bergeron, P. E-mail: benstrickland@ou.edu E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.ca

    2013-03-20

    We present extensive calculations of linear and nonlinear limb-darkening coefficients as well as complete intensity profiles appropriate for modeling the light-curves of eclipsing white dwarfs. We compute limb-darkening coefficients in the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI photometric system as well as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) ugrizy system using the most up to date model atmospheres available. In all, we provide the coefficients for seven different limb-darkening laws. We describe the variations of these coefficients as a function of the atmospheric parameters, including the effects of convection at low effective temperatures. Finally, we discuss the importance of having readily available limb-darkening coefficients in the context of present and future photometric surveys like the LSST, Palomar Transient Factory, and the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). The LSST, for example, may find {approx}10{sup 5} eclipsing white dwarfs. The limb-darkening calculations presented here will be an essential part of the detailed analysis of all of these systems.

  5. DA WHITE DWARFS OBSERVED IN THE LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang Yueyang; Deng Licai; Liu Chao; Carrell, Kenneth; Yang Fan; Gao Shuang; Xu Yan; Li Jing; Zhang Haotong; Zhao Yongheng; Luo Ali; Bai Zhongrui; Yuan Hailong; Lepine, Sebastien; Newberg, Heidi Jo; Carlin, Jeffrey L.; Jin Ge

    2013-08-01

    A total of {approx}640, 000 objects from the LAMOST pilot survey have been publicly released. In this work, we present a catalog of DA white dwarfs (DAWDs) from the entire pilot survey. We outline a new algorithm for the selection of white dwarfs (WDs) by fitting Sersic profiles to the Balmer H{beta}, H{gamma}, and H{delta} lines of the spectra, and calculating the equivalent width of the Ca II K line. Two thousand nine hundred sixty-four candidates are selected by constraining the fitting parameters and the equivalent width of the Ca II K line. All the spectra of candidates are visually inspected. We identify 230 DAWDs (59 of which are already included in the Villanova and SDSS WD catalogs), 20 of which are DAWDs with non-degenerate companions. In addition, 128 candidates are classified as DAWDs/subdwarfs, which means the classifications are ambiguous. The result is consistent with the expected DAWD number estimated based on the LEGUE target selection algorithm.

  6. Merging binary stars and the magnetic white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, Gordon P.; Ferrario, Lilia; Tout, Christopher A.; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T.; Hurley, Jarrod R.

    2015-02-01

    A magnetic dynamo driven by differential rotation generated when stars merge can explain strong fields in certain classes of magnetic stars, including the high field magnetic white dwarfs (HFMWDs). In their case the site of the differential rotation has been variously proposed to be within a common envelope, the massive hot outer regions of a merged degenerate core or an accretion disc formed by a tidally disrupted companion that is subsequently incorporated into a degenerate core. We synthesize a population of binary systems to investigate the stellar merging hypothesis for observed single HFMWDs. Our calculations provide mass distribution and the fractions of white dwarfs that merge during a common envelope phase or as double degenerate systems in a post-common-envelope phase. We vary the common envelope efficiency parameter α and compare with observations. We find that this hypothesis can explain both the observed incidence of magnetism and the mass distribution of HFMWDs for a wide range of α. In this model, the majority of the HFMWDs are of the carbon-oxygen type and merge within a common envelope. Less than about a quarter of a per cent of HFMWDs originate from double degenerate stars that merge after common envelope evolution and these populate the high-mass tail of the HFMWD mass distribution.

  7. GW Librae: a unique laboratory for pulsations in an accreting white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toloza, O.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hermes, J. J.; Townsley, D. M.; Schreiber, M. R.; Szkody, P.; Pala, A.; Beuermann, K.; Bildsten, L.; Breedt, E.; Cook, M.; Godon, P.; Henden, A. A.; Hubeny, I.; Knigge, C.; Long, K. S.; Marsh, T. R.; de Martino, D.; Mukadam, A. S.; Myers, G.; Nelson, P.; Oksanen, A.; Patterson, J.; Sion, E. M.; Zorotovic, M.

    2016-07-01

    Non-radial pulsations have been identified in a number of accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables. These stars offer insight into the excitation of pulsation modes in atmospheres with mixed compositions of hydrogen, helium, and metals, and the response of these modes to changes in the white dwarf temperature. Among all pulsating cataclysmic variable white dwarfs, GW Librae stands out by having a well-established observational record of three independent pulsation modes that disappeared when the white dwarf temperature rose dramatically following its 2007 accretion outburst. Our analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ultraviolet spectroscopy taken in 2002, 2010, and 2011, showed that pulsations produce variations in the white dwarf effective temperature as predicted by theory. Additionally in 2013 May, we obtained new HST/Cosmic Origin Spectrograph ultraviolet observations that displayed unexpected behaviour: besides showing variability at ≃275 s, which is close to the post-outburst pulsations detected with HST in 2010 and 2011, the white dwarf exhibits high-amplitude variability on an ≃4.4 h time-scale. We demonstrate that this variability is produced by an increase of the temperature of a region on white dwarf covering up to ≃30 per cent of the visible white dwarf surface. We argue against a short-lived accretion episode as the explanation of such heating, and discuss this event in the context of non-radial pulsations on a rapidly rotating star.

  8. GW Librae: A unique laboratory for pulsations in an accreting white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toloza, O.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hermes, J. J.; Townsley, D. M.; Schreiber, M. R.; Szkody, P.; Pala, A.; Beuermann, K.; Bildsten, L.; Breedt, E.; Cook, M.; Godon, P.; Henden, A. A.; Hubeny, I.; Knigge, C.; Long, K. S.; Marsh, T. R.; de Martino, D.; Mukadam, A. S.; Myers, G.; Nelson, P.; Oksanen, A.; Patterson, J.; Sion, E. M.; Zorotovic, M.

    2016-04-01

    Non-radial pulsations have been identified in a number of accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables. These stars offer insight into the excitation of pulsation modes in atmospheres with mixed compositions of hydrogen, helium, and metals, and the response of these modes to changes in the white dwarf temperature. Among all pulsating cataclysmic variable white dwarfs, GW Librae stands out by having a well-established observational record of three independent pulsation modes that disappeared when the white dwarf temperature rose dramatically following its 2007 accretion outburst. Our analysis of HST ultraviolet spectroscopy taken in 2002, 2010 and 2011, showed that pulsations produce variations in the white dwarf effective temperature as predicted by theory. Additionally in May 2013, we obtained new HST/COS ultraviolet observations that displayed unexpected behaviour: besides showing variability at ≃275 s, which is close to the post-outburst pulsations detected with HST in 2010 and 2011, the white dwarf exhibits high-amplitude variability on a ≃4.4 h time-scale. We demonstrate that this variability is produced by an increase of the temperature of a region on white dwarf covering up to ≃30 per cent of the visible white dwarf surface. We argue against a short-lived accretion episode as the explanation of such heating, and discuss this event in the context of non-radial pulsations on a rapidly rotating star.

  9. White dwarf models for type 1 supernovae and quiet supernovae, and presupernova evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nomoto, K.

    1980-01-01

    Supernova mechanisms in accreting white dwarfs are considered with emphasis on deflagration as a plausible mechanism for producing Type I supernovae and electron captures to form quiet supernovae leaving neutron stars. These outcomes depend on accretion rate of helium, initial mass and composition of the white dwarf. The various types of hydrogen shell burning in the presupernova stage are also discussed.

  10. 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

  11. Ultraviolet carbon lines in the spectrum of the white dwarf BPM 11668

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G.

    1983-01-01

    The southern hemisphere DC white dwarf BPM 11668 has been found to show strong ultraviolet lines of neutral carbon using observations from the IUE satellite. This star seems typical of the growing number of DC white dwarfs found to be of this type and appears to have a carbon abundance near C:He = 0.0001, with an effective temperature of 8500 K.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF WHITE DWARFS: THE MISSING PLANETARY DEBRIS AROUND DZ STARS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-20

    We report a Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera search for infrared excesses around white dwarfs, including 14 newly observed targets and 16 unpublished archived stars. We find a substantial infrared excess around two warm white dwarfs-J220934.84+122336.5 and WD 0843+516, the latter apparently being the hottest white dwarf known to display a close-in dust disk. Extending previous studies, we find that the fraction of white dwarfs with dust disks increases as the star's temperature increases; for stars cooler than 10,000 K, even the most heavily polluted ones do not have {approx}1000 K dust. There is tentative evidence that the dust disk occurrence is correlated with the volatility of the accreted material. In the Appendix, we modify a previous analysis to clarify how Poynting-Robertson drag might play an important role in transferring materials from a dust disk into a white dwarf's atmosphere.

  16. A Thermal Infrared Imaging Study of Very Low Mass, Wide-separation Brown Dwarf Companions to Upper Scorpius Stars: Constraining Circumstellar Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip M.; Currie, Thayne; Su, Kate Y. L.; Esposito, Simone; Hill, John M.; Hoffmann, William F.; Jones, Terry; Kim, Jihun; Leisenring, Jarron; Meyer, Michael; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Nelson, Matthew J.; Pinna, Enrico; Puglisi, Alfio; Rieke, George; Rodigas, Timothy; Skemer, Andrew; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Vaitheeswaran, Vidhya; Wilson, John C.

    2013-04-01

    We present a 3-5 μm LBT/MMT adaptive optics imaging study of three Upper Scorpius stars with brown dwarf (BD) companions with very low masses/mass ratios (M BD <25 M Jup; M BD/M sstarf ≈ 1%-2%) and wide separations (300-700 AU): GSC 06214, 1RXS 1609, and HIP 78530. We combine these new thermal IR data with existing 1-4 μm and 24 μm photometry to constrain the properties of the BDs and identify evidence for circumprimary/circumsecondary disks in these unusual systems. We confirm that GSC 06214B is surrounded by a disk, further showing that this disk produces a broadband IR excess due to small dust near the dust sublimation radius. An unresolved 24 μm excess in the system may be explained by the contribution from this disk. 1RXS 1609B exhibits no 3-4 μm excess, nor does its primary; however, the system as a whole has a modest 24 μm excess, which may come from warm dust around the primary and/or BD. Neither object in the HIP 78530 system exhibits near- to mid-IR excesses. We additionally find that the 1-4 μm colors of HIP 78530B match a spectral type of M3 ± 2, inconsistent with the M8 spectral type assigned based on its near-IR spectrum, indicating that it may be a low-mass star rather than a BD. We present new upper limits on additional low-mass companions in the system (<5 M Jup beyond 175 AU). Finally, we examine the utility of circumsecondary disks as probes of the formation histories of wide BD companions, finding that the presence of a disk may disfavor BD formation near the primary with subsequent outward scattering. Observations reported here were obtained at the LBT and MMT Observatories. The MMT Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution. 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

  17. Empirical near-infrared colors for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the Orion Nebula Cluster. An empirical near-infrared isochrone at ~1 Myr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scandariato, G.; Da Rio, N.; Robberto, M.; Pagano, I.; Stassun, K.

