Science.gov

Sample records for cool white dwarfs

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-06

    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.

  3. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. Outbursts in Two New Cool Pulsating DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Keaton J.; Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Gentile Fusillo, N. P.; Raddi, R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Winget, D. E.; Dennihy, E.; Gianninas, A.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Chote, P.; Winget, K. I.

    2016-10-01

    The unprecedented extent of coverage provided by Kepler observations recently revealed outbursts in two hydrogen-atmosphere pulsating white dwarfs (DAVs) that cause hours-long increases in the overall mean flux of up to 14%. We have identified two new outbursting pulsating white dwarfs in K2, bringing the total number of known outbursting white dwarfs to four. EPIC 211629697, with {T}{eff} = 10,780 ± 140 K and {log} g = 7.94 ± 0.08, shows outbursts recurring on average every 5.0 days, increasing the overall flux by up to 15%. EPIC 229227292, with {T}{eff} = 11,190 ± 170 K and {log} g = 8.02 ± 0.05, has outbursts that recur roughly every 2.4 days with amplitudes up to 9%. We establish that only the coolest pulsating white dwarfs within a small temperature range near the cool, red edge of the DAV instability strip exhibit these outbursts.

  5. Cool DZ white dwarfs I: Identification and spectral analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollands, M. A.; Koester, D.; Alekseev, V.; Herbert, E. L.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-01-01

    White dwarfs with metal lines in their spectra act as signposts for post-main sequence planetary systems. Searching the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 12, we have identified 231 cool (<9000 K) DZ white dwarfs with strong metal absorption, extending the DZ cooling sequence to both higher metal abundances, lower temperatures, and hence longer cooler ages. Of these 231 systems, 104 are previously unknown white dwarfs. Compared with previous work, our spectral fitting uses improved model atmospheres with updated line profiles and line-lists, which we use to derive effective temperatures and abundances for up to 8 elements. We also determine spectroscopic distances to our sample, identifying two halo-members with tangential space-velocities >300 km s-1. The implications of our results on remnant planetary systems are to be discussed in a separate paper.

  6. A Population Synthesis Study of the White Dwarf Cooling Sequence of the Galactic Bulge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, S.; García-Berro, E. G.; Cojocaru, R. E.; Calamida, A.

    2017-03-01

    Recent Hubble Space Telescope observations have allowed to determine, for the first time, the white dwarf cooling sequence of the Galactic bulge. However, observations show systematically redder objects than those predicted by the theoretical cooling tracks of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. Here we present a population synthesis study of the white dwarf cooling sequence of the galactic bulge including both single white dwarfs and binary systems. These calculations incorporate the most up-to-date cooling sequences for white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres, for both white dwarfs with carbon-oxygen and helium cores, and also take into account detailed prescriptions of the evolution of binary systems and of the observational biases. This allows us to model with a high degree of realism the white dwarf population of the Galactic bulge. Among other interesting results we estimate the fraction of binaries and double degenerate systems of the Galactic bulge.

  7. Infrared Opacities in Dense Atmospheres of Cool White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, P. M.; Blouin, S.; Dufour, P.

    2017-03-01

    Dense, He-rich atmospheres of cool white dwarfs represent a challenge to the modeling. This is because these atmospheres are constituted of a dense fluid in which strong multi-atomic interactions determine their physics and chemistry. Therefore, the ideal-gas-based description of absorption is no longer adequate, which makes the opacities of these atmospheres difficult to model. This is illustrated with severe problems in fitting the spectra of cool, He-rich stars. Good description of the infrared (IR) opacity is essential for proper assignment of the atmospheric parameters of these stars. Using methods of computational quantum chemistry we simulate the IR absorption of dense He/H media. We found a significant IR absorption from He atoms (He-He-He CIA opacity) and a strong pressure distortion of the H2-He collision-induced absorption (CIA). We discuss the implication of these results for the interpretation of the spectra of cool stars.

  8. Search for cool white dwarfs with GSC2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carollo, D.; Spagna, A.; Lattanzi, M. G.; Smart, R. L.; Hodgkin, S. T.; Terranegra, L.; McLean, B.

    2004-07-01

    Microlensing experiments have suggested that a significant part of the dark halo of the Milky Way could be composed of matter in the form of massive compact halo objects (MACHOs). Cool ancient white dwarfs (WDs) are the natural candidates. Here we present a new survey of halo WDs and evaluate the local space density using an accurate kinematic analysis. A comparison to a revaluation of the Oppenheimer et al. result is also provided. The local space density estimated for the two independent samples is about ˜ 10-5 M⊙ pc-3.

  9. The GSC2 Survey of Cool White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carollo, D.; Spagna, A.; Lattanzi, M. G.; Smart, R. L.; Bucciarelli, B.; Terranegra, L.; Hodgkin, S. T.; McLean, B.

    2005-07-01

    Microlensing experiments (Alcock et al. 2000) have suggested that a significant part of the dark halo of the Milky Way could be composed of matter in the form of massive compact halo objects (MACHOs). Cool ancient white dwarfs (WDs) are the natural candidates. Here we present a new survey of halo WDs and evaluate the local space density using an accurate kinematic analysis. A comparison to a re-derivation of the Oppenheimer et al. (2001) results is also provided. The local space density estimated from the two independent samples is only about ˜ 10-5M⊙pc-3 corresponding to 0.1%-0.2% of the local dark matter.

  10. Evolved Planetary Systems around Very Cool and Old White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollands, Mark; Gänsicke, Boris; Koester, Detlev

    2015-06-01

    We have spectroscopically identified 61 very cool (below 9000 K) and old (1-7 Gyr) DZ white dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). These stars have evaded prior detection as the extremely broad Ca H/K lines in the blue part of their spectra dramatically alter their colours, mixing them into the colour-space of intermediate redshift quasars. In most of these stars we detect photospheric Ca, Mg, Fe and Na. The coolest of these has Teff ≲ 5000 K corresponding to a cooling age of ˜ 7 Gyr. The only mechanism that can explain the large amounts of metal in the convection zones of these white dwarfs is accretion of planetary debris. Hence, these stars provide a lower limit on the onset of the formation of rocky material within the Milky Way, and, more generally, insight into the formation of early terrestrial planets. Additionally, we identify several of these DZ to have strong (0.6-10 MG) magnetic fields leading to an observed incidence of magnetism of 13 %.

  11. The First Six Outbursting Cool DA White Dwarf Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, K. J.; Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Gentile Fusillo, N. P.; Raddi, R.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-03-01

    Extensive observations from the Kepler spacecraft have recently revealed a new outburst phenomenon operating in cool pulsating DA (hydrogen atmosphere) white dwarfs (DAVs). With the introduction of two new outbursting DAVs from K2 Fields 7 (EPIC 229228364) and 8 (EPIC 220453225) in these proceedings, we presently know of six total members of this class of object. We present the observational commonalities of the outbursting DAVs: (1) outbursts that increase the mean stellar flux by up to ≍15%, last many hours, and recur irregularly on timescales of days; (2) effective temperatures that locate them near the cool edge of the DAV instability strip; and (3) rich pulsation spectra with modes that are observed to wander in amplitude/frequency.

  12. Anomalous Cooling of the Massive White Dwarf in U Geminorum Following a Narrow Dwarf Nova Outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Cheng, F. H.; Szkody, Paula; Sparks, Warren; Gänsicke, Boris; Huang, Min; Mattei, Janet

    1998-03-01

    We obtained Hubble Space Telescope Goddard High-Resolution Spectrograph medium-resolution (G160M grating), phase-resolved spectroscopic observations of the prototype dwarf nova U Geminorum during dwarf nova quiescence, 13 days and 61 days following the end of a narrow outburst. The spectral wavelength ranges were centered on three different line regions: N V (1238 Å, 1242 Å), Si III (1300 Å), and He II (1640 Å). All of the quiescent spectra at both epochs are dominated by absorption lines and show no emission features. The Si III and He II absorption-line velocities versus orbital phase trace the orbital motion of the white dwarf, but the N V absorption velocities appear to deviate from the white dwarf motion. We confirm our previously reported low white dwarf rotational velocity, V sin i = 100 km s-1. We obtain a white dwarf orbital velocity semiamplitude K1 = 107 km s-1. Using the γ-velocity of Wade, we obtain an Einstein redshift of 80.4 km s-1 and hence a carbon core white dwarf mass of ~1.1 M⊙. We report the first subsolar chemical abundances of C and Si for U Gem with C/H = 0.05 times solar, almost certainly a result of C depletion due to thermonuclear processing. This C depletion is discussed within the framework of a weak thermonuclear runaway, contamination of the secondary during the common envelope phase, and mixing of C-depleted white dwarf gas with C-depleted matter deposited during a dwarf nova event. Remarkably, the Teff of the white dwarf 13 days after outburst is only 32,000 K, anomalously cooler than previous early postoutburst measurements. Extensive cooling during an extraordinarily long (210 days) quiescence followed by accretion onto an out-of-equilibrium cooled degenerate could explain the lower Teff. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valyavin, G.; Shulyak, D.; Wade, G. A.; Antonyuk, K.; Zharikov, S. V.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Plachinda, S.; Bagnulo, S.; Fox Machado, L.; 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.

  14. 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

    2014-11-06

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-13

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding the Oldest White Dwarfs: Atmospheres of Cool WDs as Extreme Physics Laboratories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Piotr M.

    2010-11-01

    Reliable modeling of the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs is crucial for understanding the atmospheric evolution of these stars and for accurate white dwarfs cosmochronology. Over the last decade ab initio modeling entered many research fields and has been successful in predicting properties of various materials under extreme conditions. In many cases the investigated physical regimes are difficult or even impossible to access by experimental methods, and first principles quantum mechanical calculations are the only tools available for investigation. Using modern methods of computational chemistry and physics we investigate the atmospheres of helium-rich, old white dwarfs. Such atmospheres reach extreme, fluid like densities (up to grams per cm3) and represent an excellent laboratory for high temperature and pressure physics and chemistry. We show our results for the stability and opacity of H- and C2 in dense helium and the implications of our work for understanding cool white dwarfs.

  20. The Impact of Radiative Atmospheres on Spectroscopic and Photometric Analyses of Cool White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecavalier-Hurtubise, É.; Bergeron, P.

    2017-03-01

    It has been recently suggested in the literature that convective energy transport can be seriously impeded by magnetic fields, in particular in the photosphere of white dwarf stars. We push this idea to the extreme and explore the consequences of using purely radiative atmosphere models for the spectroscopic and photometric analyses of cool (Teff<12,000 K) DA white dwarfs. We also perform a similar analysis for known magnetic DA stars with weak sub-megagauss magnetic fields.

  1. Outbursts from Cool Pulsating White Dwarfs in Kepler and K2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Keaton J.; Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, Michael H.; Winget, Donald E.

    2017-01-01

    Data from the Kepler and K2 missions have captured the signatures of a new pulsation-related phenomenon in hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs. Some pulsating white dwarfs within 500 K of the empirical cool edge of the ZZ Ceti instability strip exhibit outburst-like brightness enhancements of up to 15% that last many hours and recur irregularly on timescales on days. In this thesis talk, I summarize the observational characteristics of this new outbursting class of ZZ Ceti.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-20

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

  3. A New Generation of Cool White Dwarf Atmosphere Models Using Ab Initio Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blouin, S.; Dufour, P.; Kowalski, P. M.

    2017-03-01

    Due to their high photospheric density, cool helium-rich white dwarfs (particularly DZ, DQpec and ultracool) are often poorly described by current atmosphere models. As part of our ongoing efforts to design atmosphere models suitable for all cool white dwarfs, we investigate how the ionization ratio of heavy elements and the H2-He collision-induced absorption (CIA) spectrum are altered under fluid-like densities. For the conditions encountered at the photosphere of cool helium-rich white dwarfs, our ab initio calculations show that the ionization of most metals is inhibited and that the H2-He CIA spectrum is significantly distorted for densities higher than 0.1 g/cm3.

  4. On the Interpretation of Cool, Helium-rich White Dwarfs Showing Traces of Hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolland, B.; Bergeron, P.; Fontaine, G.

    2017-03-01

    We present a spectroscopic analysis of cool (Teff<12,000 K) helium-rich white dwarfs — drawn mostly from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) — also showing spectroscopic traces of hydrogen. We then perform numerical simulations and attempt to interpret these objects (1) in terms of DA white dwarfs whose thin hydrogen atmospheres have been convectively mixed with the deeper and more massive helium envelope, or (2) in terms of DB or DBA stars that have simply cooled off, taking into account the possible accretion of hydrogen from the interstellar medium or other external sources. We also investigate the origin of DBA stars.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-11-20

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

  8. Discovery of a Possible Cool White Dwarf Companion from the AllWISE Motion Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fajardo-Acosta, Sergio B.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Schneider, Adam C.; Cushing, Michael C.; Stern, Daniel; Gelino, Christopher R.; Bardalez-Gagliuffi, Daniella C.; Kellogg, Kendra; Wright, Edward L.

    2016-11-01

    We present optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of WISEA J061543.91-124726.8, which we rediscovered as a high motion object in the AllWISE survey. The spectra of this object are unusual; while the red optical (λ > 7000 Å) and near-infrared spectra exhibit characteristic TiO, VO, and H2O bands of a late-M dwarf, the blue portion of its optical spectrum shows a significant excess of emission relative to late-M-type templates. The excess emission is relatively featureless, with the exception of a prominent and very broad Na i D doublet. We find that no single, ordinary star can reproduce these spectral characteristics. The most likely explanation is an unresolved binary system of an M7 dwarf and a cool white dwarf. The flux of a cool white dwarf drops in the optical red and near-infrared, due to collision-induced absorption, thus allowing the flux of a late-M dwarf to show through. This scenario, however, does not explain the Na D feature, which is unlike that of any known white dwarf, but which could perhaps be explained via unusual abundance or pressure conditions.

  9. 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.

  10. Constraining Neutrino Cooling Using the Hot White Dwarf Luminosity Function in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.; Richer, Harvey; Kalirai, Jason; Goldsbury, Ryan; Frewen, Shane; Heyl, Jeremy

    2015-08-01

    We present Hubble Space Telescope observations of the upper part ({T}{eff}\\gt {10}4 K) of the white dwarf cooling sequence in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae and measure a luminosity function of hot white dwarfs. Comparison with previous determinations from large-scale field surveys indicates that the previously determined plateau at high effective temperatures is likely a selection effect, as no such feature is seen in this sample. Comparison with theoretical models suggests that the current estimates of white dwarf neutrino emission (primarily by the plasmon channel) are accurate, and variations are restricted to no more than a factor of two globally, at 95% confidence. We use these constraints to place limits on various proposed exotic emission mechanisms, including a nonzero neutrino magnetic moment, formation of axions, and emission of Kaluza-Klein modes into extra dimensions.

  11. Discovery of a Cool, Massive, and Metal-rich DAZ White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Dufour, P.; Bergeron, P.

    2004-12-01

    We report the discovery of a new metal-rich DAZ white dwarf, GD 362. High signal-to-noise ratio optical spectroscopy reveals the presence of spectral lines from hydrogen as well as Ca I, Ca II, Mg I, and Fe I. A detailed model atmosphere analysis of this star yields an effective temperature of Teff=9740+/-50 K, a surface gravity of logg=9.12+/-0.07, and photospheric abundances of log(Ca/H)=-5.2+/-0.1, log(Mg/H)=-4.8+/-0.1, and log(Fe/H)=-4.5+/-0.1. White dwarf cooling models are used to derive a mass of 1.24 Msolar for GD 362, making it the most massive and metal-rich DAZ star uncovered to date. The problems related to the presence of such large metal abundances in a nearby (d~25 pc) white dwarf in terms of an accretion scenario are briefly discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

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

  16. A Detailed Model Atmosphere Analysis of Cool White Dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-01

    optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 126 cool white dwarfs (WDs) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Our sample includes high proper...1. Our near-infrared observations reveal eight new stars with significant absorption. We use the optical and near-infrared photometry to perform a...be identified based on photometry alone. Proper motion offers an efficient means to delineate cooler WDs from the much larger number of main-sequence

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-01

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

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: White dwarf cooling sequences (Bono+, 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bono, G.; Salaris, M.; Gilmozzi, R.

    2013-01-01

    We present new diagnostics of white dwarf (WD) cooling sequences and luminosity functions (LFs) in the near-infrared (NIR) bands that will exploit the sensitivity and resolution of future extremely large telescopes. The collision-induced absorption (CIA) of molecular hydrogen causes a clearly defined blue turn-off along the WD (WDBTO) cooling sequences and a bright secondary maximum in the WD LFs. These features are independent of age over a broad age range and are minimally affected by metal abundance. This means that the NIR magnitudes of the WDBTO are very promising distance indicators. (3 data files).

  19. Astrometric Binaries: White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliversen, Nancy A.

    We propose to observe a selection of astrometric or spectroscopicastrometric binaries nearer than about 20 pc with unseen low mass companions. Systems of this type are important for determining the luminosity function of low mass stars (white dwarfs and very late main sequence M stars), and their contribution to the total mass of the galaxy. Systems of this type are also important because the low mass, invisible companions are potential candidates in the search for planets. Our target list is selected primarily from the list of 31 astrometric binaries near the sun by Lippincott (1978, Space Sci. Rev., 22, 153), with additional candidates from recent observations by Kamper. The elimination of stars with previous IUE observations, red companions resolved by infrared speckle interferometry, or primaries later than M1 (because if white dwarf companions are present they should have been detected in the visible region) reduces the list to 5 targets which need further information. IUE SWP low dispersion observations of these targets will show clearly whether the remaining unseen companions are white dwarfs, thus eliminating very cool main sequence stars or planets. This is also important in providing complete statistical information about the nearest stars. The discovery of a white dwarf in such a nearby system would provide important additional information about the masses of white dwarfs. Recent results by Greenstein (1986, A. J., 92, 859) from binary systems containing white dwarfs imply that 80% of such systems are as yet undetected. The preference of binaries for companions of approximately equal mass makes the Lippincott-Kamper list of A through K primaries with unseen companions a good one to use to search for white dwarfs. The mass and light dominance of the current primary over the white dwarf in the visible makes ultraviolet observations essential to obtain an accurate census of white dwarf binaries.

  20. The cooling of the white dwarf in U Geminorum following heating by two different outbursts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, Min; Sion, Edward M.; Szkody, Paula

    1995-01-01

    We present the analysis of 13 orbital phase-resolved IUE (large and small aperture) SWP spectra, sampling the quiescent intervals of the proptotype dwarf nova U Geminorum following two individual outbursts, the outburst of 1992, 29 August-14 September, and the outburst of 1993, 19 March-5 April. The quiescent interval following the outburst 29 August 1992 is the longest ever recorded. During quiescence, the photospheric radiation of the exposed white dwarf dominates the far ultrviolet. The variations in absorption line strengths and continum flux levels are analyzed as a function of both orbital phase and elapsed time, since the return to optical quiescence, by fitting the IUE spectra with a grid of high gravity, LTE, model atmospheres with solar composition constructed with TLUSTY and SYNSPEC (Hubeny, I. Tlusty and Synnspec: A Users Guide (1994)). We present evidence from both absorption line variations and continuum variations, as a function of time since the outbursts, that the white dwarf photosphere has cooled by several thousand degrees. Within the signal-to-noise limitations, we find no evidence of a difference in heating and cooling between the two outbursts.

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

    PubMed Central

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

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

  2. The origin of peculiar molecular bands in cool DQ white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, P. M.

    2010-09-01

    Aims: The DQ white dwarfs are stars whose atmosphere is enriched with carbon, which for cool stars (Teff < 8000 K) is indicated by the Swan bands of C2 in the optical part of their spectra. With decreasing effective temperature these molecular bands undergo a significant blueshift (~100-300 Å). The origin of this phenomenon has been disputed over the last two decades and has remained unknown. We attempt to address this problem by investigating the impact of dense helium on the spectroscopic properties of molecular carbon, the electronic Swan band transition energy Te and the vibrational frequency ωe, under the physical conditions encountered inside helium-rich, fluid-like atmospheres of cool DQ white dwarfs. Methods: In our investigation we use a density functional theory based quantum mechanical approach. Results: The electronic transition energy Te increases monotonically with the helium density (ΔTe (eV)~1.6 ρ (g/cm3)). This causes the Swan absorption to occur at shorter wavelengths compared with unperturbed C2. On the other hand the pressure-induced increase in the vibrational frequency is insufficient to account for the observed Swan bands shifts. Our findings are in line with the shape of the distorted molecular bands observed in DQp stars, but the predicted photospheric density required to reproduce these spectral features is one order of magnitude lower than the one predicted by the current models. This indicates pollution by hydrogen or reflects incomplete knowledge of the properties of fluid-like atmospheres of these stars. Conclusions: Our work shows that at the physical conditions encountered in the fluid-like atmospheres of cool DQ white dwarfs the strong interactions between C2 and helium atoms cause an increase in Te, which should produce a blueward shift of the Swan bands. This is consistent with the observations and indicates that the observed Swan-like molecular bands are most likely the pressure-shifted bands of C2.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stéphane

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Get Ready for Gaia: Cool White Dwarfs in Common Proper Motion with Tycho Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambly, N.; Rowell, N.; Lam, M.

    2017-03-01

    We discuss the Gaia Data Release 1 (September 2016) and preliminary work on maximising the benefit for cool white dwarf (WD) science in advance of the full parallax catalogue which will appear around one year later in DR2. The Tycho catalogue is used in conjunction with the all–sky ground based astrometric/ photometric SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey in order to identify candidate faint common proper motion objects to the Tycho stars. Gaia DR1 is supplemented by the Tycho–Gaia Astrometric Solution catalogue containing some 2 million parallaxes with Hipparcos–like precision for Tycho stars. While hotter, brighter WDs are present in Tycho, cooler examples are much rarer (if present at all) and CPM offers one method to infer precision distances for a statistically useful sample of these very faint WDs.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-10

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

  10. Deep HST Imaging in 47 Tuc and NGC 6397: The White Dwarf Cooling Sequence of 47 Tuc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richer, Harvey B.; Anderson, J.; Dotter, A.; Fahlman, G.; Goldsbury, R.; Hansen, B.; Hurley, J.; Kalirai, J.; King, I.; Reitzel, D.; Rich, R.; Shara, M.; Stetson, P.; Woodley, K.; Zurek, D.

    2011-01-01

    In Cycle 17 we were awarded 121 orbits with HST to search for the faintest stellar populations (the coolest white dwarfs, the lowest mass main sequence stars and possibly the brown dwarfs) in 47 Tucanae. It took 10 months to secure all the data with exquisite care taken to minimize the effects of charge transfer and saturation spikes. The ACS stared at a single field for all 121 orbits but the roll angle of the telescope was varied through 180 degrees for the associated parallel fields observed with WFC3. Archival data were employed to proper motion clean the images allowing virtually complete separation of field stars and those in the background Small Magellanic Cloud from those in the cluster. In this poster, we present the resultant color-magnitude diagram for this important cluster which is a proxy for the Galactic bulge. A rich white dwarf cooling sequence is revealed which will be used to determine a cooling age for the cluster for comparison with the turnoff age (see associated poster by A. Dotter et al.). Multicolor data in other ACS filters as well as four filters with WFC3 are used to examine the spectral energy distributions of the cluster white dwarfs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  13. 40 Eridani: The Vulcan Sun as a Benchmark for the Evolutionary Properties of White Dwarfs and Cool Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballouz, Ronald-Louis; Guinan, E. F.; Wasatonic, R.; Engle, S. G.

    2010-01-01

    40 Eridani (omicron-2 Eri) is a bright nearby (d=5.04+/-0.02 pc) triple star system. 40 Eri A is a 4.4-mag K1 V star and its two more distant ( 400 AU) companion stars, 40 Eri B and 40 Eri C (which form an astrometric binary system), are a 9th mag DA4 white dwarf & an 11th mag M4.5 star. 40 Eri A is well known (in science fiction circles) as the probable host star to the planet Vulcan; however, 40 Eri is also well known in astronomy as containing the first identified white dwarf , only a handful of which have well-determine dynamical masses. Utilizing archival X-ray, ultraviolet (IUE) data, and Ca II HK emission measures, we determined (or improved) the properties of the system members. Using calibrated age-rotation-activity relations developed by us and others, we determine an age of 5.2+/-1.2 Gyr for 40 Eri A (and thus the system). It appears that 40 Eri A has similar activity levels (and thus age) to Alpha Centauri B - a middle-age ( 5.5+/-0.5 Gyr) K1 V star. This age is in good agreement with the age estimated from white dwarf component of 5.0+/-1 Gyr [main-sequence + cooling time (0.1Gyr)]. The accurate age, evolution, and mass of the hot white dwarf star provide a firm benchmark for calibrating ages/cooling times of lower mass white dwarfs. The implications of this new age determination on the evolution & cooling times of low mass white dwarfs (like 40 Eri B) and cosmochronology are discussed. Furthermore, we are carrying out high precision photometry of 40 Eri A with the aim of determining its rotation period (from star spot modulations) and thus its age using rotation-age relations for dK stars. This work is partially supported with grants from NSF/RUI & NASA/FUSE programs.

  14. New White Dwarf-Brown Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casewell, S. L.; Geier, S.; Lodieu, N.

    2017-03-01

    We present follow-up spectroscopy to 12 candidate white dwarf-brown dwarf binaries. We have confirmed that 8 objects do indeed have a white dwarf primary (7 DA, 1 DB) and two are hot subdwarfs. We have determined the Teff and log g for the white dwarfs and subdwarfs, and when combining these values with a model spectrum and the photometry, we have 3 probable white dwarf-substellar binaries with spectral types between M6 and L6.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Discovery of an Ultracool White Dwarf Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2004-08-01

    The discovery of a low-luminosity common proper-motion companion to the white dwarf GD 392 at a wide separation of 46" is reported. BVRI photometry suggests a low temperature (Teff~4000 K), while JHK data strongly indicate suppressed flux at all near-infrared wavelengths. Thus, GD 392B is one of the few white dwarfs to show significant collision-induced absorption due to the presence of photospheric H2 and the first ultracool white dwarf detected as a companion to another star. Models fail to explain GD 392B as a normal-mass white dwarf. If correct, the cool companion may be explained as a low-mass white dwarf or unresolved double degenerate. The similarities of GD 392B to known ultracool degenerates are discussed, including some possible implications for the faint end of the white dwarf luminosity function.

