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Sample records for stars white dwarfs

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. UBV photometry of hot white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Circumstellar debris and pollution at white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  8. A Pulsational Study of Crystallized White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. HOT WHITE DWARF SHINES IN YOUNG STAR CLUSTER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Neutron stars and white dwarfs in galactic halos?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Neutron stars and white dwarfs in galactic halos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, E.

    1984-01-01

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

  14. Merging binary stars and the magnetic white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitney, Barbara

    1989-01-01

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

  16. White dwarf kicks and implications for barium stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-11

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-11

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1989-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peery, Benjamin F., Jr.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-20

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

  7. The collapse of white dwarfs to neutron stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woosley, S. E.; Baron, E.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  9. Limits from the Ongoing Search for Planets Around White Dwarf Stars Using Pulsation Timings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winget, D. E.; Hermes, J. J.; Mullally, Fergal; Bell, K. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Williams, S. G.; Harrold, S. T.; Kepler, S. O.; Castanheira, B.; Chandler, D. W.; Winget, K. I.; Mukadam, A. S.; Nather, R. E.

    2015-06-01

    Evidence from searches of stars in our galaxy for exoplanet companions suggests that most lower main sequence stars likely have one or more planets; the vast majority of these planet-hosting stars will evolve into white dwarf stars. Some planets may survive this process and new ones may form in a sort of second generation from the cast-off material. If we combine this argument with evidence of a substantial population of metal polluted white dwarf stars, we may plausibly expect that planets may be common around white dwarf stars. Empirically, however, little is known about the presence of planets, new or old around white dwarf stars. Our search is small (˜15 white dwarf stars), but sensitive. Using pulsation arrival times we reach a large search volume around each star: we are sensitive to 1 MJupiter planets at distances ranging from 1- 100AU. In this context, our tightening constraints from pulsation timings become increasingly important to the broader study of planet formation, dynamical evolution, and ultimate survival.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, M.A.

    1990-01-01

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

  11. The age-metallicity dependence for white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  12. Panel 1: A pulsating red giant star and a compact, hot white dwarf star orbit each other.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Panel 1: A pulsating red giant star and a compact, hot white dwarf star orbit each other. Panel 2: The red giant sheds much of its outer layers in a stellar wind. The white dwarf helps concentrate the wind along a thin equatorial plane. The white dwarf accretes some of this escaping gas forming a disk around the itself. Panel 3: When enough gas accumulates on the white dwarf's surface it explodes as a nova outburst. Most of the hot gas forms a pair of expanding bubbles above and below the equatorial disk. Panel 4: A few thousand years after the bubbles expand into space, the white dwarf goes through another nova outburst and makes another pair of bubbles, which form a distinctive hourglass shape.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gould, Andrew; Koester, Detlev

    2009-11-10

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

  14. Detection of a white dwarf companion to the Hyades stars HD 27483

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1993-01-01

    We observed with IUE a white dwarf (WD) companion to the Hyades F6 V binary stars HD 27483. This system is known to be a close binary of two nearly equal stars with an orbital period of 3.05 days. Our IUE observations revealed the presence of a third star, a white dwarf with an effective temperature of 23,000 +/- 1000 K and a mass of approximately 0.6 solar mass. Its presence in the Hyades cluster with a known age permits me to derive the mass of its progenitor, which must have been about 2.3 solar masses. The presence of the white dwarf in a binary system opens the possibility that some of the envelope material, which was expelled by the WD progenitor, may have been collected by the F6 stars. We may thus be able to study abundance anomalies of the WD progenitor with known mass on the surface of the F6 companions.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-10

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

  16. A Search for Kilogauss Magnetic Fields in White Dwarfs and Hot Subdwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valyavin, G.; Bagnulo, S.; Fabrika, S.; Reisenegger, A.; Wade, G. A.; Han, Inwoo; Monin, D.

    2006-09-01

    We present new results of a survey for weak magnetic fields among DA white dwarfs, including some brighter hot subdwarf stars. We have detected variable circular polarization in the Hα line of the hot subdwarf star Feige 34 (spectroscopic type: sdO). From these data, we estimate that the longitudinal magnetic field of this star varies from -1.1+/-3.2 to +9.6+/-2.6 kG, with a mean of about +5 kG and a period longer than 2 hr. In this study, we also confirm the magnetic nature of white dwarf WD 1105-048, found earlier in a study by Aznar Cuadrado and coworkers, and present upper limits of kilogauss longitudinal magnetic fields of the five brightest DA white dwarfs. Our data support the finding of Aznar Cuadrado and coworkers that ~25% of white dwarfs have kilogauss magnetic fields. This frequency also confirms results of early estimates obtained using the magnetic field function of white dwarfs (Fabrika & Valyavin).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keeley, D. A.

    1979-01-01

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

  18. The white dwarf companion of the B a 2 star zeta Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, E.

    1981-01-01

    The Ba II star zeta Cap has a white dwarf companion. Its T (sub eff) is determined to be 22000 K, its mass is approximately one solar mass. The importance of this finding for the explanation of abundance peculiarities is discussed.

  19. Eigenfrequencies of rotationally and tidally distorted white dwarf models of stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lal, Arvind Kumar; Kumar, Tarun; Pathania, Ankush

    2013-05-01

    In the present paper we have studied the eigenfrequencies of small adiabatic barotropic pseudo-radial and nonradial modes of oscillations of the white dwarf models of rotating stars in binary systems. In this work the methodology of Mohan and Saxena (in Astrophys. Space Sci. 113:155, 1985) has been used that utilizes the averaging technique of Kippenhahn and Thomas (in Proc. IAU Colloq., vol. 4, p. 20, 1970) and certain results on Roche equipotential as that given by Kopal (in Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academic Press, 1972). The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of rotation and/or tidal distortion on the periods of oscillations of rotationally and/or tidally distorted white dwarf models of stars assuming it to be the primary component of the binary system and rotating uniformly. The results of present study show that the eigenfrequencies (both radial and nonradial modes) of the rotationally distorted and rotationally and tidally distorted white dwarf model of stars in binary systems tend to decrease under the influence of rotational distortions and rotational and tidal distortions, respectively. However, results are contrary for tidally distorted white dwarf model of stars.

  20. Supernova SN 2011fe from an exploding carbon-oxygen white dwarf star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nugent, Peter E.; Sullivan, Mark; Cenko, S. Bradley; Thomas, Rollin C.; Kasen, Daniel; Howell, D. Andrew; Bersier, David; Bloom, Joshua S.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Kandrashoff, Michael T.; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Silverman, Jeffrey M.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Maguire, Kate; Suzuki, Nao; Tarlton, James E.; Pan, Yen-Chen; Bildsten, Lars; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Parrent, Jerod T.; Sand, David; Podsiadlowski, Philipp; Bianco, Federica B.; Dilday, Benjamin; Graham, Melissa L.; Lyman, Joe; James, Phil; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Law, Nicholas M.; Quimby, Robert M.; Hook, Isobel M.; Walker, Emma S.; Mazzali, Paolo; Pian, Elena; Ofek, Eran O.; Gal-Yam, Avishay; Poznanski, Dovi

    2011-12-01

    Type Ia supernovae have been used empirically as `standard candles' to demonstrate the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe even though fundamental details, such as the nature of their progenitor systems and how the stars explode, remain a mystery. There is consensus that a white dwarf star explodes after accreting matter in a binary system, but the secondary body could be anything from a main-sequence star to a red giant, or even another white dwarf. This uncertainty stems from the fact that no recent type Ia supernova has been discovered close enough to Earth to detect the stars before explosion. Here we report early observations of supernova SN 2011fe in the galaxy M101 at a distance from Earth of 6.4 megaparsecs. We find that the exploding star was probably a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, and from the lack of an early shock we conclude that the companion was probably a main-sequence star. Early spectroscopy shows high-velocity oxygen that slows rapidly, on a timescale of hours, and extensive mixing of newly synthesized intermediate-mass elements in the outermost layers of the supernova. A companion paper uses pre-explosion images to rule out luminous red giants and most helium stars as companions to the progenitor.

  1. Supernova SN 2011fe from an exploding carbon-oxygen white dwarf star.

    PubMed

    Nugent, Peter E; Sullivan, Mark; Cenko, S Bradley; Thomas, Rollin C; Kasen, Daniel; Howell, D Andrew; Bersier, David; Bloom, Joshua S; Kulkarni, S R; Kandrashoff, Michael T; Filippenko, Alexei V; Silverman, Jeffrey M; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Howard, Andrew W; Isaacson, Howard T; Maguire, Kate; Suzuki, Nao; Tarlton, James E; Pan, Yen-Chen; Bildsten, Lars; Fulton, Benjamin J; Parrent, Jerod T; Sand, David; Podsiadlowski, Philipp; Bianco, Federica B; Dilday, Benjamin; Graham, Melissa L; Lyman, Joe; James, Phil; Kasliwal, Mansi M; Law, Nicholas M; Quimby, Robert M; Hook, Isobel M; Walker, Emma S; Mazzali, Paolo; Pian, Elena; Ofek, Eran O; Gal-Yam, Avishay; Poznanski, Dovi

    2011-12-15

    Type Ia supernovae have been used empirically as 'standard candles' to demonstrate the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe even though fundamental details, such as the nature of their progenitor systems and how the stars explode, remain a mystery. There is consensus that a white dwarf star explodes after accreting matter in a binary system, but the secondary body could be anything from a main-sequence star to a red giant, or even another white dwarf. This uncertainty stems from the fact that no recent type Ia supernova has been discovered close enough to Earth to detect the stars before explosion. Here we report early observations of supernova SN 2011fe in the galaxy M101 at a distance from Earth of 6.4 megaparsecs. We find that the exploding star was probably a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, and from the lack of an early shock we conclude that the companion was probably a main-sequence star. Early spectroscopy shows high-velocity oxygen that slows rapidly, on a timescale of hours, and extensive mixing of newly synthesized intermediate-mass elements in the outermost layers of the supernova. A companion paper uses pre-explosion images to rule out luminous red giants and most helium stars as companions to the progenitor. PMID:22170680

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, H. L.

    1986-01-01

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

  3. Do R Coronae Borealis Stars Form from Double White Dwarf Mergers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motl, Patrick; Staff, Jan; Menon, Athira; Herwig, Falk; Even, Wesley; Fryer, Chris; Geballe, Tom; Pignatari, Marco; Clayton, Geoffrey; Tohline, Joel

    2013-04-01

    A leading formation scenario for the irregular variable R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars invokes the merger of a degenerate Helium white dwarf with a Carbon-Oxygen white dwarf in a binary. The observed ratio of ^16O / ^18O for RCB stars is in the range of 0.3 - 20, much smaller than the solar value of 500. We report on our investigations into whether such a low oxygen isotope ratio can be obtained in simulations of double white dwarf mergers. We identify a ``shell of fire'' feature in the simulations surrounding the merged object where temperatures and densities are favorable for forming ^18O for binaries with initial mass ratios near 0.7. However, the accretion stream's impact dredges up ^16O from the Carbon-Oxygen white dwarf which forms a competing process that raises the oxygen isotope ratio. We present the most favorable scenarios we have identified for creating RCB stars in light of these competing processes and outline steps for future progress.