    2012-09-01

    Context. Current atmospheric and evolutionary models for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs rely on approximate assumptions on the physics of the stellar structure and the atmospheric radiative transfer. This leads to biased theoretical predictions on the photospheric spectral energy distributions of these system, especially when applied to low surface gravity objects such as pre-main sequence (PMS) stars, and affects the derivation of stellar parameters from photometric data. Aims: Our main goal is to correct the biases present in the theoretical predictions for the near-IR photometry of low-mass PMS stars. Using empirical intrinsic IR colors, we assess the accuracy of current synthetic spectral libraries and evolutionary models. We investigate how the uncertainty in the intrinsic colors associated with different PMS models affect the derivation of the initial mass function of young clusters from near-IR photometry. Methods: We consider a sample of ~300 PMS stars in the Orion Nebula Cluster (age ≃ 1 Myr) with well measured luminosities, temperatures and photospheric JHKS photometry. This sample is used as a benchmark for testing both atmospheric and evolutionary theoretical models. Results: By analyzing the photospheric colors of our sample of young stars, we find that the synthetic JHKS photometry provided by theoretical spectral templates for late spectral types (>K6) are accurate at the level of ~0.2 mag, while colors are accurate at ≲ 0.1 mag. We tabulate the intrinsic photospheric colors, appropriate for the Orion Nebula Cluster, in the range K6-M8.5. They can be conveniently used as templates for the intrinsic colors of other young (age ≲ 5 Myr) stellar clusters. Conclusions: The theoretically-predicted JHKS magnitudes of young late type stars do not accurately reproduce the intrinsic ones of the Orion Nebula Cluster members. An empirical correction of the atmospheric templates can fix the discrepancies between expected and observed colors. Still, other

  18. HOT WHITE DWARF SHINES IN YOUNG STAR CLUSTER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A dazzling 'jewel-box' collection of over 20,000 stars can be seen in crystal clarity in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The young (40 million year old) cluster, called NGC 1818, is 164,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. The LMC, a site of vigorous current star formation, is an ideal nearby laboratory for studying stellar evolution. In the cluster, astronomers have found a young white dwarf star, which has only very recently formed following the burnout of a red giant. Based on this observation astronomers conclude that the red giant progenitor star was 7.6 times the mass of our Sun. Previously, astronomers have estimated that stars anywhere from 6 to 10 solar masses would not just quietly fade away as white dwarfs but abruptly self-destruct in torrential explosions. Hubble can easily resolve the star in the crowded cluster, and detect its intense blue-white glow from a sizzling surface temperature of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. IMAGE DATA Date taken: December 1995 Wavelength: natural color reconstruction from three filters (I,B,U) Field of view: 100 light-years, 2.2 arc minutes TARGET DATA Name: NGC 1818 Distance: 164,000 light-years Constellation: Dorado Age: 40 million years Class: Rich star cluster Apparent magnitude: 9.7 Apparent diameter: 7 arc minutes Credit: Rebecca Elson and Richard Sword, Cambridge UK, and NASA (Original WFPC2 image courtesy J. Westphal, Caltech) Image files are available electronically via the World Wide Web at: http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/1998/16 and via links in http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/latest.html or http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html. GIF and JPEG images are available via anonymous ftp to oposite.stsci.edu in /pubinfo/GIF/9816.GIF and /pubinfo/JPEG/9816.jpg.

  19. An irradiated brown-dwarf companion to an accreting white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández Santisteban, Juan V.; Knigge, Christian; Littlefair, Stuart P.; Breton, Rene P.; Dhillon, Vikram S.; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Marsh, Thomas R.; Pretorius, Magaretha L.; Southworth, John; Hauschildt, Peter H.

    2016-05-01

    Interacting compact binary systems provide a natural laboratory in which to study irradiated substellar objects. As the mass-losing secondary (donor) in these systems makes a transition from the stellar to the substellar regime, it is also irradiated by the primary (compact accretor). The internal and external energy fluxes are both expected to be comparable in these objects, providing access to an unexplored irradiation regime. The atmospheric properties of donors are largely unknown, but could be modified by the irradiation. To constrain models of donor atmospheres, it is necessary to obtain accurate observational estimates of their physical properties (masses, radii, temperatures and albedos). Here we report the spectroscopic detection and characterization of an irradiated substellar donor in an accreting white-dwarf binary system. Our near-infrared observations allow us to determine a model-independent mass estimate for the donor of 0.055 ± 0.008 solar masses and an average spectral type of L1 ± 1, supporting both theoretical predictions and model-dependent observational constraints that suggest that the donor is a brown dwarf. Our time-resolved data also allow us to estimate the average irradiation-induced temperature difference between the dayside and nightside of the substellar donor (57 kelvin) and the maximum difference between the hottest and coolest parts of its surface (200 kelvin). The observations are well described by a simple geometric reprocessing model with a bolometric (Bond) albedo of less than 0.54 at the 2σ confidence level, consistent with high reprocessing efficiency, but poor lateral heat redistribution in the atmosphere of the brown-dwarf donor. These results add to our knowledge of binary evolution, in that the donor has survived the transition from the stellar to the substellar regime, and of substellar atmospheres, in that we have been able to test a regime in which the irradiation and the internal energy of a brown dwarf are

  20. An irradiated brown-dwarf companion to an accreting white dwarf.

    PubMed

    Santisteban, Juan V Hernández; Knigge, Christian; Littlefair, Stuart P; Breton, Rene P; Dhillon, Vikram S; Gänsicke, Boris T; Marsh, Thomas R; Pretorius, Magaretha L; Southworth, John; Hauschildt, Peter H

    2016-05-19

    Interacting compact binary systems provide a natural laboratory in which to study irradiated substellar objects. As the mass-losing secondary (donor) in these systems makes a transition from the stellar to the substellar regime, it is also irradiated by the primary (compact accretor). The internal and external energy fluxes are both expected to be comparable in these objects, providing access to an unexplored irradiation regime. The atmospheric properties of donors are largely unknown, but could be modified by the irradiation. To constrain models of donor atmospheres, it is necessary to obtain accurate observational estimates of their physical properties (masses, radii, temperatures and albedos). Here we report the spectroscopic detection and characterization of an irradiated substellar donor in an accreting white-dwarf binary system. Our near-infrared observations allow us to determine a model-independent mass estimate for the donor of 0.055 ± 0.008 solar masses and an average spectral type of L1 ± 1, supporting both theoretical predictions and model-dependent observational constraints that suggest that the donor is a brown dwarf. Our time-resolved data also allow us to estimate the average irradiation-induced temperature difference between the dayside and nightside of the substellar donor (57 kelvin) and the maximum difference between the hottest and coolest parts of its surface (200 kelvin). The observations are well described by a simple geometric reprocessing model with a bolometric (Bond) albedo of less than 0.54 at the 2σ confidence level, consistent with high reprocessing efficiency, but poor lateral heat redistribution in the atmosphere of the brown-dwarf donor. These results add to our knowledge of binary evolution, in that the donor has survived the transition from the stellar to the substellar regime, and of substellar atmospheres, in that we have been able to test a regime in which the irradiation and the internal energy of a brown dwarf are

  1. A SUBSTELLAR COMPANION TO THE WHITE DWARF-RED DWARF ECLIPSING BINARY NN Ser

    SciTech Connect

    Qian, S.-B.; Dai, Z.-B.; Liao, W.-P.; Zhu, L.-Y.; Liu, L.; Zhao, E. G.

    2009-11-20

    NN Ser is a short-period (P = 3.12 hr) close binary containing a very hot white dwarf primary with a mass of 0.535 M{sub sun} and a fully convective secondary with a mass of 0.111 M{sub sun}. The changes in the orbital period of the eclipsing binary were analyzed based on our five newly determined eclipse times together with those compiled from the literature. A small-amplitude (0fd00031) cyclic period variation with a period of 7.56 years was discovered to be superimposed on a possible long-term decrease. The periodic change was plausibly explained as the light-travel time effect via the presence of a tertiary companion. The mass of the tertiary companion is determined to be M{sub 3}sin i' = 0.0107(+-0.0017) M{sub sun} when a total mass of 0.646 M{sub sun} for NN Ser is adopted. For orbital inclinations i' >= 49.{sup 0}56, the mass of the tertiary component was calculated to be M {sub 3} <= 0.014 M{sub sun}; thus it would be an extrasolar planet. The third body is orbiting the white dwarf-red dwarf eclipsing binary at a distance shorter than 3.29 AU. Since the observed decrease rate of the orbital period is about two orders larger than that caused by gravitational radiation, it can be plausibly interpreted by magnetic braking of the fully convective component, which is driving this binary to evolve into a normal cataclysmic variable.

  2. DISCOVERY OF THE ECLIPSING DETACHED DOUBLE WHITE DWARF BINARY NLTT 11748

    SciTech Connect

    Steinfadt, Justin D. R.; Shporer, Avi; Bildsten, Lars; Kaplan, David L.; Howell, Steve B.