  18. The helium white dwarf in two pulsars: too cool in PSR J0751+1807 and too hot in PSR J1012+5307?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ergma, Ene; Sarna, Marek J.; Gerškevitš-Antipova, Jelena

    2001-02-01

    We discuss the cooling history of the low-mass, helium-core white dwarfs in the short orbital period millisecond pulsars PSR J0751+1807 and PSR J1012+5307. The revised cooling age estimated in 1996 by Alberts et al. agrees with the age estimation for PSR J1012+5307, removing the discrepancy between the spin-down age and the cooling age. However, if we accept this model, then the helium white dwarf in the binary pulsar system PSR J0751+1807 must be much hotter than is observed. We propose that this discrepancy may be resolved if, after detachment of the secondary star from its Roche lobe in PSR J0751+1807, the star loses its hydrogen envelope as a result of pulsar irradiation. When hydrogen burning stops, the white dwarf will cool down much more quickly than in the case of a thick hydrogen envelope with a hydrogen-burning shell. We discuss several possibilities to explain the different cooling histories of the white dwarfs in the two systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. ON THE EVOLUTION OF MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Freytag, B.; Steiner, O.; Ludwig, H.-G.; Steffen, M.; Wedemeyer, S.

    2015-10-10

    We present the first radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the atmosphere of white dwarf stars. We demonstrate that convective energy transfer is seriously impeded by magnetic fields when the plasma-β parameter, the thermal-to-magnetic-pressure ratio, becomes smaller than unity. The critical field strength that inhibits convection in the photosphere of white dwarfs is in the range B = 1–50 kG, which is much smaller than the typical 1–1000 MG field strengths observed in magnetic white dwarfs, implying that these objects have radiative atmospheres. We have employed evolutionary models to study the cooling process of high-field magnetic white dwarfs, where convection is entirely suppressed during the full evolution (B ≳ 10 MG). We find that the inhibition of convection has no effect on cooling rates until the effective temperature (T{sub eff}) reaches a value of around 5500 K. In this regime, the standard convective sequences start to deviate from the ones without convection due to the convective coupling between the outer layers and the degenerate reservoir of thermal energy. Since no magnetic white dwarfs are currently known at the low temperatures where this coupling significantly changes the evolution, the effects of magnetism on cooling rates are not expected to be observed. This result contrasts with a recent suggestion that magnetic white dwarfs with T{sub eff} ≲ 10,000 K cool significantly slower than non-magnetic degenerates.

  2. 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.

  3. An overview of white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Charpinet, S.; Randall, S. K.; Van Grootel, V.

    2013-03-01

    We present a brief summary of what is currently known about white dwarf stars, with an emphasis on their evolutionary and internal properties. As is well known, white dwarfs represent the end products of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars and, as such, bear the signatures of past events (such as mass loss, mixing phases, loss and redistribution of angular momentum, and thermonuclear burning) that are of essential importance in the evolution of stars in general. In addition, white dwarf stars represent ideal testbeds for our understanding of matter under extreme conditions, and work on their constitutive physics (neutrino production rates, conductive and radiative opacities, interior liquid/solid equations of state, partially ionized and partially degenerate envelope equations of state, diffusion coefficients, line broadening mechanisms) is still being actively pursued. Given a set of constitutive physics, cooling white dwarfs can be used advantageously as cosmochronometers. Moreover, the field has been blessed by the existence of four distinct families of pulsating white dwarfs, each mapping a different evolutionary phase, and this allows the application of the asteroseismological method to probe and test their internal structure and evolutionary state. We set the stage for the reviews that follow on cooling white dwarfs as cosmochronometers and physics laboratories, as well as on the properties of pulsating white dwarfs and the asteroseismological results that can be inferred.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  5. Cool Customers in the Stellar Graveyard. I. Limits to Extrasolar Planets Around the White Dwarf G29-38

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debes, John H.; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Woodgate, Bruce E.

    2005-11-01

    We present high-contrast images of the hydrogen white dwarf G29-38 taken in the near-infrared with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North Telescope as part of a high-contrast imaging search for substellar objects in orbit around nearby white dwarfs. We review the current limits on planetary companions for G29-38, the only nearby white dwarf with an infrared excess due to a dust disk. We add our recent observations to these limits to produce extremely tight constraints on the types of possible companions that could be present. No objects >6MJ are detected in our data at projected separations >12 AU, and no objects >16MJ are detected for separations from 3 to 12 AU, assuming a total system age of 1 Gyr. Limits for companions at separations <3 AU come from a combination of Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) photometry and previous studies of G29-38's pulsations. Our imaging with Gemini cannot confirm a tentative claim for the presence of a low-mass brown dwarf. These observations demonstrate that a careful combination of several techniques can probe nearby white dwarfs for large planets and low-mass brown dwarfs.

  6. White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Koester, D.; Romero, A. D.; Ourique, G.; Pelisoli, I.

    2017-03-01

    We present the mass distribution for all S/N ≥ 15 DA white dwarfs detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey up to Data Release 12 in 2015, fitted with Koester models for ML2/α=0.8 (Teff≥ 10000 K), and for DBs with S/N ≥ 10, fitted with ML2/α=1.25, for Teff >16 000 K. These mass distributions are for logg≥6.5 stars, i.e., excluding the Extremely Low Mass white dwarfs. We also present the mass distributions corrected by volume with the 1/Vmax approach, for stars brighter than g=19. Both distributions have a maximum at M=0.624 M ⊙ but very distinct shapes.

  7. Convection in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith L.; Shipman, H.; Dalessio, J.; M, M.

    2012-01-01

    Convection is one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. Current studies of convective energy transport are based on the mixing length theory. Originally intended to depict turbulent flows in engineering situations, MLT enjoys moderate success in describing stellar convection. However, problems arising from MLT's incompleteness are apparent in studies ranging from determinations of the ages of massive stars, to understanding the structure F and early A stars, to predicting the pulsation periods of solar stars, to understanding the atmosphere of Titan. As an example for white dwarfs, Bergeron et al. (1995) show that model parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed MLT parameterization. The authors find systematic uncertainties ranging from 25% for effective temperatures to 11% for mass and radius. The WET is engaged in a long term project to empirically determine the physical properties of convection in the atmospheres of pulsating white dwarfs. The technique, outlined by Montgomery et al. (2010), uses information from nonlinear (non-sinusoidal) pulse shapes of the target star to empirically probe the physical properties of its convection zone. Approximately two thirds of all white dwarfs show nonlinear characteristics in their light curves. We present current results from WET targets in 2008-2011.

  8. 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.

  9. Building Magnetic Fields in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

    White dwarfs, the compact remnants left over at the end of low- and medium-mass stars lifetimes, are often found to have magnetic fields with strengths ranging from thousands to billions of times that of Earth. But how do these fields form?MultiplePossibilitiesAround 1020% of white dwarfs have been observed to have measurable magnetic fields with a wide range of strengths. There are several theories as to how these fields might be generated:The fields are fossil.The original weak magnetic fields of the progenitor stars were amplified as the stars cores evolved into white dwarfs.The fields are caused by binary interactions.White dwarfs that formed in the merger of a binary pair might have had a magnetic field amplified as a result of a dynamo that was generated during the merger.The fields were produced by some other internal physical mechanism during the cooling of the white dwarf itself.In a recent publication, a team of authors led by Jordi Isern (Institute of Space Sciences, CSIC, and Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, Spain) explored this third possibility.Dynamos from CrystallizationThe inner and outer boundaries of the convective mantle of carbon/oxygen white dwarfs of two different masses (top vs. bottom panel) as a function of luminosity. As the white dwarf cools (toward the right), the mantle grows thinner due to the crystallization and settling of material. [Isern et al. 2017]As white dwarfs have no nuclear fusion at their centers, they simply radiate heat and gradually cool over time. The structure of the white dwarf undergoes an interesting change as it cools, however: though the object begins as a fluid composed primarily of an ionized mixture of carbon and oxygen (and a few minor species like nickel and iron), it gradually crystallizes as its temperature drops.The crystallized phase of the white dwarf is oxygen-rich which is denser than the liquid, so the crystallized material sinks to the center of the dwarf as it solidifies. As a result, the

  10. 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.

  11. White Dwarf Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colina, Luis

    1994-01-01

    As a result of last November calibration workshop, all parties agreed that the HST should be switched to the WD basis for absolute fluxes. This proposal implements that decision. A measurement of the absolute sensitivity of the FOS detectors will be performed using theoretical pure hydrogen model atmosphere calculations for three white dwarfs. The high resolution gratings will be used in the 1 arcsec aperture. A four stage peakup of the standard star provides centering in the aperture. Observations are requested for fall 94 with repeated observations about two months after.

  12. PHL 5038: a spatially resolved white dwarf + brown dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, P. R.; Burleigh, M. R.; Farihi, J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Jameson, R. F.; Dobbie, P. D.; Barstow, M. A.

    2009-06-01

    A near-infrared excess is detected at the white dwarf PHL 5038 in UKIDSS photometry, consistent with the presence of a cool, substellar companion. We have obtained H- and K-grism spectra and images of PHL 5038 using NIRI on Gemini North. The target is spatially and spectrally resolved into two components: an 8000 K DA white dwarf, and a likely L8 brown dwarf companion, separated by 0.94 arcsec. The spectral type of the secondary was determined using standard spectral indices for late L and T dwarfs. The projected orbital separation of the binary is 55 AU, so it becomes only the second known wide WD+dL binary to be found after GD 165AB. This object could potentially be used as a benchmark for testing substellar evolutionary models at intermediate to older ages.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Physical Properties of White Dwarfs from Multi-Band Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raddi, R.

    2017-03-01

    We describe a hierarchical Bayesian model to measure the physical parameters (mass, cooling age, distance, interstellar extinction) of single white dwarfs using only multi-band UV to IR photometry. We test our model on a set of known white dwarfs with well-assessed atmospheric parameters, determined via optical spectroscopy. Looking forward to the results of the ESA Gaia mission, we derive the posterior distributions of white dwarf parameters in two different scenarios with known or unknown parallaxes.

  18. 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).

  19. The Potential of White Dwarf Cosmochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-04-01

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

  20. White Dwarf Stars: A Brief Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Charpinet, S.; Randall, S. K.; Van Grootel, V.

    2013-12-01

    We present a brief summary of what is currently known about white dwarf stars, with an emphasis on their evolutionary and internal properties. As is well known, white dwarfs represent the end products of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars and, as such, bear the signatures of past events (such as mass-loss, mixing phases, loss and redistribution of angular momentum, and thermonuclear burning) that are of essential importance in the evolution of stars in general. In addition, white dwarf stars represent ideal testbeds for our understanding of matter under extreme conditions, and work on their constitutive physics (neutrino production rates, conductive and radiative opacities, interior liquid and solid equations of state, partially ionized and partially degenerate envelope equations of state, diffusion coefficients, line broadening mechanisms) is still being actively pursued. Given a set of constitutive physics, cooling white dwarfs can be used advantageously as cosmochronometers. Moreover, the field has been blessed by the existence of four distinct families of pulsating white dwarfs, each mapping a different evolutionary phase, and this allows the application of the asteroseismological method to probe and test their internal structure and evolutionary state.

  1. Rotation Velocities of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karl, C.; Napiwotzki, R.; Heber, U.; Dreizler, S.; Koester, D.; Reid, I. N.

    White dwarfs are the compact remnants of low and intermediate mass stars (M < 8Msolar). Due to the conservation of angular momentum white dwarfs should be very fast rotators, if a significant fraction of the angular momentum of the progenitor stars were preserved. The existence of sharp NLTE cores of the hydrogen Hα line in high resolution spectra (obtained at the Keck observatory) of DA white dwarfs allowed us to determine (projected) rotational velocities v sin i for white dwarfs. Among those of our targets lying close to the ZZ Ceti instability many show evidence for extra broadening similar to rotation, whereas stars at higher temperatures (and therefore younger ones) rotate more slowly or not at all. Our result based on a large sample is in accordance with previous results presented by Koester et al. (1998). We discuss possible explanations for this astonishing result.

  2. White Dwarfs in Astrometric Binaries?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliversen, N. A.; Evans, N. R.; Feibelman, W. A.; Kamper, K. W.

    1993-12-01

    Lippincott (1978, Space Sci Rev, 22, 153) compiled a list of astrometric binaries with unseen companions typically within 20 pc of the sun. Red companions have been observed in a number of these systems (e.g. McCarthy, D. W. 1983, IAU Coll. # 76, p. 107). Unseen, low mass companions could also be white dwarfs. We have obtained IUE observations of stars on the list which have primaries with spectral types M1 or earlier (white dwarf companions of cooler primaries could be detected from the ground), and are brighter than 10 mag, which do not have known red companions. Preliminary reductions (comparison with standard stars of appropriate spectral types) indicate that there are no white dwarfs in the sample. Further processing is being done to determine limits on possible white dwarf temperatures.

  3. White Dwarf Pulsational Constraints on Stellar Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlap, Bart H.; Clemens, J. Christopher; O'Brien, Patrick C.; Hermes, J. J.; Fuchs, Joshua T.

    2017-01-01

    The complex processes that convert a protostellar cloud into a carbon/oxygen-core white dwarf star are distilled and modeled in state of the art stellar evolution codes. Many of these processes are well-constrained, but several are uncertain or must be parameterized in the models because a complete treatment would be computationally prohibitive—turbulent motions such as convective overshoot cannot, for example, be modeled in 1D. Various free parameters in the models must therefore be calibrated. We will discuss how white dwarf pulsations can inform such calibrations. The results of all prior evolution are cemented into the interiors of white dwarf stars and, so, hidden from view. However, during certain phases of their cooling, pulsations translate the star's evolutionary history into observable surface phenomena. Because the periods of a pulsating white dwarf star depend on an internal structure assembled as it evolved to its final state, white dwarf pulsation periods can be viewed as observable endpoints of stellar evolution. For example, the thickness of the helium layer in a white dwarf directly affects its pulsations; the observed periods are, therefore, a function of the number of thermal pulses during which the star converts helium into core material on the asymptotic giant branch. Because they are also a function of several other significant evolutionary processes, several pulsation modes are necessary to tease all of these apart. Unfortunately, white dwarf pulsators typically do not display enough oscillation modes to constrain stellar evolution. To avoid this limitation, we consider the pulsations of the entire collection of hot pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAVs). Though any one star may not have sufficient information to place interesting constraints on its evolutionary history, taken together, the stars show a pattern of modes that allows us to test evolutionary models. For an example set of published evolutionary models, we show a

  4. 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.

  5. The 25 parsec local white dwarf population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, J. B.; Oswalt, T. D.; Sion, E. M.; McCook, G. P.

    2016-11-01

    We have extended our detailed survey of the local white dwarf population from 20 to 25 pc, effectively doubling the sample volume, which now includes 232 stars. In the process, new stars within 20 pc have been added, a more uniform set of distance estimates as well as improved spectral and binary classifications are available. The present 25 pc sample is estimated to be about 68 per cent complete (the corresponding 20 pc sample is now 86 per cent complete). The space density of white dwarfs is unchanged at 4.8 ± 0.5 × 10-3 pc-3. This new study includes a white dwarf mass distribution and luminosity function based on the 232 stars in the 25 pc sample. We find a significant excess of single stars over systems containing one or more companions (74 per cent versus 26 per cent). This suggests mechanisms that result in the loss of companions during binary system evolution. In addition, this updated sample exhibits a pronounced deficiency of nearby `Sirius-like' systems. 11 such systems were found within the 20 pc volume versus only one additional system found in the volume between 20 and 25 pc. An estimate of white dwarf birth rates during the last ˜8 Gyr is derived from individual remnant cooling ages. A discussion of likely ways new members of the local sample may be found is provided.

  6. Debris Disks around White Dwarfs: The DAZ Connection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Mukremin; von Hippel, Ted; Leggett, S. K.; Winget, D. E.

    2006-07-01

    We present near-infrared spectroscopic observations of 20 previously known DAZ white dwarfs obtained at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. Two of these white dwarfs (G29-38 and GD 362) are known to display significant K-band excesses due to circumstellar debris disks. Here we report the discovery of excess K-band radiation from another DAZ white dwarf, WD 0408-041 (GD 56). Using spectroscopic observations, we show that the excess radiation cannot be explained by a stellar or substellar companion, and is likely to be caused by a warm debris disk. Our observations strengthen the connection between the debris disk phenomena and the observed metal abundances in cool DAZ white dwarfs. However, we do not find any excess infrared emission from the most metal rich DAZs with Teff=16,000-20,000 K. This suggests that the metal abundances in warmer DAZ white dwarfs may require another explanation.

  7. The Dusty Accretion of Polluted White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonsor, A.; Farihi, J.; Wyatt, M. C.; van Lieshout, R.

    2017-03-01

    Infrared observations of polluted white dwarfs provide key insights into the accretion processes in action. The standard model for the observed infrared excesses is a flat, opaque, dust disc. The infrared observations are inconsistent with the presence of such a disc around all polluted white dwarfs. We discuss potential explanations for the absence of an infrared excess for many polluted white dwarfs.

  8. A radio-pulsing white dwarf binary star.

    PubMed

    Marsh, T R; Gänsicke, B T; Hümmerich, S; Hambsch, F-J; Bernhard, K; Lloyd, C; Breedt, E; Stanway, E R; Steeghs, D T; Parsons, S G; Toloza, O; Schreiber, M R; Jonker, P G; van Roestel, J; Kupfer, T; Pala, A F; Dhillon, V S; Hardy, L K; Littlefair, S P; Aungwerojwit, A; Arjyotha, S; Koester, D; Bochinski, J J; Haswell, C A; Frank, P; Wheatley, P J

    2016-09-15

    White dwarfs are compact stars, similar in size to Earth but approximately 200,000 times more massive. Isolated white dwarfs emit most of their power from ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths, but when in close orbits with less dense stars, white dwarfs can strip material from their companions and the resulting mass transfer can generate atomic line and X-ray emission, as well as near- and mid-infrared radiation if the white dwarf is magnetic. However, even in binaries, white dwarfs are rarely detected at far-infrared or radio frequencies. Here we report the discovery of a white dwarf/cool star binary that emits from X-ray to radio wavelengths. The star, AR Scorpii (henceforth AR Sco), was classified in the early 1970s as a δ-Scuti star, a common variety of periodic variable star. Our observations reveal instead a 3.56-hour period close binary, pulsing in brightness on a period of 1.97 minutes. The pulses are so intense that AR Sco's optical flux can increase by a factor of four within 30 seconds, and they are also detectable at radio frequencies. They reflect the spin of a magnetic white dwarf, which we find to be slowing down on a 10(7)-year timescale. The spin-down power is an order of magnitude larger than that seen in electromagnetic radiation, which, together with an absence of obvious signs of accretion, suggests that AR Sco is primarily spin-powered. Although the pulsations are driven by the white dwarf's spin, they mainly originate from the cool star. AR Sco's broadband spectrum is characteristic of synchrotron radiation, requiring relativistic electrons. These must either originate from near the white dwarf or be generated in situ at the M star through direct interaction with the white dwarf's magnetosphere.

  9. 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)

  10. On the Evolution of Hydrogen-Deficient White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camisassa, M. E.; Althaus, L. G.; Rohrmann, R. D.; García–Berro, E.; Córsico, A. H.

    2017-03-01

    We present full evolutionary calculations for hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs. We take into account the evolutionary history of the progenitor stars, all relevant energy sources, element diffusion, and outer boundary conditions provided by new and detailed non-gray white dwarf model atmospheres for pure helium composition. Model atmospheres are based on the most up-to-date physical inputs. The calculations are extended down to an effective temperature of 2500 K. Our calculations provide a homogeneous set of evolutionary cooling tracks appropriate for mass and age determinations of old hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs.

  11. 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.

  12. A radio-pulsing white dwarf binary star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hümmerich, S.; Hambsch, F.-J.; Bernhard, K.; Lloyd, C.; Breedt, E.; Stanway, E. R.; Steeghs, D. T.; Parsons, S. G.; Toloza, O.; Schreiber, M. R.; Jonker, P. G.; van Roestel, J.; Kupfer, T.; Pala, A. F.; Dhillon, V. S.; Hardy, L. K.; Littlefair, S. P.; Aungwerojwit, A.; Arjyotha, S.; Koester, D.; Bochinski, J. J.; Haswell, C. A.; Frank, P.; Wheatley, P. J.

    2016-09-01

    White dwarfs are compact stars, similar in size to Earth but approximately 200,000 times more massive. Isolated white dwarfs emit most of their power from ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths, but when in close orbits with less dense stars, white dwarfs can strip material from their companions and the resulting mass transfer can generate atomic line and X-ray emission, as well as near- and mid-infrared radiation if the white dwarf is magnetic. However, even in binaries, white dwarfs are rarely detected at far-infrared or radio frequencies. Here we report the discovery of a white dwarf/cool star binary that emits from X-ray to radio wavelengths. The star, AR Scorpii (henceforth AR Sco), was classified in the early 1970s as a δ-Scuti star, a common variety of periodic variable star. Our observations reveal instead a 3.56-hour period close binary, pulsing in brightness on a period of 1.97 minutes. The pulses are so intense that AR Sco’s optical flux can increase by a factor of four within 30 seconds, and they are also detectable at radio frequencies. They reflect the spin of a magnetic white dwarf, which we find to be slowing down on a 107-year timescale. The spin-down power is an order of magnitude larger than that seen in electromagnetic radiation, which, together with an absence of obvious signs of accretion, suggests that AR Sco is primarily spin-powered. Although the pulsations are driven by the white dwarf’s spin, they mainly originate from the cool star. AR Sco’s broadband spectrum is characteristic of synchrotron radiation, requiring relativistic electrons. These must either originate from near the white dwarf or be generated in situ at the M star through direct interaction with the white dwarf’s magnetosphere.

  13. 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.

  14. Binary white dwarfs in the halo of the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Oirschot, Pim; Nelemans, Gijs; Toonen, Silvia; Pols, Onno; Brown, Anthony G. A.; Helmi, Amina; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2014-09-01

    Aims: We study single and binary white dwarfs in the inner halo of the Milky Way in order to learn more about the conditions under which the population of halo stars was born, such as the initial mass function (IMF), the star formation history, or the binary fraction. Methods: We simulate the evolution of low-metallicity halo stars at distances up to ~3 kpc using the binary population synthesis code SeBa. We use two different white dwarf cooling models to predict the present-day luminosities of halo white dwarfs. We determine the white dwarf luminosity functions (WDLFs) for eight different halo models and compare these with the observed halo WDLF of white dwarfs in the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey. Furthermore, we predict the properties of binary white dwarfs in the halo and determine the number of halo white dwarfs that is expected to be observed with the Gaia satellite. Results: By comparing the WDLFs, we find that a standard IMF matches the observations more accurately than a top-heavy one, but the difference with a bottom-heavy IMF is small. A burst of star formation 13 Gyr ago fits slightly better than a star formation burst 10 Gyr ago and also slightly better than continuous star formation 10-13 Gyr ago. Gaia will be the first instument to constrain the bright end of the field halo WDLF, where contributions from binary WDs are considerable. Many of these will have He cores, of which a handful have atypical surface gravities (log g < 6) and reach luminosities log (L/L⊙) > 0 in our standard model for WD cooling. These so called pre-WDs, if observed, can help us to constrain white dwarf cooling models and might teach us something about the fraction of halo stars that reside in binaries. Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Three New Eclipsing White-dwarf-M-dwarf Binaries Discovered in a Search for Transiting Planets around M-dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Baranec, Christoph; Bloom, Joshua S.; Bui, Khanh; Burse, Mahesh P.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Das, H. K.; Davis, Jack. T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Nugent, Peter; Ofek, Eran O.; Poznanski, Dovi; Quimby, Robert M.; Ramaprakash, A. N.; Riddle, Reed; Silverman, Jeffrey M.; Sivanandam, Suresh; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.

    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 × 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 ⊙ (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M ⊙, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M ⊙. 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 ⊙ (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%^{+0.10%}_{-0.05%} (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 relatively large orbital radii. Similar eclipsing

  19. A YOUNG WHITE DWARF WITH AN INFRARED EXCESS

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Pantoja, B.; Su, K. Y. L.; Meng, H. Y. A. E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu

    2015-06-10

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

  20. The Local Population of White Dwarfs within 25 pc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, Jay B.; Oswalt, Terry D.; Sion, Edward M.

    2015-01-01

    We have extended the detailed survey of the local white dwarf population from 20 pc to 25 pc, effectively doubling the sample volume to now include 231 stars. The present 25 pc has an estimated completeness of 70% (the corresponding 20 pc sample is now 85% complete). The space density of white dwarfs remains at 4.8 ± 0.5 x 10-3 pc-3. There exists a curious excess of single stars in the sample 70% vs 30% in systems with one or more companions. A pronounced apparent deficiency remains between the eleven known Sirius-like systems present in the 20 pc sample and only a single such system presently known in the extended 25 pc sample. Also demonstrated, using explicit individual white dwarf cooling ages, is the feasibility of estimating the white dwarf birth rates over the last ~ 5 Gyr.This work is supported by NSF grant AST-1413537

  1. Are All Magnetic White Dwarf Stars Massive?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Kulebi, B.; Koester, D.; Kleinman, S. J.; Winget, D. E.; Castanheira, B. G.; Corsico, A. H.

    2017-03-01

    We obtained follow-up spectra on 25 white dwarf stars identified in our white dwarf catalog of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) as massive or magnetic. We identified over 300 magnetic white dwarf stars from SDSS with some uncertainties due to the low S/N of the spectra. With much higher S/N Gemini data, our sample should be able to help us confirm accuracy of our determinations. We present here our results so far from the follow up observations.