  4. An extrasolar extreme-ultraviolet object. II - The nature of HZ 43. [hot white dwarf star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margon, B.; Liebert, J.; Lampton, M.; Spinrad, H.; Bowyer, S.; Gatewood, G.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of data are presented concerning the spectrum, distance, temperature, and evolutionary state of the hot white dwarf HZ 43, the first extrasolar object to be detected in the EUV band. The data include spectrophotometry of the star and its red dwarf companion (HZ 43B), a trigonometric parallax for the star, its tangential velocity, and results of soft X-ray and EUV observations. The main conclusions are that: (1) the spectrum of HZ 43A is that of a hot DAwk star, (2) HZ 43B is a dM3.5e star, (3) the distance of the system is about 65 pc, (4) the tangential velocity is not atypical of white dwarfs, and (5) the stellar energy distribution of HZ 43A is well fitted by a black body with an effective temperature of approximately 110,000 K. Evolutionary implications of the existence of an object as hot as HZ 43A are briefly considered, and it is suggested that the progenitors of hot DA stars must include objects hotter than spectral type sdB, with logical possibilities being nuclei of planetary nebulae and sdO stars.

  5. First axion bounds from a pulsating helium-rich white dwarf star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battich, T.; Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.; Miller Bertolami, M. M.

    2016-08-01

    The Peccei-Quinn mechanism proposed to solve the CP problem of Quantum Chromodynamics has as consequence the existence of axions, hypothetical weakly interacting particles whose mass is constrained to be on the sub-eV range. If these particles exist and interact with electrons, they would be emitted from the dense interior of white dwarfs, becoming an important energy sink for the star. Due to their well known physics, white dwarfs are good laboratories to study the properties of fundamental particles such as the axions. We study the general effect of axion emission on the evolution of helium-rich white dwarfs and on their pulsational properties. To this aim, we calculate evolutionary helium-rich white dwarf models with axion emission, and assess the pulsational properties of this models. Our results indicate that the rates of change of pulsation periods are significantly affected by the existence of axions. We are able for the first time to independently constrain the mass of the axion from the study of pulsating helium-rich white dwarfs. To do this, we use an estimation of the rate of change of period of the pulsating white dwarf PG 1351+489 corresponding to the dominant pulsation period. From an asteroseismological model of PG 1351+489 we obtain gae < 3.3 × 10‑13 for the axion-electron coupling constant, or macos2β lesssim 11.5 meV for the axion mass. This constraint is relaxed to gae < 5.5 × 10‑13 (macos2β lesssim 19.5 meV), when no detailed asteroseismological model is adopted for the comparison with observations.

  6. On the absence of young white dwarf companions to five technetium stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Verne V.; Lambert, David L.

    1987-01-01

    A search for hot companions to five stars of type MS and S has been carried out using the IUE satellite. No hot companions were detected for the MS stars HR 85, 4647, 6702, and 8062, and the S star HR 8714. Limits on the luminosities of possible white dwarf companions provide lower limits of 2-5x10 to the 8th yr to the ages of any degenerate companions. All five stars exhibit strong Tc I lines, and the presence of technetium, with a half-life of 2.1x10 to the 5th yr, signifies recent nucleosynthesis. The limits on the ages of possible white dwarf companions that are equal to or greater than 1000 half-lives of Tc exclude the possibility that the s-process elemental enhancement seen in these MS and S stars resulted from mass transfer from a more highly evolved companion (as is probably the mechanism by which barium stars are created). These MS and S stars represent a sample of true thermally pulsing asymptotic giant-branch stars.

  7. Binary-binary collisions involving main-sequence stars, white dwarfs and neutron stars in globular clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard, P.J.T.; Davies, M.B.

    1993-12-31

    We consider collisions between dynamically-evolved primordial binaries consisting of main-sequence stars, white dwarfs and neutron stars in globular clusters. In our four-body binary-binary scattering experiments, we allow stars to ``stick`` if they pass close enough to each other, which leads to the formation of a wide variety of exotic objects. Most of these objects have binary companions. Also, relatively clean exchange interactions can produce binaries containing neutron stars that eventually receive material from their companions. Such systems will be observable as X-ray binaries.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Lattice Structure in Astrophysics: A reconsideration of White Dwarfs, Variables, and Wolf-Rayet Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robitaille, Pierre-Marie

    2016-03-01

    Stars of the main sequence display a mass-luminosity relation which indicates that they share a common building block (hydrogen) and lattice structure (hexagonal planar) with the solar photosphere. White dwarfs however display very low luminosity in spite of their elevated color temperature. Rather than postulate that these stars represent degenerate matter, as Eddington and Chandrasekhar were forced to assume given their gaseous models, within the context of a Liquid Metallic Hydrogen Solar Model white dwarfs might simply be thought as possessing a different lattice structure (e.g. body centered cubic) and hence a lowered emissivity. They do not need to possess exceeding densities, reduced radii, and degeneracy in order to account for their lowered emissivity. Similarly, variable stars might well be oscillating between lattices types wherein the energy differences involved in the transformations are small. Other stars, such as Wolf-Rayet stars, which lack photospheric emission, might be too hot to enable a discrete lattice to form. Though condensed, the photosphere in that case would have a lattice which is so poorly organized that its emissivity is trivial. Nonetheless, the broad emission lines of Wolf-Rayet stars indicates that these objects are not breaking apart but rather, are important sites of condensation.

  11. The incidence of magnetism among white dwarfs: The first stars below 100 kilogauss

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Gary D.; Smith, Paul S.

    1994-01-01

    A survey for magnetic fields among a magnitude-limited sample of DA white dwarfs has identified two stars with weak circular polarization features across the profiles of H(alpha) and H(beta) WD 1350-090 (LP 907-037) was found to have a disk-averaged longitudinal field component B(sub e) = +85 +/- 9 kG at one epoch, while WD 0009+501 (G 217-037) has been measured on several occasions at values between B(sub e) approximately 0 and nearly -100 kG. The latter results imply an oblique rotator with a period between 2 and 20 hr. Magnetism on white dwarfs has now been detected over more than four orders of magnitude in strength. Assuming flux conservation, the new discoveries imply organized field patterns near the end of the main-sequence phase of only approximately 10 G. However, the overall incidence of magnetism among white dwarfs remains low, with more than 90% of stars having fields below approximately 10 kG. There is tentative evidence from line profile analysis that WD 1350-090 is a high-mass object (M greater than 1 solar mass), but an accurate parallax and more thorough spectroscopic study are required.

  12. Detection of the white dwarf and the secondary star in the new SU UMa dwarf nova HS 2219+1824

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Gil, P.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hagen, H.-J.; Marsh, T. R.; Harlaftis, E. T.; Kitsionas, S.; Engels, D.

    2005-02-01

    We report the discovery of a new, non-eclipsing SU UMa-type dwarf nova, HS 2219+1824. Photometry obtained in quiescence (V≈17.5) reveals a double-humped light curve from which we derive an orbital period of ≃86.2 min. Additional photometry obtained during a superoutburst reaching V≃12.0 clearly shows superhumps with a period of ≃89.05 min. The optical spectrum contains double-peaked Balmer and He I emission lines from the accretion disc as well as broad absorption troughs of Hβ, Hγ, and Hδ from the white dwarf primary star. Modelling of the optical spectrum implies a white dwarf temperature of 13 000 K⪉Teff⪉17 000 K, a distance of 180 pc⪉ d⪉230 pc, and suggests that the spectral type of the donor star is later than M 5. Phase-resolved spectroscopy obtained during quiescence reveals a narrow Hα emission line component which has a radial velocity amplitude and phase consistent with an origin on the secondary star, possibly on the irradiated hemisphere facing the white dwarf. This constitutes the first detection of line emission from the secondary star in a quiescent SU UMa star. Based in part on observations obtained at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, jointly with the Spanish National Commission for Astronomy; on observations made with the IAC80 and OGS telescopes, operated on the island of Tenerife by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the European Space Agency (ESA), respectively, in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide of the IAC; on observations made at the 1.2 m telescope, located at Kryoneri Korinthias, and owned by the National Observatory of Athens, Greece; and on observations made with the William Herschel Telescope, which is operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the IAC.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  14. An independent limit on the axion mass from the variable white dwarf star R548

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.; Romero, A. D.; Mukadam, A. S.; García-Berro, E.; Isern, J.; Kepler, S. O.; Corti, M. A.

    2012-12-01

    Pulsating white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich atmospheres, also known as DAV stars, can be used as astrophysical laboratories to constrain the properties of fundamental particles like axions. Comparing the measured cooling rates of these stars with the expected values from theoretical models allows us to search for sources of additional cooling due to the emission of weakly interacting particles. In this paper, we present an independent inference of the mass of the axion using the recent determination of the evolutionary cooling rate of R548, the DAV class prototype. We employ a state-of-the-art code which allows us to perform a detailed asteroseismological fit based on fully evolutionary sequences. Stellar cooling is the solely responsible of the rates of change of period with time (\\dot\\Pi}) for the DAV class. Thus, the inclusion of axion emission in these sequences notably influences the evolutionary timescales, and also the expected pulsational properties of the DAV stars. This allows us to compare the theoretical \\dot\\Pi} values to the corresponding empirical rate of change of period with time of R548 to discern the presence of axion cooling. We found that if the dominant period at 213.13 s in R548 is associated with a pulsation mode trapped in the hydrogen envelope, our models indicate the existence of additional cooling in this pulsating white dwarf, consistent with axions of mass macos 2β ~ 17.1 meV at a 2σ confidence level. This determination is in agreement with the value inferred from another well-studied DAV, G117-B15A. We now have two independent and consistent estimates of the mass of the axion obtained from DAVs, although additional studies of other pulsating white dwarfs are needed to confirm this value of the axion mass.

  15. An independent limit on the axion mass from the variable white dwarf star R548

    SciTech Connect

    Córsico, A.H.; Althaus, L.G.; Mukadam, A.S.; García-Berro, E.; Corti, M.A. E-mail: althaus@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar E-mail: anjum@astro.washington.edu E-mail: isern@ice.cat E-mail: mariela@fcaglp.fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar

    2012-12-01

    Pulsating white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich atmospheres, also known as DAV stars, can be used as astrophysical laboratories to constrain the properties of fundamental particles like axions. Comparing the measured cooling rates of these stars with the expected values from theoretical models allows us to search for sources of additional cooling due to the emission of weakly interacting particles. In this paper, we present an independent inference of the mass of the axion using the recent determination of the evolutionary cooling rate of R548, the DAV class prototype. We employ a state-of-the-art code which allows us to perform a detailed asteroseismological fit based on fully evolutionary sequences. Stellar cooling is the solely responsible of the rates of change of period with time (.Π)) for the DAV class. Thus, the inclusion of axion emission in these sequences notably influences the evolutionary timescales, and also the expected pulsational properties of the DAV stars. This allows us to compare the theoretical .Π) values to the corresponding empirical rate of change of period with time of R548 to discern the presence of axion cooling. We found that if the dominant period at 213.13 s in R548 is associated with a pulsation mode trapped in the hydrogen envelope, our models indicate the existence of additional cooling in this pulsating white dwarf, consistent with axions of mass m{sub a}cos {sup 2}β ∼ 17.1 meV at a 2σ confidence level. This determination is in agreement with the value inferred from another well-studied DAV, G117-B15A. We now have two independent and consistent estimates of the mass of the axion obtained from DAVs, although additional studies of other pulsating white dwarfs are needed to confirm this value of the axion mass.

  16. Phase diagram of carbon-oxygen plasma mixtures in white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The liquid-solid phase-diagram of dense carbon-oxygen plasma mixtures found in white dwarf stars interiors is determined from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Our MD simulations consist of boxes with 55296 ions with different carbon to oxygen ratios. Finite size effects are estimated comparing the new MD simulations results to previous smaller simulations. We use bond angle metric to identify whether an ion is in the solid, liquid or interface and study non-equilibrium effects by obtaining the diffusion coefficients in the different phases. Our phase diagram agrees with predictions from Medin and Cumming obtained by an independent method.