    2010-06-20

    We report the discovery of the first eclipsing detached double white dwarf (WD) binary. In a pulsation search, the low-mass helium core WD NLTT 11748 was targeted for fast ({approx}1 minute) differential photometry with the Las Cumbres Observatory's Faulkes Telescope North. Rather than pulsations, we discovered {approx}180 s 3%-6% dips in the photometry. Subsequent radial velocity measurements of the primary white dwarf from the Keck telescope found variations with a semi-amplitude K{sub 1} = 271 {+-} 3 km s{sup -1} and confirmed the dips as eclipses caused by an orbiting WD with a mass M{sub 2} = 0.648-0.771 M{sub sun} for M{sub 1} = 0.1-0.2 M{sub sun}. We detect both the primary and secondary eclipses during the P{sub orb} = 5.64 hr orbit and measure the secondary's brightness to be 3.5% {+-} 0.3% of the primary at SDSS-g'. Assuming that the secondary follows the mass-radius relation of a cold C/O WD and including the effects of microlensing in the binary, the primary eclipse yields a primary radius of R{sub 1} = 0.043-0.039 R{sub sun} for M{sub 1} = 0.1-0.2 M{sub sun}, consistent with the theoretically expected values for a helium core WD with a thick, stably burning hydrogen envelope. Though nearby (at {approx}150 pc), the gravitational wave strain from NLTT 11748 is likely not adequate for direct detection by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. Future observational efforts will determine M{sub 1}, yielding accurate WD mass-radius measurement of both components, as well as a clearer indication of the binary's fate once contact is reached.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Dust Masses of Disks around 8 Brown Dwarfs and Very Low-mass Stars in Upper Sco OB1 and Ophiuchus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Plas, G.; Ménard, F.; Ward-Duong, K.; Bulger, J.; Harvey, P. M.; Pinte, C.; Patience, J.; Hales, A.; Casassus, S.

    2016-03-01

    We present the results of ALMA band 7 observations of dust and CO gas in the disks around 7 objects with spectral types ranging between M5.5 and M7.5 in Upper Scorpius OB1, and one M3 star in Ophiuchus. We detect unresolved continuum emission in all but one source, and the 12CO J = 3 - 2 line in two sources. We constrain the dust and gas content of these systems using a grid of models calculated with the radiative transfer code MCFOST, and find disk dust masses between 0.1 and 1 M⊕, suggesting that the stellar mass/disk mass correlation can be extrapolated for brown dwarfs (BDs) with masses as low as 0.05 M⊙. The one disk in Upper Sco in which we detect CO emission, 2MASS J15555600, is also the disk with the warmest inner disk, as traced by its H-[4.5] photometric color. Using our radiative transfer grid, we extend the correlation between stellar luminosity and mass-averaged disk dust temperature, originally derived for stellar mass objects, to the BD regime to < {T}{dust}> ≈ 22{({L}*/{L}⊙ )}0.16 {{K}}, applicable to spectral types of M5 and later. This is slightly shallower than the relation for earlier spectral type objects and yields warmer low-mass disks. The two prescriptions cross at 0.27 L⊙, corresponding to masses between 0.1 and 0.2 M⊙ depending on age.

  6. New Extinction and Mass Estimates from Optical Photometry of the Very Low Mass Brown Dwarf Companion CT Chamaeleontis B with the Magellan AO System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ya-Lin; Close, Laird M.; Males, Jared R.; Barman, Travis S.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Follette, Katherine B.; Bailey, Vanessa; Rodigas, Timothy J.; Hinz, Philip; Puglisi, Alfio; Xompero, Marco; Briguglio, Runa

    2015-03-01

    We used the Magellan adaptive optics system and its VisAO CCD camera to image the young low mass brown dwarf companion CT Chamaeleontis B for the first time at visible wavelengths. We detect it at r', i', z', and YS . With our new photometry and T eff ~ 2500 K derived from the shape of its K-band spectrum, we find that CT Cha B has AV = 3.4 ± 1.1 mag, and a mass of 14-24 MJ according to the DUSTY evolutionary tracks and its 1-5 Myr age. The overluminosity of our r' detection indicates that the companion has significant Hα emission and a mass accretion rate ~6 × 10-10 M ⊙ yr-1, similar to some substellar companions. Proper motion analysis shows that another point source within 2'' of CT Cha A is not physical. This paper demonstrates how visible wavelength adaptive optics photometry (r', i', z', YS ) allows for a better estimate of extinction, luminosity, and mass accretion rate of young substellar companions. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Clay Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  7. 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.

  8. Calcium-rich gap transients: tidal detonations of white dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sell, P. H.; Maccarone, T. J.; Kotak, R.; Knigge, C.; Sand, D. J.

    2015-07-01

    We hypothesize that at least some of the recently discovered class of calcium-rich gap transients are tidal detonation events of white dwarfs (WDs) by black holes (BHs) or possibly neutron stars. We show that the properties of the calcium-rich gap transients agree well with the predictions of the tidal detonation model. Under the predictions of this model, we use a follow-up X-ray observation of one of these transients, SN 2012hn, to place weak upper limits on the detonator mass of this system that include all intermediate-mass BHs (IMBHs). As these transients are preferentially in the stellar haloes of galaxies, we discuss the possibility that these transients are tidal detonations of WDs caused by random flyby encounters with IMBHs in dwarf galaxies or globular clusters. This possibility has been already suggested in the literature but without connection to the calcium-rich gap transients. In order for the random flyby cross-section to be high enough, these events would have to be occurring inside these dense stellar associations. However, there is a lack of evidence for IMBHs in these systems, and recent observations have ruled out all but the very faintest dwarf galaxies and globular clusters for a few of these transients. Another possibility is that these are tidal detonations caused by three-body interactions, where a WD is perturbed towards the detonator in isolated multiple star systems. We highlight a number of ways this could occur, even in lower mass systems with stellar-mass BHs or neutron stars. Finally, we outline several new observational tests of this scenario, which are feasible with current instrumentation.

  9. CARMENES science preparation: characterisation of M dwarfs with low-resolution spectroscopy and search for low-mass wide companions to young stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Floriano, F. J.

    2015-11-01

    This thesis is focused on the study of low-mass objects that can be targets of exoplanet searches with near-infrared spectrographs in general and CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exo-earths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs; see Quirrenbach et al. 2014) in particular. The CARMENES consortium comprises 11 institutions from Germany and Spain that are building a high-resolution spectrograph (R=82,000) with two channels, visible (0.55 - 1.05 um) and infrared (0.95 - 1.7 um), for the 3.5 m Calar Alto telescope. It will observe a sample of 300 M dwarfs in 600 nights of guaranteed time during at least three years, starting in January 2016. The final sample will be chosen from the 2200 M dwarfs included in the CARMENCITA input catalogue. For these stars, we have obtained and collected a large amount of data: spectral types, radial and rotational velocities, photometry in several bands, etc. Part of the e effort of the science preparation necessary for the final selection of targets for CARMENES and other near-infrared spectrographs has been collected in two publications, which are presented in this PhD thesis. In the first publication (Alonso-Floriano et al., 2015A&A...577A.128A), we obtained low-resolution spectra for 753 stars using the CAFOS spectrograph at the 2.2 m Calar Alto telescope. The main goal was to derive accurate spectral types, which are fundamental parameters for the sample selection. We used a grid of 49 standard stars, from spectral types K3V to M8V, together with a double least-square minimisation technique and 31 spectral indices previously defined by other authors. In addition, we quantified the surface gravity, metallicity and chromospheric activity of the sample, in order to detect low-gravity stars (giants and very young), metal-poor and very metal-poor stars (subdwarfs), and very active stars. In the second publication (Alonso-Floriano et al., 2015A&A...583A..85A), we searched for common proper

  10. THE KEPLER LIGHT CURVE OF THE UNIQUE DA WHITE DWARF BOKS 53856

    SciTech Connect

    Holberg, J. B.; Howell, Steve B. E-mail: howell@noao.edu

    2011-08-15

    The faint (g = 16.9) hot white dwarf BOKS 53856 was observed by the Kepler Mission in short cadence mode during mid-2009. Analysis of these observations reveals a highly stable modulation with a period of 6.1375 hr and a 2.46% half-amplitude. The folded light curve has an unusual shape that is difficult to explain in terms of a binary system containing an unseen companion more luminous than an L0 brown dwarf. Optical spectra of BOKS 53856 show a T{sub eff} = 34,000 K, log g = 8.0 DA white dwarf. There are few, if any, known white dwarfs in this temperature range exhibiting photometric variations similar to those we describe. A magnetic spin-modulated white dwarf model can in principle explain the light curve, an interpretation supported by spectral observations of the H{alpha} line showing evidence of Zeeman splitting.

  11. The collapse of white dwarfs to neutron stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woosley, S. E.; Baron, E.

    1992-01-01

    The observable consequences of an accreting white dwarf collapsing directly to a neutron star are considered. The outcome depends critically upon the nature of the wind that is driven by neutrino absorption in the surface layers as the dwarf collapses. Unlike previous calculations which either ignored mass loss or employed inadequate zoning to resolve it, a characteristic mass-loss rate of about 0.005 solar mass/s and an energy input of 5 x 10 exp 50 ergs/s is found. Such a large mass-loss rate almost completely obscures any prompt electromagnetic display and certainly rules out the production by this model of gamma-ray bursts situated at cosmological distances. The occurrence of such collapses with the Milky Way Galaxy might, however, be detected and limited by their nucleosynthesis and gamma-ray line emission. To avoid the overproduction of rare neutron-rich isotopes heavier than iron, such events must be very infrequent, probably happening no more than once every thousand years.

  12. Two hot, low-field magnetic DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liebert, J.; Schmidt, G. D.; Green, R. F.; Stockman, H. S.; Mcgraw, J. T.

    1983-01-01

    Two hot stars discovered in the Palomar Green survey which were found to exhibit peculiarly broad and strong Balmer lines possibly indicative of low magnetic fields are discussed. The stars, PG 1658+441 and PG 0136+251, were found to have extended trough-shaped Balmer and Lyman-alpha line profiles when compared to nonmagnetic dwarfs of similar temperatures. Further observations of PG 1658+441 show it to correspond to a 30,000 K pure hydrogen atmosphere and confirm its nature as a magnetic object with a longitudinal field strength of about 0.7 megagauss and a mean surface field of about 2.3 megagauss. PG 0136+251 is found to be a hotter star (40,000-50,000 K) with weaker lines. Although no strong evidence for magnetic line splitting was obtained, it is argued that neither a high surface gravity nor very rapid rotation can account for the Balmer line shapes. Results thus extend the range of magnetic degenerates to include very hot white dwarfs, and demonstrate the usefulness of line-widths as indicators of possible low-field magnetic sources.

  13. 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.

  14. Instability of g-mode oscillations in white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keeley, D. A.

    1979-01-01

    A white dwarf model with M = 6 solar masses, Te = 12,000 K, and L = 1.2 x 10 to the 31st erg/sec provided by Cox has been tested for linear stability of radial oscillations. The radial mode instability first reported for this model by Cox, et al. (1979) has been confirmed. The growth rates obtained are comparable to the rates found by Cox. A sequence of l = 2 g-modes has also been found to be unstable. The e-folding times range from around 10 to the 11th periods for a 137 second mode (1 radial node) to less than 100 periods for a 629 second mode (17 nodes). It is likely that the latter rate is too high because the eigenfunction has been forced to vanish at the non-zero inner radius of the model, at which the Brunt-Vaisala frequency is barely less than the mode frequency.

