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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. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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).

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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)

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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

    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.

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  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

    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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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

    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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. White dwarf cosmochronology in the solar neighborhood

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-20

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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Freak waves in white dwarfs and magnetars

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. QUIESCENT NUCLEAR BURNING IN LOW-METALLICITY WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreizler, S.; Werner, K.

    1996-10-01

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

  8. 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. 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.