  17. Topics in solid-state astrophysics: Magnetized neutron star crusts and multicomponent crusts/white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, Tyler A.

    Two research endeavors are described in this dissertation; both undertake problems in solid-state astrophysics, which is a branch of solid-state physics concerning the extreme conditions found within white dwarfs and the solid crusts of neutron stars. As much of our knowledge about these compact objects comes from observation of astrophysical phenomena, Chapter 1 is devoted to the phenomena, and how they can be exploited as material property probes. Several of the most interesting phenomena involve the enormous magnetic fields (B ≥ 1012 gauss) harbored by many neutron stars, and the interaction between these fields and the charged particles within the solid crust. Accordingly, Chapter 2 reviews some theory of strongly-magnetized electrons, which both sets the stage for Chapter 3, and (hopefully) serves as a useful reference for future research. Let it now be made clear that this dissertation focuses exclusively on the "outer crusts," of neutron stars, where no free neutrons are present (rho < 4x1011 g/cc), and the similarly-composed interiors of white dwarfs, which have central densities ˜ 107 g/cc. For the most part we specialize to even lower densities. In Chapter 3, static and dynamic properties of low density (rho ≥ 106 g/cc) outer envelopes of neutron stars are calculated within the nonlinear magnetic Thomas-Fermi model, assuming degenerate electrons. A novel domain decomposition enables proper description of lattice symmetry and may be seen as a prototype for the general class of problems involving nonlinear charge screening of periodic, quasi-low-dimensionality structures, e.g. liquid crystals. We describe a scalable implementation of the method using Hypre. Over the density range considered, the effective shear modulus appears to be a factor of ≈ 20 larger than in the linearlyscreened Coulomb crystal model, which could have implications for observables related to astroseismology as well as low temperature phonon-mediated thermal conductivity. Other

  18. Be stars with white dwarf companions: a new single degenerate binary channel to type Ia supernovae explosions

    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. 6 years ago we suggested that several such sources may exist in M31, because we found that a certain fraction of supersoft sources was located in star forming regions. Following that discovery, we 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 demonstrate 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-08-01

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

  1. Importance of tides for periastron precession in eccentric neutron star-white dwarf binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Sravan, N.; Valsecchi, F.; Kalogera, V.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-10

    Although not nearly as numerous as binaries with two white dwarfs, eccentric neutron star-white dwarf (NS-WD) binaries are important gravitational-wave (GW) sources for the next generation of space-based detectors sensitive to low frequency waves. Here we investigate periastron precession in these sources as a result of general relativistic, tidal, and rotational effects; such precession is expected to be detectable for at least some of the detected binaries of this type. Currently, two eccentric NS-WD binaries are known in the galactic field, PSR J1141–6545 and PSR B2303+46, both of which have orbits too wide to be relevant in their current state to GW observations. However, population synthesis studies predict the existence of a significant Galactic population of such systems. Though small in most of these systems, we find that tidally induced periastron precession becomes important when tides contribute to more than 3% of the total precession rate. For these systems, accounting for tides when analyzing periastron precession rate measurements can improve estimates of the inferred WD component mass and, in some cases, will prevent us from misclassifying the object. However, such systems are rare, due to rapid orbital decay. To aid the inclusion of tidal effects when using periastron precession as a mass measurement tool, we derive a function that relates the WD radius and periastron precession constant to the WD mass.

  2. 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.

  3. Black hole, neutron star and white dwarf candidates from microlensing with OGLE-III★

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Z.; Skowron, J.; Rybicki, K. A.; Mróz, P.; Kozłowski, S.; Udalski, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Pietrzyński, G.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Poleski, R.; Pawlak, M.; Iłkiewicz, K.; Rattenbury, N. J.

    2016-05-01

    Most stellar remnants so far have been found in binary systems, where they interact with matter from their companions. Isolated neutron stars and black holes are difficult to find as they are dark, yet they are predicted to exist in our Galaxy in vast numbers. We explored the OGLE-III data base of 150 million objects observed in years 2001-2009 and found 59 microlensing events exhibiting a parallax effect due to the Earth's motion around the Sun. Combining parallax and brightness measurements from microlensing light curves with expected proper motions in the Milky Way, we identified 13 microlensing events which are consistent with having a white dwarf, neutron star or a black hole lens and we estimated their masses and distances. The most massive of our black hole candidates has 9.3 M⊙ and is at a distance of 2.4 kpc. The distribution of masses of our candidates indicates a continuum in mass distribution with no mass gap between neutron stars and black holes. We also present predictions on how such events will be observed by the astrometric Gaia mission.

  4. R Coronae Borealis Stars As The Result Of White Dwarf Mergers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

    R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars have masses around a solar mass, are hydrogen-deficient variable stars that suddenly fade by several magnitudes at irregular intervals after which they gradually return to their original brightness over a period of some months. The fading is thought to be due to the formation of dust blocking light from the star. RCBs are often thought to be the result of the merger of a He and a CO white dwarfs. Here we present the results of 3 dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the merger of double white dwarf systems where total mass is 0.9 solar mass and initial mass ratios ranging between q=0.5 and q=1. We use a zero-temperature plus ideal gas equation of state that allows for heating through shocks. These simulations allow us to follow the evolution of the system for 10-20 initial orbital periods (1000-2000 seconds) to a point after merger when the combined object has settled into a nearly steady-state like configuration. A hot shell forms around the merged core in low q simulations, but not in the high q simulations. The conditions found in the steady state like configuration is used as input to a nucleosynthesis code. We are particularly interested in seeing how much 18O is formed, as observations of RCB stars often show a very high ratio of 18O to 16O of order unity. In the very best case scenario, we find a ratio of 1/12 in the hot shell. This work has been supported, in part, by grant OIA-0963375 from the U.S. National Science Foundation and, in part, by NASA/ATP grants NNX10AC72G. This research also has been made possible by grants of high-performance computing time on the TeraGrid (TG-AST090104), at LSU, and across LONI (Louisiana Optical Network Initiative), especially awards loni_astro08 and loni_astro09).

  5. DO R CORONAE BOREALIS STARS FORM FROM DOUBLE WHITE DWARF MERGERS?

    SciTech Connect

    Staff, Jan. E.; Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Tohline, Joel E.; Menon, Athira; Herwig, Falk; Even, Wesley; Fryer, Chris L.; Motl, Patrick M.; Geballe, Tom; Pignatari, Marco

    2012-09-20

    A leading formation scenario for R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars invokes the merger of degenerate He and CO white dwarfs (WDs) in a binary. The observed ratio of {sup 16}O/{sup 18}O for RCB stars is in the range of 0.3-20 much smaller than the solar value of {approx}500. In this paper, we investigate whether such a low ratio can be obtained in simulations of the merger of a CO and a He WD. We present the results of five three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the merger of a double WD system where the total mass is 0.9 M{sub Sun} and the initial mass ratio (q) varies between 0.5 and 0.99. We identify in simulations with q {approx}< 0.7 a feature around the merged stars where the temperatures and densities are suitable for forming {sup 18}O. However, more {sup 16}O is being dredged up from the C- and O-rich accretor during the merger than the amount of {sup 18}O that is produced. Therefore, on the dynamical timescale over which our hydrodynamics simulation runs, an {sup 16}O/{sup 18}O ratio of {approx}2000 in the 'best' case is found. If the conditions found in the hydrodynamic simulations persist for 10{sup 6} s the oxygen ratio drops to 16 in one case studied, while in a hundred years it drops to {approx}4 in another case studied, consistent with the observed values in RCB stars. Therefore, the merger of two WDs remains a strong candidate for the formation of these enigmatic stars.

  6. Do R Coronae Borealis Stars Form from Double White Dwarf Mergers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staff, Jan. E.; Menon, Athira; Herwig, Falk; Even, Wesley; Fryer, Chris L.; Motl, Patrick M.; Geballe, Tom; Pignatari, Marco; Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Tohline, Joel E.

    2012-09-01

    A leading formation scenario for R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars invokes the merger of degenerate He and CO white dwarfs (WDs) in a binary. The observed ratio of 16O/18O for RCB stars is in the range of 0.3-20 much smaller than the solar value of ~500. In this paper, we investigate whether such a low ratio can be obtained in simulations of the merger of a CO and a He WD. We present the results of five three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the merger of a double WD system where the total mass is 0.9 M ⊙ and the initial mass ratio (q) varies between 0.5 and 0.99. We identify in simulations with q <~ 0.7 a feature around the merged stars where the temperatures and densities are suitable for forming 18O. However, more 16O is being dredged up from the C- and O-rich accretor during the merger than the amount of 18O that is produced. Therefore, on the dynamical timescale over which our hydrodynamics simulation runs, an 16O/18O ratio of ~2000 in the "best" case is found. If the conditions found in the hydrodynamic simulations persist for 106 s the oxygen ratio drops to 16 in one case studied, while in a hundred years it drops to ~4 in another case studied, consistent with the observed values in RCB stars. Therefore, the merger of two WDs remains a strong candidate for the formation of these enigmatic stars.

  7. 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.

  8. Is beryllium ultra-depletion in solar-type stars linked to the presence of a white dwarf companion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desidera, S.; D'Orazi, V.; Lugaro, M.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Abundance studies of solar-type stars revealed a small fraction of objects with extreme depletion of beryllium. Aims: We investigate the possible link between the beryllium depletion and the presence of companions. Methods: The classical methods (radial velocity, astrometry, imaging) used to search for binary companions were exploited. We also performed a chemical analysis to identify binaries by the alteration in abundances that is produced by the accretion of material lost by a former evolved companion. Results: We found that all the four previously investigated stars that were found to be ultra-depleted in Be are binaries. In two cases the companion is a white dwarf, and in the other two cases the companion might be a white dwarf or a main-sequence star. One new barium star was identified. Conclusions: We speculate that the interaction with the white dwarf progenitor caused an alteration in the abundance pattern of the star, which resulted in severe beryllium depletion. Possible mechanisms such as thermohaline mixing, episodic accretion, and rotational mixing are discussed. We also briefly discuss predictions for validating this scenario.

  9. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. Follow-up spectroscopic observations of HD 107148 B: A new white dwarf companion of an exoplanet host star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Dinçel, B.

    2016-07-01

    We report on our follow-up spectroscopy of HD 1071478 B, a recently detected faint co-moving companion of the exoplanet host star HD 107148 A. The companion is separated from its primary star by about 35 arcsec (or 1790 AU of projected separation) and its optical and near infrared photometry is consistent with a white dwarf, located at the distance of HD 107148 A. In order to confirm the white dwarf nature of the co-moving companion, we obtained follow-up spectroscopic observations of HD 107148 B with CAFOS at the CAHA 2.2 m telescope. According to our CAFOS spectroscopy HD 107148 B is a DA white dwarf with an effective temperature in the range between 5900 and 6400 K. The properties of HD 107148 B can further be constrained with the derived effective temperature and the known visual and infrared photometry of the companion, using evolutionary models of DA white dwarfs. We obtain for HD 107148 B a mass of 0.56±0.05 M_ȯ, a luminosity of (2.0±0.2)×10-4 L_ȯ, log g [cm s-2])=7.95±0.09, and a cooling age of 2100±270 Myr. With its white dwarf companion the exoplanet host star HD 107148 A forms an evolved stellar system, which hosts at least one exoplanet. So far, only few of these evolved systems are known, which represent only about 5 % of all known exoplanet host multiple stellar systems. HD 107148 B is the second confirmed white dwarf companion of an exoplanet host star with a projected separation to its primary star of more than 1000 AU. Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by the Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC).