  15. Crystallization of carbon-oxygen mixtures in white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-11

    We determine the phase diagram for dense carbon-oxygen mixtures in white dwarf (WD) star interiors using molecular dynamics simulations involving liquid and solid phases. Our phase diagram agrees well with predictions from Ogata et al. and from Medin and Cumming and gives lower melting temperatures than Segretain et al. Observations of WD crystallization in the globular cluster NGC 6397 by Winget et al. suggest that the melting temperature of WD cores is close to that for pure carbon. If this is true, our phase diagram implies that the central oxygen abundance in these stars is less than about 60%. This constraint, along with assumptions about convection in stellar evolution models, limits the effective S factor for the 12C(α,γ)16O reaction to S(300)≤170  keV b. PMID:20867223

  16. White dwarf kicks and implications for barium stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izzard, R. G.; Church, R. P.; Dermine, T.

    The barium stars have caused much grief in the field of binary stellar evolution. They are often eccentric when they should be circular and are not found to have periods longer than 104 days even though wind accretion should still be efficient at such separations. We address both these problems by introducing a kick to white dwarfs when they are born, thus solving the eccentricity problem, and imposing strong orbital angular momentum loss to shrink barium-star binaries down to the observed periods. Whilst our angular momentum prescription is hard to justify for the barium stars it shows that strong angular momentum loss is necessary to reproduce the observed period-eccentricity distribution. We are investigating whether this can be obtained from a circumbinary disc.

  17. The Gravitational Wave Emission of White Dwarf Dynamical Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela; García-Berro, Enrique; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo

    We compute the emission of gravitational waves of white dwarf dynamical interactions and close encounters in dense stellar environments and we compare it with the sensitivity curves of planned space-borne gravitational wave detectors, like eLISA and ALIA. We find that for the three possible outcomes of these interactions—which are the formation of an eccentric binary system, a lateral collision in which several mass transfer episodes occur, and a direct one in which just a single mass transfer episode takes place—only those in which an eccentric binary are formed are likely to be detected by the planned gravitational wave mission eLISA, while ALIA would be able to detect the gravitational wave signal emitted in lateral collisions.

  18. 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.

  19. Crystallization of Carbon-Oxygen Mixtures in White Dwarf Stars

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-11

    We determine the phase diagram for dense carbon-oxygen mixtures in white dwarf (WD) star interiors using molecular dynamics simulations involving liquid and solid phases. Our phase diagram agrees well with predictions from Ogata et al. and from Medin and Cumming and gives lower melting temperatures than Segretain et al. Observations of WD crystallization in the globular cluster NGC 6397 by Winget et al. suggest that the melting temperature of WD cores is close to that for pure carbon. If this is true, our phase diagram implies that the central oxygen abundance in these stars is less than about 60%. This constraint, along with assumptions about convection in stellar evolution models, limits the effective S factor for the {sup 12}C({alpha},{gamma}){sup 16}O reaction to S{sub 300{<=}}170 keV b.

  20. Crystallization of Carbon-Oxygen Mixtures in White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

    We determine the phase diagram for dense carbon-oxygen mixtures in white dwarf (WD) star interiors using molecular dynamics simulations involving liquid and solid phases. Our phase diagram agrees well with predictions from Ogata et al. and from Medin and Cumming and gives lower melting temperatures than Segretain et al. Observations of WD crystallization in the globular cluster NGC 6397 by Winget et al. suggest that the melting temperature of WD cores is close to that for pure carbon. If this is true, our phase diagram implies that the central oxygen abundance in these stars is less than about 60%. This constraint, along with assumptions about convection in stellar evolution models, limits the effective S factor for the C12(α,γ)O16 reaction to S300≤170keVb.

  1. SEISMOLOGY OF A MASSIVE PULSATING HYDROGEN ATMOSPHERE WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Pecanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S.; Fraga, Luciano; Hermes, J. J.; Winget, D. E.; Castanheira, Barbara; Corsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Althaus, Leandro; Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Koester, D.; Kuelebi, Baybars; Kanaan, Antonio

    2012-10-01

    We report our observations of the new pulsating hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf SDSS J132350.28+010304.22. We discovered periodic photometric variations in frequency and amplitude that are commensurate with nonradial g-mode pulsations in ZZ Ceti stars. This, along with estimates for the star's temperature and gravity, establishes it as a massive ZZ Ceti star. We used time-series photometric observations with the 4.1 m SOAR Telescope, complemented by contemporary McDonald Observatory 2.1 m data, to discover the photometric variability. The light curve of SDSS J132350.28+010304.22 shows at least nine detectable frequencies. We used these frequencies to make an asteroseismic determination of the total mass and effective temperature of the star: M{sub *} = 0.88 {+-} 0.02 M{sub Sun} and T{sub eff} = 12, 100 {+-} 140 K. These values are consistent with those derived from the optical spectra and photometric colors.

  2. R Coronae Borealis Stars formed from Double White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staff, Jan E.; Herwig, F.; Menon, A.; Even, W.; Tohline, J.; Clayton, G.; Motl, P.; Fryer, C.; Geballe, T.

    2011-01-01

    R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars are hydrogen-deficient variable stars that suddenly fade by several magnitudes at irregular intervals whereafter they gradually return to their original brightness over a period of some months. The origin of RCBs remain a mystery. It is often thought that they are the result of the merger of a He and a CO white dwarf, while the fading is thought to be due to the formation of dust blocking light from the star. We are working on revealing the secrets behind the origin of RCBs. Here we present the results of 3 dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the merger of a double white dwarf system where total mass is 0.9 M⊙ and initial mass ratio is q=0.7. We use a zero-temperature plus ideal gas equation of state that allows for heating through shocks. These simulations allow us to follow the evolution of the system for 10-20 initial orbital periods (1000-2000 seconds), from the onset of mass-transfer to a point after merger when the combined object has settled into a nearly axisymmetric, rotationally flattened configuration. The final merged object from the hydrodynamics simulation is then used as input for a stellar evolution code where the object's evolution can be followed over a much longer (thermal and/or nuclear) timescale. A preliminary post-merger stellar evolution simulation shows how an initial configuration of a 0.7 CO WD surrounded by 0.3 M⊙ of dynamically accreted He evolves on a time scale of 105 years to the location of the RCB stars in the H-R diagram at an effective temperature Teff<7000 K and log L 4. We acknowledge support from NASA Astrophysics Theory Program grant number NNX10AC72G.

  3. 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.

  4. The WIRED Survey. IV. New Dust Disks from the McCook & Sion White Dwarf Catalog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoard, D.W.; Debes, John H.; Wachter, Stefanie; Leisawitz, David T.; Cohen, Martin

    2013-01-01

    We have compiled photometric data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer All Sky Survey and other archival sources for the more than 2200 objects in the original McCook & Sion Catalog of Spectroscopically Identified White Dwarfs. We applied color-selection criteria to identify 28 targets whose infrared spectral energy distributions depart from the expectation for the white dwarf photosphere alone. Seven of these are previously known white dwarfs with circumstellar dust disks, five are known central stars of planetary nebulae, and six were excluded for being known binaries or having possible contamination of their infrared photometry. We fit white dwarf models to the spectral energy distributions of the remaining ten targets, and find seven new candidates with infrared excess suggesting the presence of a circumstellar dust disk. We compare the model dust disk properties for these new candidates with a comprehensive compilation of previously published parameters for known white dwarfs with dust disks. It is possible that the current census of white dwarfs with dust disks that produce an excess detectable at K-band and shorter wavelengths is close to complete for the entire sample of known WDs to the detection limits of existing near-IR all-sky surveys. The white dwarf dust disk candidates now being found using longer wavelength infrared data are drawn from a previously underrepresented region of parameter space, in which the dust disks are overall cooler, narrower in radial extent, and/or contain fewer emitting grains.

  5. The Fraction of DA White Dwarfs with Kilo--Gauss Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, S.; Aznar Cuadrado, R.; Napiwotzki, R.; Schmid, H. M.; Solanki, S. K.

    2007-09-01

    Current estimates for white dwarfs with fields in excess of 1 MG are about 10%; according to our first high-precision circular-polarimetric study of 12 bright white dwarfs with the VLT tep{p26_Aznar-etal:04} this number increases up to about 25%\\ in the kG regime. With our new sample of ten white dwarf observations (plus one sdO star) we wanted to improve the sample statistics to determine the incident of kG magnetic fields in white dwarfs. In one of our objects (LTT 7987) we detected a statistically significant (97% confidence level) longitudinal magnetic field varying between (-1± 0.5) kG and (+1± 0.5) kG. This would be the weakest magnetic field ever found in a white dwarf, but at this level of accuracy, systematic errors cannot completely be ruled out. Together with previous investigations, the fraction of kG magnetic fields in white dwarfs amounts to about 11-15% , which is close to current estimates for highly magnetic white dwarfs (>1 MG).

  6. 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.

  7. A search for white dwarfs in the Galactic plane: the field and the open cluster population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raddi, R.; Catalán, S.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hermes, J. J.; Napiwotzki, R.; Koester, D.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Barentsen, G.; Farnhill, H. J.; Mohr-Smith, M.; Drew, J. E.; Groot, P. J.; Guzman-Ramirez, L.; Parker, Q. A.; Steeghs, D.; Zijlstra, A.

    2016-04-01

    We investigated the prospects for systematic searches of white dwarfs at low Galactic latitudes, using the VLT Survey Telescope H α Photometric Survey of the Galactic plane and Bulge (VPHAS+). We targeted 17 white dwarf candidates along sightlines of known open clusters, aiming to identify potential cluster members. We confirmed all the 17 white dwarf candidates from blue/optical spectroscopy, and we suggest five of them to be likely cluster members. We estimated progenitor ages and masses for the candidate cluster members, and compare our findings to those for other cluster white dwarfs. A white dwarf in NGC 3532 is the most massive known cluster member (1.13 M⊙), likely with an oxygen-neon core, for which we estimate an 8.8_{-4.3}^{+1.2} M⊙ progenitor, close to the mass-divide between white dwarf and neutron star progenitors. A cluster member in Ruprecht 131 is a magnetic white dwarf, whose progenitor mass exceeded 2-3 M⊙. We stress that wider searches, and improved cluster distances and ages derived from data of the ESA Gaia mission, will advance the understanding of the mass-loss processes for low- to intermediate-mass stars.