  2. Dynamical Masses of Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pala, A. F.; Gänsckie, B. T.

    2017-03-01

    The mass retention efficiency is a key question in both the theoretical and observational study of accreting white dwarfs in interacting binaries, with important implications for their potential as progenitors for type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Canonical wisdom is that classical nova eruptions erode the white dwarf mass, and consequently, cataclysmic variables (CVs) have been excluded from the SN Ia progenitor discussion. However the average mass of white dwarfs in CVs is substantially higher (≃ 0.83 M⊙) than that of single white dwarfs (≃ 0.64 M ⊙), in stark contrast to expectations based on current classical nova models. This finding is based on a sample of ≃ 30 CV white dwarfs with accurate mass measurements, most of them in eclipsing systems. Given the fundamental importance of the mass evolution of accreting white dwarfs, it is necessary to enlarge this sample and to diversify the methods used for measuring masses. We have begun a systematic study of 27 CVs to almost double the number of CV white dwarfs with an accurate mass measurement. Using VLT/X-shooter phase-resolved observations, we can measure the white dwarf masses to a few percent, and will be able to answer the question whether accreting CV white dwarfs grow in mass.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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.

  8. Magnetic White Dwarfs with Heavy Elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, F.; Dufour, P.; Jordan, S.

    2017-03-01

    Using our newly developed model atmosphere code appropriate for magnetic white dwarfs with metal lines in the Paschen-Back regime, we study various magnetic white dwarfs and explore the effects of various parameters such as the field geometry and the convective efficiency.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Time dependent white dwarf radiative shocks

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

    We study the oscillatory instability of white dwarf radiative accretion shocks discovered by Langer, Chanmugam, and Shaviv. We extend previous works by examining spherical shocks dominated by: (1) bremsstrahlung and Compton cooling; and (2) bremsstrahlung and Compton cooling when the effects of electron thermal conduction are not negligible. The results of our calculations allow us to delineate stability regimes as a function of the dwarf mass, M/sub d/, and the accretion rate, M/sup 0/. We parameterize M/sup 0/ in terms of the optical depth to electron scattering through the preshock flow, tau/sub es/. In the Compton cooling and bremsstrahlung case, the shocks are unstable to low order oscillation modes if M/sub d/ less than or equal to (0.7 +- 0.1) M/sub solar/ for tau/sub es/ = 14, and if M/sub d/ less than or equal to (0.9 +- 0.1) M/sub solar/ for tau/sub es/ = 1. When electron thermal conduction is added, low order oscillation modes are unstable only if M/sub d/ less than or equal to (0.3 +- 0.1) M/sub sun mass/. The unstable modes have approximate oscillation periods of 1.1 tau/sub br/ and 0.63 tau/sub br/, where tau/sub br/ is the bremsstrahlung cooling time scale of the postshock plasma. Our results can be scaled to magnetically funneled accretion flows as long as cyclotron emission contributes less than about 10% of the postshock cooling. 14 refs., 1 fig.

  13. AR Sco: A Precessing White Dwarf Synchronar?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, J. I.

    2017-02-01

    The emission of the white dwarf–M dwarf binary AR Sco is driven by the rapid synchronization of its white dwarf, rather than by accretion. Synchronization requires a magnetic field ∼100 Gauss at the M dwarf and ∼ {10}8 Gauss at the white dwarf, larger than the fields of most intermediate polars but within the range of fields of known magnetic white dwarfs. The spindown power is dissipated in the atmosphere of the M dwarf, within the near zone of the rotating white dwarf’s field, by magnetic reconnection, accelerating particles that produce the observed synchrotron radiation. The displacement of the optical maximum from conjunction may be explained either by dissipation in a bow wave as the white dwarf’s magnetic field sweeps past the M dwarf or by a misaligned white dwarf rotation axis and oblique magnetic moment. In the latter case the rotation axis precesses with a period of decades, predicting a drift in the orbital phase of the optical maximum. Binaries whose emission is powered by synchronization may be termed synchronars, in analogy to magnetars.

  14. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ubaldi, Lorenzo

    2014-06-24

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

  16. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Are white dwarfs born with a `KICK'?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Saul; Richer, H. B.; Coffey, J.; Anderson, J.; Brewer, J.; Fahlman, G. G.; Hansen, B. M.; Hurley, J.; Kalirai, J. S.; King, I. R.; Reitzel, D.; Rich, R. M.; Rich, M. R.; Shara, M. M.

    2006-12-01

    The unusually large kinetic energies possessed by some pulsars, as inferred from their observed velocities in excess of the escape speed of the Galaxy, imply that the violent explosions in which they are born impart some fraction of their energy into the motion of the pulsar. Does a similar, but less energetic process occur during the birth of a white dwarf? Two major Hubble Space Telescope imaging campaigns of the two nearest globular star clusters, NGC 6397 and Messier 4, yield the radial distribution of both white dwarfs and main-sequences. Because globular clusters are relaxed populations, the velocity dispersion, and hence radial distribution, for stars of a particular mass is directly dependent on that mass. To first approximation, all white dwarf s have a mass of 0.55 M⊙. If white dwarfs are not born with a kick, we expect white dwarf s of an age younger than a relaxation time to have a radial distribution similar to main-sequence stars of 0.8 M⊙, i.e. the mass of their progenitor. Conversely, if white dwarf s are born with a kick, the radial distribution of white dwarfs younger than the relaxation time should mimic that of main-sequence stars of lesser mass. By comparing the radial distributions of white dwarfs of various ages with those of main-sequence stars of various masses in these two globular clusters, we find that the radial distributions of young white dwarfs are most similar to that of main-sequence stars of 0.2 M⊙, implying a natal kick of >1.6 km/s.

  19. Keck Telescope Observations of Externally-Polluted White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuckerman, Ben M.; NASA, Research was Supported in Part by

    2013-01-01

    Beginning in the late 1990s the Keck telescope and HIRES echelle spectrometer have contributed mightily to investigations of white dwarf photospheres that contain elements heavier than helium that have been accreted from surrounding planetary systems. Today we report new Keck measurements of helium atmosphere (DB and DZ) white dwarfs, of Hyades white dwarfs, and of white dwarfs in binary systems.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. Tidal Effects in Inspiraling Double White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willems, B.; Kalogera, Vicky; Vecchio, A.; Ivanova, N.; Deloye, C.; Hansen, B.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the overwhelming abundance of double white dwarfs in the LISA gravitational wave frequency band, modeling of their waveforms has remained limited to the point-mass approximation in which gravitational radiation is the only source of systemic orbital angular momentum loss. As a significant fraction of these systems spirals in to periods as short as 5-10 minutes, tidal effects can, however, play an important role in modifying the gravitational wave frequency evolution. The strength of the tidal effects depends strongly on the energy dissipation mechanism damping the tides, which, for white dwarfs, is highly uncertain. In this poster, we present the first results of a systematic study of tidal dissipation in white dwarfs, and the impact of tides on the gravitational wave signal of close double white dwarfs.

  5. Transit probabilities for debris around white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, John Arban; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of WD 1145+017 (Vanderburg et al. 2015), a metal-polluted white dwarf with an infrared-excess and transits confirmed the long held theory that at least some metal-polluted white dwarfs are actively accreting material from crushed up planetesimals. A statistical understanding of WD 1145-like systems would inform us on the various pathways for metal-pollution and the end states of planetary systems around medium- to high-mass stars. However, we only have one example and there are presently no published studies of transit detection/discovery probabilities for white dwarfs within this interesting regime. We present a preliminary look at the transit probabilities for metal-polluted white dwarfs and their projected space density in the Solar Neighborhood, which will inform future searches for analogs to WD 1145+017.

  6. Pulsating White Dwarf Stars and Precision Asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winget, D. E.; Kepler, S. O.

    2008-09-01

    Galactic history is written in the white dwarf stars. Their surface properties hint at interiors composed of matter under extreme conditions. In the forty years since their discovery, pulsating white dwarf stars have moved from side-show curiosities to center stage as important tools for unraveling the deep mysteries of the Universe. Innovative observational techniques and theoretical modeling tools have breathed life into precision asteroseismology. We are just learning to use this powerful tool, confronting theoretical models with observed frequencies and their time rate-of-change. With this tool, we calibrate white dwarf cosmochronology; we explore equations of state; we measure stellar masses, rotation rates, and nuclear reaction rates; we explore the physics of interior crystallization; we study the structure of the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae, and we test models of dark matter. The white dwarf pulsations are at once the heartbeat of galactic history and a window into unexplored and exotic physics.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Pulsating, Accreting White Dwarf in GW Lib after Outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula

    The first known pulsating white dwarf in an accreting close binary system (GW Lib) underwent an outburst in April, 2007. We aim to follow the pulsation spectrum as the white dwarf cools back to to its quiescent temperature from its heating due to the outburst which should take about 3 years. As it cools, it should re-enter the instability strip and we can witness changes in the driving mechanism and detect modes that are excited by the temperature changes. The higher pulse amplitude in UV vs optical and the available time-tag mode makes GALEX the instrument of choice. The data in 2008 will be combined with our DOT time in May, June 2007 to provide coverage of the largest cooling that takes place in the year following outburst. Since the few known systems only outburst every 20-30 yrs, this is the first opportunity to accomplish a study of this type."

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-02-20

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

  12. New halo white dwarf candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 57 faint (g = 19-22) high proper motion white dwarfs identified through repeat imaging of ≈3100 deg2 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey footprint by Munn et al. We use ugriz and JH photometry to perform a model atmosphere analysis, and identify 10 ultracool white dwarfs with Teff < 4000 K, including the coolest pure H atmosphere white dwarf currently known, J1657+2638, with Teff = 3550 ± 100 K. The majority of the objects with cooling ages larger than 9 Gyr display thick disc kinematics and constrain the age of the thick disc to ≥11 Gyr. There are four white dwarfs in our sample with large tangential velocities (vtan > 120 km s-1) and UVW velocities that are more consistent with the halo than the Galactic disc. For typical 0.6 M⊙ white dwarfs, the cooling ages for these halo candidates range from 2.3 to 8.5 Gyr. However, the total main-sequence+white dwarf cooling ages of these stars would be consistent with the Galactic halo if they are slightly undermassive. Given the magnitude limits of the current large-scale surveys, many of the coolest and oldest white dwarfs remain undiscovered in the solar neighbourhood, but upcoming surveys such as Gaia and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope should find many of these elusive thick disc and halo white dwarfs.

  13. Asteroseismic constraints on diffusion in white dwarf envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff-Kim, A.; Metcalfe, T. S.

    2011-06-01

    The asteroseismic analysis of white dwarfs allows us to peer below their photospheres and determine their internal structure. At ˜28 000 K EC20058-5234 is the hottest known pulsating helium atmosphere white dwarf. As such, it constitutes an important link in the evolution of white dwarfs down the cooling track. It is also astrophysically interesting because it is at a temperature where white dwarfs are expected to cool mainly through the emission of plasmon neutrinos. In the present work, we perform an asteroseismic analysis of EC20058-5234 and place the results in the context of stellar evolution and time-dependent diffusion calculations. We use a parallel genetic algorithm complemented with targeted grid searches to find the models that fit the observed periods best. Comparing our results with similar modelling of EC20058-5234's cooler cousin CBS114, we find a helium envelope thickness consistent with time-dependent diffusion calculations and obtain a precise mode identification for EC20058-5234.

  14. A continuing census of Galactic white dwarfs to 40 parsecs of the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limoges, Marie-Michele; Lepine, Sebastien; Bergeron, Pierre

    2010-08-01

    We propose to obtain spectra for 170 new white dwarf candidates suspected to be within 40 parsecs of the Sun, as a continuation of our survey of white dwarfs in the Solar Neiborhood. Spectral analysis will confirm the white dwarf status and provide reliable distance estimates for all objects. The census of nearby white dwarfs is currently complete only to about 20 parsecs of the Sun, a volume which includes only a little over 100 white dwarfs. The main limitation of the current census is that it is largely based on follow-up investigations of stars with very large proper motion. Our own survey investigates stars down to a much smaller proper motion limit (40 mas/yr) which minimizes the kinematic bias and provides a statistically complete census of white dwarfs to a significantly larger distance. Our follow-up spectroscopic program, initiated in the past two semesters, strikingly demonstrates the effectiveness of our white dwarf selection method, with a sucess rate exceeding 96%. We have now obtained spectra for 65% of our initial list of 350 white dwarf candidates, and request additional nights to observe the remaining 170. In particular, our survey has been efficient in locating faint, cool white dwarfs, which will help in the study of the cool end of the white dwarf luminosity function. Finally, objects of great astrophysical interest were found, such as the very cool DQ LSPM J0902+2010, the highly magnetic PM I11322+2809, and the extremely contaminated DA+dM binary system PM I04586+6209. We expect additional objects of interest to show up in our extended program, from which we expect to obtain a near-complete census of white dwarfs to a distance of 40 parsecs.

  15. Pulsations powered by hydrogen shell burning in white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camisassa, M. E.; Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.; Shibahashi, H.

    2016-10-01

    Context. In the absence of a third dredge-up episode during the asymptotic giant-branch phase, white dwarf models evolved from low-metallicity progenitors have a thick hydrogen envelope, which makes hydrogen shell burning be the most important energy source. Aims: We investigate the pulsational stability of white dwarf models with thick envelopes to see whether nonradial g-mode pulsations are triggered by hydrogen burning, with the aim of placing constraints on hydrogen shell burning in cool white dwarfs and on a third dredge-up during the asymptotic giant-branch evolution of their progenitor stars. Methods: We construct white-dwarf sequences from low-metallicity progenitors by means of full evolutionary calculations that take into account the entire history of progenitor stars, including the thermally pulsing and the post-asymptotic giant-branch phases, and analyze their pulsation stability by solving the linear, nonadiabatic, nonradial pulsation equations for the models in the range of effective temperatures Teff 15 000-8000 K. Results: We demonstrate that, for white dwarf models with masses M⋆ ≲ 0.71 M⊙ and effective temperatures 8500 ≲ Teff ≲ 11 600 K that evolved from low-metallicity progenitors (Z = 0.0001, 0.0005, and 0.001), the dipole (ℓ = 1) and quadrupole (ℓ = 2) g1-modes are excited mostly as a result of the hydrogen-burning shell through the ɛ-mechanism, in addition to other g-modes driven by either the κ - γ or the convective driving mechanism. However, the ɛ mechanism is insufficient to drive these modes in white dwarfs evolved from solar-metallicity progenitors. Conclusions: We suggest that efforts should be made to observe the dipole g1-mode in white dwarfs associated with low-metallicity environments, such as globular clusters and/or the galactic halo, to place constraints on hydrogen shell burning in cool white dwarfs and the third dredge-up episode during the preceding asymptotic giant-branch phase.

  16. Building an Unusual White-Dwarf Duo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    A new study has examined how the puzzling wide binary system HS 2220+2146 which consists of two white dwarfs orbiting each other might have formed. This system may be an example of a new evolutionary pathway for wide white-dwarf binaries.Evolution of a BinaryMore than 100 stellar systems have been discovered consisting of two white dwarfs in a wide orbit around each other. How do these binaries form? In the traditional picture, the system begins as a binary consisting of two main-sequence stars. Due to the large separation between the stars, the stars evolve independently, each passing through the main-sequence and giant branches and ending their lives as white dwarfs.An illustration of a hierarchical triple star system, in which two stars orbit each other, and a third star orbits the pair. [NASA/JPL-Caltech]Because more massive stars evolve more quickly, the most massive of the two stars in a binary pair should be the first to evolve into a white dwarf. Consequently, when we observe a double-white-dwarf binary, its usually a safe bet that the more massive of the two white dwarfs will also be the older and cooler of the pair, since it should have formed first.But in the case of the double-white-dwarf binary HS 2220+2146, the opposite is true: the more massive of the two white dwarfs appears to be the younger and hotter of the pair. If it wasnt created in the traditional way, then how did this system form?Two From Three?Led by Jeff Andrews (Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Greece and Columbia University), a team of scientists recently examined this system more carefully, analyzing its spectra to confirm our understanding of the white dwarfs temperatures and masses.Based on their observations, Andrews and collaborators determined that there are no hidden additional companions that could have caused the unusual evolution of this system. Instead, the team proposed that this unusual binary might be an example of an evolutionary channel that involves three

  17. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-10

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

  2. Contrasting Accreting White Dwarf Pulsators with the ZZ Ceti Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukadam, A. S.; Szkody, P.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Pala, A.

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the similarities and differences between the accreting white dwarf pulsators and their non-interacting counterparts, the ZZ Ceti stars, will eventually help us deduce how accretion affects pulsations. ZZ Ceti stars pulsate in a narrow instability strip in the range 10800–12300 K due to H ionization in their pure H envelopes; their pulsation characteristics depend on their temperature and stellar mass. Models of accreting white dwarfs are found to be pulsationally unstable due to the H/HeI ionization zone, and even show a second instability strip around 15000 K due to HeII ionization. Both these strips are expected to merge for a He abundance higher than 0.48 to form a broad instability strip, which is consistent with the empirical determination of 10500–16000 K. Accreting pulsators undergo outbursts, during which the white dwarf is heated to temperatures well beyond the instability strip and is observed to cease pulsations. The white dwarf then cools to quiescence in a few years as its outer layers cool more than a million times faster than the evolutionary rate. This provides us with an exceptional opportunity to track the evolution of pulsations from the blue edge to quiescence in a few years, while ZZ Ceti stars evolve on Myr timescales. Some accreting pulsators have also been observed to cease pulsations without any apparent evidence of an outburst. This is a distinct difference between this class of pulsators and the non-interacting ZZ Ceti stars. While the ZZ Ceti instability strip is well sampled, the strip for the accreting white dwarfs is sparsely sampled and we hereby add two new potential discoveries to improve the statistics.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Recombination energy in double white dwarf formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  6. White Dwarfs in Gaia Data Release 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, S.

    2017-03-01

    On September 14, the Gaia archives opened for access to the Gaia DR1. The catalogue with more than one billion star positions and more than two million parallaxes and proper motions will have enormous influence on many topics in astronomy. However, due to their extremely blue colour, parallaxes and proper motions of only six white dwarfs were directly measured. Tremblay et al. used these data and those for 46 white dwarfs in binaries in order to construct an empirical mass-radius relation. As it was the case for Hipparcos, the precision of the data does not allow for the characterisation of hydrogen envelope masses. With Gaia DR2 coming in late 2017 the prospects for white dwarf research are much better.

  7. A Common Origin of Magnetism from Planets to White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique; Külebi, Baybars; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo

    2017-02-01

    Isolated magnetic white dwarfs have field strengths ranging from kilogauss to gigagauss. However, the origin of the magnetic field has not been hitherto elucidated. Whether these fields are fossil, hence the remnants of original weak magnetic fields amplified during the course of the evolution of their progenitor stars, or are the result of binary interactions, or, finally, they are produced by other internal physical mechanisms during the cooling of the white dwarf itself, remains a mystery. At sufficiently low temperatures, white dwarfs crystallize. Upon solidification, phase separation of its main constituents, 12C and 16O, and of the impurities left by previous evolution occurs. This process leads to the formation of a Rayleigh–Taylor unstable liquid mantle on top of a solid core. This convective region, as it occurs in solar system planets like the Earth and Jupiter, can produce a dynamo able to yield magnetic fields of strengths of up to 0.1 MG, thus providing a mechanism that could explain magnetism in single white dwarfs.

  8. Planetary Engulfment as a Trigger for White Dwarf Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrovich, Cristobal; Muñoz, Diego J.

    2017-01-01

    The presence of a planetary system can shield a planetesimal disk from the secular gravitational perturbations due to distant outer massive objects (planets or stellar companions). As the host star evolves off the main sequence to become a white dwarf, these planets can be engulfed during the giant phase, triggering secular instabilities and leading to the tidal disruptions of small rocky bodies. These disrupted bodies can feed the white dwarfs with rocky material and possibly explain the high-metallicity material in their atmospheres. We illustrate how this mechanism can operate when the gravitational perturbations are due to the KL mechanism from a stellar binary companion, a process that is activated only after the planet has been removed/engulfed. We show that this mechanism can explain the observed accretion rates if: (1) the planetary engulfment happens rapidly compared to the secular timescale, which is generally the case for wide binaries (> 100 au) and planetary engulfment during the asymptotic giant branch; (2) the planetesimal disk has a total mass of ∼ {10}-4-{10}-2{M}\\oplus . We show that this new mechanism can provide a steady supply of material throughout the entire life of the white dwarfs for all cooling ages and can account for a large fraction (up to nearly half) of the observed polluted white dwarfs.

  9. White Dwarf Mergers on Adaptive Meshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Maximilian Peter

    The mergers of binary white dwarf systems are potential progenitors of astrophysical explosions such as Type Ia supernovae. These white dwarfs can merge either by orbital decay through the emission of gravitational waves or by direct collisions as a result of orbital perturbations. The coalescence of the stars may ignite nuclear fusion, resulting in the destruction of both stars through a thermonuclear runaway and ensuing detonation. The goal of this dissertation is to simulate binary white dwarf systems using the techniques of computational fluid dynamics and therefore to understand what numerical techniques are necessary to obtain accurate dynamical evolution of the system, as well as to learn what conditions are necessary to enable a realistic detonation. For this purpose I have used software that solves the relevant fluid equations, the Poisson equation for self-gravity, and the systems governing nuclear reactions between atomic species. These equations are modeled on a computational domain that uses the technique of adaptive mesh refinement to have the highest spatial resolution in the areas of the domain that are most sensitive to the need for accurate numerical evolution. I have identified that the most important obstacles to accurate evolution are the numerical violation of conservation of energy and angular momentum in the system, and the development of numerically seeded thermonuclear detonations that do not bear resemblance to physically correct detonations. I then developed methods for ameliorating these problems, and determined what metrics can be used for judging whether a given white dwarf merger simulation is trustworthy. This involved the development of a number of algorithmic improvements to the simulation software, which I describe. Finally, I performed high-resolution simulations of typical cases of white dwarf mergers and head-on collisions to demonstrate the impacts of these choices. The results of these simulations and the corresponding

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Ultra-high precision white dwarf asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giammichele, Noemi; Charpinet, Stéphane; Fontaine, Gilles; Brassard, Pierre; Zong, Weikai

    We present a brief progress report in our quest for deriving seismic models of pulsating white dwarfs that can account simultaneously for all the observed periods at the precision of the observations. We point out that this is possible from a pratical point of view only if parametrized models are used to complement evolutionary models. We adopt a double optimization procedure that insures that the best possible model in parameter space is found objectively and automatically. Our ultimate goal is to be able to account for the exquisite period data gathered with Kepler and Kepler-2 on key pulsating white dwarfs of both the DA (ZZ Ceti) and DB (V777 Her) type.

  13. Pulsating White Dwarfs in Globular Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanaan, A.; Zabot, A.; Fraga, L.

    2012-09-01

    We present our current efforts to detect pulsating white dwarfs in globular clusters and analyze the future of this area when the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) all become operational. Today we are able to detect pulsating white dwarfs in M 4, NGC 6397 and NGC 6752. When ELT comes on line we should be able to improve the quality of data for the nearby clusters and push the limit to at least 3 magnitudes further, up to NGC 6626, increasing the number of observable clusters from 3 to 20.

  14. The Field White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Cummings, J.; Kalirai, J. S.

    2017-03-01

    We study the white dwarf mass distributions for the volume-complete survey within 20 pc and the SDSS magnitude-limited sample. The observed mass distributions are modelled with Monte Carlo simulations. We find that under fixed standard assumptions for Galactic and stellar evolution, the predicted masses are in good qualitative agreement with the observed values. Nevertheless, the number of massive white dwarfs is overpredicted and we find that it is difficult to constrain independently the initial mass function (IMF), the initial-to-final-mass relation (IFMR), the stellar formation history (SFH), the variation of the Galactic disk vertical scale height as a function of stellar age, and binary evolution.

  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.

    2016-12-01

    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 survey in the Southern hemisphere and the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope 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. The Theoretical Instability Strip of V777 Her White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

    We present a new theoretical investigation of the instability strip of V777 Her (DBV) white dwarfs. We apply a time-dependent convection (TDC) treatment to cooling models of DB and DBA white dwarfs. Using the spectroscopic calibration for the convective efficiency, ML2/α=1.25, we find a wide strip covering the range of effective temperature from 30,000 K down to about 22,000 K at log g = 8.0. This accounts very well for the empirical instability strip derived from a new accurate and homogenous spectroscopic analysis of known pulsators. Our approach leads to an exact description of the blue edge and to a correct understanding of the onset and development of pulsational instabilities, similarly to our results of TDC applied to ZZ Ceti white dwarfs in the recent past. We propose that, contrarily to what is generally believed, there is practically no fuzziness on the boundaries of the V777 Her instability strip due to traces of hydrogen in the atmospheres of some of these helium-dominated-atmosphere stars. Contrary to the blue edge, the red edge provided by TDC computations is far too cool compared to the empirical one. A similar situation was observed for the ZZ Ceti stars as well. We hence test the energy leakage argument (i.e., the red edge occurs when the thermal timescale in the driving region becomes equal to the critical period beyond which gravity modes cease to exist), which was successful to correctly reproduce the red edge of ZZ Ceti white dwarfs. Based on this argument, the red edge is qualitatively well reproduced as indicated above. However, upon close inspection, it may be about 1000 K too cool compared to the empirical one, although the latter relies on a few objects only. We also test the hypothesis of including turbulent pressure in our TDC computations in order to provide an alternate physical mechanism to account for the red edge. First promising results are presented.

  17. TIDAL INTERACTIONS IN MERGING WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2011-10-20

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

  18. The binary white dwarf LHS 3236

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-10

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

  19. Calibrating White Dwarf Asteroseismic Fitting Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanheira, B. G.; Romero, A. D.; Bischoff-Kim, A.

    2017-03-01

    The main goal of looking for intrinsic variability in stars is the unique opportunity to study their internal structure. Once we have extracted independent modes from the data, it appears to be a simple matter of comparing the period spectrum with those from theoretical model grids to learn the inner structure of that star. However, asteroseismology is much more complicated than this simple description. We must account not only for observational uncertainties in period determination, but most importantly for the limitations of the model grids, coming from the uncertainties in the constitutive physics, and of the fitting techniques. In this work, we will discuss results of numerical experiments where we used different independently calculated model grids (white dwarf cooling models WDEC and fully evolutionary LPCODE-PUL) and fitting techniques to fit synthetic stars. The advantage of using synthetic stars is that we know the details of their interior structure so we can assess how well our models and fitting techniques are able to the recover the interior structure, as well as the stellar parameters.