  13. Carbon Shell or Core Ignitions in White Dwarfs Accreting from Helium Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, Jared; Bildsten, Lars; Schwab, Josiah; Paxton, Bill

    2016-04-01

    White dwarfs accreting from helium stars can stably burn at the accreted rate and avoid the challenge of mass loss associated with unstable helium burning that is a concern for many SNe Ia scenarios. We study binaries with helium stars of mass 1.25{M}ȯ ≤slant {M}{{He}}≤slant 1.8{M}ȯ , which have lost their hydrogen rich envelopes in an earlier common envelope event and now orbit with periods ({P}{{orb}}) of several hours with non-rotating 0.84 and 1.0{M}ȯ C/O WDs. The helium stars fill their Roche lobes after exhaustion of central helium and donate helium on their thermal timescales (∼ {10}5 years). As shown by others, these mass transfer rates coincide with the steady helium burning range for WDs, and grow the WD core up to near the Chandrasekhar mass ({M}{{Ch}}) and a core carbon ignition. We show here, however, that many of these scenarios lead to an ignition of hot carbon ashes near the outer edge of the WD and an inward going carbon flame that does not cause an explosive outcome. For {P}{{orb}}=3 hr, 1.0{M}ȯ C/O WDs with donor masses {M}{{He}}≳ 1.8{M}ȯ experience a shell carbon ignition, while {M}{{He}}≲ 1.3{M}ȯ will fall below the steady helium burning range and undergo helium flashes before reaching core C ignition. Those with 1.3{M}ȯ ≲ {M}{{He}}≲ 1.7{M}ȯ will experience a core C ignition. We also calculate the retention fraction of accreted helium when the accretion rate leads to recurrent weak helium flashes.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. AN ALUMINUM/CALCIUM-RICH, IRON-POOR, WHITE DWARF STAR: EVIDENCE FOR AN EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY LITHOSPHERE?

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Koester, D.; Dufour, P.; Melis, Carl

    2011-10-01

    The presence of elements heavier than helium in white dwarf atmospheres is often a signpost for the existence of rocky objects that currently or previously orbited these stars. We have measured the abundances of various elements in the hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs G149-28 and NLTT 43806. In comparison with other white dwarfs with atmospheres polluted by heavy elements, NLTT 43806 is substantially enriched in aluminum but relatively poor in iron. We compare the relative abundances of Al and eight other heavy elements seen in NLTT 43806 with the elemental composition of bulk Earth, with simulated extrasolar rocky planets, with solar system meteorites, with the atmospheric compositions of other polluted white dwarfs, and with the outer layers of the Moon and Earth. The best agreement is found with a model that involves accretion of a mixture of terrestrial crust and upper mantle material onto NLTT 43806. The implication is that NLTT 43806 is orbited by a differentiated rocky planet, perhaps quite similar to Earth, that has suffered a collision that stripped away some of its outer layers.

  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. NuSTAR AND SWIFT Observations of the Fast Rotating Magnetized White Dwarf AE Aquarii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kitaguchi, Takao; An, Hongjun; Beloborodov, Andrei M.; Gotthelf, Eric V.; Hayashi, Takayuki; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Rana, Vikram R.; Boggs, Steven E.; Christensen, Finn E.; Craig, William W.; Hailey, Charles J.; Harrison, Fiona A.; Stern, Daniel; Zhang, Will W.

    2014-01-01

    AE Aquarii is a cataclysmic variable with the fastest known rotating magnetized white dwarf (P(sub spin) = 33.08 s). Compared to many intermediate polars, AE Aquarii shows a soft X-ray spectrum with a very low luminosity (LX (is) approximately 10(exp 31) erg per second). We have analyzed overlapping observations of this system with the NuSTAR and the Swift X-ray observatories in 2012 September. We find the 0.5-30 keV spectra to be well fitted by either an optically thin thermal plasma model with three temperatures of 0.75(+0.18 / -0.45), 2.29(+0.96 / -0.82), and 9.33 (+6.07 / -2.18) keV, or an optically thin thermal plasma model with two temperatures of 1.00 (+0.34 / -0.23) and 4.64 (+1.58 / -0.84) keV plus a power-law component with photon index of 2.50 (+0.17 / -0.23). The pulse profile in the 3-20 keV band is broad and approximately sinusoidal, with a pulsed fraction of 16.6% +/- 2.3%. We do not find any evidence for a previously reported sharp feature in the pulse profile.

  20. NuStar and Swift Observations of the Fast Rotating Magnetized White Dwarf AE Aquarii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kitaguchi, Takao; An, Hongjun; Beloborodov, Andrei M.; Gotthelf, Eric V.; Hayashi, Takayuki; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Rana, Vikram R.; Boggs, Steven E.; Christensen, Finn E.; Craig, William W.; Hailey, Charles J.; Harrison, Fiona A.; Stern, Daniel; Zhang, Will W.

    2014-01-01

    AE Aquarii is a cataclysmic variable with the fastest known rotating magnetized white dwarf (P(sub spin) = 33.08 s). Compared to many intermediate polars, AE Aquarii shows a soft X-ray spectrum with a very low luminosity (LX (is) approximately 10(exp 31) erg per second). We have analyzed overlapping observations of this system with the NuSTAR and the Swift X-ray observatories in 2012 September. We find the 0.5-30 keV spectra to be well fitted by either an optically thin thermal plasma model with three temperatures of 0.75(+0.18 / -0.45), 2.29(+0.96 / -0.82), and 9.33 (+6.07 / -2.18) keV, or an optically thin thermal plasma model with two temperatures of 1.00 (+0.34 / -0.23) and 4.64 (+1.58 / -0.84) keV plus a power-law component with photon index of 2.50 (+0.17 / -0.23). The pulse profile in the 3-20 keV band is broad and approximately sinusoidal, with a pulsed fraction of 16.6% +/- 2.3%. We do not find any evidence for a previously reported sharp feature in the pulse profile.

  1. Equilibrium Structures of Differentially Rotating and Tidally Distorted White Dwarf Models of Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lal, Arvind Kumar; Mohan, C.; Singh, V. P.

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we present a method for computing the equilibrium structures and various physical parameters of a primary component of the binary system assuming that the primary is more massive than the secondary and is rotating differentially according to the law of the w2 = b0 + b1 × s2 + b2 × s4, w being the angular velocity of rotation of a fluid element distant s from the axis of rotation and b0, b1, b2 suitably chosen numerical constants. This method utilizes the averaging approach of Kippenhahn and Thomas (1997) and the concept of Roche equipotentials in a manner earlier used by Mohan et al. (1997) to incorporate the effects of rotation and tidal distortions on the equilibrium structures of certain rotationally and tidally distorted stellar models. The use of the method has been illustrated by applying it to obtain the structures and some observable parameters of certain differentially rotating and tidally distorted binary systems whose primary component is assumed to be a white dwarf star.

  2. 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.

  3. A white dwarf companion to the main-sequence star 4 Omicron(1) Orionis and the binary hypothesis for the origin of peculiar red giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ake, Thomas B.; Johnson, Hollis R.

    1988-04-01

    In the course of an investigation with the IUE satellite of the ultraviolet spectra of peculiar red giants, the authors have discovered a white dwarf companion to the MS star 4 ο1Ori. They discuss the reductions performed for the ο1Ori IUE observations, and compare these with field white dwarfs to derive parameters of the white dwarf and the luminosity of the primary. Upper detection limits are derived for hot degenerate companions to four other bright MS stars, HR 363, RS Cnc, ST Her, and OP Her. Combined with the ο1Ori observations, it is argued that the nondetections for these stars are consistent with the statistics of field giant binaries and that either mass-transfer effects are not responsible for the incipient S-star nature of the MS stars, if their abundance peculiarities are recent, or that the MS stars must be older than 106yr.

  4. A search for p-mode pulsations in white dwarf stars using the Berkeley Visible Imaging Tube detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilkenny, D.; Welsh, B. Y.; Koen, C.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Kotze, M. M.

    2014-01-01

    We present high-speed photometry (resolution 0.1 s) obtained during the commissioning of the Berkely Visible Imaging Tube system on the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). The observations were an attempt to search for very rapid p-mode oscillations in white dwarf stars and included three DA stars known to be g-mode pulsators (ZZ Cet, HK Cet and AF Pic), one other DA star (WD 1056-384) not known to be variable and one AM Cvn star (HP Lib). No evidence was found for any variations greater than about 1 mmag in amplitude (˜0.1 per cent) at frequencies in excess of 60 mHz (periods <17 s) in any of the target stars, though several previously known g-mode frequencies were recovered.

  5. Double White Dwarfs as Probes of Single and Binary Star Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Jeffrey John

    2016-01-01

    As the endpoints of stars less massive than roughly eight solar masses, the population of Galactic white dwarfs (WD) contain information about complex stellar evolution processes. Associated pairs of WDs add an extra degree of leverage; both WDs must have formed and evolved together. The work presented in this dissertation uses various populations of double WDs (DWD) to constrain evolution of both single and binary stars. One example is the set of low-mass WDs with unseen WD companions, which are formed through a dynamically-unstable mass loss process called the common envelope. To work toward a quantitative understanding of the common envelope, we develop and apply a Bayesian statistical technique to identify the masses of the unseen WD companions. We provide results which can be compared to evolutionary models and hence a deeper understanding of how binary stars evolve through a common envelope. The statistical technique we develop can be applied to any population of single-line spectroscopic binaries. Binaries widely separated enough that they avoid any significant interaction independently evolve into separate WDs that can be identified in photometric and astrometric surveys. We discuss techniques for finding these objects, known as wide DWDs. We present a catalog of 142 candidate wide DWDs, combining both previously detected systems and systems we identify in our searches in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Having been born at the same time, the masses and cooling ages of the WDs in wide DWDs, obtained with our spectroscopic follow-up campaign can be used to constrain the initial-final mass relation, which relates a main sequence star to the mass of the WD into which it will evolve. We develop a novel Bayesian technique to interpret our data and present our resulting constraints on this relation which are particularly strong for initial masses between two and four solar masses. During this process, we identified one wide DWD, HS 2220+2146, that was peculiar since

  6. X-ray survey of hot white dwarf stars - evidence for a m(He)/n(H) versus Teff correlation

    SciTech Connect

    Petre, R.; Shipman, H.L.; Canizares, C.R.

    1986-05-01

    Observations of 13 white dwarf and subdwarf stars using the Einstein Observatory High Resolution Image are reported. Included are stars of classes DA, DB, DAV, sDO, and sDB, with optically determined effective temperatures in the range 10,000-60,000 K. X-ray emission was detected from two of the 13: the very hot (55,000 K) DA1 star WD 2309 + 105 (= EG 233), with a count rate one-fifth that of HZ 43, and the relatively cool (26,000 K) DA3 star WD 1052 - 273 (=GD 125). The effective temperatures determined from ultraviolet and optical observations were used to place limits on the He content of the white dwarf photospheres, presuming that trace photospheric He is the missing opacity source which quenches the thermal X-rays in these stars. When presently obtained results were combined with those available from the literature evidence was found for a correlation between Teff and n(He)/n(H), in which HZ 43 is a conspicuous exception to the general trend. Both this correlation and the exceptional behavior of HZ 43 are qualitatively accounted for by a radiative acceleration model, in which the rate of upward movement of the He is a function of temperature and surface gravity 59 references.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. A numerical study of the stability of radiative shocks. [in accretion flows onto white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, J. N.; Wolff, M. T.; Durisen, R. H.