  8. 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.

  9. The hot DO white dwarf HD 149499 B - Einstein redshift of a DB progenitor with carbon features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, E. M.; Guinan, E. F.

    1983-01-01

    High-resolution IUE spectra of the hot DO white dwarf HD 149499B have been analyzed. The mass of the white dwarf needed to fit the measured gravitational redshift is 0.4-0.6 solar mass for a degenerate core composed of carbon based upon using a nonzero temperature mass-radius relation. The resonance doublet of C IV (1550 A) appears to be photospheric in origin, and two possible explanations for the presence of carbon in a hot DO white dwarf are discussed. The relationship of HD 149499B and other DO white dwarfs to the DB white dwarfs is also considered.

  10. Violation of Chandrasekhar Mass Limit: the Exciting Potential of Strongly Magnetized White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Upasana; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2012-10-01

    We consider a relativistic, degenerate, electron gas under the influence of a strong magnetic field, which describes magnetized white dwarfs. Landau quantization changes the density of states available to the electrons, thus modifying the underlying equation of state. In the presence of very strong magnetic fields a maximum of either one, two or three Landau level(s) is/are occupied. We obtain the mass-radius relations for such white dwarfs and their detailed investigation leads us to propose the existence of white dwarfs having a mass 2.3M⊙, which overwhelmingly exceeds the Chandrasekhar mass limit.

  11. The EBLM project. I. Physical and orbital parameters, including spin-orbit angles, of two low-mass eclipsing binaries on opposite sides of the brown dwarf limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Hebb, L.; Anderson, D. R.; Cargile, P.; Collier Cameron, A.; Doyle, A. P.; Faedi, F.; Gillon, M.; Gomez Maqueo Chew, Y.; Hellier, C.; Jehin, E.; Maxted, P.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ségransan, D.; Smalley, B.; Stassun, K.; Udry, S.; West, R. G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces a series of papers aiming to study the dozens of low-mass eclipsing binaries (EBLM), with F, G, K primaries, that have been discovered in the course of the WASP survey. Our objects are mostly single-line binaries whose eclipses have been detected by WASP and were initially followed up as potential planetary transit candidates. These have bright primaries, which facilitates spectroscopic observations during transit and allows the study of the spin-orbit distribution of F, G, K+M eclipsing binaries through the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. Here we report on the spin-orbit angle of WASP-30b, a transiting brown dwarf, and improve its orbital parameters. We also present the mass, radius, spin-orbit angle and orbital parameters of a new eclipsing binary, J1219-39b (1SWAPJ121921.03-395125.6, TYC 7760-484-1), which, with a mass of 95 ± 2 Mjup, is close to the limit between brown dwarfs and stars. We find that both objects have projected spin-orbit angles aligned with their primaries' rotation. Neither primaries are synchronous. J1219-39b has a modestly eccentric orbit and is in agreement with the theoretical mass-radius relationship, whereas WASP-30b lies above it. Using WASP-South photometric observations (Sutherland, South Africa) confirmed with radial velocity measurement from the CORALIE spectrograph, photometry from the EulerCam camera (both mounted on the Swiss 1.2 m Euler Telescope), radial velocities from the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO's 3.6 m Telescope (prog ID 085.C-0393), and photometry from the robotic 60 cm TRAPPIST telescope, all located at ESO, La Silla, Chile. The data is publicly available at the CDS Strasbourg and on demand to the main author.Tables A.1-A.3 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgPhotometry tables are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/549/A18

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Type Ia supernovae from merging white dwarfs. I. Prompt detonations

    SciTech Connect

    Moll, R.; Woosley, S. E.; Raskin, C.; Kasen, D.

    2014-04-20

    Merging white dwarfs are a possible progenitor of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Numerical models suggest that a detonation might be initiated before the stars have coalesced to form a single compact object. Here we study such prompt detonations by means of numerical simulations, modeling the disruption and nucleosynthesis of the stars until the ejecta reach the coasting phase, and generating synthetic light curves and spectra. Three models are considered with primary masses 0.96 M {sub ☉}, 1.06 M {sub ☉}, and 1.20 M {sub ☉}. Of these, the 0.96 M {sub ☉} dwarf merging with a 0.81 M {sub ☉} companion, with an {sup 56}Ni yield of 0.58 M {sub ☉}, is the most promising candidate for reproducing common SNe Ia. The more massive mergers produce unusually luminous SNe Ia with peak luminosities approaching those attributed to 'super-Chandrasekhar' mass SNe Ia. While the synthetic light curves and spectra of some of the models resemble observed SNe Ia, the significant asymmetry of the ejecta leads to large orientation effects. The peak bolometric luminosity varies by more than a factor of two with the viewing angle, and the velocities of the spectral absorption features are lower when observed from angles where the light curve is brightest. The largest orientation effects are seen in the ultraviolet, where the flux varies by more than an order of magnitude. The set of three models roughly obeys a width-luminosity relation, with the brighter light curves declining more slowly in the B band. Spectral features due to unburned carbon from the secondary star are also seen in some cases.

  16. The ignition of carbon detonations via converging shock waves in white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.; Bildsten, Lars E-mail: bildsten@kitp.ucsb.edu

    2014-04-10

    The progenitor channel responsible for the majority of Type Ia supernovae is still uncertain. One emergent scenario involves the detonation of a He-rich layer surrounding a C/O white dwarf, which sends a shock wave into the core. The quasi-spherical shock wave converges and strengthens at an off-center location, forming a second, C-burning, detonation that disrupts the whole star. In this paper, we examine this second detonation of the double detonation scenario using a combination of analytic and numeric techniques. We perform a spatially resolved study of the imploding shock wave and outgoing detonation and calculate the critical imploding shock strengths needed to achieve a core C detonation. We find that He detonations in recent two-dimensional simulations yield converging shock waves that are strong enough to ignite C detonations in high-mass C/O cores, with the caveat that a truly robust answer requires multi-dimensional detonation initiation calculations. We also find that convergence-driven detonations in low-mass C/O cores and in O/Ne cores are harder to achieve and are perhaps unrealized in standard binary evolution.

  17. Evidence for Neutron Star Formation from Accretion Induced Collapse of a White Dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paradijis, J. Van; VanDenHeuvel, E. P. J.; Kouveliotou, C.; Fishman, G. J.; Finger, M. H.; Lewin, W. H. G.

    1997-01-01

    The orbital parameters of the recently discovered transient burster/pulsar GRO J1744-28 indicate that this system is a low-mass X-ray binary in an advanced stage of its mass transfer, with several tenths of a solar mass already transferred from the donor to the compact star. All neutron stars known to have accreted such an amount have very weak magnetic fields, and this has led to the idea that the magnetic fields of neutron stars decay as a result of accretion. The observation of a strongly magnetized neutron star in GRO J1744-28 then suggests that this neutron star was formed recently as a result of the collapse of a white dwarf during an earlier stage of the current phase of mass transfer. It is shown that this model can consistently explain the observed characteristics of GRO J1744-28. Attractive progenitors for such an evolution are the luminous supersoft X-ray sources detected with ROSAT.

  18. On the Formation of Eccentric Millisecond Pulsars with Helium White-dwarf Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white dwarfs (WDs) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire & Tauris recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. However, their hypothesis predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities—in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (104-105 yr) disk can result in eccentricities of e ~= 0.01-0.15 for orbital periods between 15 and 50 days. Finally, I propose that, more generally, the disk hypothesis may explain the lack of circular binary pulsars for the aforementioned orbital-period range.

  19. ON THE FORMATION OF ECCENTRIC MILLISECOND PULSARS WITH HELIUM WHITE-DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-20

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white dwarfs (WDs) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire and Tauris recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. However, their hypothesis predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities—in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} yr) disk can result in eccentricities of e ≅ 0.01-0.15 for orbital periods between 15 and 50 days. Finally, I propose that, more generally, the disk hypothesis may explain the lack of circular binary pulsars for the aforementioned orbital-period range.

  20. Searching for Pulsations from a Helium White Dwarf Companion to a Millisecond Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bildsten, Lars

    2009-07-01

    The low mass white dwarf {WD} companion to the 3.26 ms pulsar PSR J1911-5958A offers an unprecedented opportunity for seismological study of the interior of a helium core WD. While much more massive carbon/oxygen core WDs are observed to pulsate in normal modes of oscillation called g-modes {known as ZZ Ceti stars}, no helium core pulsator is known. By extrapolating the boundaries of the ZZ Ceti instability strip downward in surface gravity by a factor of 20 below any known pulsator, we find that the effective temperature of this WD makes it an excellent candidate to search for pulsation. Detection of g-mode pulsations in the lightcurve would have a transformative effect on the field of WD pulsations, as this would allow the first seismological study of the interior of a helium core WD, and the low gravity strongly constrains theories for the driving and amplitudes of pulsations. We show that with 3 orbits of HST, we will detect photometric variations with amplitudes of 1%, lower than typically seen in other hydrogen-dominated ZZ Ceti stars. A set of measured mode periods would also constrain the thickness of the presumed stably hydrogen burning shell, and help us determine its age more securely.

  1. THE SPECTRAL ENERGY DISTRIBUTIONS OF WHITE DWARFS IN 47 Tucanae: THE DISTANCE TO THE CLUSTER

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-02-15

    We present a new distance determination to the Galactic globular cluster 47 Tucanae by fitting the spectral energy distributions of its white dwarfs (WDs) to pure hydrogen atmosphere WD models. Our photometric data set is obtained from a 121-orbit Hubble Space Telescope program using the Wide Field Camera 3 UVIS/IR channels, capturing F390W, F606W, F110W, and F160W images. These images cover more than 60 arcmin{sup 2} and extend over a radial range of 5-13.7 arcmin (6.5-17.9 pc) within the globular cluster. Using a likelihood analysis, we obtain a best-fitting unreddened distance modulus of (m - M){sub o} = 13.36 {+-} 0.02 {+-} 0.06 corresponding to a distance of 4.69 {+-} 0.04 {+-} 0.13 kpc, where the first error is random and the second is systematic. We also search the WD photometry for infrared excess in the F160W filter, indicative of low-mass companions, and find no convincing cases within our sample.