  20. White Dwarfs in the Galaxy's Halo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppenheimer, B.; Murdin, P.

    2002-12-01

    The Galaxy's large spherical halo (see GALACTICMETAL-POOR HALO and HALO, GALACTIC) may harboras many as several hundred billion WHITE DWARFS, apopulation as large in number as the total number of stars in theGalaxy's disk (see DISK GALAXIES and GALACTIC THIN DISK). Although this assertion iscontroversial, several astronomical surveys provide strong support for it andthe implications affect fields ...

  1. SOAR + SMARTS Southern White Dwarf Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subasavage, John P.; Lepine, S.

    2012-01-01

    We present early results from the SOAR + SMARTS Southern White Dwarf SURVEY (SSSWDS). Our initial sift of relatively bright (15 < V < 18), white dwarf candidates uses the technique of reduced proper motion with inputs from the SUPERBLINK proper motion database combined with photographic magnitudes. Crude distance estimates from the linear photographic magnitude-color relation of Oppenheimer et al. 2001 are obtained and permit prioritized follow-up. For confirmation of luminosity class, we use the SOAR telescope atop Cerro Pachon equipped with the Goodman Spectrograph and a moderate resolution grating. In tandem, we acquire multi-epoch, optical Johnson-Kron-Cousins BVRI photometry using the SMARTS 1.0m telescope atop CTIO. Combined with JHK from 2MASS, we compare the photometric SED to relevant white dwarf model atmospheres to estimate physical parameters (e.g., effective temperature, mass) and distance. For the nearest targets, specifically those within the RECONS (www.recons.org) horizon of 25 pc, we aim to obtain trigonometric parallaxes as part of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory Parallax Investigation (CTIOPI) project being conducted at the SMARTS 0.9m telescope. To date, we have confirmed 100 relatively bright, new white dwarfs in the southern hemisphere. Of those, 13 are estimated to be within our 25 pc horizon-of-interest, including two that are estimated to be within 15 pc. Ongoing observations will boost these figures by the end of the project.

  2. Photospheric composition and structure in white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.

    1993-12-01

    One of the central mysteries of white dwarf studies has been the nature and abundance of trace elements in the atmospheres of these stars. It had been thought that the dominant trace element in otherwise pure hydrogen DA white dwarf atmospheres was helium. However, some spectroscopic and theoretical evidence suggested that, at least in some stars, heavier elements may be important. Prior to the launch of ROSAT the questions regarding the atmospheric composition of DA white dwarfs in general remained unresolved. The ROSAT mission has provided EUV and X-ray data for a large sample of DA white dwarfs with which we can study their photospheric composition and structure through the effect of trace opacity sources on the emergent fluxes. Contrary to expectations little (if any) helium is found and the main sources of opacity appear to be trace heavy elements. Support for these conclusions is found in recent EUV and far-UV spectra of several stars. However, photometric data do not allow us to determine the abundance of the individual elements and observations with the extreme ultraviolet explorer satellite (EUVE) spectrometers will be essential for detailed composition measurements.

  3. DA white dwarfs in the Kepler field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, T. F.; Howell, S. B.; Petit, V.; Lépine, S.

    2017-01-01

    We present 16 new, and confirm 7 previously identified, DA white dwarfs in the Kepler field through ground-based spectroscopy with the Hale 200″, Kitt Peak 4-m, and Bok 2.3-m telescopes. Using atmospheric models, we determine their effective temperatures and surface gravities to constrain their position with respect to the ZZ Ceti (DA pulsator) instability strip, and look for the presence or absence of pulsation with Kepler's unprecedented photometry. Our results are as follows. (i) From our measurements of temperature and surface gravity, 12 of the 23 DA white dwarfs from this work fall well outside of the instability strip. The Kepler photometry available for 11 of these WDs allows us to confirm that none are pulsating. One of these 11 happens to be a presumed binary, KIC 11604781, with a period of ˜5 d. (ii) The remaining 11 DA white dwarfs are instability strip candidates, potentially falling within the current, empirical instability strip, after accounting for uncertainties. These WDs will help constrain the strip's location further, as eight are near the blue edge and three are near the red edge of the instability strip. Four of these WDs do not have Kepler photometry, so ground-based photometry is needed to determine the pulsation nature of these white dwarfs. The remaining seven have Kepler photometry available, but do not show any periodicity on typical WD pulsation time-scales.

  4. 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.

  5. Disintegrating Planetary Bodies Around a White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ibata; Irwin; Bienaymé; Scholz; Guibert

    2000-03-20

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

  7. The Binary White Dwarf LHS 3236

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. A Very Cool Pair of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Search for Planets around Pulsating White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullally, F.; Winget, D. E.; Kepler, S. O.

    2005-12-01

    We present initial results from our search for planets around variable white dwarf stars. White dwarf stars are the end point of stellar evolution for 98% of main sequence stars. Theoretical calculations (Sackmann 1993; Duncan & Lissauer 1998) predict that planets further than 1 AU from their parent star will survive the red giant phase. When a hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf (DA) cools to about 12000K it becomes a variable star. A subset of these stars exhibit pulsational stability that rivals atomic clocks (˙ {P} ˜ 10-15; Kepler et al. 2005). The reflex orbital motion of the star around the center of mass of the system due to the presence of a planet changes the light travel time of these stable pulses and hence their observed arrival time on earth, providing a method to detect the planet. Because we are measuring change in distance to the star, planets in long period orbits are easier to detect, complementing the Doppler shift method. This work is supported by grant from the NASA Origins program, NAG5-13094 and performed in part under contract with JPL through the Michelson Fellowship Program.

  12. Infrared Signatures of Disrupted Minor Planets at White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, Jay; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.

    2009-01-01

    Spitzer IRAC and MIPS photometric observations are presented for 20 white dwarfs with T < 20,000 K and metal-contaminated photospheres. A warm circumstellar disk is detected at GD 16 and likely at PG 1457-086, while the remaining targets fail to reveal mid-infrared excess typical of dust disks, including a number of heavily polluted stars. Extending previous studies, over 50% of all single white dwarfs with implied metal accretion rates above 3e8 g/s display a warm infrared excess from orbiting dust; the likely result of a tidally-destroyed minor planet. This benchmark accretion rate lies between the dust production rates of 1e6 g/s in the solar system zodiacal cloud and 1e10 g/s often inferred for debris disks at main sequence A-type stars. It is estimated that between 1% and 3% of all single white dwarfs with cooling ages less than around 0.5 Gyr possess circumstellar dust, signifying an underlying population of minor planets.

  13. Infrared Signatures of Disrupted Minor Planets at White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.

    2009-04-01

    Spitzer Space Observatory IRAC and MIPS photometric observations are presented for 20 white dwarfs with T eff lsim 20, 000 K and metal-contaminated photospheres. A warm circumstellar disk is detected at GD 16 and likely at PG 1457-086, while the remaining targets fail to reveal mid-infrared excess typical of dust disks, including a number of heavily polluted stars. Extending previous studies, over 50% of all single white dwarfs with implied metal-accretion rates dM/dtgsim 3 × 108 g s-1 display a warm infrared excess from orbiting dust; the likely result of a tidally destroyed minor planet. This benchmark accretion rate lies between the dust production rates of 106 g s-1 in the solar system zodiacal cloud and 1010 g s-1 often inferred for debris disks at main-sequence A-type stars. It is estimated that between 1% and 3% of all single white dwarfs with cooling ages less than around 0.5 Gyr possess circumstellar dust, signifying an underlying population of minor planets.

  14. An asteroseismic test of diffusion theory in white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metcalfe, T. S.; Nather, R. E.; Watson, T. K.; Kim, S.-L.; Park, B.-G.; Handler, G.

    2005-05-01

    The helium-atmosphere (DB) white dwarfs are commonly thought to be the descendants of the hotter PG 1159 stars, which initially have uniform He/C/O atmospheres. In this evolutionary scenario, diffusion builds a pure He surface layer which gradually thickens as the star cools. In the temperature range of the pulsating DB white dwarfs (T_eff ˜ 25 000 K) this transformation is still taking place, allowing asteroseismic tests of the theory. We have obtained dual-site observations of the pulsating DB star CBS 114, to complement existing observations of the slightly cooler star GD 358. We recover the 7 independent pulsation modes that were previously known, and we discover 4 new ones to provide additional constraints on the models. We perform objective global fitting of our updated double-layered envelope models to both sets of observations, leading to determinations of the envelope masses and pure He surface layers that qualitatively agree with the expectations of diffusion theory. These results provide new asteroseismic evidence supporting one of the central assumptions of spectral evolution theory, linking the DB white dwarfs to PG 1159 stars.

  15. The field white dwarf mass distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The White Dwarf in SS Cygni and Related Topics: FUSE + HST Spectral Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Godon, Patrick; Myszka, Janine; Blair, William P.

    2010-11-01

    We have carried out a combined Hubble Space Telescope (HST/GHRS) and Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) analysis of the prototype dwarf nova SS Cygni during quiescence. The FUSE and HST spectra were obtained at comparable times after outburst and have matching flux levels where the two spectra overlap. From the best-fit model solutions to the combined HST +FUSE spectral energy distribution, we find that the white dwarf is reaching a temperature Teff~45-55,000 K in quiescence, assuming log(g) = 8.3 with a solar composition accreted atmosphere. We discuss two challenges to understanding the cooling of a white dwarf in response to heating by a dwarf nova accretion event. We present the most recent distribution of white dwarf temperatures versus orbital period in the context of the time-averaged accretion rate and long term compressional heating models.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Agol, Eric

    2011-04-20

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

  20. Peculiar variations of white dwarf pulsation frequencies and maestro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalessio, James Ruland

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

  1. Magnetic Fields and the Crystallization of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, J.; García-Berro, E.; Külebi, B.; Lorén-Aguilar, P.

    2017-03-01

    The evolution of white dwarfs can be described as a cooling process. When the temperature is low enough, the interior experiences a phase transition and crystallizes. Crystallization introduces two new sources of energy, latent heat and chemical sedimentation, and induces the formation of a convective mantle around the solid core. This structure, which is analogous to that of the Earth, could induce the formation of a magnetic field via dynamo mechanism. In this work we discuss the viability of such mechanism, and its use as a diagnostic tool of crystallization.

  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. 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.

  4. The fate of exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

    Roughly 1000 white dwarfs are known to be polluted with planetary material, and the progenitors of this material are typically assumed to be asteroids. The dynamical architectures which perturb asteroids into white dwarfs are still unknown, but may be crucially dependent on moons liberated from parent planets during post-main-sequence gravitational scattering. Here, we trace the fate of these exomoons, and show that they more easily achieve deep radial incursions towards the white dwarf than do scattered planets. Consequently, moons are likely to play a significant role in white dwarf pollution, and in some cases may be the progenitors of the pollution itself.

  5. Polarimetry as a tool to find and characterise habitable planets orbiting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossati, Luca; Bagnulo, Stefano; Haswell, Carole A.; Patel, Manish R.; Busuttil, Richard; Kowalski, Piotr M.; Shukyak, Denis V.; Sterzik, Michael F.; Valyavin, Gennady

    2015-10-01

    There are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, hence one can consider the case of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU from the star would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for about 8 Gyr. Polarisation due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a powerful tool to detect close-in planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow one to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, even providing a first characterisation. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue. Preliminary habitability study show also that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on Earth-like planets orbiting CWDs and that the DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, hence white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life from the perspective of UV irradiation.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Upasana; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata E-mail: bm@physics.iisc.ernet.in

    2015-05-01

    The topic of magnetized super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs is in the limelight, particularly in the last few years, since our proposal of their existence. By full-scale general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) numerical analysis, we confirm in this work the existence of stable, highly magnetized, significantly super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs with mass more than 3 solar mass. While a poloidal field geometry renders the white dwarfs oblate, a toroidal field makes them prolate retaining an overall quasi-spherical shape, as speculated in our earlier work. These white dwarfs are expected to serve as the progenitors of over-luminous type Ia supernovae.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. The evolution of white dwarfs resulting from helium-enhanced, low-metallicity progenitor stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Althaus, Leandro G.; De Gerónimo, Francisco; Córsico, Alejandro; Torres, Santiago; García-Berro, Enrique

    2017-01-01

    Context. Some globular clusters host multiple stellar populations with different chemical abundance patterns. This is particularly true for ω Centauri, which shows clear evidence of a helium-enriched subpopulation characterized by a helium abundance as high as Y = 0.4 Aims: We present a whole and consistent set of evolutionary tracks from the ZAMS to the white dwarf stage that is appropriate for the study of the formation and evolution of white dwarfs resulting from the evolution of helium-rich progenitors. Methods: We derived white dwarf sequences from progenitors with stellar mass ranging from 0.60 to 2.0 M⊙ and for an initial helium abundance of Y = 0.4. We adopted two values of metallicity: Z = 0.001 and Z = 0.0005. Results: We explored different issues of white dwarf evolution and their helium-rich progenitors. In particular, the final mass of the remnants, the role of overshooting during the thermally pulsing phase, and the cooling of the resulting white dwarfs differ markedly from the evolutionary predictions of progenitor stars with the standard initial helium abundance. Finally, the pulsational properties of the resulting white dwarfs are also explored. Conclusions: We find that, for the range of initial masses explored in this paper, the final mass of the helium-rich progenitors is markedly higher than the final mass expected from progenitors with the usual helium abundance. We also find that progenitors with initial mass lower than M ≃ 0.65 M⊙ evolve directly into helium-core white dwarfs in less than 14 Gyr, and that, for larger progenitor masses, the evolution of the resulting low-mass carbon-oxygen white dwarfs is dominated by residual nuclear burning. For helium-core white dwarfs, we find that they evolve markedly faster than their counterparts coming from standard progenitors. Also, in contrast with what occurs for white dwarfs resulting from progenitors with the standard helium abundance, the impact of residual burning on the cooling time of

  9. Untangling the White Dwarf Luminosity Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, M. C.

    2017-03-01

    The inversion of the white dwarf luminosity function provides an independent way to prove the past star formation history of the Milky Way independent of any cosmological models. In Rowell & Hambly (2011), the effective volume method uses the average properties of all the objects in a given bin, so a significant amount of information is lost in the early stage of the analysis. In this work, I explore the possibility of assigning objects individually in a probabilistic way using the generalised Schmidt density estimator (1/Vmax).

  10. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-20

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

  11. A search for a new class of pulsating DA white dwarf stars in the DB gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurtz, D. W.; Shibahashi, H.; Dhillon, V. S.; Marsh, T. R.; Littlefair, S. P.

    2008-10-01

    While white dwarf stars are classified into many subgroups based on the appearance of hydrogen, helium, carbon, oxygen and other spectral lines - or even pure continuum with no lines in the case of the DC stars - the vast majority fall into two major subgroups: those with hydrogen atmospheres (the DA white dwarfs), and those with helium atmospheres (the DO and DB white dwarfs). Remarkably, in the range 45000 >= Teff >= 30000K there are only a few white dwarfs with helium atmospheres to be found - the vast majority are DAs in this temperature range - although white dwarfs with helium atmospheres are found at both hotter (DO) and cooler (DB) effective temperatures. This dearth of helium atmosphere white dwarfs in this temperature range is known as the `DB gap' and is understood in terms convective mixing of the outer atmospheres at the hot and cool ends of the gap, while radiative stability allows the lighter hydrogen to float to the top in the DB gap, so the stars are seen to be DA hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs. Asteroseismology is an important tool for probing stellar interiors, and white dwarf stars are the most successfully studied group using this technique. In a stability analysis of the stars in the DB gap, Shibahashi has recently predicted the existence of a new class of pulsating white dwarf stars. He finds from models that DA white dwarfs near the red edge of the DB gap have convectively stable outer atmospheres because of a steep mean molecular weight gradient, yet nevertheless have a superadiabatic layer that renders them pulsationally unstable due to radiative heat exchange. There have been very few observational tests for pulsation among stars of this type. We have initiated a survey to search for the predicted pulsators and report here our first observations of five stars with the South African Astronomical Observatory 1.9-m telescope and University of Cape Town CCD photometer, and two stars with the William Herschel Telescope 4.2-m telescope and

  12. Molecular magnetic dichroism in spectra of white dwarfs.

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-31

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

  13. Studying white dwarf merger remnants with FLASH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenks, Malia

    2017-01-01

    There is still uncertainty as to the progenitor systems of type Ia supernova (SN Ia). Both single and double degenerate systems have been suggested as progenitors. In a double degenerate system a merger between the two white dwarfs, with total mass at or exceeding the Chandrasekhar mass, leads to the supernova. If the explosion occurs during the merging process it is a violent merger. If an explosion doesn't occur while the stars merge the system becomes a white dwarf of unstable mass. For mergers of this type with differing starting masses it has been shown that during the viscous evolution carbon burning starts far from the center and stably converts the star to oxygen and neon. In this case the star will eventually collapse to a neutron star and not produce an SN Ia. The case of similar mass mergers has been much less explored. Using the results of a smooth particle hydrodynamic merger we simulate the viscous evolution of models of different mass ratios with FLASH. These simulations test if a similar mass merger can lead to an SN Ia, and begin to probe where the transition from similar to dissimilar mass occurs.

  14. Unstable Planetary Systems Around White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigurdsson, S.; Debes, J. H.

    2001-12-01

    The presence of planets around solar-type stars suggests that many white dwarfs should have planetary systems. While planets closer than ~5 AU will most likely not survive the post-main sequence lifetime of their parent star, any planet > 5 AU will survive and its semimajor axis will increase as the central star loses mass. Since the stability of adjacent orbits to mutual perturbations depends on the ratio of the planet mass to the central star's mass, some planets in previously stable orbits around a star undergoing mass loss will become unstable. We show that when mass loss is slow, systems of two planets that are marginally stable can become unstable to close encounters, while for three planets the timescale for close approaches decreases with increasing mass ratio. These processes could explain the presence of anomalous IR excesses around white dwarfs that cannot be explained by close companions, such as G29-38. We find that this should also be an effect for planetary embryos gaining mass in protoplanetary disks.

  15. Freak waves in white dwarfs and magnetars

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-15

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

  16. 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.

  17. Interpretation of the Spectra of Strongly Magnetised White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wunner, G.

    Quite recently tremendous progress has been made in analysing the spectra of magnetic DA white dwarfs with field strengths above ≡50 Megagauss. One particular white dwarf has played the rôle of a "Rosetta Stone" in this development, and it is therefore worthwhile to briefly retell the story of this object.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-20

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

  19. 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.

  20. Fate of accreting white dwarfs: Type I supernovae vs collapse

    SciTech Connect

    Nomoto, Ken'ichi

    1986-01-01

    The final fate of accreting C + O white dwarfs is either thermonuclear explosion or collapse, if the white dwarf mass grows to the Chandrasekhar mass. We discuss how the fate depends on the initial mass, age, composition of the white dwarf and the mass accretion rate. Relatively fast accretion leads to a carbon deflagration at low central density that gives rise to a Type Ia supernova. Slower accretion induces a helium detonation that could be observed as a Type Ib supernova. If the initial mass of the C + O white dwarf is larger than 1.2 Msub solar, a carbon deflagration starts at high central density and induces a collapse of the white dwarf to form a neutron star. We examine the critical condition for which a carbon deflagration leads to collapse, not explosion. For the case of explosion, we discuss to what extent the nucleosynthesis models are consistent with spectra of Type Ia and Ib supernovae. 61 refs., 18 figs.

  1. High Velocity White Dwarfs from Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, B.

    2002-12-01

    The single degenerate scenario for Type Ia supernovae predicts the post-supernova release of the donor star with a space velocity determined by the original binary orbital velocity. The mass transfer criteria for successful supernova ignition also place constraints on the mass of the donor. The combination of these two factors means that the great majority of high velocity donor remnants will be white dwarfs. We present models of the Type Ia supernova progenitors and antecedents in the Galaxy, and examine the donor remnant white dwarf population in the light of the current interest in high velocity white dwarfs. One potential discriminant between donor remnants and normal high velocity white dwarfs (from a thick disk or spheroid stellar population) is a determination of the binary fraction. White dwarfs which have their origin in disrupted close binaries will always be single.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Zdzislaw E.

    1987-01-01

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

  3. A DARK SPOT ON A MASSIVE WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-01

    We present the serendipitous discovery of eclipse-like events around the massive white dwarf SDSS J152934.98+292801.9 (hereafter J1529+2928). We selected J1529+2928 for time-series photometry based on its spectroscopic temperature and surface gravity, which place it near the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Instead of pulsations, we detect photometric dips from this white dwarf every 38 minutes. Follow-up optical spectroscopy observations with Gemini reveal no significant radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar and brown dwarf companions. A disintegrating planet around this white dwarf cannot explain the observed light curves in different filters. Given the short period, the source of the photometric dips must be a dark spot that comes into view every 38 minutes due to the rotation of the white dwarf. Our optical spectroscopy does not show any evidence of Zeeman splitting of the Balmer lines, limiting the magnetic field strength to B < 70 kG. Since up to 15% of white dwarfs display kG magnetic fields, such eclipse-like events should be common around white dwarfs. We discuss the potential implications of this discovery on transient surveys targeting white dwarfs, like the K2 mission and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

  4. Accurate Mass Determination of the Ancient White Dwarf ER 8 Through Astrometric Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash

    2005-07-01

    We propose to determine the mass of the very cool white dwarf ER 8 through astrometric microlensing. We have predicted that ER 8 will pass very close to a 15th-mag background star in January 2006, with an impact parameter of less than 0.05 arcsec. As it passes in front, it will cause a deflection of the background star's image by >8 milliarcsec, an amount easily detectable with HST/FGS. The gravitational deflection angle depends only on the distances and relative positions of the stars, and on the mass of the white dwarf. Since the distances and positions can be determined precisely before the event, the astrometric measurement offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of the white dwarf to high accuracy {<5%}. Unlike all other stellar mass determinations, this technique works for single stars {but only if they are nearby and of sufficient mass}. The mass of ER 8 is of special interest because it is a member of the Galactic halo, and appears to be the oldest known field white dwarf. This object can thus set a lower limit on the age of the Galactic halo, but since white-dwarf cooling rates depend on their masses, the mass is a necessary ingredient in the age determination. As a byproduct, we will obtain an accurate parallax for ER 8, and thus its luminosity and {from its effective temperature} its radius. Such quantities are at present rather poorly known for the coolest white dwarfs, and will provide strong constraints on white-dwarf physics.

  5. Accurate Mass Determination of the Ancient White Dwarf ER 8 Through Astrometric Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash

    2004-07-01

    We propose to determine the mass of the very cool white dwarf ER 8 through astrometric microlensing. We have predicted that ER 8 will pass very close to a 15th-mag background star in January 2006, with an impact parameter of less than 0.05 arcsec. As it passes in front, it will cause a deflection of the background star's image by >8 milliarcsec, an amount easily detectable with HST/FGS. The gravitational deflection angle depends only on the distances and relative positions of the stars, and on the mass of the white dwarf. Since the distances and positions can be determined precisely before the event, the astrometric measurement offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of the white dwarf to high accuracy {<5%}. Unlike all other stellar mass determinations, this technique works for single stars {but only if they are nearby and of sufficient mass}. The mass of ER 8 is of special interest because it is a member of the Galactic halo, and appears to be the oldest known field white dwarf. This object can thus set a lower limit on the age of the Galactic halo, but since white-dwarf cooling rates depend on their masses, the mass is a necessary ingredient in the age determination. As a byproduct, we will obtain an accurate parallax for ER 8, and thus its luminosity and {from its effective temperature} its radius. Such quantities are at present rather poorly known for the coolest white dwarfs, and will provide strong constraints on white-dwarf physics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Likely detection of water-rich asteroid debris in a metal-polluted white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raddi, R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Koester, D.; Farihi, J.; Hermes, J. J.; Scaringi, S.; Breedt, E.; Girven, J.

    2015-06-01

    The cool white dwarf SDSS J124231.07+522626.6 exhibits photospheric absorption lines of eight distinct heavy elements in medium resolution optical spectra, notably including oxygen. The Teff = 13 000 K atmosphere is helium-dominated, but the convection zone contains significant amounts of hydrogen and oxygen. The four most common rock-forming elements (O, Mg, Si, and Fe) account for almost all the accreted mass, totalling at least 1.2 × 1024 g, similar to the mass of Ceres. The time-averaged accretion rate is 2 × 1010 g s-1, one of the highest rates inferred among all known metal-polluted white dwarfs. We note a large oxygen excess, with respect to the most common metal oxides, suggesting that the white dwarf accreted planetary debris with a water content of ≈38 per cent by mass. This star, together with GD 61, GD 16, and GD 362, form a small group of outliers from the known population of evolved planetary systems accreting predominantly dry, rocky debris. This result strengthens the hypothesis that, integrated over the cooling ages of white dwarfs, accretion of water-rich debris from disrupted planetesimals may significantly contribute to the build-up of trace hydrogen observed in a large fraction of helium-dominated white dwarf atmospheres.

  9. Consequence of total lepton number violation in strongly magnetized iron white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belyaev, V. B.; Ricci, P.; Šimkovic, F.; Adam, J.; Tater, M.; Truhlík, E.

    2015-05-01

    The influence of a neutrinoless electron to positron conversion on a cooling of strongly magnetized iron white dwarfs is studied. It is shown that they can be good candidates for soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars.

  10. THE FREQUENCY OF DEBRIS DISKS AT WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-11-20

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

  11. Evolutionary and pulsational properties of low-mass white dwarf stars with oxygen cores resulting from close binary evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Althaus, L. G.; Córsico, A. H.; Gautschy, A.; Han, Z.; Serenelli, A. M.; Panei, J. A.