    1984-01-01

    Attention is given to the oscillatory instability of optically thin radiative shocks in time-dependent numerical calculations of accretion flows onto degenerate dwarfs. The present nonlinear calculations yield good quantitative agreement with the linear results obtained for oscillation frequencies, damping rates, and critical alpha-values. The fundamental mode and the first overtone in the shock radius and luminosity variations can be clearly identified, and evidence is sometimes seen for the second overtone. Time-dependent calculations are also performed which include additional physics relevant to degenerate dwarf accretion, such as electron thermal conduction, unequal electron and ion temperatures, Compton cooling, and relativistic corrections to the bremsstrahlung cooling law. All oscillatory modes are found to be damped, and hence stable, in the case of a 1-solar mass white dwarf accreting in spherical symmetry.

  10. 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.

  11. Quasisoft X-Ray Sources: White Dwarfs? Neutron Stars? Black Holes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne

    Two of the most exciting areas of current research in astrophysics are black holes and Type Ia supernovae. We propose archival work that has the potential to shed light on both areas. The focus of our research is a newly-established class of x-ray sources called Quasisoft X-ray Sources (QSSs). Although they comprise a significant fraction of the x- ray sources in galaxies of all types, including M31, it has proved difficult to identify members of this class in the Milky Way or Magellanic Clouds. We have developed methods to find these sources, and have begun to meet with success in the application of our methods. The three-year project we propose will allow us to identify QSSs. We will then use the full range of archived data to determine which QSS candidates are highly luminous, and which are members of less luminous classes, such as quiescent low-mass x-ray binaries (qLMXBs), or even isolated neutron stars. Many will be nearby x-ray active stars, or else distant AGN, whose discovery will also be of interest to a range of researchers. In the end, we will have a subset of intriguing physical systems, some of which may be accreting black holes and some of which may be unusual states of neutron stars or even of nuclear-burning white dwarfs. The systems identified through this ADAP program will be targets of future observing programs, from space and from the ground. The information we derive from NASA archived data will provide insight into important astrophysical questions. Do intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) exist? It has only been during the past 15 years or so that accreting compact objects that were considered as black hole candidates have been promoted to black holes. This achievement required years of observations of candidates in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds. The discovery of ultraluminous X- ray source in external galaxies suggests that there are black holes with masses larger than the 10-30 solar masses typical of the known black holes. To

  12. Electron exchange and polarization effects on electron captures and neutron emissions by nuclei in white dwarfs and neutron stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamel, N.; Fantina, A. F.

    2016-03-01

    In dense stellar environments, nuclei may become unstable against electron captures and/or neutron emissions. These processes are of particular importance for determining the internal constitution of white-dwarf cores and neutron-star crusts. In this paper, the role of electron exchange and polarization effects is studied. In particular, the instability condition for the onset of electron captures and neutron emissions is extended so as to account for electron exchange and polarization. Moreover, general analytical expressions for the corresponding density and pressure are derived. The corrections to the electron-capture threshold in white-dwarf cores are found to be very small. Likewise, the neutron-drip density and pressure in the crusts of accreting and nonaccreting neutron stars are only slightly shifted. Depending on the nuclear mass model employed, electron polarization may change the composition of the crust of nonaccreting neutron stars. On the other hand, the current uncertainties in the masses of neutron-rich Kr and Sr isotopes are found to be more important than electron exchange and polarization effects.

  13. A subsynchronously rotating pulsating subdwarf B star in a short-period binary with a white dwarf companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baran, A. S.; Telting, J. H.; Németh, P.; Østensen, R. H.; Reed, M. D.; Kiaeerad, F.

    2016-01-01

    We present our analysis of KIC 7664467, an sdB pulsator that we have found to be residing in a 1.56-day binary system with a white-dwarf companion. This system was observed photometrically with the Kepler spacecraft and spectroscopically with ground-based telescopes. We analyzed the amplitude spectra detecting 61 periods, rotationally split multiplets, and an equally spaced sequence in period. These two features helped with the mode identification. We derived both the binary and rotation periods showing that this is another binary system with a subsynchronous sdB star. From our spectroscopy of the sdB star, we determined Teff = 27440 ± 120 K, log g = 5.38 ± 0.02 dex. The abundance pattern follows the general trend observed in sdB stars, where light metals are subsolar, while the Fe abundance is very close to the solar value. We found the N enrichment and low abundances of C and O that resemble the equilibrium abundances of the CNO cycle. We could also measure the Mg and Si abundances. Using the radial velocity amplitude K1 = 57(3) km s-1 and the Doppler boosting-dominated photometric signal at the orbital period, we constrained the companion to be a compact object, almost certainly a white dwarf.

  14. The Driving Mechanism of Pulsating Pre-White Dwarfs: Variability of the "Hybrid" PG 1159 Star HS 2324+3944

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handler, G.; Silvotti, R.

    We acquired 8 nights of time-series photometric observations of the variable RhybridS PG 1159 star HS 2324+3944. These data allow us to demonstrate the presence of four frequencies in the stellar light variations with evidence for more. The dominating time scale of the variability (around 35 minutes) is much longer than that of GW Vir pulsators. Binarity is not likely to cause the object's light variations. A pulsational origin of the variability seems more attractive. Recent theoretical investigations suggest that pre-white dwarf pulsations can be excited despite the presence of hydrogen in the model's driving region.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Viscous effects in rapidly rotating stars with application to white-dwarf models. I, II.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durisen, R. H.

    1973-01-01

    A general approximate numerical technique is proposed for constructing evolutionary sequences of rapidly rotating axisymmetric barytropic equilibrium configurations, with allowance for angular momentum transfer by a nonconstant isotropic viscosity. The principal physical assumption involved is the constancy of the angular momentum per unit mass on cylinders about the axis of rotation. Rapidly rotating nonmagnetic white-dwarf models with a zero-temperature degenerate-electron equation of state are considered as a particular application. The viscosity used in the analysis is that of the degenerate electrons.

  19. The type Ia supernova SNLS-03D3bb from a super-Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf star.

    PubMed

    Howell, D Andrew; Sullivan, Mark; Nugent, Peter E; Ellis, Richard S; Conley, Alexander J; Le Borgne, Damien; Carlberg, Raymond G; Guy, Julien; Balam, David; Basa, Stephane; Fouchez, Dominique; Hook, Isobel M; Hsiao, Eric Y; Neill, James D; Pain, Reynald; Perrett, Kathryn M; Pritchet, Christopher J

    2006-09-21

    The accelerating expansion of the Universe, and the need for dark energy, were inferred from observations of type Ia supernovae. There is a consensus that type Ia supernovae are thermonuclear explosions that destroy carbon-oxygen white dwarf stars that have accreted matter from a companion star, although the nature of this companion remains uncertain. These supernovae are thought to be reliable distance indicators because they have a standard amount of fuel and a uniform trigger: they are predicted to explode when the mass of the white dwarf nears the Chandrasekhar mass of 1.4 solar masses (M(o)). Here we show that the high-redshift supernova SNLS-03D3bb has an exceptionally high luminosity and low kinetic energy that both imply a super-Chandrasekhar-mass progenitor. Super-Chandrasekhar-mass supernovae should occur preferentially in a young stellar population, so this may provide an explanation for the observed trend that overluminous type Ia supernovae occur only in 'young' environments. As this supernova does not obey the relations that allow type Ia supernovae to be calibrated as standard candles, and as no counterparts have been found at low redshift, future cosmology studies will have to consider possible contamination from such events. PMID:16988705

  20. Limits on a gravitational field dependence of the proton-electron mass ratio from H2 in white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Bagdonaite, J; Salumbides, E J; Preval, S P; Barstow, M A; Barrow, J D; Murphy, M T; Ubachs, W

    2014-09-19

    Spectra of molecular hydrogen (H2) are employed to search for a possible proton-to-electron mass ratio (μ) dependence on gravity. The Lyman transitions of H2, observed with the Hubble Space Telescope towards white dwarf stars that underwent a gravitational collapse, are compared to accurate laboratory spectra taking into account the high temperature conditions (T∼13 000  K) of their photospheres. We derive sensitivity coefficients Ki which define how the individual H2 transitions shift due to μ dependence. The spectrum of white dwarf star GD133 yields a Δμ/μ constraint of (-2.7±4.7stat±0.2syst)×10(-5) for a local environment of a gravitational potential ϕ∼10(4) ϕEarth, while that of G29-38 yields Δμ/μ=(-5.8±3.8stat±0.3syst)×10(-5) for a potential of 2×10(4) ϕEarth. PMID:25279624

  1. Crystal Chemistry of Three-component White Dwarfs and Neutron Star Crusts: Phase Stability, Phase Stratification, and Physical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, T. A.; Yoder, N. C.; Crespi, V. H.

    2016-02-01

    A systematic search for multicomponent crystal structures is carried out for five different ternary systems of nuclei in a polarizable background of electrons, representative of accreted neutron star crusts and some white dwarfs. Candidate structures are “bred” by a genetic algorithm and optimized at constant pressure under the assumption of linear response (Thomas-Fermi) charge screening. Subsequent phase equilibria calculations reveal eight distinct crystal structures in the T = 0 bulk phase diagrams, five of which are complicated multinary structures not previously predicted in the context of compact object astrophysics. Frequent instances of geometrically similar but compositionally distinct phases give insight into structural preferences of systems with pairwise Yukawa interactions, including and extending to the regime of low-density colloidal suspensions made in a laboratory. As an application of these main results, we self-consistently couple the phase stability problem to the equations for a self-gravitating, hydrostatically stable white dwarf, with fixed overall composition. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to incorporate complex multinary phases into the equilibrium phase-layering diagram and mass-radius-composition dependence, both of which are reported for He-C-O and C-O-Ne white dwarfs. Finite thickness interfacial phases (“interphases”) show up at the boundaries between single-component body-centered cubic (bcc) crystalline regions, some of which have lower lattice symmetry than cubic. A second application—quasi-static settling of heavy nuclei in white dwarfs—builds on our equilibrium phase-layering method. Tests of this nonequilibrium method reveal extra phases that play the role of transient host phases for the settling species.

  2. A white dwarf companion to the main-sequence star 4 Omicron(1) Orionis and the binary hypothesis for the origin of peculiar red giants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ake, Thomas B.; Johnson, Hollis R.

    1988-01-01

    Ultraviolet spectra of the peculiar red giants (PRGs) called MS stars are investigated, and the discovery of a white dwarf (WD) companion to the MS star 4 Omicron(1) Orionis is reported. The observations and data analysis are discussed and compared with those for field WDs in order to derive parameters for the WD and the luminosity of the primary. Detection limits for the other MS stars investigated are derived, and the binary hypothesis for PRGs is reviewed.

  3. THE MASSES OF POPULATION II WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Zdzislaw E.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Si:P as a laboratory analogue for hydrogen on high magnetic field white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Murdin, B N; Li, Juerong; Pang, M L Y; Bowyer, E T; Litvinenko, K L; Clowes, S K; Engelkamp, H; Pidgeon, C R; Galbraith, I; Abrosimov, N V; Riemann, H; Pavlov, S G; Hübers, H-W; Murdin, P G

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen in a magnetic flux density of 10(5) T (1 gigagauss), the maximum observed on high-field magnetic white dwarfs, is impossible because practically available fields are about a thousand times less. In this regime, the cyclotron and binding energies become equal. Here we demonstrate Lyman series spectra for phosphorus impurities in silicon up to the equivalent field, which is scaled to 32.8 T by the effective mass and dielectric constant. The spectra reproduce the high-field theory for free hydrogen, with quadratic Zeeman splitting and strong mixing of spherical harmonics. They show the way for experiments on He and H(2) analogues, and for investigation of He(2), a bound molecule predicted under extreme field conditions. PMID:23403570

  8. THE WHITE DWARF COMPANION OF A 2 M{sub sun} NEUTRON STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Bhalerao, Varun B.; Kulkarni, S. R.