  2. Planetary systems and real planetary nebulae from planet destruction near white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bear, Ealeal; Soker, Noam

    2015-07-01

    We suggest that tidal destruction of Earth-like and icy planets near a white dwarf (WD) might lead to the formation of one or more low-mass - Earth-like and lighter - planets in tight orbits around the WD. The formation of the new WD planetary system starts with a tidal breakup of the parent planet to planetesimals near the tidal radius of about 1 R⊙. Internal stress forces keep the planetesimal from further tidal breakup when their radius is less than about 100 km. We speculate that the planetesimals then bind together to form new sub-Earth daughter-planets at a few solar radii around the WD. More massive planets that contain hydrogen supply the WD with fresh nuclear fuel to reincarnate its stellar-giant phase. Some of the hydrogen will be inflated in a large envelope. The envelope blows a wind to form a nebula that is later (after the entire envelope is lost) ionized by the hot WD. We term this glowing ionized nebula that originated from a planet a real planetary nebula (RPN). This preliminary study of daughter-planets from a planet and the RPN scenarios are of speculative nature. More detailed studies must follow to establish whether the suggested scenarios can indeed take place.

  3. MULTI-DIMENSIONAL MODELS FOR DOUBLE DETONATION IN SUB-CHANDRASEKHAR MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Moll, R.; Woosley, S. E.

    2013-09-10

    Using two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations, we study the ''robustness'' of the double detonation scenario for Type Ia supernovae, in which a detonation in the helium shell of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf induces a secondary detonation in the underlying core. We find that a helium detonation cannot easily descend into the core unless it commences (artificially) well above the hottest layer calculated for the helium shell in current presupernova models. Compressional waves induced by the sliding helium detonation, however, robustly generate hot spots which trigger a detonation in the core. Our simulations show that this is true even for non-axisymmetric initial conditions. If the helium is ignited at multiple points, then the internal waves can pass through one another or be reflected, but this added complexity does not defeat the generation of the hot spot. The ignition of very low-mass helium shells depends on whether a thermonuclear runaway can simultaneously commence in a sufficiently large region.

  4. 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.

  5. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD: A DETAILED MODEL ATMOSPHERE ANALYSIS OF NEARBY WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Giammichele, N.; Bergeron, P.; Dufour, P. E-mail: pierre.bergeron@astro.umontreal.ca

    2012-04-01

    We present improved atmospheric parameters of nearby white dwarfs lying within 20 pc of the Sun. The aim of the current study is to obtain the best statistical model of the least-biased sample of the white dwarf population. A homogeneous analysis of the local population is performed combining detailed spectroscopic and photometric analyses based on improved model atmosphere calculations for various spectral types including DA, DB, DC, DQ, and DZ stars. The spectroscopic technique is applied to all stars in our sample for which optical spectra are available. Photometric energy distributions, when available, are also combined to trigonometric parallax measurements to derive effective temperatures, stellar radii, as well as atmospheric compositions. A revised catalog of white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is presented. We provide, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of the mass distribution and the chemical distribution of white dwarf stars in a volume-limited sample.

  6. 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

  7. A Detailed Study of CSS 41177: an Eclipsing Double White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bours, M. C. P.; Marsh, T. R.; Parsons, S. G.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Dhillon, V. S.; Littlefair, S. P.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Gianninas, A.; Tremblay, P.-E.

    2015-06-01

    We present high-speed photometry and spectroscopy (ULTRACAM and X-Shooter), as well as Hubble Space Telescope + Cosmic Origins Spectrograph far-UV spectra of the eclipsing double white dwarf binary CSS 41177. Due to the temperature difference between the two white dwarfs, the HST+COS data are dominated by the hot white dwarf and therefore allow us to measure its temperature (T1), while the X-Shooter data allows us to constrain both radial velocity amplitudes. Combined with the eclipse observations, we are then able to determine all binary and white dwarf parameters. We find that the secondary's temperature and surface gravity (T2 = 10887(32) K, log (g2) = 7.305(11)) put it inside the ZZ Ceti instability strip, although pulsations to 0.5% relative amplitude have been excluded using the ULTRACAM data.

  8. SPIRAL INSTABILITY CAN DRIVE THERMONUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS IN BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Kashyap, Rahul; Fisher, Robert; García-Berro, Enrique; Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo

    2015-02-10

    Thermonuclear, or Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), originate from the explosion of carbon–oxygen white dwarfs, and serve as standardizable cosmological candles. However, despite their importance, the nature of the progenitor systems that give rise to SNe Ia has not been hitherto elucidated. Observational evidence favors the double-degenerate channel in which merging white dwarf binaries lead to SNe Ia. Furthermore, significant discrepancies exist between observations and theory, and to date, there has been no self-consistent merger model that yields a SNe Ia. Here we show that a spiral mode instability in the accretion disk formed during a binary white dwarf merger leads to a detonation on a dynamical timescale. This mechanism sheds light on how white dwarf mergers may frequently yield SNe Ia.

  9. Hydrogen in hot subdwarfs formed by double helium white dwarf mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Philip D.; Jeffery, C. Simon

    2016-09-01

    Isolated hot subdwarfs might be formed by the merging of two helium-core white dwarfs. Before merging, helium-core white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich envelopes and some of this hydrogen may survive the merger. We calculate the mass of hydrogen that is present at the start of such mergers and, with the assumption that hydrogen is mixed throughout the disrupted white dwarf in the merger process, estimate how much can survive. We find a hydrogen mass of up to about 2 × 10-3 M⊙ in merger remnants. We make model merger remnants that include the hydrogen mass appropriate to their total mass and compare their atmospheric parameters with a sample of apparently isolated hot subdwarfs, hydrogen-rich sdBs. The majority of these stars can be explained as the remnants of double helium white dwarf mergers.

  10. 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.

  11. Testing Fundamental Particle Physics with the Galactic White Dwarf Luminosity Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller Bertolami, M. M.; Melendez, B. E.; Althaus, L. G.; Isern, J.

    2015-06-01

    Recent determinations of the white dwarf luminosity function (WDLF) from very large surveys have extended our knowledge of the WDLF to very high luminosities. It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to test the possible properties and existence of fundamental weakly interacting subelectronvolt particles. This, together with the availability of new full evolutionary white dwarf models that are reliable at high luminosities, have opened the possibility of testing particle emission in the core of very hot white dwarfs. We use the available WDLFs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey to constrain the values of the neutrino magnetic dipole moment (μν) and the axion-electron coupling constant (gae) of DFSZ-axions.

  12. Know Your Neighborhood: A Detailed Model Atmosphere Analysis of Nearby White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giammichele, N.; Bergeron, P.; Dufour, P.

    2012-04-01

    We present improved atmospheric parameters of nearby white dwarfs lying within 20 pc of the Sun. The aim of the current study is to obtain the best statistical model of the least-biased sample of the white dwarf population. A homogeneous analysis of the local population is performed combining detailed spectroscopic and photometric analyses based on improved model atmosphere calculations for various spectral types including DA, DB, DC, DQ, and DZ stars. The spectroscopic technique is applied to all stars in our sample for which optical spectra are available. Photometric energy distributions, when available, are also combined to trigonometric parallax measurements to derive effective temperatures, stellar radii, as well as atmospheric compositions. A revised catalog of white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is presented. We provide, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of the mass distribution and the chemical distribution of white dwarf stars in a volume-limited sample.

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: SDSS DR7 white dwarf catalog (Kleinman+, 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinman, S. J.; Kepler, S. O.; Koester, D.; Pelisoli, I.; Pecanha, V.; Nitta, A.; Costa, J. E. S.; Krzesinski, J.; Dufour, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Bergeron, P.; Yip, C.-W.; Harris, H. C.; Eisenstein, D. J.; Althaus, L.; Corsico, A.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we report on the white dwarf catalog built from the SDSS DR7 (Cat. II/294). We have applied automated techniques supplemented by complete, consistent human identifications of each candidate white dwarf spectrum. We make use of the latest SDSS reductions and white dwarf model atmosphere improvements in our spectral fits, providing logg and Teff determinations for each identified clean DA and DB where we use the word "clean" to identify spectra that show only features of non-magnetic, nonmixed, DA or DB stars. Our catalog includes all white dwarf stars from the earlier Kleinman et al. (2004, Cat. J/ApJ/607/426) and Eisenstein et al. (2006, Cat. J/ApJS/167/40) catalogs, although occasionally with different identifications. (1 data file).

  14. Spiral Instability Can Drive Thermonuclear Explosions in Binary White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashyap, Rahul; Fisher, Robert; García-Berro, Enrique; Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela; Ji, Suoqing; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo

    2015-02-01

    Thermonuclear, or Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), originate from the explosion of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, and serve as standardizable cosmological candles. However, despite their importance, the nature of the progenitor systems that give rise to SNe Ia has not been hitherto elucidated. Observational evidence favors the double-degenerate channel in which merging white dwarf binaries lead to SNe Ia. Furthermore, significant discrepancies exist between observations and theory, and to date, there has been no self-consistent merger model that yields a SNe Ia. Here we show that a spiral mode instability in the accretion disk formed during a binary white dwarf merger leads to a detonation on a dynamical timescale. This mechanism sheds light on how white dwarf mergers may frequently yield SNe Ia.

  15. Stars of type MS with evidence of white dwarf companions. [IUE, Main Sequence (MS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peery, Benjamin F., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    A search for white dwarf companions of MS-type stars was conducted, using IUE. The overendowments of these stars in typical S-process nuclides suggest that they, like the Ba II stars, may owe their peculiar compositions to earlier mass transfer. Short-wavelength IUE spectra show striking emission line variability in HD35155, HD61913, and 4 Ori; HD35155 and 4 Ori show evidence of white dwarf companions.

  16. On the interpretation of the Exosat photometry of two hot DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vennes, Stephane; Shipman, Harry L.; Petre, Robert

    1990-01-01

    Exosat photometric observations of the hot DA white dwarfs GD 2 and EG 70 are presented and analyzed using model atmosphere and synthetic spectrum calculations. The numerical accuracy of the calculations and their impact on the reliability of the results are addressed. The optimum atmospheric parameters that explain the complete spectral coverage are derived. The consequences of these conjectures for the spectral evolution theory of white dwarf stars are considered.

  17. Temperature and Gravity Dependence of Trace Element Abundances in Hot DA White Dwarfs (94-EUVE-094)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finley, David S.