    2004-01-01

    The present work is designed to explore the evolutionary and pulsational properties of low-mass white dwarfs with carbon/oxygen cores. In particular, we follow the evolution of a 0.33-Msolar white dwarf remnant in a self-consistent way with the predictions of nuclear burning, element diffusion and the history of the white dwarf progenitor. Attention is focused on the occurrence of hydrogen shell flashes induced by diffusion processes during cooling phases. The evolutionary stages prior to the white dwarf formation are also fully accounted for by computing the conservative binary evolution of an initially 2.5-Msolar Population I star with a 1.25-Msolar companion, and with period Pi= 3 d. Evolution is followed down to the domain of the ZZ Ceti stars on the white dwarf cooling branch. We find that chemical diffusion induces the occurrence of an additional hydrogen thermonuclear flash, which leads to stellar models with thin hydrogen envelopes. As a result, a fast cooling is encountered at advanced stages of evolution. In addition, we explore the adiabatic pulsational properties of the resulting white dwarf models. As compared with their helium-core counterparts, low-mass oxygen-core white dwarfs are characterized by a pulsational spectrum much more featured, an aspect which could eventually be used for distinguishing both types of stars, if low-mass white dwarfs were in fact found to pulsate as ZZ Ceti-type variables. Finally, we perform a non-adiabatic pulsational analysis on the resulting carbon/oxygen low-mass white dwarf models.

  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. Heavy Metals Resisting Gravity in White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauch, T.; Gamrath, S.; Quinet, P.; Hoyer, D.; Werner, K.; Kruk, J. W.

    2017-03-01

    Spectral lines of heavy metals, identified in high-resolution ultraviolet spectra of the DO-type white dwarf RX J0503.9–2854 (RE 0503–289), allow precise abundance determinations of these species by means of advanced non-local thermodynamic equilibrium stellar-atmosphere models – provided that reliable atomic data is available. Such analyses of Zn (atomic number Z = 30), Ga (31), Ge (32), As (33), Mo (42), Kr (36), Zr (40), Xe (54), and Ba (56) have recently shown that, without exception, their abundances are unexpectedly strongly supersolar (up to about 5 dex). This is much higher than predicted by recent asymptotic giant branch nucleosynthesis calculations. Thus, the interplay of gravitational settling and radiative levitation may play an important role for their photospheric prominence.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-20

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

  15. Fingering Convection and its Consequences for Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vauclair, Sylvie; Vauclair, Gérard; Deal, Morgan; Wachlin, F. C.

    2015-06-01

    A number of white dwarf stars show absoption lines of heavy elements in their spectra. Many of them also exhibit infra-red excess in their spectral energy distribution. These observations prove that these white dwarfs are surrounded by an orbiting debris disk resulting from the disruption of rocky planetesimals, remnants of the primordial planetary system. Part of the material from the debris disk is accreted onto the white dwarfs, explaining the presence of heavy elements in their outer layers. Previous attempts to estimate the accretion rates have overlooked the importance of the fingering convection. The fingering convection is an instability triggered by the accumulation in the white dwarf outer layers of material heavier than the underlying H-rich (for the DA) or the He-rich (for the DB) composition. The fingering convection induces a deep mixing of the accreted material. Our preliminary simulations of the fingering convection show that the effect may be important in DA white dwarfs. The accretion rates needed in order to reproduce the observed heavy element abundances exceed by order of magnitudes the accretion rates estimated when this extra-mixing is ignored. By contrast, in the cases of the DB white dwarfs that we have considered in our simulations the fingering convection either does not occur or has very little effects on the derived accretion rates. We have undertaken a systematic exploration of the consequences of the fingering convection in accreting white dwarfs.

  16. A Search for Asteroids, Moons, and Rings Orbiting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. White dwarf pollution by planets in stellar binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamers, Adrian S.; Portegies Zwart, Simon F.

    2016-10-01

    Approximately 0.2 ± 0.2 of white dwarfs (WDs) show signs of pollution by metals, which is likely due to the accretion of tidally disrupted planetary material. Models invoking planet-planet interactions after WD formation generally cannot explain pollution at cooling times of several Gyr. We consider a scenario in which a planet is perturbed by Lidov-Kozai oscillations induced by a binary companion and exacerbated by stellar mass-loss, explaining pollution at long cooling times. Our computed accretion rates are consistent with observations assuming planetary masses between ˜0.01 and 1 MMars, although non-gravitational effects may already be important for masses ≲0.3 MMars. The fraction of polluted WDs in our simulations, ˜0.05, is consistent with observations of WDs with intermediate cooling times between ˜0.1 and 1 Gyr. For cooling times ≲0.1 Gyr and ≳1 Gyr, our scenario cannot explain the high observed pollution fractions of up to 0.7. Nevertheless, our results motivate searches for companions around polluted WDs.

  19. A Nearby Old Halo White Dwarf Candidate from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-07-01

    2008 May 27 ABSTRACT We report the discovery of a nearby old halo white dwarf (WD) candidate from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ( SDSS ). SDSS J110217.48...411315.4 has a proper motion of 1′′.75 yr−1 and redder optical colors than all other known featureless (type DC) WDs. We present SDSS imaging and...complicated physics of the dense atmospheres of cool WDs. Key words: stars: individual ( SDSS J110217.48+411315.4) – white dwarfs Online-only material

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1987-01-01

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

  1. THE WHITE DWARF IN EM CYGNI: BEYOND THE VEIL

    SciTech Connect

    Godon, Patrick; Sion, Edward M.; Barrett, Paul E.; Linnell, Albert P. E-mail: edward.sion@villanova.edu E-mail: linnell@astro.washington.edu

    2009-07-10

    We present a spectral analysis of the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spectra of the eclipsing double-line spectroscopic binary EM Cygni (EM Cyg), a Z Cam DN system. The FUSE spectrum, obtained in quiescence, consists of four individual exposures (orbits): two exposures, at orbital phases {phi} {approx} 0.65 and {phi} {approx} 0.90, have a lower flux; and two exposures, at orbital phases {phi} = 0.15 and 0.45, have a relatively higher flux. The change of flux level as a function of the orbital phase is consistent with the stream material (flowing over and below the disk from the hot spot region to smaller radii) partially masking the white dwarf. We carry out a spectral analysis of the FUSE data, obtained at phase 0.45 (when the flux is maximal), using synthetic spectra generated with the codes TLUSTY and SYNSPEC. Using a single white dwarf spectral component, we obtain a white dwarf temperature of 40, 000 K {+-} 1000 K, rotating at 100 km s{sup -1}. The white dwarf, or conceivably, the material overflowing the disk rim, shows suprasolar abundances of silicon, sulphur, and possibly nitrogen. Using a white dwarf+disk composite model, we obtain that the white dwarf temperature could be even as high as 50,000 K, contributing more than 90% of the FUV flux, and the disk contributing less than 10% must have a mass accretion rate reaching 10{sup -10} M{sub sun} yr{sup -1}. The single white dwarf model fits the absorption lines better than the white dwarf+disk model, but the white dwarf+disk model fits better the continuum in the shorter wavelengths. In both cases, however, we obtain that the white dwarf temperature is much higher than previously estimated. We emphasize the importance of modeling the spectra of EM Cyg around phase {phi} < 0.5, when the white dwarf and disk are facing the observer, and we suggest that the discrepancy between the present analysis and previous spectral analysis might be due to the occulting effect of the stream veiling the white

  2. Using DA White Dwarfs to Calibrate Synthetic Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, J. B.

    2007-04-01

    Four widely used photometric systems, namely the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI, the Strömgren uvby, the 2MASS JHKs and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ugriz systems have been directly compared with the HST absolute photometric scale of Bohlin & Gilliland (2004). These comparisons are subsequently used to construct a large grid of accurate synthetic magnitudes for DA white dwarfs. This grid is, in turn, critically evaluated with respect to the observed photometry from substantial samples of actual white dwarfs. The advantages of DA white dwarfs as photometric stars are emphasized, and the prospects for extending the use of these stars into the near infrared are highlighted.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Zuckerman, B.

    1988-01-01

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

  4. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE CURRENT CENSUS OF NORTHERN WHITE DWARFS WITHIN 40 pc OF THE SUN

    SciTech Connect

    Limoges, M.-M.; Bergeron, P.; Lépine, S. E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.ca

    2015-08-15

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

  5. Making Sense Out of Pulsating Pre-ELM and ELM White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Istrate, A.; Gianninas, A.; Brassard, P.; Van Grootel, V.

    2017-03-01

    We present a unified view of pulsations in both pre-ELM and ELM white dwarfs within the framework of state-of-the-art binary evolution calculations that take into account the combined effects of diffusion and rotational mixing. We find that rotational mixing is able to maintain against settling a sufficient amount of helium in the envelope in order to fuel pulsations through He II-He III ionization on the pre-ELM branch of the evolutionary track in the spectroscopic HR diagram. By the time such a low-mass white dwarf enters the ZZ Ceti instability strip on the cooling branch, settling has taken over rotational mixing and produced a pure H envelope. Such a star then pulsates again, but, this time, as a DA white dwarf of the ZZ Ceti type.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-01

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

  7. A fast spinning magnetic white dwarf in the double degenerate, super-Chandrasekhar system NLTT 12758

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawka, Adela; Briggs, Gordon P.; Vennes, Stéphane; Ferrario, Lilia; Paunzen, Ernst; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T.

    2017-04-01

    We present an analysis of the close double degenerate NLTT 12758, which is comprised of a magnetic white dwarf with a field of about 3.1 MG and an apparently non-magnetic white dwarf. We measured an orbital period of 1.154 d and found that the magnetic white dwarf is spinning around its axis with a period of 23 min. An analysis of the atmospheric parameters has revealed that the cooling ages of the two white dwarfs are comparable, suggesting that they formed within a short period of time from each other. Our modelling indicates that the non-magnetic white dwarf is more massive (M = 0.83 M⊙) than its magnetic companion (M = 0.69 M⊙) and that the total mass of the system is higher than the Chandrasekhar mass. Although the stars will not come into contact over a Hubble time, when they do come into contact, dynamically unstable mass transfer will take place leading to either an accretion induced collapse into a rapidly spinning neutron star or a Type Ia supernova.

  8. Polarimetric evidence of a white dwarf pulsar in the binary system AR Scorpii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckley, D. A. H.; Meintjes, P. J.; Potter, S. B.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-01-01

    The variable star AR Scorpii (AR Sco) was recently discovered to pulse in brightness every 1.97 min from ultraviolet wavelengths into the radio regime. The system is composed of a cool, low-mass star in a tight, 3.55-hour orbit with a more massive white dwarf. Here we report new optical observations of AR Sco that show strong linear polarization (up to 40%) that varies strongly and periodically on both the spin period of the white dwarf and the beat period between the spin and orbital period, as well as low-level (up to a few per cent) circular polarization. These observations support the notion that, similar to neutron-star pulsars, the pulsed luminosity of AR Sco is powered by the spin-down of the rapidly rotating white dwarf that is highly magnetized (up to 500 MG). The morphology of the modulated linear polarization is similar to that seen in the Crab pulsar, albeit with a more complex waveform owing to the presence of two periodic signals of similar frequency. Magnetic interactions between the two component stars, coupled with synchrotron radiation from the white dwarf, power the observed polarized and non-polarized emission. AR Sco is therefore the first example of a white dwarf pulsar.

  9. 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.

  10. Two white dwarfs with oxygen-rich atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Gänsicke, B T; Koester, D; Girven, J; Marsh, T R; Steeghs, D

    2010-01-08

    Stars with masses ranging from 7 to 10 times the mass of the Sun end their lives either as massive white dwarfs or weak type II supernovae, but there are only limited observational constraints on either evolutionary channel. Here we report the detection of two white dwarfs with large photospheric oxygen abundances, implying that they are bare oxygen-neon cores and that they may have descended from the most massive progenitors that avoid core collapse.

  11. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-22

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

  12. The Montreal White Dwarf Database: A Tool for the Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dufour, P.; Blouin, S.; Coutu, S.; Fortin-Archambault, M.; Thibeault, C.; Bergeron, P.; Fontaine, G.

    2017-03-01

    We present the "Montreal White Dwarf Database (MWDD), an accessible database with sortable/filterable table and interactive plots that will, when fully completed, allow the community to explore the physical properties of all white dwarfs ever analyzed by the Montreal group, as well as display data and analyses from the literature. We present its current capability and show how it will continuously be updated to instantly reflect improvements made on both the theoretical and observational fronts.

  13. White dwarf models of supernovae and cataclysmic variables

    SciTech Connect

    Nomoto, K.; Hashimoto, M.

    1986-01-01

    If the accreting white dwarf increases its mass to the Chandrasekhar mass, it will either explode as a Type I supernova or collapse to form a neutron star. In fact, there is a good agreement between the exploding white dwarf model for Type I supernovae and observations. We describe various types of evolution of accreting white dwarfs as a function of binary parameters (i.e,. composition, mass, and age of the white dwarf, its companion star, and mass accretion rate), and discuss the conditions for the precursors of exploding or collapsing white dwarfs, and their relevance to cataclysmic variables. Particular attention is given to helium star cataclysmics which might be the precursors of some Type I supernovae or ultrashort period x-ray binaries. Finally we present new evolutionary calculations using the updated nuclear reaction rates for the formation of O+Ne+Mg white dwarfs, and discuss the composition structure and their relevance to the model for neon novae. 61 refs., 14 figs.

  14. 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.

  15. The Dwarf Novae UZ Serpentis and SS Aurigae During Quiescence: Exposed White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lake, J.; Sion, E. M.

    2000-12-01

    UZ Serpentis and SS Aurigae are both U Geminorum-type dwarf novae with similar orbital periods, outburst amplitudes, and outburst recurrence times. Since dwarf novae above the period gap have higher accretion rates, their accretion disks may remain optically thick even during quiescence. Hence the detection of the white dwarf is more difficult. UZ Ser and SS Aur offer the possiblity of extending the range of systems for which the underlying white dwarf accreter has been analyzed with model atmospheres. We have applied the Massa-Fitzpatrick (2000) flux calibration correction to the archival IUE NEWSIPS SWP spectra of these two systems, obtained during dwarf nova quiescence. We have carried out high gravity model atmosphere using the codes TLUSTY195, SYNSPEC42, ROTIN and accretion disk synthetic spectra from the grid of Wade and Hubeny (1998). We have determined the physical properties of the white dwarf accreters, including temperature, gravity chemical abundances estimates, and the accretion rate during quiescence. We discuss our results in the context of the overall picture of accretion physics in dwarf novae and the effects of accretion on the white dwarf. This research was supported in part by NSF grant AST 99-01955, NASA ADP grant NAG5-8388 and by summer research funding from the NASA- Delaware Space Grant Colleges Consortium.

  16. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Dark-matter admixed white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, Shing Chi; Chu, Ming Chung; Lin, Lap Ming; Wong, Ka Wing

    2014-03-01

    We study the equilibrium structures of white dwarfs (WD) with dark matter cores formed by non-self-annihilating dark matter (DM) particles with masses ranging from 1 GeV to 100 GeV, assuming in form of an ideal degenerate Fermi gas inside the stars. For DM particles of mass 10 GeV and 100 GeV, we find that stable stellar models exist only if the mass of the DM core inside the star is less than O and -3)Msun , respectively. The global properties of these stars, and the corresponding Chandrasekhar mass (CM) limits, are essentially the same as those of traditional WD models without DM. Nevertheless, in the 10 GeV case, the gravitational attraction of the DM core is strong enough to squeeze the normal matter in the core region to densities above neutron drip. For the 1 GeV case, the DM core inside the star can be as massive as O and affects the global structure of the star significantly. The radius of a stellar model with DM can be about two times smaller than that of a traditional WD. Furthermore, the CM limit can be decreased by as much as 40%. Our results may have implications on the extent to which type Ia supernovae can be regarded as standard candles. This work is partially supported by a grant from the Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. 400910).

  18. Liberating exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Effective geometry of a white dwarf

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-15

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

  1. Activity and Kinematics of Cool and Ultracool Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Sarah Jane

    The ages of cool and ultracool dwarfs are particularly important. For cool M dwarfs, accurate ages combined with their ubiquity in the stellar disk could lead to a new level of precision in age dating the Galaxy. A better understanding of the chromospheres of M dwarfs could provide important clues about the relationship between activity and age in these low mass stars. Ultracool (late-M and L) dwarfs have the distinction of including both warm, young brown dwarfs and stars with mean ages more representative of the stellar disk. Kinematics are a source of mean ages and could provide or confirm discriminating features between stars and brown dwarfs. This thesis is composed of several different projects, each investigating the activity or kinematics of cool or ultracool dwarfs. First, a sample of nearly 500 L dwarfs selected from SDSS DR7 photometry and spectroscopy is examined; we discovered 200 new L dwarfs and found evidence of a bias towards red J - KS colors in the entire population of previously known L dwarfs. Using the three-dimensional kinematics of 300 SDSS DR7 L dwarfs, we find that their kinematics are consistent with those of the stellar disk and include a previously undetected thick disk component. We also confirmed a relationship between age and J - KS color (due to our large sample of UVW motions and unbiased J - KS colors), with blue L dwarfs having hotter kinematics (consistent with older ages) and redder L dwarfs having colder, younger kinematics. The DR7 L dwarf sample showed no distinct kinematic difference between young brown dwarfs and disk-age stars, perhaps due to a bias towards early spectral types. In order to probe the kinematic distribution of L dwarfs in a volume-limited sample, we began a survey of radial velocities of nearby (d<20pc) L dwarfs using the TripleSpec instrument on the ARC 3.5-m telescope at APO. While several reduction packages were tested on the TripleSpec data, none were found to provide reductions of sufficient quality

  2. On the occurrence and detectability of Bose-Einstein condensation in helium white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Benvenuto, O.G.; Vito, M.A. De E-mail: adevito@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar

    2011-02-01

    It has been recently proposed that helium white dwarfs may provide promising conditions for the occurrence of the Bose-Einstein condensation. The argument supporting this expectation is that in some conditions attained in the core of these objects, the typical De Broglie wavelength associated with helium nuclei is of the order of the mean distance between neighboring nuclei. In these conditions the system should depart from classical behavior showing quantum effects. As helium nuclei are bosons, they are expected to condense. In order to explore the possibility of detecting the Bose-Einstein condensation in the evolution of helium white dwarfs we have computed a set of models for a variety of stellar masses and values of the condensation temperature. We do not perform a detailed treatment of the condensation process but mimic it by suppressing the nuclei contribution to the equation of state by applying an adequate function. As the cooling of white dwarfs depends on average properties of the whole stellar interior, this procedure should be suitable for exploring the departure of the cooling process from that predicted by the standard treatment. We find that the Bose-Einstein condensation has noticeable, but not dramatic effects on the cooling process only for the most massive white dwarfs compatible with a helium dominated interior ( ≈ 0.50M{sub s}un) and very low luminosities (say, Log(L/L{sub s}un) < −4.0). These facts lead us to conclude that it seems extremely difficult to find observable signals of the Bose-Einstein condensation. Recently, it has been suggested that the population of helium white dwarfs detected in the globular cluster NGC 6397 is a good candidate for detecting signals of the Bose-Einstein condensation. We find that these stars have masses too low and are too bright to have an already condensed interior.

  3. Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-01

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

  5. Hubble Space Telescope Studies of Exposed White Dwarfs in Dwarf Novae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    Coordinated AAVSO optical observations and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) far ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopic observations of cataclysmic variables, during dwarf nova quiescence when the underlying white dwarf is exposed in the far UV, have yielded a number of new insights into accretional heating, photospheric abundances of the accreted atmosphere, and rotational velocities of the underlying degenerates. Recent results of synthetic spectral analyses of HST spectra are highlighted. Their impact on our understanding of accretion physics and the effect of accretion on the white dwarf are discussed.

  6. Probing an Ancient Thermonuclear Runaway on a White Dwarf in a Dwarf Nova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward

    1999-07-01

    We unexpectedly discovered evidence, based upon two GHRS G160M spectra, of greatly elevated abundances of odd-numbered nuclei Phosphorus and Aluminum as well as a Nitrogen to Carbon ratio of 10 in the photosphere of the white dwarf in the dwarf nova VW Hy ons and determine the first chem ical abundances of many odd-numbered proton capture species; {2} determine a accurate mass for the white dwarf and; {3} probe changes in the accretion belt and surface abundances as a function of time since a superoutburst. This study will hold important

  7. sdA in SDSS DR12 are Overwhelmingly Not Extremely Low-Mass (ELM) White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, J. J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Breedt, E.

    2017-03-01

    In a search for new white dwarfs in DR12 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Kepler et al. 2016 found atmospheric parameters for thousands of objects with effective temperatures below 20,000 K and surface gravities between 5.5 < log g < 6.5. They classified these objects as cool subdwarfs – sdA – and speculated that many may be extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarfs (helium-core white dwarfs with masses below 0.3 M⊙). We present evidence – using radial velocities, photometric colors, and reduced proper motions – that the vast majority (>99%) of these objects are unlikely to be ELM white dwarfs. Their true identity remains an interesting question.

  8. 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.

  9. White dwarfs in the UKIRT infrared deep sky survey data release

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Kalirai, J. S.; Leggett, S. K.; Lodieu, N.; Bergeron, P.; Ludwig, H.-G.

    2014-06-20

    We have identified 8 to 10 new cool white dwarfs from the Large Area Survey (LAS) Data Release 9 of the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope (UKIRT) Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS). The data set was paired with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to obtain proper motions and a broad ugrizYJHK wavelength coverage. Optical spectroscopic observations were secured at Gemini Observatory and confirm the degenerate status for eight of our targets. The final sample includes two additional white dwarf candidates with no spectroscopic observations. We rely on improved one-dimensional model atmospheres and new multi-dimensional simulations with CO5BOLD to review the stellar parameters of the published LAS white dwarf sample along with our additional discoveries. Most of the new objects possess very cool atmospheres with effective temperatures below 5000 K, including two pure-hydrogen remnants with a cooling age between 8.5 and 9.0 Gyr, and tangential velocities in the range 40 km s{sup –1} ≤v {sub tan} ≤ 60 km s{sup –1}. They are likely thick disk 10-11 Gyr old objects. In addition, we find a resolved double degenerate system with v {sub tan} ∼ 155 km s{sup –1} and a cooling age between 3.0 and 5.0 Gyr. These white dwarfs could be disk remnants with a very high velocity or former halo G stars. We also compare the LAS sample with earlier studies of very cool degenerates and observe a similar deficit of helium-dominated atmospheres in the range 5000 < T {sub eff} (K) < 6000. We review the possible explanations for the spectral evolution from helium-dominated toward hydrogen-rich atmospheres at low temperatures.

  10. Spin and Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-08-01

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

  11. Merging white dwarfs and Type Ia supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yungelson, L. R.; Kuranov, A. G.

    2017-01-01

    Using population synthesis, we study a double-degenerate (DD) scenario for Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), aiming to estimate the maximum possible contribution to the rate of SNe from this scenario and the dependence of the delay-time distribution (DTD) on it. We make an extreme assumption that all mergers of super-Chandrasekhar pairs of CO white dwarfs (WDs) and mergers of CO WDs more massive than 0.47 M⊙ with hybrid or helium WDs more massive than 0.37 M⊙ produce SNe Ia. The models are parametrized by the product of the common envelope efficiency and the parameter of binding energy of stellar envelopes, αce λ, which we vary between 0.25 and 2. The best agreement with observations is obtained for αce λ = 2. A substantial contribution to the rate of SNe Ia is provided by the pairs with a hybrid WD. The estimated Galactic rate of SNe Ia is 6.5 × 10-3 yr-1 (for the mass of the bulge and thin disc equal to 7.2 × 1010 M⊙), which is comparable to the observational estimate (5.4 ± 0.12) × 10-3 yr-1. The model DTD for 1 ≤ t ≤ 8 Gyr satisfactorily fits the DTD for SNe Ia in the field galaxies (Maoz, Mannucci & Brandt). For this epoch, the model DTD is ∝t-1.64. At earlier and later epochs, our DTD has a deficit of events, as in other studies. Marginal agreement with the observational DTD is achieved even if only CO+CO WDs with M1 ≥ 0.8 M⊙ and M2 ≥ 0.6 M⊙ produce SNe Ia. A better agreement of observed and modelled DTD may be obtained if tidal effects are weaker than assumed and/or the metallicity of the population is much lower than solar.

  12. Stellar explosions from accreting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Kevin L.

    Unstable thermonuclear burning on accreting white dwarfs (WDs) can lead to a wide variety of outcomes, and induce shock waves in several contexts. In classical and recurrent novae, a WD accreting hydrogen-rich material from a binary companion can experience thermonuclear runaways, ejecting mass into the interstellar/circumbinary environment at ~1000 km/s. This highly supersonic ejecta drives shock waves into the interstellar gas which may be relevant for sweeping out gas from globular clusters or forming circumstellar absorption regions in interacting supernovae. While runaway nuclear burning in novae releases enough energy for these objects to brighten by a factor of ~10 4 over roughly a weeklong outburst, it does not become dynamically unstable. In contrast, certain helium accretion scenarios may allow for dynamical burning modes, in part due to the higher temperature sensitivity of helium burning reactions and larger accreted envelopes. The majority of this thesis involves such dynamical burning modes, specifically detonations - shock waves sustained by nuclear energy release behind the shock front. We investigate when steady-state detonations are realizable in accreted helium layers on WDs, and model their strength and burning products using both semi-analytic and numerical models. We find the minimum helium layer thickness that will sustain a steady laterally propagating detonation and show that it depends on the density and composition of the helium layer, specifically 12 C and 16O. Though gravitationally unbound, the ashes still have unburned helium (~80% in the thinnest cases) and only reach up to heavy elements such as 40Ca, 44Ti, 48Cr, and 52Fe. It is rare for these thin shells to generate large amounts of radioactive isotopes necessary to power light curves, such as 56Ni. This has important implications on whether the unbound helium burning ashes may create faint and fast peculiar supernovae or events with virtually no radioactivity, as well as on off

  13. Disk Accretion of Tidally Disrupted Rocky Bodies onto White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, W.; Desch, S.

    2017-03-01

    The prevailing model for the pollution of white dwarf photospheres invokes accretion from a disk of gas and solid particles, fed by tidal disruption of rocky bodies inside the Roche radius. Current models can successfully explain the accretion rates of metals onto white dwarfs, provided the gaseous disks viscously spread at rates consistent with a partially suppressed magnetorotational instability (Metzger et al. 2012); however, these models do not explore the extent of the magnetorotational instability in disks by calculating the degree of ionization. We present ionization fractions for thermal and non-thermal processes to assess the extent of the magnetorotational instability in white dwarf disks. We determine that the disk viscosity parameter α can be as high as 0.1 in white disks, implying that the magnetorotational instability must be carefully modeled.

  14. Physical properties and evolution of the two white dwarfs in the Sanduleak-Pesch binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenstein, J. L.; Dolez, N.; Vauclair, G.