    2011-08-10

    We report the optical discovery of the companion to the 2 M{sub sun} millisecond pulsar PSR J1614-2230. The optical colors show that the 0.5 M{sub sun} companion is a 2.2 Gyr old He-CO white dwarf. We infer that M-dot during the accretion phase is <10{sup -2} M-dot{sub edd}. We show that the pulsar was born with a spin close to its current value, well below the rebirth line. The spin-down parameters, the mass of the pulsar, and the age of the system challenge the simple recycling model for the formation of millisecond pulsars.

  9. 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).

  10. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-15

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

  16. A Gravitational Redshift Determination of the Mean Mass of White Dwarfs. DA Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcon, Ross E.; Winget, D. E.; Montgomery, M. H.; Williams, Kurtis A.

    2010-03-01

    We measure apparent velocities (v app) of the Hα and Hβ Balmer line cores for 449 non-binary thin disk normal DA white dwarfs (WDs) using optical spectra taken for the European Southern Observatory SN Ia progenitor survey (SPY). Assuming these WDs are nearby and comoving, we correct our velocities to the local standard of rest so that the remaining stellar motions are random. By averaging over the sample, we are left with the mean gravitational redshift, [vg]: we find [vg] = [vapp] = 32.57 ± 1.17 km s-1. Using the mass-radius relation from evolutionary models, this translates to a mean mass of 0.647+0.013 -0.014 Msun. We interpret this as the mean mass for all DAs. Our results are in agreement with previous gravitational redshift studies but are significantly higher than all previous spectroscopic determinations except the recent findings of Tremblay & Bergeron. Since the gravitational redshift method is independent of surface gravity from atmosphere models, we investigate the mean mass of DAs with spectroscopic T eff both above and below 12,000 K fits to line profiles give a rapid increase in the mean mass with decreasing Teff. Our results are consistent with no significant change in mean mass: [M]hot = 0.640 ± 0.014 M⊙ and [M]cool = 0.686+0.035 -0.039 M⊙.

  17. 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.

  18. A GRAVITATIONAL REDSHIFT DETERMINATION OF THE MEAN MASS OF WHITE DWARFS. DA STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Falcon, Ross E.; Winget, D. E.; Montgomery, M. H.; Williams, Kurtis A. E-mail: dew@astro.as.utexas.ed E-mail: kurtis@astro.as.utexas.ed

    2010-03-20

    We measure apparent velocities (v{sub app}) of the Halpha and Hbeta Balmer line cores for 449 non-binary thin disk normal DA white dwarfs (WDs) using optical spectra taken for the European Southern Observatory SN Ia progenitor survey (SPY). Assuming these WDs are nearby and comoving, we correct our velocities to the local standard of rest so that the remaining stellar motions are random. By averaging over the sample, we are left with the mean gravitational redshift, (v{sub g}): we find (v{sub g}) = (v{sub app}) = 32.57 +- 1.17 km s{sup -1}. Using the mass-radius relation from evolutionary models, this translates to a mean mass of 0.647{sup +0.013}{sub -0.014} M{sub sun}. We interpret this as the mean mass for all DAs. Our results are in agreement with previous gravitational redshift studies but are significantly higher than all previous spectroscopic determinations except the recent findings of Tremblay and Bergeron. Since the gravitational redshift method is independent of surface gravity from atmosphere models, we investigate the mean mass of DAs with spectroscopic T{sub eff} both above and below 12,000 K; fits to line profiles give a rapid increase in the mean mass with decreasing T{sub eff}. Our results are consistent with no significant change in mean mass: (M){sup hot} = 0.640 +- 0.014 M{sub sun} and (M){sup cool} = 0.686{sup +0.035}{sub -0.039} M{sub sun}.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. FORMATION OF THE GALACTIC MILLISECOND PULSAR TRIPLE SYSTEM PSR J0337+1715—A NEUTRON STAR WITH TWO ORBITING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tauris, T. M.; Van den Heuvel, E. P. J.

    2014-01-20

    The millisecond pulsar in a triple system (PSR J0337+1715, recently discovered by Ransom et al.) is an unusual neutron star with two orbiting white dwarfs. The existence of such a system in the Galactic field poses new challenges to stellar astrophysics for understanding evolution, interactions, and mass transfer in close multiple stellar systems. In addition, this system provides the first precise confirmation for a very wide-orbit system of the white dwarf mass-orbital period relation. Here, we present a self-consistent, semi-analytical solution to the formation of PSR J0337+1715. Our model constrains the peculiar velocity of the system to be less than 160 km s{sup –1} and brings novel insight to, for example, common envelope evolution in a triple system, for which we find evidence for in-spiral of both outer stars. Finally, we briefly discuss our scenario in relation to alternative models.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Highly magnetized white dwarf as a possible alternate to neutron star to resolve shortcoming of magnetar model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata; Rao, A. R.; Das, Upasana; Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar; Bhattacharya, Mukul

    2016-07-01

    Since 2012, in a series of paper (so far 15, published in Phys. Rev. Lett., 110, 071102, 2013; ApJLett., 767, 14, 2013; MNRAS, 454, 752, 2015, etc.), we have been exploring the possible existence of highly magnetized super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs. Not only their mass is highly super-Chandrasekhar, they could be much smaller in size compared to the conventional white dwarfs. Here, first I plan to give an overview of the scientific evolution of the model and its current status. Subsequently, on establishing its reliability, I will show that it could be a potential candidate to explain the features lying with soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars, some of which the conventional neutron state based model, based on huge observationally unconfirmed yet surface magnetic fields, cannot explain. I will also highlight that our highly magnetized white dwarfs should exhibit very low luminosity, hence are difficult to observe directly.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Quantitative spectral analysis of the sdB star HD 188112: A helium-core white dwarf progenitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latour, M.; Heber, U.; Irrgang, A.; Schaffenroth, V.; Geier, S.; Hillebrandt, W.; Röpke, F. K.; Taubenberger, S.; Kromer, M.; Fink, M.

    2016-01-01

    Context. HD 188112 is a bright (V = 10.2 mag) hot subdwarf B (sdB) star with a mass too low to ignite core helium burning and is therefore considered a pre-extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarf (WD). ELM WDs (M ≲ 0.3 M⊙) are He-core objects produced by the evolution of compact binary systems. Aims: We present in this paper a detailed abundance analysis of HD 188112 based on high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope (HST) near- and far-ultraviolet spectroscopy. We also constrain the mass of the star's companion. Methods: We use hybrid non-LTE model atmospheres to fit the observed spectral lines, and to derive the abundances of more than a dozen elements and the rotational broadening of metallic lines. Results: We confirm the previous binary system parameters by combining radial velocities measured in our UV spectra with the previously published values. The system has a period of 0.60658584 days and a WD companion with M ≥ 0.70 M⊙. By assuming a tidally locked rotation combined with the projected rotational velocity (v sin i = 7.9 ± 0.3 km s-1), we constrain the companion mass to be between 0.9 and 1.3 M⊙. We further discuss the future evolution of the system as a potential progenitor of an underluminous type Ia supernova. We measure abundances for Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Zn, and for the trans-iron elements Ga, Sn, and Pb. In addition, we derive upper limits for the C, N, O elements and find HD 188112 to be strongly depleted in carbon. We find evidence of non-LTE effects on the line strength of some ionic species such as Si ii and Ni ii. The metallic abundances indicate that the star is metal-poor, with an abundance pattern most likely produced by diffusion effects.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. A GRAVITATIONAL REDSHIFT DETERMINATION OF THE MEAN MASS OF WHITE DWARFS: DBA AND DB STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Falcon, Ross E.; Winget, D. E.; Montgomery, M. H.; Williams, Kurtis A. E-mail: dew@astro.as.utexas.edu E-mail: kurtis.williams@tamuc.edu

    2012-10-01

    We measure apparent velocities (v{sub app}) of absorption lines for 36 white dwarfs (WDs) with helium-dominated atmospheres-16 DBAs and 20 DBs-using optical spectra taken for the European Southern Observatory SN Ia progenitor survey. We find a difference of 6.9 {+-} 6.9 km s{sup -1} in the average apparent velocity of the H{alpha} lines versus that of the He I 5876 A lines for our DBAs. This is a measure of the blueshift of this He line due to pressure effects. By using this as a correction, we extend the gravitational redshift method employed by Falcon et al. to use the apparent velocity of the He I 5876 A line and conduct the first gravitational redshift investigation of a group of WDs without visible hydrogen lines. We use biweight estimators to find an average apparent velocity, (v{sub app}){sub BI}, (and hence average gravitational redshift, (v{sub g}){sub BI}) for our WDs; from that we derive an average mass, (M){sub BI}. For the DBAs, we find (v{sub app}){sub BI} = 40.8 {+-} 4.7 km s{sup -1} and derive (M){sub BI} = 0.71{sup +0.04}{sub -0.05} M{sub Sun }. Though different from (v{sub app}) of DAs (32.57 km s{sup -1}) at the 91% confidence level and suggestive of a larger DBA mean mass than that for normal DAs derived using the same method (0.647{sup +0.013}{sub -0.014} M{sub Sun }; Falcon et al.), we do not claim this as a stringent detection. Rather, we emphasize that the difference between (v{sub app}){sub BI} of the DBAs and (v{sub app}) of normal DAs is no larger than 9.2 km s{sup -1}, at the 95% confidence level; this corresponds to roughly 0.10 M{sub Sun }. For the DBs, we find (v {sup He}{sub app}){sub BI} = 42.9 {+-} 8.49 km s{sup -1} after applying the blueshift correction and determine (M){sub BI} = 0.74{sup +0.08}{sub -0.09} M{sub Sun }. The difference between (v{sup He}{sub app}){sub BI} of the DBs and (v{sub app}) of DAs is {<=}11.5 km s{sup -1} ({approx}0.12 M{sub Sun }), at the 95% confidence level. The gravitational redshift method indicates

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Models for the evolution of close binaries with He-star and white dwarf components towards Type Ia supernova explosions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neunteufel, P.; Yoon, S.-C.; Langer, N.

    2016-05-01

    Context. Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have been an important tool for astronomy for quite some time; however, the nature of their progenitors remains somewhat mysterious. Recent theoretical studies indicated the possibility of producing thermonuclear detonations of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (CO WDs) at masses less than the Chandrasekhar mass through accretion of helium-rich matter, which would, depending on mass accretion rate, mass, and initial temperature of the WD, spectrally resemble either a normal SN Ia or a peculiar one. Aims: This study aims to further resolve the state of binary systems comprised of a sub-Chandrasekhar-mass CO WD and a helium star at the point where an accretion-induced detonation occurs and constrains the part of the initial parameter space where this kind of phenomenon is possible. Methods: Preexisting data obtained through simulations of single, constantly accreting CO WDs is used as an indicator for the behavior of new binary models in which the WD is treated as a point mass and which include the non-degenerate partner as a fully resolved stellar model. We parameterize the ignition of the accumulated helium layer, changes in the WD temperature, and changes in the CO core mass depending on the mass transfer rate. Results: The initial conditions allowing for detonation do not form a single contiguous area in the parameter space, whose shape is profoundly influenced by the behavior of the donor star. Mass loss due to Nova outbursts acts in favor of detonation. According to our criteria, about 10% of the detonations in this study can be expected to show spectra consistent with ordinary SNe Ia; the rest exhibit peculiar features.