    1998-01-01

    EUV spectroscopy has shown that DA white dwarfs hotter than about 45,000 K may contain trace heavy elements, while those hotter than about 50,000 K almost always have significant abundances of trace heavy elements. One of our continuing challenges is to identify and determine the abundances of these trace constituents, and then to relate the observed abundance patterns to the present conditions and previous evolutionary histories of the hot DA white dwarfs.

  18. An atlas of optical spectra of DZ white dwarfs and related objects

    SciTech Connect

    Sion, E.M.; Kenyon, S.J.; Aannestad, P.A. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA Arizona State Univ., Tempe )

    1990-03-01

    An atlas of optical spectra and equivalent width measurements for DZ stars and several related objects is described. These data should improve abundance measurements for Ca/He, Mg/He, and Fe/He in these stars and provide tests for calculations of accretion, diffusion, and radiative transfer in white-dwarf atmospheres. Also reported is the possible detection of He I (3888-A) in three DZ white dwarfs, 0246 + 735, 1705 + 030, and 2215 + 388. 25 refs.

  19. An upper limit on the contribution of accreting white dwarfs to the type Ia supernova rate.

    PubMed

    Gilfanov, Marat; Bogdán, Akos

    2010-02-18

    There is wide agreement that type Ia supernovae (used as standard candles for cosmology) are associated with the thermonuclear explosions of white dwarf stars. The nuclear runaway that leads to the explosion could start in a white dwarf gradually accumulating matter from a companion star until it reaches the Chandrasekhar limit, or could be triggered by the merger of two white dwarfs in a compact binary system. The X-ray signatures of these two possible paths are very different. Whereas no strong electromagnetic emission is expected in the merger scenario until shortly before the supernova, the white dwarf accreting material from the normal star becomes a source of copious X-rays for about 10(7) years before the explosion. This offers a means of determining which path dominates. Here we report that the observed X-ray flux from six nearby elliptical galaxies and galaxy bulges is a factor of approximately 30-50 less than predicted in the accretion scenario, based upon an estimate of the supernova rate from their K-band luminosities. We conclude that no more than about five per cent of type Ia supernovae in early-type galaxies can be produced by white dwarfs in accreting binary systems, unless their progenitors are much younger than the bulk of the stellar population in these galaxies, or explosions of sub-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs make a significant contribution to the supernova rate. PMID:20164924

  20. Seismic evidence for the loss of stellar angular momentum before the white-dwarf stage.

    PubMed

    Charpinet, S; Fontaine, G; Brassard, P

    2009-09-24

    White-dwarf stars represent the final products of the evolution of some 95% of all stars. If stars were to keep their angular momentum throughout their evolution, their white-dwarf descendants, owing to their compact nature, should all rotate relatively rapidly, with typical periods of the order of a few seconds. Observations of their photospheres show, in contrast, that they rotate much more slowly, with periods ranging from hours to tens of years. It is not known, however, whether a white dwarf could 'hide' some of its original angular momentum below the superficial layers, perhaps spinning much more rapidly inside than at its surface. Here we report a determination of the internal rotation profile of a white dwarf using a method based on asteroseismology. We show that the pulsating white dwarf PG 1159-035 rotates as a solid body (encompassing more than 97.5% of its mass) with the relatively long period of 33.61 +/- 0.59 h. This implies that it has lost essentially all of its angular momentum, thus favouring theories which suggest important angular momentum transfer and loss in evolutionary phases before the white-dwarf stage. PMID:19779446

  1. Using self-organizing maps to identify potential halo white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    García-Berro, Enrique; Torres, Santiago; Isern, Jordi

    2003-01-01

    We present the results of an unsupervised classification of the disk and halo white dwarf populations in the solar neighborhood. The classification is done by merging the results of detailed Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, which reproduce very well the characteristics of the white dwarf populations in the solar neighborhood, with a catalogue of real stars. The resulting composite catalogue is analyzed using a competitive learning algorithm. In particular we have used the so-called self-organized map. The MC simulated stars are used as tracers and help in identifying the resulting clusters. The results of such an strategy turn out to be quite satisfactory, suggesting that this approach can provide an useful framework for analyzing large databases of white dwarfs with well determined kinematical, spatial and photometric properties once they become available in the next decade. Moreover, the results are of astrophysical interest as well, since a straightforward interpretation of several recent astronomical observations, like the detected microlensing events in the direction of the Magellanic Clouds, the possible detection of high proper motion white dwarfs in the Hubble Deep Field and the discovery of high velocity white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood, suggests that a fraction of the baryonic dark matter component of our galaxy could be in the form of old and dim halo white dwarfs. PMID:12672435

  2. 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.

  3. Astero-archaeology: Reading the galactic history recorded in the white dwarf stars

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, M.A.

    1990-01-01

    Galactic history is written in its oldest stars, the white dwarfs. Although still some years away from reading the details of that history, significant limits can already be placed on both the Galactic age and star formation history. The following is a complete analysis of the problem, starting with a fresh exploration of the physics of white dwarf stars. An extensive grid of numerical model sequences is presented and these are used to describe in detail the behavior of the white dwarf stars as a function of mass, core composition, surface layer masses and compositions, and uncertainties in the constitutive physics. These model sequences are used to decode the information contained in the white dwarf luminosity function. A theoretical context is established for current and future observations by presenting luminosity functions computed with differing choices for the input white dwarf evolutionary sequences, the assumed age of the local disk, the star formation rate as a function of time, and the possibility of scale height inflation of the disk with time. Finally, white dwarf cosmochronology is discussed within the context of other, conflicting, methods of cosmochronology. How this work can help resolve these conflicts and shed light on fundamental problems in galaxy formation and cosmology.

  4. A Search for Rocky Planets in Close Orbits around White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debes, John; Sandhaus, Phoebe; Ely, Justin

    2015-12-01

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in order to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all current spectral types, white dwarfs are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of white dwarfs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle surveys of stars have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of white dwarfs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright white dwarfs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating white dwarf GD~133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter white dwarfs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. COSMOLOGICAL FAST RADIO BURSTS FROM BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Kashiyama, Kazumi; Mészáros, Peter; Ioka, Kunihito E-mail: nnp@psu.edu

    2013-10-20

    Recently, Thornton et al. reported the detection of four fast radio bursts (FRBs). The dispersion measures indicate that the sources of these FRBs are at cosmological distance. Given the large full sky event rate ∼10{sup 4} sky{sup –1} day{sup –1}, the FRBs are a promising target for multi-messenger astronomy. Here we propose double degenerate, binary white-dwarf (WD) mergers as the source of FRBs, which are produced by coherent emission from the polar region of a rapidly rotating, magnetized massive WD formed after the merger. The basic characteristics of the FRBs, such as the energetics, emission duration and event rate, can be consistently explained in this scenario. As a result, we predict that some FRBs can accompany type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) or X-ray debris disks. Simultaneous detection could test our scenario and probe the progenitors of SNe Ia, and moreover would provide a novel constraint on the cosmological parameters. We strongly encourage future SN and X-ray surveys that follow up FRBs.

  8. White dwarf stars and the age of the Galactic disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.

    1990-01-01

    The history of the Galaxy is written in its oldest stars, the white dwarf (WD) stars. Significant limits can be placed on both the Galactic age and star formation history. A wide range of input WD model sequences is used to derive the current limits to the age estimates suggested by fitting to the observed falloff in the WD luminosity function. The results suggest that the star formation rate over the history of the Galaxy has been relatively constant, and that the disk age lies in the range 6-12 billion years, depending upon the assumed structure of WD stars, and in particular on the core composition and surface helium layer mass. Using plausible mixed C/O core input models, the estimates for the disk age range from 8-10.5 Gyr, i.e.,sustantially younger than most age estimates for the halo globular clusters. After speculating on the significance of the results, expected observational and theoretical refinements which will further enhance the reliability of the method are discussed.

  9. White dwarfs as the maximal soft x-ray scatterers

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2013-09-15

    In this paper, we explore the effect of density on the structure formation and the electromagnetic wave (EMw) elastic scattering on quantum plasmas, using the generalized quantum hydrodynamic model valid for a wide range of the plasma density and relativistic degeneracy. It is found that the electron quantum diffraction effect caused by the Bohm potential has a fundamental effect on the ion correlations in a degenerate electron fluid and crystallization in quantum plasmas in the solid-density regime and beyond. The ion correlations and structure formation are shown to be fundamentally affected by the plasma density and the relativistic degeneracy parameters. Moreover, distinct behavior is shown to exist between the non-relativistic and relativistic matter density regimes, regarding the normalized EMw elastic scattering cross-sections. It is theoretically discovered that the maximal Thomson scattering coincides with the average density of a typical white dwarf corresponding to the soft X-ray wavelength regime. Current research can be very useful in plasma optical diagnostic methods for a wide range of electron number-density from warm dense matter and inertial confinement fusion to the astrophysical compact objects.

  10. Molecular magnetic dichroism in spectra of white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Berdyugina, S V; Berdyugin, A V; Piirola, V

    2007-08-31

    We present novel calculations of the magnetic dichroism appearing in molecular bands in the presence of a strong magnetic field, which perturbs the internal structure of the molecule and results in net polarization due to the Paschen-Back effect. Based on that, we analyze new spectropolarimetric observations of the cool magnetic helium-rich white dwarf G99-37, which shows strongly polarized molecular bands in its spectrum. In addition to previously known molecular bands of the C2 Swan and CH A-X systems, we find a firm evidence for the violet CH B-X bands at 390 nm and C2 Deslandres-d'Azambuja bands at 360 nm. Combining the polarimetric observations with our model calculations, we deduce a dipole magnetic field of 7.5+/-0.5 MG with the positive pole pointing towards the Earth. We conclude that the developed technique is an excellent tool for studying magnetic fields on cool magnetic stars. PMID:17930997

  11. Blue Straggler-White Dwarf binaries in Galactic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekanayake, Gemunu B.; Wilhelm, Ronald J.