    1983-10-01

    An important new binary white dwarf has been found by Sanduleak and Pesch. The stars are analyzed with the data from the Palomar double CCD spectrograph, using continuum fluxes, lines profiles, and Balmer decrements. They have hydrogen atmospheres, are young Population I, age ≈5×108 yr, temperatures of 12500K and 9500K, and the same visual magnitude. The cooler and less luminous star, B, has the larger radius and lower mass; B started its degenerate cooling, more recently, as the brighter of the pair. The estimated cooling times differ by approximately 108 yr. The white dwarfs, with masses 0.80 and 0.43 m_sun;, are descended from progenitors of 8 and 4 m_sun; (or 5 and 3.5 m_sun;).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The seismic properties of low-mass He-core white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Althaus, L. G.; Hermes, J. J.

    2012-11-01

    Context. In recent years, many low-mass (≲ 0.45 M⊙) white dwarf stars expected to harbor He cores have been detected in the field of the Milky Way and in several galactic globular and open clusters. Until recently, no objects of this kind showed pulsations. This situation has changed recently with the exciting discovery of SDSS J184037.78+642312.3, the first pulsating low-mass white dwarf star. Aims: Motivated by this extremely important finding, and in view of the very valuable asteroseismological potential of these objects, we present here a detailed pulsational study applied to low-mass He-core white dwarfs with masses ranging from 0.17 to 0.46 M⊙, based on full evolutionary models representative of these objects. This study is aimed to provide a theoretical basis from which to interpret future observations of variable low-mass white dwarfs. Methods: The background stellar models on which our pulsational analysis was carried out were derived by taking into account the complete evolutionary history of the progenitor stars, with special emphasis on the diffusion processes acting during the white dwarf cooling phase. We computed nonradial g-modes to assess the dependence of the pulsational properties of these objects with stellar parameters such as the stellar mass and the effective temperature, and also with element diffusion processes. We also performed a g- and p-mode pulsational stability analysis on our models and found well-defined blue edges of the instability domain, where these stars should start to exhibit pulsations. Results: We found substantial differences in the seismic properties of white dwarfs with M∗ ≳ 0.20 M⊙ and the extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarfs (M∗ ≲ 0.20 M⊙). Specifically, g-mode pulsation modes in ELM white dwarfs mainly probe the core regions and are not dramatically affected by mode-trapping effects by the He/H interface, whereas the opposite is true for more massive He-core white dwarfs. We found that element

  18. Spin-up and mixing in accreting white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Livio, M.; Truran, J.W.

    1987-07-01

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

  19. Halo White Dwarfs, Thick Disks, and a Sanity Check

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2001-09-01

    The recent discovery of a population of high proper-motion white dwarfs by Oppenheimer and coworkers has caused a lot of speculation as to the origin of these stars. I show that the age distribution of the white dwarfs offers a kind of sanity check in these discussions. In particular, the majority of the identified population appears to have a similar age distribution to those in the standard, thin-disk white dwarf population. This is not what is expected for either the halo or thick disk, which are thought to be old populations. A subset of the Oppenheimer ``halo'' sample does indeed possess an age distribution consistent with a halo origin, but the density is smaller and consistent with the results of Gould, Flynn, & Bahcall for a high-end mass function slope of -0.9.

  20. Atypical Thermonuclear Supernovae from Tidally Crushed White Dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Rosswog, S.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E.; Hix, William Raphael

    2008-01-01

    Suggestive evidence has accumulated that intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) exist in some globular clusters. Some stars will inevitably wander sufficiently close to the hole to suffer a tidal disruption. IMBHs can disrupt not only solar-type stars but also compact white dwarf stars. We investigate the fate of white dwarfs that approach the hole close enough to be disrupted and compressed to such an extent that explosive nuclear burning is triggered. Based on a precise modeling of the gas dynamics together with the nuclear reactions, it is argued that thermonuclear ignition is a natural outcome for white dwarfs of all masses passing well within the tidal radius. A good fraction of the star is accreted, yielding high luminosities that persist for up to a year. A peculiar, underluminous thermonuclear explosion accompanied by a soft X-ray transient signal would, if detected, be a compelling testimony for the presence of an IMBH.

  1. 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.

  2. I -Love- Q relations for white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boshkayev, K.; Quevedo, H.; Zhami, B.

    2017-02-01

    We investigate the equilibrium configurations of uniformly rotating white dwarfs, using Chandrasekhar and Salpeter equations of state in the framework of Newtonian physics. The Hartle formalism is applied to integrate the field equation together with the hydrostatic equilibrium condition. We consider the equations of structure up to the second order in the angular velocity, and compute all basic parameters of rotating white dwarfs to test the so-called moment of inertia, rotational Love number, and quadrupole moment (I-Love-Q) relations. We found that the I-Love-Q relations are also valid for white dwarfs regardless of the equation of state and nuclear composition. In addition, we show that the moment of inertia, quadrupole moment, and eccentricity (I-Q-e) relations are valid as well.

  3. Calibration of Synthetic Photometry Using DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, J. B.; Bergeron, P.

    2005-12-01

    We have calibrated four major ground-based photometric systems with respect to the Hubble Space Telescope absolute flux scale, which is defined by Vega and four fundamental DA white dwarfs. These photometric systems include the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI, the Stromgren uvby filters, the 2MASS JHKs and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ugriz filters. Synthetic magnitudes are calculated from model white dwarf spectra folded through the published filter response functions, these magnitudes in turn are absolutely calibrated with respect to the HST flux scale. Effective zero magnitude fluxes and zero point offsets of each system are determined. In order to verify the external observational consistency as well as to demonstrate the applicability of these definitions, the synthetic magnitudes are compared with the respective observed magnitudes of larger sets of DA white dwarfs that have well determined effective temperatures and surface gravities and which span a wide range in both of these parameters.

  4. 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.

  5. Magnetic field evolution in white dwarfs: The hall effect and complexity of the field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muslimov, A. G.; Van Horn, H. M.; Wood, M. A.

    1995-01-01

    We calculate the evolution of the magnetic fields in white dwarfs, taking into account the Hall effect. Because this effect depends nonlinearly upon the magnetic field strength B, the time dependences of the various multipole field components are coupled. The evolution of the field is thus significantly more complicated than has been indicated by previous investigations. Our calculations employ recent white dwarf evolutionary sequences computed for stars with masses 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 solar mass. We show that in the presence of a strong (up to approximately 10(exp 9) G) internal toroidal magnetic field; the evolution of even the lowest order poloidal modes can be substantially changed by the Hall effect. As an example, we compute the evolution of an initially weak quadrupole component, which we take arbitrarily to be approximately 0.1%-1% of the strength of a dominant dipole field. We find that coupling provided by the Hall effect can produce growth of the ratio of the quadrupole to the dipole component of the surface value of the magnetic field strength by more than a factor of 10 over the 10(exp 9) to 10(exp 10) year cooling lifetime of the white dwarf. Some consequences of these results for the process of magnetic-field evolution in white dwarfs are briefly discussed.

  6. Characterization of High-Energy Emissions of GKM Stars using Wide Binaries with White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The definition of an age calibration for main-sequence late-type stars has multiple applications, e.g., in the fields of galactic evolution, stellar dynamos, theories of angular momentum loss and planetary atmospheres. In the latter, the characterization of the time-evolution of stellar high-energy emissions can help us understand the influence on planetary atmospheres and their potential habitability. A key element for this characterization is a reliable age determination. For this purpose we have studied a sample of late G, K, and M stars. To cover the age window up to 0.7 Gyr we have used stars belonging to open clusters, while for ages above this limit we use wide binaries containing white dwarfs. Since the evolution of white dwarfs can be understood as a cooling process, which is relatively well known at the moment, we can use them as age calibrators. Wide binary members are supposed to have been born simultaneously and with the same chemical composition. Since they are well separated (100-1000 AU aprox.) we can assume that no interaction has occurred between them in the past and they have evolved as single stars. So, from the white dwarf age we can infer the age of the system. We present our current results based in a sample of 30 binaries from the NLTT catalogue comprised by a DA white dwarf (showing only H absorption lines) and a G, K or M star.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  8. The Chemical Abundances of White Dwarfs in CVS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    Dwarf novae and nova-like variables contain accreting white dwarfs which may have undergone numerous thermonuclear runaways as classical novae. In order to demonstrate their connection with novae however attempts have been made to detect ejected shells without success (references). However a new approach has recently emerged for systems in which the white dwarf photosphere has been detected spectroscopically. Sion et al. (1997) showed that the surface abundances of the white dwarf in VW Hydri during its quiescence manifests a direct evolutionary to a past thermonuclear event. This conclusion is based upon the presence of a large ratio of nitrogen to carbon abundance and the spectroscopic presence of odd-numbered proton-capture nuclei in abundances greatly elevated above solar. Both of these spectroscopic characteristics point to hot CNO processing as the source of the abundances. Other systems besides VW Hyi reveal further evidence of nova processing. This talk will review all of the determinations of surface chemical abundances of white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables both above and below the period gap and will discuss the implications for CV evolution and contributions to the heavy element content of the interstellar medium.

  9. 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.

  10. Helium at White Dwarf Photospheric Conditions: Preliminary Laboratory Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeuble, M.; Falcon, R. E.; Gomez, T. A.; Winget, D. E.; Montgomery, M. H.; Bailey, J. E.

    2017-03-01

    We present preliminary results of an experimental study exploring helium at photospheric conditions of white dwarf stars. These data were collected at Sandia National Laboratories' Z-machine, the largest x-ray source on earth. Our helium results could have many applications ranging from validating current DB white dwarf model atmospheres to providing accurate He pressure shifts at varying temperatures and densities. In a much broader context, these helium data can be used to guide theoretical developments in new continuum-lowering models for two-electron atoms. We also discuss future applications of our updated experimental design, which enables us to sample a greater range of densities, temperatures, and gas compositions.

  11. Bayesian Evidence for Two Populations of White Dwarfs: Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentim, R.; Romero, A. D.; Kepler, S. O.; Horvath, J. E.; Rangel, E. M.

    2017-03-01

    White dwarf (WD) populations are analyzed using Bayesian tools, which allows inferring possible evolutionary paths through the study of the mass values. We employed a sample of 2761 DA white dwarf stars from the SDSS, and obtained the central mass values and their corresponding standard deviations using a bimodal population as an ansatz. The results indicate a population with M1 = 0.60 M⊙ and σ1 = 0.06 M⊙, corresponding to a single stellar evolution, and a second population with M2 = 1.00 M⊙ and σ1 = 0.11 M⊙ possibly due to binary evolution resulting from mergers.

  12. Magnetic white dwarf stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, I.; Jordan, S.; Kleinman, S. J.; Koester, D.; Külebi, B.; Peçanha, V.; Castanheira, B. G.; Nitta, A.; Costa, J. E. S.; Winget, D. E.; Kanaan, A.; Fraga, L.

    2013-03-01

    To obtain better statistics on the occurrence of magnetism among white dwarfs, we searched the spectra of the hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) in the Data Release 7 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) for Zeeman splittings and estimated the magnetic fields. We found 521 DAs with detectable Zeeman splittings, with fields in the range from around 1 to 733 MG, which amounts to 4 per cent of all DAs observed. As the SDSS spectra have low signal-to-noise ratios, we carefully investigated by simulations with theoretical spectra how reliable our detection of magnetic field was.

  13. Testing energy non-additivity in white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmona, J. M.; Cortés, J. L.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Loret, N.

    2014-03-01

    We consider a particular effect which can be expected in scenarios of deviations from special relativity induced by Planckian physics: the loss of additivity in the total energy of a system of particles. We argue about the necessity to introduce a length scale to control the effects of non-additivity for macroscopic objects and consider white dwarfs as an appropriate laboratory to test this kind of new physics. We study the sensitivity of the mass-radius relation of the Chandrasekhar model to these corrections by comparing the output of a simple phenomenological model to observational data of white dwarfs.

  14. 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.

  15. A Pulsar and White Dwarf in an Unexpected Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    Astronomers have discovered a binary system consisting of a low-mass white dwarf and a millisecond pulsar but its eccentric orbit defies all expectations of how such binaries form.Observed orbital periods and binary eccentricities for binary millisecond pulsars. PSR J2234+0511 is the furthest right of the green stars that mark the five known eccentric systems. [Antoniadis et al. 2016]Unusual EccentricityIt would take a low-mass (0.4 solar masses) white dwarf over 100 billion years to form from the evolution of a single star. Since this is longer than the age of the universe, we believe that these lightweights are instead products of binary-star evolution and indeed, we observe many of these stars to still be in binary systems.But the binary evolution that can create a low-mass white dwarf includes a period of mass transfer, in which efficient tidal dissipation damps the systems orbital eccentricity. Because of this, we would expect all systems containing low-mass white dwarfs to have circular orbits.In the past, our observations of low-mass white dwarfmillisecond pulsar binaries have all been consistent with this expectation. But a new detection has thrown a wrench in the works: the unambiguous identification of a low-mass white dwarf thats in an eccentric (e=0.13) orbit with the millisecond pulsar PSR J2234+0511. How could this system have formed?Eliminating Formation ModelsLed by John Antoniadis (Dunlap Institute at University of Toronto), a team of scientists has used newly obtained optical photometry (from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and spectroscopy (from the Very Large Telescope in Chile) of the white dwarf to confirm the identification of this system.Antoniadis and collaborators then use measurements of the bodies masses (0.28 and 1.4 solar masses for the white dwarf and pulsar, respectively) and velocities, and constraints on the white dwarfs temperature, radius and surface gravity, to address three proposed models for the formation of this system.The 3D

  16. White Dwarf Mass Estimation with X-ray Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, T.

    2017-03-01

    I present X-ray spectral modeling of intermediate polars (IPs) and its application to Suzaku satellite data. The intrinsic thermal X-rays are modeled by integrating the plasma emissions of various temperatures in the post-shock accretion column (PSAC). The physical quantity distributions for the thermal spectral model is calculated from quasi-one-dimensional hydrodynamics. The PSAC calculation includes especially the dipolar geometry and variation of the specific accretion rate. The X-ray reflection from the white dwarf (WD) is modeled by a Monte Carlo simulation. In this simulation, the PSAC irradiates a cool, neutral and spherical WD with the various thermal spectra from the corresponding positions in the PSAC according to the thermal spectral model. The coherent and incoherent scattering, the photoelectric absorption, and Kα and Kβ re-emission of iron and nickel are taken into account for the photons arriving at the WD. The constructed X-ray spectral model is applied to EX Hya and V1223 Sgr, finding 0.65+0.11 –0.12 M⊙ and 0.91+0.08–0.03 M⊙, respectively. Their specific accretion rates are estimated at 0.069+0.33–0.045 g cm–2 s-1 and > 2 g cm–2 s-1, respectively, while the reflecting angles are 78.0–1.6+1.4 deg and 66.2+2.5–2.3 deg, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reindl, Nicole

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Characterizing K2 Planetary Systems Orbiting Cool Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Schlieder, Joshua; Vanderburg, Andrew; Charbonneau, David; Knutson, Heather; K2C2

    2017-01-01

    The NASA K2 mission is using the repurposed Kepler spacecraft to search for transiting planets in multiple fields along the ecliptic plane. K2 observes 10,000 - 30,000 stars in each field for roughly 80 days, which is too short to observe multiple transits of planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars, but long enough to detect potentially habitable planets orbiting low-mass dwarfs. Accordingly, M and K dwarfs are frequently nominated as K2 Guest Observer targets and K2 has already observed significantly more low-mass stars than the original Kepler mission. While the K2 data are therefore an enticing resource for studying the properties and frequency of planetary systems orbiting low-mass stars, many K2 cool dwarfs are not well-characterized. We are refining the properties of K2 planetary systems orbiting cool dwarfs by acquiring medium-resolution NIR spectra with SpeX on the IRTF and TripleSpec on the Palomar 200". In our initial sample of 144 potential cool dwarfs hosting candidate planetary systems detected by K2, we noted a high contamination rate from giants (16%) and reddened hotter dwarfs (31%). After employing empirically-based relations to determine the temperatures, radii, masses, luminosities, and metallicities of K2 planet candidate host stars, we found that our new cool dwarf radius estimates were 10-40% larger than the initial values, indicating that the radii of the associated planet candidates were also underestimated. Refining the stellar parameters allows us to identify astrophysical false positives and better constrain the radii and insolation flux environments of bona fide transiting planets. I will present our resulting catalog of system properties and highlight the most attractive K2 planets for radial velocity mass measurement and atmospheric characterization with Spitzer, HST, JWST, and the next generation of extremely large ground- and space-based telescopes. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the NASA Sagan Fellowship Program

  19. FUSE Observation of Silicon in the Photosphere of the DBA White Dwarf GD 61

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wesemael, F.; Petitclerc, N.; Chayer, P.; Kruk, J. W.; Pesant, S.; Tardif, B.

    2006-06-01

    FUSE observations of the cool (Teff˜ 17,000 K) DBA white dwarf reveal that the carbon features observed in several hotter DB stars are absent, but that photospheric transitions associated with the Si III ion are present. This may be the first indication that the mechanism which allows carbon to remain conspicuous in hotter objects, postulated to be a stellar wind, may well have turned off by the time a DB star cools down to 17,000 K. The photospheres of cooler DB stars are likely to be dominated instead by accretion from the ISM and, at even cooler temperatures, by convective dredge-up of carbon.

  20. Mass-Radius Relation of Strongly Magnetized White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, P.; Bhattacharya, D.

    2017-03-01

    We study the strongly magnetized white dwarf configurations in a self-consistent manner as a progenitor of the over-luminous type-Ia supernovae. We compute static equilibria of white dwarf stars containing a strong magnetic field and present the modification of the white dwarf mass-radius relation caused by the magnetic field. From a static equilibrium study, we find that a maximum white dwarf mass of about 1.9 M⊙ may be supported if the interior poloidal field is as strong as approximately 1010 T. On the other hand if the field is purely toroidal the maximum mass can be more than 5 M⊙. All these modifications are mainly from the presence of the Lorenz force. The effects of i) modification of the equation of state due to Landau quantization, ii) electrostatic interaction due to ions, iii) general relativistic calculation on the stellar structure and, iv) field geometry are also considered. These strongly magnetised configurations are sensitive to magnetic instabilities where the perturbations grow at the corresponding Alfven time scales.

  1. Mass-radius relation of strongly magnetized white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Prasanta; Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Empirical Determination of Convection in Pulsating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith L.; Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M.; Reed, Mike; Shipman, Harry; Fraga, Luciano

    2013-02-01

    We propose high speed photometric observations of WD J1518+0658 with SOAR and the KPNO 2m as important components of a coordinated international campaign designed to survey the properties of convection in white dwarf atmospheres. Convection remains the largest source of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. Asteroseismology has proven a powerful tool to attack this problem. White dwarf pulsations appear as local surface temperature variations. The extreme temperature sensitivity of convection leads to local variations in the convection zone's depth. This in turn modulates the local energy flux, producing nonsinusoidal light curves. The observed nonlinearities provide a self-consistent observational test of convection in white dwarf atmospheres. WD J1518+0658 is a member of the newly discovered class of extremely low mass white dwarf pulsators (ELMVs). ELMVs offer the opportunity to extend our investigation to unexplored regions of lower effective temperatures and surface gravities, where conditions are closer to those found in main sequence stars. High precision light curves from SOAR, combined with frequency, amplitude, and phase information provided by the KPNO 2m and the entire WET run, will allow us to recover WD J1518+0658's convective thermal response timescale.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G. A.

    1984-01-01

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

  8. Dark baryons not in ancient halo white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crézé, M.; Mohan, V.; Robin, A. C.; Reylé, C.; McCracken, H. J.; Cuillandre, J.-C.; Le Fèvre, O.; Mellier, Y.

    2004-10-01

    Having ruled out the possibility that stellar objects are the main contributor of the dark matter embedding galaxies, microlensing experiments cannot exclude the hypothesis that a significant fraction of the Milky Way dark halo might be made of MACHOs with masses in the range 0.5-0.8 M⊙. Ancient white dwarfs are generally considered the most plausible candidates for such MACHOs. We report the results of a search for such white dwarfs in a proper motion survey covering a 0.16 sq. deg. field at three epochs at high galactic latitude, and 0.938 sq. deg. at two epochs at intermediate galactic latitude (VIRMOS survey), using the CFH telescope. Both surveys are complete to I = 23, with detection efficiency fading to 0 at I = 24.2. Proper motion data are suitable to separate unambiguously halo white dwarfs identified as belonging to a non rotating system. No candidates were found within the colour-magnitude-proper motion volume where such objects can be safely discriminated from any standard population as well as from possible artefacts. In the same volume, we estimate the maximum white dwarf halo fraction compatible with this observation at different significance levels if the halo is at least 14 gigayears old and under different ad hoc initial mass functions. Our data alone rule out a halo fraction greater than 14 % at a 95% confidence level. Combined with two previous investigations exploring comparable volumes, this pushes the limit below 4 % (95% confidence level) or below 1 % (64% confidence), and implies that if baryonic dark matter is present in galaxy halos, it is not, or is only marginally in the form of faint hydrogen white dwarfs. Based on observations made at Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT).

  9. The long term period stability of the hot DBV white dwarf EC20058-5234

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Denis J.

    2009-06-01

    Since its discovery over a decade ago, the helium atmosphere pulsator EC 20058-5234 (QU Tel) has been studied both spectroscopically, and also extensively using the techniques of time-series photometry. Model atmosphere fits to quality spectra obtained with one of the Magellan telescopes have confirmed its status as the hottest know DBV, so it currently defines the blue edge of the DBV instability strip. Extensive time-series photometry (primarily from Mt John in NZ but also including a Whole Earth Telescope run) clearly demonstrates that this white dwarf is a very stable low amplitude pulsator. This is consistent with its position at or near the blue edge of the DBV instability strip. However, of perhaps greater significance is the possibility of employing this period stability to look for a period change that can be sourced to the predicted neutrino-dominated cooling of the hot white dwarfs. This paper provides an update on this work.

  10. FIRST UNAMBIGUOUS DETECTION OF THE RETURN OF PULSATIONS IN THE ACCRETING WHITE DWARF SDSS J074531.92+453829.6 AFTER AN OUTBURST

    SciTech Connect

    Mukadam, Anjum S.; Szkody, P.; Townsley, D. M.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Winget, D. E.; Hermes, J. J.; Howell, Steve B.; Teske, J.; Patterson, Joseph; Armstrong, Eve; Kemp, Jonathan

    2011-02-20

    The primary white dwarf of the cataclysmic variable SDSS J074531.92+453829.6 was discovered to exhibit non-radial pulsations in 2006 January. This accreting white dwarf underwent its first recorded dwarf nova outburst in 2006 October, during which its brightness increased by more than 5 mag. A Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ultraviolet spectrum, obtained one year after the outburst, revealed a white dwarf temperature of 16,500 K, hotter than all other known accreting white dwarf pulsators. This implies that the accreting primary white dwarf of SDSS J074531.92+453829.6 was heated to temperatures beyond the instability strip during the outburst. Optical observations acquired a year after the outburst did not reveal any evidence of pulsations, suggesting that the white dwarf had not cooled to quiescence by then. We recently acquired optical high-speed time-series photometry on this cataclysmic variable SDSS J074531.92+453829.6 more than three years after its outburst to find that pulsations have now returned to the primary white dwarf. Moreover, the observed pulsation periods agree with pre-outburst periods within the uncertainties of a few seconds. This discovery is significant because it indicates that the outburst did not affect the interior stellar structure, which governs the observed pulsation frequencies. It also suggests that the surface of the white dwarf has now cooled to quiescence. Using this discovery in addition to the prior HST temperature measurement of 16,500 K, we have been able to constrain the matter accreted during the 2006 outburst. This is the first time an accreting white dwarf was unambiguously observed to resume pulsating after an outburst.

  11. Spectroscopic Analysis of Hybrid White Dwarf Spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manseau, P. M.; Bergeron, P.; Green, E. M.

    2017-03-01

    We present a model atmosphere analysis of hot (Teff> 30 000 K) white dwarf spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey showing both hydrogen and helium lines, under the assumption of chemically homogeneous and stratified atmospheric compositions. We identify several hybrid white dwarfs in the SDSS that are better explained in terms of chemically stratified atmospheres, where a thin hydrogen atmosphere floats in diffusive equilibrium on top of a more massive helium envelope. We also present an updated analysis of PG 1305–017, the only stratified white dwarf identified in previous spectroscopic analyses of DAO white dwarfs. We interpret our results in the general context of the spectral evolution of white dwarfs.

  12. Limits on detectability of mass loss from cool dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullan, D. J.; Doyle, J. G.; Redman, R. O.; Mathioudakis, M.

    1992-01-01

    Recent spectroscopic evidence supports the theoretical expectation that certain cool dwarfs may have stellar winds with M-dot values several orders of magnitude larger than the solar rate. For large enough values of M-dot, the emission from the wind is expected to have a spectrum which, at low enough frequencies, becomes a power law, S(v) about v exp alpha with alpha about 0.7. Data from IRAS and VLA suggest that such a spectrum may in fact occur in certain M dwarfs: a key test of the wind spectrum would be provided if the stars could be detected at lambda about 1 mm. We show that the M-dot required to ensure power-law emission is a few times 10 exp -10 solar mass/yr. With M-dot of this order, fluxes at lambda about 1 mm would be tens of mJy. Using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, we have tested this prediction on several stars: the data are suggestive but are near the limits of detection. Confirmation of our estimates will be important for evolution and for interstellar medium (ISM) physics: if even a few percent of all M dwarfs are losing mass at the above rates, the mass balance of the ISM will be dominated by M dwarfs.

  13. The Dwarf Novae Ty Psc and V436 Cen During Quiescence: Exposed White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadalin, I.; Sion, E. M.