  15. The asteroseismological potential of the pulsating DB white dwarf stars CBS 114 and PG 1456+103

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handler, G.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Wood, M. A.

    2002-09-01

    We have acquired 65 h of single-site time-resolved CCD photometry of the pulsating DB white dwarf star (DBV) CBS 114 and 62 h of two-site high-speed CCD photometry of another DBV, PG 1456+103. The pulsation spectrum of PG 1456+103 is complicated and variable on time-scales of approximately 1 week and could only partly be deciphered with our measurements. The modes of CBS 114 are more stable in time and we were able to arrive at a frequency solution somewhat affected by aliasing, but still satisfactory, involving seven independent modes and two combination frequencies. These frequencies also explain the discovery data of the star, taken 13 yr earlier. We find a mean period spacing of 37.1 +/- 0.7 s significant at the 98 per cent level between the independent modes of CBS 114 and argue that they are caused by non-radial g-mode pulsations of spherical degree l= 1. We performed a global search for asteroseismological models of CBS 114 using a genetic algorithm, and we examined the susceptibility of the results to the uncertainties of the observational frequency determinations and mode identifications (we could not provide m values). The families of possible solutions are identified correctly even without knowledge of m. Our best-fitting model suggests Teff= 21 000 K, M*= 0.730 Msolar and log(MHe/M*) =-6.66, XO= 0.61. The latter value of the central oxygen mass fraction implies a rate for the 12C(α,γ)16O nuclear reaction near S300= 180 keV b, consistent with laboratory measurements.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  17. The effective temperature of the white-dwarf star and ZZ Ceti candidate Wolf 485A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Digel, S. W.; Shipman, H. L.

    1984-01-01

    Previous multichannel observations of W485A (WD 1327-08) have placed it in the instability strip, the effective temperature range 11,000-13,000 K. In the instability strip, most of the stars (the ZZ Ceti stars) are variable, but W485A has not been detected to be variable. In this paper, high-resolution spectra of W485A and improved hydrogen-line broadening routines are used in the ATLAS model-atmospheres program to find the temperature of W485A; the estimate of effective temperature most consistent with the other data on the star is 14,600 K, outside the instability strip.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, Josiah

    2016-01-01

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

  19. An X-ray survey of hot white dwarf stars - Evidence for a m(He)/n(H) versus Teff correlation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petre, R.; Shipman, H. L.; Canizares, C. R.

    1986-01-01

    Observations of 13 white dwarf and subdwarf stars using the Einstein Observatory High Resolution Image are reported. Included are stars of classes DA, DB, DAV, sDO, and sDB, with optically determined effective temperatures in the range 10,000-60,000 K. X-ray emission was detected from two of the 13: the very hot (55,000 K) DA1 star WD 2309 + 105 (= EG 233), with a count rate one-fifth that of HZ 43, and the relatively cool (26,000 K) DA3 star WD 1052 - 273 (=GD 125). The effective temperatures determined from ultraviolet and optical observations were used to place limits on the He content of the white dwarf photospheres, presuming that trace photospheric He is the missing opacity source which quenches the thermal X-rays in these stars. When presently obtained results were combined with those available from the literature evidence was found for a correlation between Teff and n(He)/n(H), in which HZ 43 is a conspicuous exception to the general trend. Both this correlation and the exceptional behavior of HZ 43 are qualitatively accounted for by a radiative acceleration model, in which the rate of upward movement of the He is a function of temperature and surface gravity

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Testing gravity using dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakstein, Jeremy

    2015-12-01

    Generic scalar-tensor theories of gravity predict deviations from Newtonian physics inside astrophysical bodies. In this paper, we point out that low mass stellar objects, red and brown dwarf stars, are excellent probes of these theories. We calculate two important and potentially observable quantities: the radius of brown dwarfs and the minimum mass for hydrogen burning in red dwarfs. The brown dwarf radius can differ significantly from the general relativity prediction, and upcoming surveys that probe the mass-radius relation for stars with masses dwarf stars. This places a new and extremely stringent constraint on the parameters that appear in the effective field theory of dark energy and rules out several well-studied dark energy models.

  13. The SW Sextantis-type star 2MASS J01074282+4845188: an unusual bright accretion disk with non-steady emission and a hot white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khruzina, T.; Dimitrov, D.; Kjurkchieva, D.

    2013-03-01

    Context. Cataclysmic variables (CVs) present a short evolutional stage of binary systems. The nova-like stars are rare objects, especially those with eclipses (only several tens). But precisely these allow to determine the global parameters of their configurations and to learn more about the late stage of stellar evolution. Aims: The light curve solution allows one to determine the global parameters of the newly discovered nova-like eclipsing star 2MASS J01074282+4845188 and to estimate the contribution of the different light sources. Methods: We present new photometric and spectral observations of 2MASS J01074282+4845188. To obtain a light curve solution we used a model of a nova-like star whose emission sources are a white dwarf surrounded by an accretion disk, a secondary star filling its Roche lobe, a hot spot and a hot line. The obtained global parameters are compared with those of the eclipsing nova-like UX UMa. Results: 2MASS J01074282+4845188 shows the deepest permanent eclipse among the known nova-like stars. It is reproduced by covering the very bright accretion disk by the secondary component. The luminosity of the disk is much bigger than that of the rest light sources. The determined high temperature of the disk is typical for that observed during the outbursts of CVs. The primary of 2MASS J01074282+4845188 is one of the hottest white dwarfs in CVs. The temperature of 5090 K of its secondary is also quite high and more appropriate for a long-period SW Sex star. It might be explained by the intense heating from the hot white dwarf and the hot accretion disk of the target. Conclusions: The high mass accretion rate Ṁ = 8 × 10-9 M⊙ yr-1, the broad and single-peaked Hα emission profile, and the presence of an S-wave are sure signs for the SW Sex classification of 2MASS J01074282+4845188. The obtained flat temperature distribution along the disk radius as well as the deviation of the energy distribution from the black-body law are evidence of the non

  14. 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.

  15. Photospheric, circumstellar, and interstellar features of HE, C, N. O, and Si in the HST spectra of four hot white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.; Provencal, Judi; Roby, Scott W.; Barstow, Martin; Bond, Howard; Bruhweiler, Fred; Finley, David; Fontaine, Gilles; Holberg, Jay; Nousek, John

    1995-01-01

    This paper reports on the observations of four hot white dwarf stars with the spectrographs on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The higher resolving power and higher signal/noise, in comparison with IUE, reveals a very rich phenomomenology, including photospheric features from heavy elements, circumstellar features, and the first direct detection of accretion onto the white dwarf component of a binary system. Specific results include the following: Our observations of the ultrahot degenerate H1504+65 confirm that it has a photosphere which is depleted in both H and He, and reveals features of C IV and O VI. The spectrum fits previously published models extremely well. The intermediate-temperature DO star PG 1034+001 has an ultraviolet spectrum showing complex profiles of the well-known resonance doublets of C IV, N v, and Si IV. The O V 1371 line shows a clear separation into a photospheric and a circumstellar component, and it is likely that the same two components can explain the other lines as well. The cooler DA star GD 394 has an extensive system of heavy-element features, but their radial velocity is such that it is highly unlikely that they are formed in the stellar photosphere. Time-resolved spectra of the accreting white dwarf in the V 471 Tau binary system are briefly presented here; they do show the presence of C IV, Si IV, and He II. However, the C IV and He II lines are in emission, rather than in aborption as had been expected.

  16. 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.

  17. Identifications and limited spectroscopy for Luyten common proper motion stars with probable white dwarf components. I - Pair brighter than 17th magnitude

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oswalt, Terry D.; Hintzen, Paul M.; Luyten, Willem J.

    1988-01-01

    Identifications are provided for 103 bright Luyten common proper motion (CPM) stellar systems with m(pg) less than 17.0 mag containing likely white dwarf (WD) components. New spectral types are presented for 55 components, and spectral types for 51 more are available in the literature. With the CPM systems previously published by Giclas et al. (1978), the Luyten stars provide a uniform sample of nearly 200 pairs or multiples brighter than 17h magnitude. Selection effects biasing the combined samples are discussed; in particular, evidence is presented that fewer than 1 percent of wide WD binaries have been detected.

  18. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Johnson, John Asher; Rappaport, Saul; Bieryla, Allyson; Irwin, Jonathan; Lewis, John 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Improved wavelengths for Fe V and Ni V for analysis of spectra of white dwarf stellar stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Jacob; Nave, Gillian

    2015-08-01

    A recent paper by J.C. Berengut et al. tests for a potential variation in the fine-structure constant, α, in the presence of a high gravitational field through spectral analysis of white-dwarf stars. The spectrum of G191-B2B has prominent Fe V and Ni V lines in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) region that were used to determine any variation in α via observed shifts in their wavelengths. Although no strong evidence for a variation was found, the authors did find a difference between values obtained for Fe V and Ni V that were indicative of a problem with the laboratory wavelengths. The laboratory wavelengths dominate the uncertainty of the measured variation, so improved values would tighten the constraints on the variation of α.We have re-measured the spectra of Fe V and Ni V spectra in the VUV in order to reduce the wavelength uncertainties and put the two spectra on a consistent wavelength scale. The spectra were produced by a sliding spark light source with electrodes made of invar, an iron nickel alloy. Spectra of Fe V and Ni V were obtained using peak currents of 750-2000 A. The spectra were recorded using the NIST Normal Incidence Vacuum Spectrograph with phosphor image plates and photographic plates as detectors. Wavelengths from 1100 Å to 1800 Å were covered in a single exposure. A spectrum of a Pt/Ne hollow cathode lamp was also recorded for wavelength calibration.The spectra recorded on photographic plates are better resolved than the phosphor image plate spectra and are being measured in two ways. The first measures the positions of the spectral lines on a comparator, traditionally used to measure many archival spectra at NIST. The second uses a commercial image scanner to obtain a digital image of the plate that can be analyzed using line fitting software. Preliminary analysis of these spectra indicates that the literature values of the Fe V and Ni V wavelengths are not on the same scale and differ from our new measurements by up to 0.02 Å in some

  3. 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.

  4. Nearby Dwarf Stars: Duplicity, Binarity, and Masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Brian D.; Hartkopf, William I.; Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Subasavage, John; Riedel, Adric; Winters, Jennifer

    2010-02-01

    Double stars have proven to be both a blessing and a curse for astronomers since their discovery over two centuries ago. They remain the only reliable source of masses, the most fundamental parameter defining stars. On the other hand, their sobriquet ``vermin of the sky'' is well-earned, due to the complications they present to both observers and theoreticians. These range from non-linear proper motions to stray light in detectors, to confusion in pointing of instruments due to non-symmetric point spread functions, to angular momentum conservation in multiple stars which results in binaries closer than allowed by evolution of two single stars. This proposal is primarily focused on targets where precise astrophysical information is sorely lacking: white dwarfs, red dwarfs, and subdwarfs. The proposed work will refine current statistics regarding duplicity (chance alignments of nearby point sources) and binarity (actual physical relationships), and improve the precisions and accuracies of stellar masses. Several targets support Riedel's and Winters' theses.