    2016-01-01

    The mass transfer in close binaries has been identified as the most probable formation channel for field blue straggler stars (BSSs). The companions to these BSSs are white dwarf stars (WDs) and can be detected at ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths in the spectral energy distribution of the binary, if the mass transfer happened recently so that WD is young and hot.We chose a sample of 2,188 BSSs in the temperature range of 7,000 - 9000 K. and surface gravity, Log g > 3.8, using the Sloan Stellar Parameter Pipeline, from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).From this, a sub-sample of 80 UV excess field BSSs were identified using UV photometry from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). By using a chi-square minimization technique we fit the observed SED of these UVe-BSSs to set of combined BS+WD models to find the best fitting WD parameters. By considering our fitting results and the theoretical estimates of mass-temperature relation for BSSs , we find that the likely companions to our sample of UVe-BSSs are He WDs. This means that the most likely scenario of formation of these UVe-BSSs is mass transfer onto a normal main sequence star from a red giant star.

  12. Laboratory measurements of white dwarf photospheric spectral lines: Hβ

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Falcon, Ross Edward; Rochau, Gregory A.; Bailey, James E.; Gomez, Thomas; Montgomery, Michael Houston; Winget, Donald E.; Nagayama, Taisuke

    2015-06-18

    We spectroscopically measure multiple hydrogen Balmer line profiles from laboratory plasmas to investigate the theoretical line profiles used in white dwarf (WD) atmosphere models. X-ray radiation produced at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories initiates plasma formation in a hydrogen-filled gas cell, replicating WD photospheric conditions. We also present time-resolved measurements of Hβ and fit this line using different theoretical line profiles to diagnose electron density, ne, and n = 2 level population, n2. Aided by synthetic tests, we characterize the validity of our diagnostic method for this experimental platform. During a single experiment, we infer amore » continuous range of electron densities increasing from ne ~ 4 to ~30 × 1016 cm-3 throughout a 120-ns evolution of our plasma. Also, we observe n2 to be initially elevated with respect to local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE); it then equilibrates within ~55 ns to become consistent with LTE. This also supports our electron-temperature determination of Te ~ 1.3 eV (~15,000 K) after this time. At ne≲ 1017 cm-3, we find that computer-simulation-based line-profile calculations provide better fits (lower reduced χ2) than the line profiles currently used in the WD astronomy community. The inferred conditions, however, are in good quantitative agreement. Lastly, this work establishes an experimental foundation for the future investigation of relative shapes and strengths between different hydrogen Balmer lines.« less

  13. 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.

  14. He-accreting white dwarfs: accretion regimes and final outcomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piersanti, L.; Tornambé, A.; Yungelson, L. R.

    2014-12-01

    The behaviour of carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs (WDs) subject to direct helium accretion is extensively studied. We aim to analyse the thermal response of an accreting WD to mass deposition at different timescales. The analysis has been performed for initial WD masses and accretion rates in the range 0.60-1.02 M⊙ and 10-9-10-5 M⊙ yr-1, respectively. Thermal regimes in the parameter space MWD-dot{M}_He leading to formation of red-giant-like structures, steady burning of He, and mild, strong and dynamical flashes have been identified and the transition between these regimes has been studied in detail. In particular, the physical properties of WDs experiencing the He-flash accretion regime have been investigated to determine the mass retention efficiency as a function of the accretor total mass and accretion rate. We also discuss to what extent the building up of a He-rich layer via H burning could be described according to the behaviour of models accreting He-rich matter directly. Polynomial fits to the obtained results are provided for use in binary population synthesis computations. Several applications for close binary systems with He-rich donors and CO WD accretors are considered and the relevance of the results for interpreting He novae is discussed.

  15. Collapsed White Dwarfs as Gamma-Ray Burst Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Paolis, F.; Ingrosso, G.; Qadir, A.

    1995-09-01

    It has been suggested by Usov (1992) that accreting white dwarfs, collapsing to neutron stars may be the sources of the gamma-ray bursts observed at cosmological distances, provided they rotate very fast and have enormously high magnetic fields. In this model the burst's durationτ is given by the ratio of pulsar kinetic energy and magneticdipole luminosity, so that in order to account for the shortest (τ ˜ 0.1 s) bursts, the pulsars must rotate very fast (with periodP ˜ 0.5 ms) and have magnetic fields of 1016 - 1017 G. Though the high pulsar frequency was anticipated (Qadir and Rafique, 1986) and has been shown to be plausible (Abramowicz, 1990), the extremely high magnetic fields seem anomalous as observed neutron stars have fields below ˜ 1013 G. The problem with Usov's proposal is reduced by incorporating the relativistic corrections for fast rotating magnetic dipoles (Belinskyet al., 1994) or magnetic stars (De Paolis and Qadir, 1994). These corrections substantially enhance the radiation efficiency due to the existence of a magnetic synchrotron effect so that the magnetic field required for the explanation of the shortest gamma-ray bursts is strongly reduced. As such the model becomes much more plausible.

  16. Simplified Simulation of Mass Transfer in Double White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vannah, Sara; Frank, Juhan

    2016-01-01

    The behavior both stable and unstable mass transfer in semi-detached double white dwarfs triggers a cornucopia of astrophysical phenomena including Type Ia supernovae and AM CVn stars. Current 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the evolution these systems following the mass transfer, binary orbital parameters, and the self-consistent gravitational field over several tens of orbital periods have produced a wealth of data. However, these simulations can take weeks to months in high-performance computing platforms to execute. To help with the interpretation of results of such large scale simulations, and to enable a quick exploration of binary parameter space, we have developed a Mathematica code that integrates forward in time a system of 5 ODEs describing the orbit-averaged evolution of the binary separation as well as the radius, mass, and spin angular momentum of both components of the binary. By adjusting a few parameters describing the mass transfer as a function of the Roche-lobe overflow and the strength of the tidal coupling between the orbit and component spins we are able to obtain approximate fits to previously run hydrodynamic simulations. This simplified simulation is able to run simulations similar to the hydrodynamic versions in a matter of seconds on a dual-core PC or Mac computer.

  17. Turbulent Mixing on Helium-accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2015-03-01

    An attractive scenario for producing Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is a double detonation, where detonation of an accreted helium layer triggers ignition of a C/O core. Whether or not such a mechanism can explain some or most SNe Ia depends on the properties of the helium burning, which in turn is set by the composition of the surface material. Using a combination of semi-analytic and simple numerical models, I explore when turbulent mixing due to hydrodynamic instabilities during the accretion process can mix C/O core material up into the accreted helium. Mixing is strongest at high accretion rates, large white dwarf (WD) masses, and slow spin rates. The mixing would result in subsequent helium burning that better matches the observed properties of SNe Ia. In some cases, there is considerable mixing that can lead to more than 50% C/O in the accreted layer at the time of ignition. These results will hopefully motivate future theoretical studies of such strongly mixed conditions. Mixing also has implications for other types of WD surface explosions, including the so-called .Ia supernovae, the calcium-rich transients (if they arise from accreting WDs), and metal-enriched classical novae.

  18. A MULTI-SURVEY APPROACH TO WHITE DWARF DISCOVERY

    SciTech Connect

    Sayres, Conor; Davenport, James R. A.; AlSayyad, Yusra; Tofflemire, Benjamin M.; Subasavage, John P.; Bergeron, P.; Dufour, P.

    2012-04-15

    By selecting astrometric and photometric data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Lepine and Shara Proper Motion North Catalog (LSPM-North), the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), and the USNO-B1.0 catalog, we use a succession of methods to isolate white dwarf (WD) candidates for follow-up spectroscopy. Our methods include reduced proper motion diagram cuts, color cuts, and atmospheric model adherence. We present spectroscopy of 26 WDs obtained from the CTIO 4 m and APO 3.5 m telescopes. Additionally, we confirm 28 WDs with spectra available in the SDSS DR7 database but unpublished elsewhere, presenting a total of 54 WDs. We label one of these as a recovered WD while the remaining 53 are new discoveries. We determine physical parameters and estimate distances based on atmospheric model analyses. Three new WDs are modeled to lie within 25 pc. Two additional WDs are confirmed to be metal-polluted (DAZ). Follow-up time series photometry confirms another object to be a pulsating ZZ Ceti WD.

  19. A 12 MINUTE ORBITAL PERIOD DETACHED WHITE DWARF ECLIPSING BINARY

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin; Kenyon, Scott J.; Hermes, J. J.; Winget, D. E.; Prieto, Carlos Allende E-mail: mkilic@cfa.harvard.edu E-mail: jjhermes@astro.as.utexas.edu E-mail: callende@iac.es

    2011-08-10

    We have discovered a detached pair of white dwarfs (WDs) with a 12.75 minute orbital period and a 1315 km s{sup -1} radial velocity amplitude. We measure the full orbital parameters of the system using its light curve, which shows ellipsoidal variations, Doppler boosting, and primary and secondary eclipses. The primary is a 0.25 M{sub sun} tidally distorted helium WD, only the second tidally distorted WD known. The unseen secondary is a 0.55 M{sub sun} carbon-oxygen WD. The two WDs will come into contact in 0.9 Myr due to loss of energy and angular momentum via gravitational wave radiation. Upon contact the systems may merge (yielding a rapidly spinning massive WD), form a stable interacting binary, or possibly explode as an underluminous Type Ia supernova. The system currently has a gravitational wave strain of 10{sup -22}, about 10,000 times larger than the Hulse-Taylor pulsar; this system would be detected by the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna gravitational wave mission in the first week of operation. This system's rapid change in orbital period will provide a fundamental test of general relativity.

  20. MASS CONSTRAINTS FROM ECLIPSE TIMING IN DOUBLE WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, David L.

    2010-07-10

    I demonstrate that an effect similar to the Roemer delay, familiar from timing radio pulsars, should be detectable in the first eclipsing double white dwarf (WD) binary, NLTT 11748. By measuring the difference of the time between the secondary and primary eclipses from one-half period (4.6 s), one can determine the physical size of the orbit and hence constrain the masses of the individual WDs. A measurement with uncertainty <0.1 s-possible with modern large telescopes-will determine the individual masses to {+-}0.02 M{sub sun} when combined with good-quality (<1 km s{sup -1}) radial velocity data, although the eccentricity must also be known to high accuracy ({+-}10{sup -3}). Mass constraints improve as P {sup -1/2} (where P is the orbital period), so this works best in wide binaries and should be detectable even for non-degenerate stars, but such constraints require the mass ratio to differ from 1, as well as undistorted orbits.

  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. The binary Feige 24 - The mass, radius, and gravitational redshift of the DA white dwarf

    SciTech Connect

    Vennes, S.; Shipman, H.L.; Thorstensen, J.R.; Thejll, P. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH NORDITA, Copenhagen, Denmark )

    1991-05-01

    Observations are