    2000-12-01

    The dwarf novae TY Psc and V436 Cen are SU UMa systems with very similar orbital periods, similar recurrence times for normal outbursts ( 23 days) and superoutbursts ( ~ 340 days) and nearly identical outburst amplitudes. We have applied the Massa-Fitzpatrick (2000) flux calibration correction to the archival IUE NEWSIPS SWP spectra of these two systems, obtained during dwarf nova quiescence. We have carried out high gravity model atmosphere using the codes TLUSTY195, SYNSPEC42, ROTIN and accretion disk synthetic spectra from the grid of Wade and Hubeny (1998). We present our results on the physical properties of the underlying white dwarf accreters, including temperature, gravity, chemical abundances estimates, and the accretion rate during quiescence. We discuss our results in the context of the overall picture of accretion physics in dwarf novae and the effects of accretion on the white dwarf. This research was supported in part by NSF grant AST 99-01955, NASA ADP grant NAG5-8388 and by summer research funding from the NASA- Delaware Space Grant Colleges Consortium.

  14. Deep HST Imaging in 47 Tuc and NGC 6397: White Dwarfs and Brown Dwarfs in the Cluster and Field of NGC 6397

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rich, Robert Michael; Anderson, J.; Dotter, A.; Hansen, B.; Richer, H.; Fahlman, G.; Hurley, J.; Kalirai, J.; King, I.; Reitzel, D.; Shara, M.; Stetson, P.

    2011-01-01

    We report analysis of second epoch imaging of the very deep 126 orbit ACS integration in NGC 6397, yielding the deepest proper-motion selected color-magnitude diagram of a globular cluster. We reach past the faint end of the white dwarf cooling sequence and confirm the "blue hook" caused by H2 collision-induced absorption opacity. We also confirm a suspected population of faint red proper-motion members of NGC6397, many of which lie both fainter and redder than the theoretical limit for the hydrogen burning. Other proper motion members of NGC 6397 (with unusual colors) may be white dwarf/red dwarf binaries. Our reduced proper motion plot for the field reveals (for the first time) an extended white dwarf cooling sequence in the thick disk population, along with a well populated sequence of extremely faint red stars, many of which are also fainter and redder than the theoretical hydrogen burning limit. Supported by AURA STScI GO-11633 (R. M. Rich, PI)

  15. Probing dark matter crests with white dwarfs and IMBHs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaro-Seoane, P.; Casanellas, J.; Schödel, R.; Davidson, E.; Cuadra, J.

    2016-06-01

    White dwarfs (WDs) are the most promising captors of dark matter (DM) particles in the crests that are expected to build up in the cores of dense stellar clusters. The DM particles could reach sufficient densities in WD cores to liberate energy through self-annihilation. The extinction associated with our Galactic Centre makes it impossible to detect the potential-associated luminosities, contrary to smaller stellar systems which are close enough to us and not heavily extincted, such as -Cen. We investigate the prospects of detection of DM-burning WDs in a stellar cluster harbouring an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH), which leads to higher densities of DM at the centre. We calculate the capture rate and estimate the luminosity that a WD would emit depending on its distance to the centre of the cluster. Direct-summation N-body simulations of -Cen yield a non-negligible number of WDs in the range of radii of interest. We apply our assumption to published Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys observations of stars in the centre of -Cen and, although we are not able to identify any evident candidate, we proof that their bunching up at high luminosities would be unique. We predict that DM burning will lead to a truncation of the cooling sequence at the faint end. The detection of DM burning in future observations of dense stellar clusters could allow us to probe different models of DM distributions and characteristics. On the other hand, if DM-burning WDs really exist, their number and properties could give hints to the existence of IMBHs.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-20

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  18. s-Process Abundances in Binary Stars With White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merle, T.; Jorissen, A.; Van Eck, S.; Masseron, T.; van Winckel, H.

    2015-12-01

    The enrichment of barium stars in s-process elements is known to be due to pollution by mass transfer from an asymptotic giant branch (AGB) companion star, now an extincted C-O white-dwarf (McClure et al. [4]; Gray et al. [1]). We investigate the relationship between the level of enrichment in s-process elements in the barium star and the mass of its white dwarf (WD) companion. It is expected that helium WDs, which have masses smaller than about 0.5 M⊙ and whose progenitor never reached the AGB phase, should not pollute with s-process elements their giant companion. That companion should thus never turn into a barium star. Our results conform to the expectation that binary systems with WD companions less massive than 0.5 M⊙ do not host barium stars.

  19. A circumbinary debris disk in a polluted white dwarf system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.; Parsons, S. G.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-03-01

    Planetary systems commonly survive the evolution of single stars, as evidenced by terrestrial-like planetesimal debris observed orbiting and polluting the surfaces of white dwarfs 1,2 . Here, we report the identification of a circumbinary dust disk surrounding a white dwarf with a substellar companion in a 2.27 h orbit. The system bears the dual hallmarks of atmospheric metal pollution and infrared excess 3,4 ; however, the standard (flat and opaque) disk configuration is dynamically precluded by the binary. Instead, the detected reservoir of debris must lie well beyond the Roche limit in an optically thin configuration, where erosion by stellar irradiation is relatively rapid. This finding shows that rocky planetesimal formation is robust around close binaries, even those with low mass ratios.

  20. Chemical stratification in white dwarf atmospheres and envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koester, D.

    1989-01-01

    Theoretical arguments supporting a new mechanism maintaining a homogeneously mixed composition in white dwarf atmospheres with traces of helium are presented. Diffusion time scales, meridional circulation, mass loss, accretion of interstellar matter, convection, and radiative levitation are discussed. Theoretically, layered envelopes, with hydrogen on top of helium and an abundance profile in the transition layer determined by diffusion equilibrium, are expected. In cases with observed helium and hydrogen in the atmosphere this means that the total hydrogen mass must be very small. The empirical evidence for such atmospheres are assessed, using a new grid of model atmospheres with stratified element abundances and applying it to typical mixed abundance cases at the hot end of the white dwarf temperature sequence.

  1. A gaseous metal disk around a white dwarf.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-22

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

  2. Testing Common Envelopes on Double White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  3. Discovery of five new massive pulsating white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanheira, B. G.; Kepler, S. O.; Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Fraga, L.

    2013-03-01

    Using the SOuthern Astrophysical Research telescope (SOAR) Optical Imager at the SOAR 4.1 m telescope, we report on the discovery of five new massive pulsating white dwarf stars. Our results represent an increase of about 20 per cent in the number of massive pulsators. We have detected both short and long periods, low and high amplitude pulsation modes, covering the whole range of the ZZ Ceti instability strip. In this paper, we present a first seismological study of the new massive pulsators based on the few frequencies detected. Our analysis indicates that these stars have masses higher than average, in agreement with the spectroscopic determinations. In addition, we study for the first time the ensemble properties of the pulsating white dwarf stars with masses above 0.8 M⊙. We found a bimodal distribution of the main pulsation period with the effective temperature for the massive DAVs, which indicates mode selection mechanisms.

  4. Photometric Variability and Rotation in Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrie, K. A.; Burleigh, M. R.; Brinkworth, C. S.; Marsh, T. R.

    2010-11-01

    We present a search for long term (months-years) photometric variability in a sample of ten isolated magnetic white dwarfs using observations taken with the Liverpool Robotic Telescope between March 2005 and January 2007. These stars had previously been found to be photometrically stable on short (hours-one week) timescales [1]. We construct differential light curves for each target and then use CLEAN and Lomb-Scargle periodograms to determine any periodicity that may be present. Photometric variability is detected in two of the targets during the observed timescale-G 240-72 and G 227-28. We find no variability in the remaining eight targets above the 1% level. Finally, we search for any correlations between the spin periods and intrinsic physical properties of magnetic white dwarfs, such as the magnetic field strength, temperature, mass and age.

  5. Mapping the Properties of Convection in Pulsating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalessio, J.; Provencal, J. L.; Montgomery, M. H.; Shipman, H. L.

    2013-01-01

    Montgomery (2005) showed that the properties of a pulsating white dwarf's convection zone can be determined by fitting the observed lightcurves with model simulations. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) and the Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center (DARC) are using this technique to map the properties of convection across the DA and DB instability strips. We present the current status of the project, including preliminary analysis of light curves and from recent WET campaigns.

  6. Planet-Planet Scattering and White Dwarf Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joasil, Arielle; Payne, Matthew John; Veras, Dimitri

    2017-01-01

    About one-quarter to one-half of white dwarfs are observed to have polluted atmospheres. White dwarfs (WD) are expected to be chemically stratified, with heavy elements rapidly sinking. The frequent observation of heavy element pollution in WD atmospheres indicates that there must be a copious and frequent supply of rocky material from remnant planetary systems acting as a pollutant. Recently, the white dwarf WD 1145+017 has been observed to have been transited by a rocky body apparently in the process of disintegrating (Vanderburg et al. 2015).Post-main sequence expansion may render the planetary system unstable (Veras 2016). Planets orbiting the white dwarf may perturb and scatter one another. If this scattering happens, any moons can be scattered about the system. As such, one possible source of the material polluting WDs is destabilized exomoons (Payne et al. 2016a, 2016b). Moons offer a plausible source of pollution due to their large total mass (in the Solar system), and their generally rocky composition that matches that found in the atmospheric pollution of WDs. During a planet-planet scattering event, the probability that a moon will be ejected from its parent planet is a function of the velocity of the perturbing planet and the distance between the perturbed moon and the perturbing planet (as well as the initial orbit of the moon). We review the results of Payne et al. (2016a, 2016b) and present new results illustrating the probability of moon ejection as a function of these key parameters. We demonstrate the utility of these results for (a) the pollution and WDs, and for (b) general planet-planet scattering scenarios around main-sequence stars.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gooneratne, Sakura

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

  8. THE DISCOVERY OF THE MOST METAL-RICH WHITE DWARF: COMPOSITION OF A TIDALLY DISRUPTED EXTRASOLAR DWARF PLANET

    SciTech Connect

    Dufour, P.; Fontaine, G.; Bergeron, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Kilic, M.; Kleinman, S. J.; Leggett, S. K.

    2010-08-10

    Cool white dwarf stars are usually found to have an outer atmosphere that is practically pure in hydrogen or helium. However, a small fraction have traces of heavy elements that must originate from the accretion of extrinsic material, most probably circumstellar matter. Upon examining thousands of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectra, we discovered that the helium-atmosphere white dwarf SDSS J073842.56+183509.6 shows the most severe metal pollution ever seen in the outermost layers of such stars. We present here a quantitative analysis of this exciting star by combining high signal-to-noise ratio follow-up spectroscopic and photometric observations with model atmospheres and evolutionary models. We determine the global structural properties of our target star, as well as the abundances of the most significant pollutants in its atmosphere, i.e., H, O, Na, Mg, Si, Ca, and Fe. The relative abundances of these elements imply that the source of the accreted material has a composition similar to that of Bulk Earth. We also report the signature of a circumstellar disk revealed through a large infrared excess in JHK photometry. Combined with our inferred estimate of the mass of the accreted material, this strongly suggests that we are witnessing the remains of a tidally disrupted extrasolar body that was as large as Ceres.

  9. Observations and Theory of Pulsating Helium White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinfadt, Justin D.

    Average C/O-core white dwarf stars pulsate in observable normal modes of oscillation with amplitudes of a few percent and periods of 100-1,000 seconds. As of this dissertation, no WD of less than 0.5 M sun has been observed to pulsate. White dwarfs of this low mass likely possess a He core and are products of very different stellar evolution. In this dissertation, we have constructed very low mass He-core WD models and predict the parameter space in which they may be observed to pulsate. We have also observed 13 stars, most of which are He-core WDs, in a search for the first He-core WD pulsator. While we were unsuccessful in discovering a pulsator, our detection limits offer unique constraints on He-core WD pulsation parameter space. As a fortuitous result of our pulsation search, we have discovered two unique eclipsing binary systems. One of these is the first eclipsing detached double white dwarf binary system offering the first opportunity to make model independent constraints on He-core WD models and evolution.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  11. Are There Unstable Planetary Systems around White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debes, John H.; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2002-06-01

    The presence of planets around solar-type stars suggests that many white dwarfs should have relic planetary systems. While planets closer than ~5 AU will most likely not survive the post-main-sequence lifetime of their parent star, any planet with semimajor axis greater than 5 AU will survive, and its semimajor axis will increase as the central star loses mass. Since the stability of adjacent orbits to mutual planet-planet perturbations depends on the ratio of the planet mass to the central star's mass, some planets in previously stable orbits around a star undergoing mass loss will become unstable. We show that when mass loss is slow, systems of two planets that are marginally stable can become unstable to close encounters, while for three planets the timescale for close approaches decreases significantly with increasing mass ratio. These processes could explain the presence of anomalous IR excesses around white dwarfs that cannot be explained by close companions, such as G29-38, and may also be an important factor in explaining the existence of DAZ white dwarfs. The onset of instability through changing mass ratios will also be a significant effect for planetary embryos gaining mass in protoplanetary disks.

  12. Differentially Rotating White Dwarfs I: Regimes of Internal Rotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Pranab; Wheeler, J. Craig

    2017-01-01

    Most viable models of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) require the thermonuclear explosion of a carbon/oxygen white dwarf that has evolved in a binary system. Rotation could be an important aspect of any model for SNe Ia, whether single or double degenerate, with the white dwarf mass at, below, or above the Chandrasekhar limit. Differential rotation is specifically invoked in attempts to account for the apparent excess mass in the super-Chandrasekhar events. Some earlier work has suggested that only uniform rotation is consistent with the expected mechanisms of angular momentum transport in white dwarfs, while others have found pronounced differential rotation. We show that if the baroclinic instability is active in degenerate matter and the effects of magnetic fields are neglected, both nearly uniform rotation and strongly differential rotation are possible. We classify rotation regimes in terms of the Richardson number, Ri. At small values of Ri ≤slant 0.1, we find both the low-viscosity Zahn regime with a nonmonotonic angular velocity profile and a new differential rotation regime for which the viscosity is high and scales linearly with the shear, σ. Employment of Kelvin–Helmholtz viscosity alone yields differential rotation. Large values of Ri ≫ 1 produce a regime of nearly uniform rotation for which the baroclinic viscosity is of intermediate value and scales as {σ }3. We discuss the gap in understanding of the behavior at intermediate values of Ri and how observations may constrain the rotation regimes attained by nature.

  13. Regimes of Internal Rotation in Differentially Rotating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig; Ghosh, Pranab

    2017-01-01

    Most viable models of Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia) require the thermonuclear explosion of a carbon/oxygen white dwarf that has evolved in a binary system. Rotation could be an important aspect of any model for SN Ia, whether single or double degenerate, with the white dwarf mass at, below, or above the Chandrasekhar limit. Differential rotation is specifically invoked in attempts to account for the apparent excess mass in the super--Chandrasekhar events. Some earlier work has suggested that only uniform rotation is consistent with the expected mechanisms of angular momentum transport in white dwarfs, while others have found pronounced differential rotation. We show that if the baroclinic instability is active in degenerate matter and the effects of magnetic fields are neglected, both nearly-uniform and strongly-differential rotation are possible. We classify rotation regimes in terms of the Richardson number, Ri. At small values of Ri < 0.1, we find both the low-viscosity Zahn regime with a non-monotonic angular velocity profile and a new differential rotation regime for which the viscosity is high and scales linearly with the shear, σ. Employment of Kelvin-Helmholtz viscosity alone yields differential rotation. Large values of Ri >> 1 produce a regime of nearly-uniform rotation for which the baroclinic viscosity is of intermediate value and scales as σ3. We discuss the gap in understanding of the behavior at intermediate values of Ri and how observations may constrain the rotation regimes attained by nature.

  14. Stark Broadening Parameters For White Dwarf Atmospheres Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larbi-Terzi, N.; Sahal-Brechot, S.; Nessib, N. B.; Dimitrijevic, M. S.

    2010-07-01

    Stark broadening parameters of C II lines were determined within 3d-nf series using semiclassical perturbation method. The atomic energy levels needed for calculations were taken from TOPBASE as well as the oscillator strengths, which were additionally calculated using the method of Bates and Damgaard. The both results were compared and only insignificant differences were found. Calculations were performed for plasma conditions relevant for atmospheres of DQ white dwarfs and for a new type of white dwarfs, with surface composed mostly of carbon, discovered in 2007 by Dufour et al. The aim of this work is to provide accurate C II Stark broadening data, which are crucial for this type of white dwarf atmosphere modellisation. Obtained results will be included in STARK-B database (http://stark-b.obspm.fr/), entering in the FP7 project of European Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Center VAMDC aiming at building an interoperable e- Infrastructure for the exchange of atomic and molecular data (http://www.vamdc.org/).

  15. THE SPECTRAL TYPES OF WHITE DWARFS IN MESSIER 4

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-01

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

  16. New White Dwarfs and Cataclysmic Variables from the FBS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, Areg M.

    The Second part of the First Byurakan Survey (FBS) is the continuation of the Markarian Survey and is aimed at discovery of UVX stellar objects: QSOs Seyferts white dwarfs hot subdwarfs cataclysmic variables etc. +33o<δ<+45o and +61o<δ<+90o regions at |b|>15o has been covered so far. 1103 blue stellar objects have been selected including 716 new ones. Observations with the Byurakan 2.6m SAO (Russia) 6m and Haute-Provence 1.93m telescopes revealed more than 50 new white dwarfs and 7 cataclysmic variables including a new bright (V=12.6) novalike cataclysmic variable of SW Sex subclass RXS J16437+3402 found by cross-correlation of ROSAT/USNO objects and further inspection of the FBS spectra and having a period within the period ``gap"" for such objects. The white dwarfs are being studied to reveal pulsating ones (ZZ Ceti stars) magnetic WDs polars (AM Her type objects) planetary nebulae nuclei (DO stars PG 1159 type objects) etc. Polarimetric observations have been undertaken as well: FBS 1704+347 is found to be a possible polar and FBS 1815+381 a variable magnetic WD. The total number of WDs is estimated to be 270 in the whole sample (24%) and cataclysmic variables - 35 (3%)

  17. COS Spectroscopy of White Dwarf Companions to Blue Stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosnell, Natalie M.; Geller, Aaron M.; Knigge, Christian; Mathieu, Robert D.; Sills, Alison; Leiner, Emily; Leigh, Nathan

    2017-01-01

    Complete membership studies of open stellar clusters reveal that 25% of the evolved stars follow alternative pathways in stellar evolution, meaning something in the history of these stars changed their composition or mass (or both). In order to draw a complete picture of stellar evolution we must include these canonically "strange" stars in our definition of standard stellar populations. The formation mechanism of blue straggler stars, traditionally defined to be brighter and bluer than the main sequence turnoff in a star cluster, has been an outstanding question for almost six decades. Recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) far-ultraviolet (far-UV) observations directly reveal that the blue straggler stars in the old (7 Gyr) open cluster NGC 188 are predominantly formed through mass transfer. We will present HST far-UV COS spectroscopy of white dwarf companions to blue stragglers. These white dwarfs are the remnants of the mass transfer formation process. The effective temperatures and surface gravities of the white dwarfs delineate the timeline of blue straggler formation in this cluster. The existence of these binaries in a well-studied cluster environment provides an unprecedented opportunity to observationally constrain mass transfer models and inform our understanding of many other alternative pathway stellar products.

  18. Fundamental Physics from Observations of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bainbridge, M. B.; Barstow, M. A.; Reindl, N.; Barrow, J. D.; Webb, J. K.; Hu, J.; Preval, S. P.; Holberg, J. B.; Nave, G.; Tchang-Brillet, L.; Ayres, T. R.

    2017-03-01

    Variation in fundamental constants provide an important test of theories of grand unification. Potentially, white dwarf spectra allow us to directly observe variation in fundamental constants at locations of high gravitational potential. We study hot, metal polluted white dwarf stars, combining far-UV spectroscopic observations, atomic physics, atmospheric modelling and fundamental physics, in the search for variation in the fine structure constant. This registers as small but measurable shifts in the observed wavelengths of highly ionized Fe and Ni lines when compared to laboratory wavelengths. Measurements of these shifts were performed by Berengut et al (2013) using high-resolution STIS spectra of G191-B2B, demonstrating the validity of the method. We have extended this work by; (a) using new (high precision) laboratory wavelengths, (b) refining the analysis methodology (incorporating robust techniques from previous studies towards quasars), and (c) enlarging the sample of white dwarf spectra. A successful detection would be the first direct measurement of a gravitational field effect on a bare constant of nature. We describe our approach and present preliminary results.

  19. Calibration of Synthetic Photometry Using DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, J. B.; Bergeron, Pierre

    2006-09-01

    We have calibrated four major ground-based photometric systems with respect to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) absolute flux scale, which is defined by Vega and four fundamental DA white dwarfs. These photometric systems include the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI, the Strömgren uvby filters, the Two Micron All Sky Survey JHKs, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ugriz filters. Synthetic magnitudes are calculated from model white dwarf spectra folded through the published filter response functions; these magnitudes in turn are absolutely calibrated with respect to the HST flux scale. Effective zero-magnitude fluxes and zero-point offsets of each system are determined. In order to verify the external observational consistency, as well as to demonstrate the applicability of these definitions, the synthetic magnitudes are compared with the respective observed magnitudes of larger sets of DA white dwarfs that have well-determined effective temperatures and surface gravities and span a wide range in both of these parameters.

  20. Convection Destroys the Core/Mantle Structure in Hybrid C/O/Ne White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

    A hybrid C/O/Ne white dwarf (WD)—an unburned C/O core surrounded by an O/Ne/Na mantle—can be formed if the carbon flame is quenched in a super-AGB star or white dwarf merger remnant. We show that this segregated hybrid structure becomes unstable to rapid mixing within 2000 years of the onset of WD cooling. Carbon burning includes a weak reaction that removes electrons, resulting in a lower electron-to-baryon ratio ({Y}{{e}}) in the regions processed by carbon burning compared to the unburned C/O core, making the O/Ne mantle denser than the C/O core as the WD cools. This is unstable to efficient mixing. We use the results of {\\mathtt{MESA}} models with different size C/O cores to quantify the rate at which the cores mix with the mantle as they cool. In all cases, we find that the WDs undergo significant core/mantle mixing on timescales shorter than the time available to grow the WD to the Chandrasekhar mass (MCh) by accretion. As a result, hybrid WDs that reach MCh due to later accretion will have lower central carbon fractions than assumed thus far. We briefly discuss the implications of these results for the possibility of SNe Ia from hybrid WDs.

  1. TIDALLY INDUCED APSIDAL PRECESSION IN DOUBLE WHITE DWARFS: A NEW MASS MEASUREMENT TOOL WITH LISA

    SciTech Connect

    Valsecchi, F.; Farr, W. M.; Willems, B.; Deloye, C. J.; Kalogera, V.

    2012-02-01

    Galactic interacting double white dwarfs (DWDs) are guaranteed gravitational wave (GW) sources for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna GW detector, with more than 10{sup 4} binaries expected to be detected over the mission's lifetime. Part of this population is expected to be eccentric, and here we investigate the potential for constraining the white dwarf (WD) properties through apsidal precession in these binaries. We analyze the tidal, rotational, and general relativistic contributions to apsidal precession by using detailed He WD models, where the evolution of the star's interior is followed throughout the cooling phase. In agreement with previous studies of zero-temperature WDs, we find that apsidal precession in eccentric DWDs can lead to a detectable shift in the emitted GW signal when binaries with cool (old) components are considered. This shift increases significantly for hot (young) WDs. We find that apsidal motion in hot (cool) DWDs is dominated by tides at orbital frequencies above {approx}> 10{sup -4} Hz (10{sup -3} Hz). The analysis of apsidal precession in these sources while ignoring the tidal component would lead to an extreme bias in the mass determination, and could lead us to misidentify WDs as neutron stars or black holes. We use the detailed WD models to show that for older, cold WDs, there is a unique relationship that ties the radius and apsidal precession constant to the WD masses, therefore allowing tides to be used as a tool to constrain the source masses.

  2. The discontinuity near 1600 A in the spectra of DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G.

    1984-01-01

    Ultraviolet spectroscopic observations of two relatively cool DA white dwarfs, L481 - 60 (= WD 1544 - 37) and BPM 1266 ( = WD 2105 - 82), with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite show a strong drop in their spectral energy distributions below 1600 A. Published model atmospheres and thier visual spectra suggest that these two stars have effective temperatures in the vicinity of 9,000-10,000 K, and it is proposed that the 1600 A feature could be due to the 342(1S) 3s2(1S) photoionization edge of Mg I.

  3. Additional Ultracool White Dwarfs Found In The Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-05-20

    the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ( SDSS ). The SDSS pho- tometry, spectra, and proper motions are presented, and additional BVRI data are given for these and...models for very cool white dwarfs. One of the new stars ( SDSS J1251+44) exhibits strong collision- induced absorption (CIA) in its spectra, while the...spectra and colors of the other six are consistent with mild CIA. Another of the new discoveries ( SDSS J2239+00A) is part of a binary system—its

  4. X-ray spectroscopy of hot white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamczak, Jens

    2010-10-01

    X-ray spectra of two hot white dwarfs observed by the Chandra satellite have been analyzed. The first is a white dwarf of spectral class DA with an almost pure hydrogen atmosphere. Contrary to that, the atmosphere of the second object, a PG 1159 star, is basically hydrogen free. The reason for the different composition can be found in the differing evolution of these objects. Some DA white dwarfs show much smaller metallicities than predicted by the mechanism of radiative levitation. Many spectral lines of the heavy elements that are the key to the explanation to the unusual metal poorness are located in the X-ray wavelength range. Some PG 1159 stars are non-radial g-mode pulsators. The pulsations depend amongst others on the abundances of the elements in the atmosphere, log g, and T eff. The soft X-ray range is particularly temperature sensitive and allows to constrain the temperature of a non-pulsating PG 1159 star with respect to its pulsating spectroscopic twin. Detailed analysis of X-ray spectra of single white dwarfs do not yet exist. The aim of this thesis was to analyze spectra of the DA white dwarfs LB 1919 and GD 246 in different wavelength ranges in order to find out if the metals in the atmospheres of these objects are homogeneously mixed or chemically stratified. This helps to identify or exclude possible unexpected mechanisms that might disturb the equilibrium between gravitational and radiative forces in the atmosphere. For LB 1919 an additional aim was to identify photospheric features of several elements and determine their abundances for the first time. It was further intended to determine the temperature of the non-pulsating PG 1159 star PG 1520+525 precisely. The spectra of LB 1919 and GD 246 ranging from X-ray to optical wavelengths were analyzed with advanced homogeneous and stratified Non-LTE model atmospheres. The Chandra spectrum of the PG 1159 star PG 1520+525 was analyzed with homogeneous Non-LTE model atmospheres only since no

  5. Pan-Planets: Searching for hot Jupiters around cool dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obermeier, C.; Koppenhoefer, J.; Saglia, R. P.; Henning, Th.; Bender, R.; Kodric, M.; Deacon, N.; Riffeser, A.; Burgett, W.; Chambers, K. C.; Draper, P. W.; Flewelling, H.; Hodapp, K. W.; Kaiser, N.; Kudritzki, R.-P.; Magnier, E. A.; Metcalfe, N.; Price, P. A.; Sweeney, W.; Wainscoat, R. J.; Waters, C.