  5. Nearby Dwarf Stars: Duplicity, Binarity, and Masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Brian D.; Hartkopf, William I.; Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Subasavage, John; Riedel, Adric; Winters, Jennifer

    2009-08-01

    Double stars have proven to be both a blessing and a curse for astronomers since their discovery over two centuries ago. They remain the only reliable source of masses, the most fundamental parameter defining stars. On the other hand, their sobriquet ``vermin of the sky'' is well-earned, due to the complications they present to both observers and theoreticians. These range from non-linear proper motions to stray light in detectors, to confusion in pointing of instruments due to non-symmetric point spread functions, to angular momentum conservation in multiple stars which results in binaries closer than allowed by evolution of two single stars. This proposal is primarily focused on targets where precise astrophysical information is sorely lacking: white dwarfs, red dwarfs, and subdwarfs. The proposed work will refine current statistics regarding duplicity (chance alignments of nearby point sources) and binarity (actual physical relationships), and improve the precisions and accuracies of stellar masses. Several targets support Riedel's and Winters' theses.

  6. Charged condensate and helium dwarf stars

    SciTech Connect

    Gabadadze, Gregory; Rosen, Rachel A E-mail: rar339@nyu.edu

    2008-10-15

    White dwarf stars composed of carbon, oxygen and heavier elements are expected to crystallize as they cool down below certain temperatures. Yet, simple arguments suggest that the helium white dwarf cores may not solidify, mostly because of zero-point oscillations of the helium ions that would dissolve the crystalline structure. We argue that the interior of the helium dwarfs may instead form a macroscopic quantum state in which the charged helium-4 nuclei are in a Bose-Einstein condensate, while the relativistic electrons form a neutralizing degenerate Fermi liquid. We discuss the electric charge screening, and the spectrum of this substance, showing that the bosonic long-wavelength fluctuations exhibit a mass gap. Hence, there is a suppression at low temperatures of the boson contribution to the specific heat-the latter being dominated by the specific heat of the electrons near the Fermi surface. This state of matter may have observational signatures.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Temperatures and surface gravities of DB white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  12. White Dwarfs in HETDEX: Preparation for the Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. An asteroseismic constraint on the mass of the axion from the period drift of the pulsating DA white dwarf star L19-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, Alejandro H.; Romero, Alejandra D.; Althaus, Leandro G.; García-Berro, Enrique; Isern, Jordi; Kepler, S. O.; Miller Bertolami, Marcelo M.; Sullivan, Denis J.; Chote, Paul

    2016-07-01

    We employ an asteroseismic model of L19-2, a relatively massive (Mstar ~ 0.75 Msolar) and hot (Teff ~ 12 100 K) pulsating DA (H-rich atmosphere) white dwarf star (DAV or ZZ Ceti variable), and use the observed values of the temporal rates of period change of its dominant pulsation modes (Π ~ 113 s and Π ~ 192 s), to derive a new constraint on the mass of the axion, the hypothetical non-barionic particle considered as a possible component of the dark matter of the Universe. If the asteroseismic model employed is an accurate representation of L19-2, then our results indicate hints of extra cooling in this star, compatible with emission of axions of mass ma cos2β lesssim 25 meV or an axion-electron coupling constant of gae lesssim 7 × 10‑13.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-20

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A DEEPLY ECLIPSING DETACHED DOUBLE HELIUM WHITE DWARF BINARY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-10

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Viscous effects in rapidly rotating stars with application to white-dwarf models. III - Further numerical results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durisen, R. H.

    1975-01-01

    Improved viscous evolutionary sequences of differentially rotating, axisymmetric, nonmagnetic, zero-temperature white-dwarf models are constructed using the relativistically corrected degenerate electron viscosity. The results support the earlier conclusion that angular momentum transport due to viscosity does not lead to overall uniform rotation in many interesting cases. Qualitatively different behaviors are obtained, depending on how the total mass M and angular momentum J compare with the M and J values for which uniformly rotating models exist. Evolutions roughly determine the region in M and J for which models with a particular initial angular momentum distribution can reach carbon-ignition densities in 10 b.y. Such models may represent Type I supernova precursors.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Amplitude and frequency variations of oscillation modes in the pulsating DB white dwarf star KIC 08626021. The likely signature of nonlinear resonant mode coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, W.; Charpinet, S.; Vauclair, G.; Giammichele, N.; Van Grootel, V.

    2016-01-01

    modulations are the clearest hints of nonlinear resonant couplings occurring in white dwarf stars identified so far. These should resonate as a warning to projects that aim at measuring the evolutionary cooling rate of KIC 08626021, and of white dwarf stars in general. Nonlinear modulations of the frequencies can potentially jeopardize any attempt to measure such rates reliably, unless they can be corrected beforehand. These results should motivate further theoretical work to develop the nonlinear stellar pulsation theory.

  11. Post-merger evolution of carbon-oxygen + helium white dwarf binaries and the origin of R Coronae Borealis and extreme helium stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xianfei; Jeffery, C. Simon; Chen, Xuefei; Han, Zhanwen

    2014-11-01

    Orbital decay by gravitational-wave radiation will cause some close-binary white dwarfs (WDs) to merge within a Hubble time. The results from previous hydrodynamical WD-merger simulations have been used to guide calculations of the post-merger evolution of carbon-oxygen + helium (CO+He) WD binaries. Our models include the formation of a hot corona in addition to a Keplerian disc. We introduce a `destroyed-disc' model to simulate the effect of direct disc ingestion into the expanding envelope. These calculations indicate significant lifetimes in the domain of the rare R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars, before a fast evolution through the domain of the hotter extreme helium (EHe) stars. Surface chemistries of the resulting giants are in partial agreement with the observed abundances of RCB and EHe stars. The production of 3He, 18O and 19F are discussed. Evolutionary time-scales combined with binary WD merger rates from binary-star population synthesis are consistent with present-day numbers of RCBs and EHes, provided that the majority come from relatively recent (<2 Gyr) star formation. However, most RCBs should be produced by CO-WD + low-mass He-WD mergers, with the He WD having a mass in the range 0.20-0.35 M⊙. Whilst, previously, a high He-WD mass (≥0.40 M⊙) was required to match the carbon-rich abundances of RCB stars, the `destroyed-disc' model yields a high-carbon product with He-WD mass ≥0.30 M⊙, in better agreement with population synthesis results.

  12. The atmospheric parameters of nearby white dwarfs revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-01

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

  19. Interpretations for Low- and High-Frequency QPO Correlations of X-Ray Sources among White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, and Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, C. M.; Yin, H. X.; Zhao, Y. H.

    2007-04-01

    An empirical linear relation is found to exist between the high and low frequencies (νhigh, νlow) of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) for black hole candidates (BHCs), neutron stars (NSs), and white dwarfs (WDs) in binary systems, spanning 5 orders of magnitude in frequency. For the NS Z (atoll) sources, νhigh and νlow are identified as the lower kHz QPO frequency and horizontal-branch oscillation (HBO) frequency νHBO (broad noise components); for the BHCs and low-luminosity NSs, they are the QPOs and broad noise components at frequencies between 1 and 10 Hz; for WDs, they are the ``dwarf nova oscillations'' (DNOs) and QPOs of cataclysmic variables (CVs). To interpret this relation, our model ascribes νhigh to the Alfvén wave oscillation frequency at a preferred radius, and νlow to the same mechanism at another radius. We can then obtain νlow=0.08νhigh and the relation between the upper kHz QPO frequency ν2 and the HBO frequency, νHBO~=(56 Hz)(ν2/kHz)2, which are in accordance with the observed empirical relations. Furthermore, some implications of the model are discussed, including why QPO frequencies of WDs and NSs span 5 orders of magnitude.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  2. Ultraviolet and visual spectroscopy of DB white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G.; Nelan, E. P.

    1987-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nomoto, K.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Revisiting the luminosity function of single halo white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. DISCOVERY OF AN ULTRAMASSIVE PULSATING WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-01

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

  18. A coronagraphic search for brown dwarfs around nearby stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakajima, T.; Durrance, S. T.; Golimowski, D. A.; Kulkarni, S. R.

    1994-01-01

    Brown dwarf companions have been searched for around stars within 10 pc of the Sun using the Johns-Hopkins University Adaptive Optics Coronagraph (AOC), a stellar coronagraph with an image stabilizer. The AOC covers the field around the target star with a minimum search radius of 1 sec .5 and a field of view of 1 arcmin sq. We have reached an unprecedented dynamic range of Delta m = 13 in our search for faint companions at I band. Comparison of our survey with other brown dwarf searches shows that the AOC technique is unique in its dynamic range while at the same time just as sensitive to brown dwarfs as the recent brown dwarf surveys. The present survey covered 24 target stars selected from the Gliese catalog. A total of 94 stars were detected in 16 fields. The low-latitude fields are completely dominated by background star contamination. Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests were carried out for a sample restricted to high latitudes and a sample with small angular separations. The high-latitude sample (b greater than or equal to 44 deg) appears to show spatial concentration toward target stars. The small separation sample (Delta Theta less than 20 sec) shows weaker dependence on Galactic coordinates than field stars. These statistical tests suggest that both the high-latitude sample and the small separation sample can include a substantial fraction of true companions. However, the nature of these putative companions is mysterious. They are too faint to be white dwarfs and too blue for brown dwarfs. Ignoring the signif icance of the statistical tests, we can reconcile most of the detections with distant main-sequence stars or white dwarfs except for a candidate next to GL 475. Given the small size of our sample, we conclude that considerably more targets need to be surveyed before a firm conclusion on the possibility of a new class of companions can be made.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2015-11-01

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

  2. 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).

  3. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  4. Chandra Grating Spectroscopy of Three Hot White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. FIRST RESULTS FROM THE SWARMS SURVEY. SDSS 1257+5428: A NEARBY, MASSIVE WHITE DWARF BINARY WITH A LIKELY NEUTRON STAR OR BLACK HOLE COMPANION

    SciTech Connect

    Badenes, Carles; Mullally, Fergal; Lupton, Robert H.; Thompson, Susan E. E-mail: mullally@astro.princeton.ed E-mail: sthomp@physics.udel.ed

    2009-12-20

    We present the first results from the SWARMS survey, an ongoing project to identify compact white dwarf (WD) binaries in the spectroscopic catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The first object identified by SWARMS, SDSS 1257+5428, is a single-lined spectroscopic binary in a circular orbit with a period of 4.56 hr and a semiamplitude of 322.7 +- 6.3 km s{sup -1}. From the spectrum and photometry, we estimate a WD mass of 0.92{sup +0.28}{sub -0.32} M{sub sun}. Together with the orbital parameters of the binary, this implies that the unseen companion must be more massive than 1.62{sup +0.20}{sub -0.25} M{sub sun}, and is in all likelihood either a neutron star or a black hole. At an estimated distance of 48{sup +10}{sub -19} pc, this would be the closest known stellar remnant of a supernova explosion.

  10. Critical mass of bacterial populations in a generalized Keller Segel model. Analogy with the Chandrasekhar limiting mass of white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavanis, Pierre-Henri; Sire, Clément

    2008-03-01

    We point out a remarkable analogy between the limiting mass of relativistic white dwarf stars (Chandrasekhar’s limit) and the critical mass of bacterial populations in a generalized Keller Segel model of chemotaxis [P.H. Chavanis, C. Sire, Phys. Rev. E 69 (2004) 016116]. This model is based on generalized stochastic processes leading to the Tsallis statistics. The equilibrium states correspond to polytropic configurations similar to gaseous polytropes in astrophysics. For the critical index n3=d/(d-2) (where d≥2 is the dimension of space), the theory of polytropes leads to a unique value of the mass M that we interpret as a limiting mass. In d=3, we find M=202.8956… and in d=2, we recover the well-known result M=8π (in suitable units). For MM, the system collapses and forms a Dirac peak containing a mass M surrounded by a halo. This paper exposes the model and shows, by simple considerations, the origin of the critical mass. A detailed description of the critical dynamics of the generalized Keller Segel model will be given in a forthcoming paper.