    2016-03-01

    The Pan-Planets survey observed an area of 42 sq deg. in the galactic disk for about 165 h. The main scientific goal of the project is the detection of transiting planets around M dwarfs. We establish an efficient procedure for determining the stellar parameters Teff and log g of all sources using a method based on SED fitting, utilizing a three-dimensional dust map and proper motion information. In this way we identify more than 60 000 M dwarfs, which is by far the largest sample of low-mass stars observed in a transit survey to date. We present several planet candidates around M dwarfs and hotter stars that are currently being followed up. Using Monte Carlo simulations we calculate the detection efficiency of the Pan-Planets survey for different stellar and planetary populations. We expect to find 3.0+3.3-1.6 hot Jupiters around F, G, and K dwarfs with periods lower than 10 days based on the planet occurrence rates derived in previous surveys. For M dwarfs, the percentage of stars with a hot Jupiter is under debate. Theoretical models expect a lower occurrence rate than for larger main sequence stars. However, radial velocity surveys find upper limits of about 1% due to their small sample, while the Kepler survey finds a occurrence rate that we estimate to be at least 0.17b(+0.67-0.04) %, making it even higher than the determined fraction from OGLE-III for F, G and K stellar types, 0.14 (+0.15-0.076) %. With the large sample size of Pan-Planets, we are able to determine an occurrence rate of 0.11 (+0.37-0.02) % in case one of our candidates turns out to be a real detection. If, however, none of our candidates turn out to be true planets, we are able to put an upper limit of 0.34% with a 95% confidence on the hot Jupiter occurrence rate of M dwarfs. This limit is a significant improvement over previous estimates where the lowest limit published so far is 1.1% found in the WFCAM Transit Survey. Therefore we cannot yet confirm the theoretical prediction of a lower

  6. A Survey of Helium Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steeghs, Daniel

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Hubble Space Telescope/STIS Spectroscopy of the White Dwarfs in the Short-Period Dwarf Novae LL Andromedae and EF Pegasi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-08-01

    We present new Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph observations of the short-period dwarf novae LL And and EF Peg during deep quiescence. We fit stellar models to the UV spectra and use optical and IR observations to determine the physical parameters of the white dwarfs in the systems, the distances to the binaries, and the properties of the secondary stars. Both white dwarfs are relatively cool, having Teff near 15,000 K, and consistent with a mass of 0.6Msolar. The white dwarf in LL And appears to be of solar abundance or slightly lower, while that in EF Peg is near 0.1-0.3 times solar. LL And is found to be 760 pc away, while EF Peg is closer, at 380 pc. EF Peg appears to have an ~M5 V secondary star, consistent with that expected for its orbital period, while the secondary object in LL And remains a mystery. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the AURA under NASA contract NAS 5-26555 and with the Apache Point Observatory (APO) 3.5 m telescope, which is operated by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC).

  8. A Model of White Dwarf Pulsar AR Scorpii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Jin-Jun; Zhang, Bing; Huang, Yong-Feng

    2016-11-01

    A 3.56 hr white dwarf (WD)-M dwarf (MD) close binary system, AR Scorpii, was recently reported to show pulsating emission in radio, IR, optical, and UV, with a 1.97 minute period, which suggests the existence of a WD with a rotation period of 1.95 minutes. We propose a model to explain the temporal and spectral characteristics of the system. The WD is a nearly perpendicular rotator, with both open field line beams sweeping the MD stellar wind periodically. A bow shock propagating into the stellar wind accelerates electrons in the wind. Synchrotron radiation of these shocked electrons can naturally account for the broadband (from radio to X-rays) spectral energy distribution of the system.

  9. An analysis of DA white dwarfs from the Hamburg Quasar Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homeier, D.; Koester, D.; Hagen, H.-J.; Jordan, S.; Heber, U.; Engels, D.; Reimers, D.; Dreizler, S.

    1998-10-01

    Follow-up spectroscopy of several hundred hot stars detected by the Hamburg Quasar Survey (HQS) has been carried out between 1989 and 1996. We present the analysis of 80 DA white dwarfs using model atmospheres and theoretical cooling tracks to derive the atmospheric parameters T_eff and log g, masses and absolute magnitudes. The HQS turned out to be sensitive to the detection of hydrogen-rich white dwarfs in a wide temperature range, from 10 000 K upwards. Star counts within four HQS fields for magnitudes B<= 16fm 4 exceed those from the Palomar Green survey by about 50%. The more recent observation campaigns emphasized the detection of very hot degenerates, yielding a large fraction of DA stars with T_eff > 50 000 K compared to other surveys. The mean mass of our DA sample is M=0.61{M}_{\\odot}, with three massive DA stars exceeding 1{M}_{\\odot} and three DA stars with masses significantly below the assummed lower mass limit for single white dwarf evolution of 0.45{M}_{\\odot}. Among the cool DA stars, thirteen are potential ZZ Ceti candidates because their effective temperatures lie close to the instability strip. Based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center (DSAZ), Calar Alto, operated by the Max-Plank-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg jointly with the Spanish National Commission for Astronomy; with the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite (IUE) collected at Villafranca, Spain, and with the ROSAT X-ray telescope.

  10. Orbital periods and component masses of three double white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Parsons, S. G.; García-Berro, E.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Schreiber, M. R.; Rybicka, M.; Koester, D.

    2017-04-01

    The merger of close double white dwarfs (CDWDs) is one of the favourite evolutionary channels for producing Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia). Unfortunately, current theories of the evolution and formation of CDWDs are still poorly constrained and have several serious uncertainties that affect the predicted SN Ia rates. Moreover, current observational constraints on this evolutionary pathway for SN Ia mainly rely on only 17 double-lined and/or eclipsing CDWDs with measured orbital and stellar parameters for both white dwarfs. In this paper, we present the orbital periods and the individual masses of three new double-lined CDWDs, derived using a new method. This method employs mass ratios, the Hα core ratios and spectral model fitting to constrain the masses of the components of the pair. The three CDWDs are WD0028-474 (Porb = 9.350 ± 0.007 h, M1 = 0.60 ± 0.06 M⊙, M2 = 0.45 ± 0.04 M⊙), HE0410-1137 (Porb = 12.208 ± 0.008 h, M1 = 0.51 ± 0.04 M⊙, M2 = 0.39 ± 0.03 M⊙) and SDSSJ031813.25-010711.7 (Porb = 45.908 ± 0.006 h, among the longest period systems, M1 = 0.40 ± 0.05 M⊙, M2 = 0.49 ± 0.05 M⊙). While the three systems studied here will merge in time-scales longer than the Hubble time and are expected to become single massive ( ≳ 0.9 M⊙) white dwarfs rather than exploding as SN Ia, increasing the small sample of CDWDs with determined stellar parameters is crucial for a better overall understanding of their evolution.

  11. Trigonometric parallaxes of high velocity halo white dwarf candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducourant, C.; Teixeira, R.; Hambly, N. C.; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Hawkins, M. R. S.; Rapaport, M.; Modolo, J.; Lecampion, J. F.

    2007-07-01

    Context: The status of 38 halo white dwarf candidates identified by Oppenheimer et al. (2001, Science, 292, 698) has been intensively discussed by various authors. In analyses undertaken to date, trigonometric parallaxes are crucial missing data. Distance measurements are mandatory to kinematically segregate halo object from disk objects and hence enable a more reliable estimate of the local density of halo dark matter residing in such objects. Aims: We present trigonometric parallax measurements for 15 candidate halo white dwarfs (WDs) selected from the Oppenheimer et al. (2001) list. Methods: We observed the stars using the ESO 1.56-m Danish Telescope and ESO 2.2-m telescope from August 2001 to July 2004. Results: Parallaxes with accuracies of 1-2 mas were determined yielding relative errors on distances of ~5% for 6 objects, ~12% for 3 objects, and ~20% for two more objects. Four stars appear to be too distant (probably farther than 100 pc) to have measurable parallaxes in our observations. Conclusions: Distances, absolute magnitudes and revised space velocities were derived for the 15 halo WDs from the Oppenheimer et al. (2001) list. Halo membership is confirmed unambiguously for 6 objects while 5 objects may be thick disk members and 4 objects are too distant to draw any conclusion based solely on kinematics. Comparing our trigonometric parallaxes with photometric parallaxes used in previous work reveals an overestimation of distance as derived from photometric techniques. This new data set can be used to revise the halo white dwarf space density, and that analysis will be presented in a subsequent publication. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (067.D-0107, 069.D-0054, 070.D-0028, 071.D-0005, 072.D-0153, 073.D-0028).

  12. 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.

  13. The White Dwarf in EM Cygni: Beyond the Veil

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-10

    reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. THE WHITE DWARF IN EM CYGNI: BEYOND THE VEIL∗ Patrick Godon1,4, Edward M. Sion1, Paul E. Barrett2, and Albert P. Linnell3 1...However, more recent full three-dimensional hydrodynami- cal simulations, e.g., (Blondin 1998; Kunze et al. 2001; Bisikalo et al. 2003), have followed...deflection is believed to cause X-ray absorption in CVs (and LMXBs) around orbital phase 0.7, if the inclination is at least 65◦ ( Kunze et al. 2001

  14. Pulsating low-mass white dwarfs in the frame of new evolutionary sequences. IV. The secular rate of period change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calcaferro, Leila M.; Córsico, Alejandro H.; Althaus, Leandro G.

    2017-04-01

    Context. An increasing number of low-mass (M⋆/M⊙ ≲ 0.45) and extremely low-mass (ELM, M⋆/M⊙ ≲ 0.18-0.20) white-dwarf stars are being discovered in the field of the Milky Way. Some of these stars exhibit long-period g-mode pulsations, and are called ELMV variable stars. Also, some low-mass pre-white dwarf stars show short-period p-mode (and likely radial-mode) photometric variations, and are designated as pre-ELMV variable stars. The existence of these new classes of pulsating white dwarfs and pre-white dwarfs opens the prospect of exploring the binary formation channels of these low-mass white dwarfs through asteroseismology. Aims: We aim to present a theoretical assessment of the expected temporal rates of change of periods (\\dot{Π}) for such stars, based on fully evolutionary low-mass He-core white dwarf and pre-white dwarf models. Methods: Our analysis is based on a large set of adiabatic periods of radial and nonradial pulsation modes computed on a suite of low-mass He-core white dwarf and pre-white dwarf models with masses ranging from 0.1554 to 0.4352 M⊙, which were derived by computing the non-conservative evolution of a binary system consisting of an initially 1 M⊙ ZAMS star and a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star companion. Results: We computed the secular rates of period change of radial (ℓ = 0) and nonradial (ℓ = 1,2) g and p modes for stellar models representative of ELMV and pre-ELMV stars, as well as for stellar objects that are evolving just before the occurrence of CNO flashes at the early cooling branches. We find that the theoretically expected magnitude of \\dot{Π} of g modes for pre-ELMVs is by far larger than for ELMVs. In turn, \\dot{Π} of g modes for models evolving before the occurrence of CNO flashes are larger than the maximum values of the rates of period change predicted for pre-ELMV stars. Regarding p and radial modes, we find that the larger absolute values of \\dot{Π} correspond to pre-ELMV models. Conclusions: We

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  16. Toward High-precision Seismic Studies of White Dwarf Stars: Parametrization of the Core and Tests of Accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giammichele, N.; Charpinet, S.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.

    2017-01-01

    We present a prescription for parametrizing the chemical profile in the core of white dwarfs in light of the recent discovery that pulsation modes may sometimes be deeply confined in some cool pulsating white dwarfs. Such modes may be used as unique probes of the complicated chemical stratification that results from several processes that occurred in previous evolutionary phases of intermediate-mass stars. This effort is part of our ongoing quest for more credible and realistic seismic models of white dwarfs using static, parametrized equilibrium structures. Inspired by successful techniques developed in design optimization fields (such as aerodynamics), we exploit Akima splines for the tracing of the chemical profile of oxygen (carbon) in the core of a white dwarf model. A series of tests are then presented to better seize the precision and significance of the results that can be obtained in an asteroseismological context. We also show that the new parametrization passes an essential basic test, as it successfully reproduces the chemical stratification of a full evolutionary model.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-10

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

  18. A Study of the SDSS White Dwarf Component in the LSPM Proper Motion Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darveau-Bernier, A.; Bergeron, P.; Lépine, S.

    2017-03-01

    We present a model atmosphere analysis of the white dwarfs identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with proper motions measured in the LSPM proper motion survey of Lépine et al. We rely on reduced proper motion diagrams to build a sample of white dwarfs in the SDSS footprint, and cross correlate this sample with the SDSS spectroscopic database to understand the systematics related to completeness, contamination, WD+M dwarf binaries, reddening, etc. We then determine a white dwarf luminosity function for this sample using various methods.

  19. Thermonuclear Supernova Explosions From Hybrid White Dwarf Progenitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Limb-darkening Coefficients for Eclipsing White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Strickland, B. D.; Kilic, Mukremin; Bergeron, P.

    2013-03-01

    We present extensive calculations of linear and nonlinear limb-darkening coefficients as well as complete intensity profiles appropriate for modeling the light-curves of eclipsing white dwarfs. We compute limb-darkening coefficients in the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI photometric system as well as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) ugrizy system using the most up to date model atmospheres available. In all, we provide the coefficients for seven different limb-darkening laws. We describe the variations of these coefficients as a function of the atmospheric parameters, including the effects of convection at low effective temperatures. Finally, we discuss the importance of having readily available limb-darkening coefficients in the context of present and future photometric surveys like the LSST, Palomar Transient Factory, and the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). The LSST, for example, may find ~105 eclipsing white dwarfs. The limb-darkening calculations presented here will be an essential part of the detailed analysis of all of these systems.

  1. Prevention of accretion onto white dwarfs by stellar winds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdonald, James

    1992-01-01

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

  2. DA WHITE DWARFS OBSERVED IN THE LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-08-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sensitivity Analysis of Hierarchical Models for the Ages of Galactic Halo White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Si, S.; van Dyk, D. A.; von Hippel, T.

    2017-03-01

    The ages of white dwarfs are of great importance in stellar evolution. Si et al. developed a novel approach to increase the precision of such estimates by combining multiple white dwarfs in a Bayesian hierarchical model. In this paper, we further investigate the robustness of the Bayesian hierarchical model by performing a simulation study.

  7. A search for variable white dwarfs in large-area time-domain surveys: a pilot study in SDSS Stripe 82

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentile Fusillo, Nicola Pietro; Hermes, J. J.; Gänsicke, Boris T.

    2016-01-01

    We present a method to reliably select variable white dwarfs from large-area time-domain surveys and apply this method in a pilot study to search for pulsating white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82. From a sample 400 high-confidence white dwarf candidates, we identify 24 which show significant variability in their multi-epoch Stripe 82 data. Using colours, we further selected a sample of pulsating white dwarf (ZZ Ceti) candidates and obtained high-cadence follow-up for six targets. We confirm five of our candidates as cool ZZ Cetis, three of which are new discoveries. Among our 24 candidates we also identify: one eclipsing binary, two magnetic white dwarfs and one pulsating PG1159 star. Finally, we discuss the possible causes for the variability detected in the remaining targets. Even with sparse multi-epoch data over the limited area of Stripe 82, we demonstrate that our selection method can successfully identify various types of variable white dwarfs and efficiently select high-confidence ZZ Ceti candidates.

  8. Search for and study of photometric variability in magnetic white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valeev, A. F.; Antonyuk, K. A.; Pit, N. V.; Moskvitin, A. S.; Grauzhanina, A. O.; Gadelshin, D. R.; Kolesnikov, S. V.; Zhuzhulina, E. A.; Burlakova, T. E.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Gutaev, A. G.; Zhuchkov, R. Ya.; Ikhsanova, A. I.; Zhukov, D. G.; Joshi, Arti; Pandey, J. C.; Kholtygin, A. F.; Valyavin, G. G.

    2017-01-01

    We report the results of photometric observations of a number of magnetic white dwarfs in order to search for photometric variability in these stars. These V-band observations revealed significant variability in the classical highly magnetized white dwarf GRW+70°8247 with a likely period from several days to several dozen days and a half-amplitude of about 0. m 04. Our observations also revealed the variability of the well-known white dwarf GD229. The half amplitude of its photometric variability is equal to about 0. m 005, and the likely period of this degenerate star lies in the 10-20 day interval. This variability is most likely due to the rotation of the stars considered.We also discuss the peculiarities of the photometric variability in a number of other white dwarfs. We present the updated "magnetic field-rotation period" diagram for the white dwarfs.

  9. HST Spectra of White Dwarfs and the Mass-Radius Relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, S. R. G.; Barstow, M. A.; Casewell, S. L.; Holberg, J. B.; Bond, H. E.

    2017-03-01

    We present HST spectra of the white dwarf HR1358b which is one of a number of white dwarfs we are studying in Sirius-like binaries. These binaries give us the best chance yet to test the mass-radius relation through observations of the Balmer lines of white dwarfs. These observations can be used to measure the white dwarf mass using both the spectroscopic method and the gravitational red-shift method. One of the major challenges for this type of observation is scattered light from the main sequence star contaminating the white dwarf spectrum. We will discuss methods that have been developed to correct for scattered light in the spectrum of HR1358b and the effect this correction can have on the mass-radius measurements.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-01

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

  11. CALIBRATION OF THE MIXING-LENGTH THEORY FOR CONVECTIVE WHITE DWARF ENVELOPES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-02-01

    A calibration of the mixing-length parameter in the local mixing-length theory (MLT) is presented for the lower part of the convection zone in pure-hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs. The parameterization is performed from a comparison of three-dimensional (3D) CO5BOLD simulations with a grid of one-dimensional (1D) envelopes with a varying mixing-length parameter. In many instances, the 3D simulations are restricted to the upper part of the convection zone. The hydrodynamical calculations suggest, in those cases, that the entropy of the upflows does not change significantly from the bottom of the convection zone to regions immediately below the photosphere. We rely on this asymptotic entropy value, characteristic of the deep and adiabatically stratified layers, to calibrate 1D envelopes. The calibration encompasses the convective hydrogen-line (DA) white dwarfs in the effective temperature range 6000 ≤ T {sub eff} (K) ≤15, 000 and the surface gravity range 7.0 ≤ log g ≤ 9.0. It is established that the local MLT is unable to reproduce simultaneously the thermodynamical, flux, and dynamical properties of the 3D simulations. We therefore propose three different parameterizations for these quantities. The resulting calibration can be applied to structure and envelope calculations, in particular for pulsation, chemical diffusion, and convective mixing studies. On the other hand, convection has no effect on the white dwarf cooling rates until there is a convective coupling with the degenerate core below T {sub eff} ∼ 5000 K. In this regime, the 1D structures are insensitive to the MLT parameterization and converge to the mean 3D results, hence they remain fully appropriate for age determinations.

  12. THE SPECTRUM OF THE RECYCLED PSR J0437-4715 AND ITS WHITE DWARF COMPANION

    SciTech Connect

    Durant, Martin; Kargaltsev, Oleg; Pavlov, George G.; Posselt, Bettina; Kowalski, Piotr M.; Van Kerkwijk, Marten H.; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-02-10

    We present extensive spectral and photometric observations of the recycled pulsar/white dwarf binary containing PSR J0437-4715, which we analyzed together with archival X-ray and gamma-ray data, to obtain the complete mid-infrared to gamma-ray spectrum. We first fit each part of the spectrum separately, and then the whole multi-wavelength spectrum. We find that the optical-infrared part of the spectrum is well fit by a cool white dwarf atmosphere model with pure hydrogen composition. The model atmosphere (T{sub eff} = 3950 {+-} 150 K, log g = 6.98 {+-} 0.15, R{sub WD} = (1.9 {+-} 0.2) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 9} cm) fits our spectral data remarkably well for the known mass and distance (M = 0.25 {+-} 0.02 M{sub Sun }, d = 156.3 {+-} 1.3 pc), yielding the white dwarf age ({tau}{sub WD} = 6.0 {+-} 0.5 Gyr). In the UV, we find a spectral shape consistent with thermal emission from the bulk of the neutron star surface, with surface temperature between 1.25 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} and 3.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} K. The temperature of the thermal spectrum suggests that some heating mechanism operates throughout the life of the neutron star. The temperature distribution on the neutron star surface is non-uniform. In the X-rays, we confirm the presence of a high-energy tail which is consistent with a continuation of the cutoff power-law component ({Gamma} = 1.56 {+-} 0.01, E{sub cut} = 1.1 {+-} 0.2 GeV) that is seen in gamma rays and perhaps even extends to the near-UV.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  14. 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.

  15. Two-phase ultraviolet spectrophotometry of the pulsating white dwarf ZZ Piscium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bond, H. E.; Kemper, E.; Grauer, A. D.; Holm, A. V.; Panek, R. J.; Schiffer, F. H., III

    1985-01-01

    Spectra of the pulsating white dwarf ZZ Psc (= G29-38) were obtained using the International Ultraviolet Explorer. By using a multiple-exposure technique in conjunction with simultaneous ground-based exposure-metering photometry, it was possible to obtain mean on-pulse and off-pulse spectra in the 1950-1310 A wavelength range. The ratio of the time-averaged on-pulse to off-pulse spectra is best fitted by a temperature variation that is in phase with the optical light variation. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that the observed variation is due to a high-order nonradial pulsation. Conventional ultraviolet spectra of ZZ Psc showed broad absorption features at 1390 and 1600 A. These features are also found in the spectra of the cool DA-type white dwarfs G226-29 and G67-23, and appear to increase in strength with decreasing temperature. A possible explanation for the 1600 A feature is absorption by the satellite band of resonance-broadened hydrogen Ly-alpha. Such absorption would also help explain a discrepancy between the observed pulsation amplitude shortward of 1650 A and the predicted amplitudes based on model atmospheres.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. On the White Dwarf Mass Problem of Cataclysmic Variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wei-Min; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2016-11-01

    Recent observations show that white dwarfs (WDs) in cataclysmic variables (CVs) have an average mass significantly higher than isolated WDs and WDs in post-common envelope binaries (PCEBs), which are thought to be the progenitors of CVs. This suggests that either the WDs have grown in mass during the PCEB/CV evolution or the binaries with low-mass WDs are unable to evolve to be CVs. In this paper, we calculate the evolution of accreting WD binaries with updated hydrogen accumulation efficiency and angular momentum loss (AML) prescriptions. We show that thermal-timescale mass transfer is not effective in changing the average WD mass distribution. The WD mass discrepancy is most likely related to unstable mass transfer in WD binaries, in which an efficient mechanism of AML is required.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-20

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

  2. Unraveling the Internal Chemical Composition of Kepler White Dwarf Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giammichele, N.; Charpinet, S.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.

    2017-03-01

    We present the results of the asteroseismic analysis of a selected sample of white dwarf stars in the Kepler and Kepler-2 fields. Our seismic procedure using the forward method based on physically sound, static models, includes a new core parameterization leading us to reproduce the periods of these stars at the precision of the observations. These new fits outperform current state-of-the-art standards by orders of magnitude. We precisely establish the internal structures of these stars and unravel the inner C/O stratification of their core. By studying their internal chemical compositions, and more precisely the C/O profiles, this opens up interesting perspectives on better constraining key processes in stellar physics such as nuclear burning, convection, and mixing, that shape this stratification over time.

  3. Seismology of a Massive Pulsating Hydrogen Atmosphere White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Peçanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S.; Fraga, Luciano; Hermes, J. J.; Winget, D. E.; Castanheira, Barbara; Córsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Althaus, Leandro; Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Koester, D.; Külebi, Baybars; Jordan, Stefan; Kanaan, Antonio

    2012-10-01

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

  4. SEISMOLOGY OF A MASSIVE PULSATING HYDROGEN ATMOSPHERE WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. HST observations of the pulsating white dwarf GD 358

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanheira, B. G.; Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Winget, D. E.; Koester, D.

    2005-03-01

    We used time-resolved ultraviolet spectroscopy obtained with the FOS and STIS spectrographs of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), together with archival IUE observations to measure the effective temperature (Teff), surface gravity (log g) and distance (d) of the pulsating DB white dwarf GD 358 with unprecedented accuracy, and to show that the temperature did not change during the 1996 sforzando, when the star changed basically to a single mode pulsator. We also measured for the first time for a DBV the spherical harmonic degree (ℓ) for two modes, with k=8 and k=9, which was only possible because the stellar light curve was dominated by a single mode in 1996. The independent spectra provide the following values: Teff=24 100± 400 K, log g=7.91±0.26 and d=42.7±2.5 pc. The ultraviolet spectroscopic distance is in better agreement with the seismological value, than the one derived by parallax.

  7. Detection of circular polarization and low-amplitude photometric variability of the white dwarf WD1748+508

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonyuk, K. A.; Kolesnikov, S. V.; Pit, N. V.; Valyavin, G. G.; Valeev, A. F.; Burlakova, T. E.; Galazutdinov, G. A.

    2016-10-01

    We report the results of a polarimetric and photometric study of the cool white dwarf WD1748+508. Observations were performed during four consecutive nights on the telescopes of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. As a result, polarization was detected in the V band at the level of -0.36 ± 0.087% and the star was found to be photometrically variable with a period ranging from five hours to about two days. Throughout the entire observing set the variability amplitude was constant and equal to about 10 ± 1 mmag. Non-zero circular polarization directly indicates that the white dwarf has a global magnetic field with a strength of 10 MG or higher.We interpret the photometric variations found in this study in terms of rotationally modulated variability of magnetic properties of the star's atmosphere.

  8. 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.

  9. Trace Hydrogen in Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs as a Possible Signature of Water Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentile-Fusillo, N. P.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Farihi, J.; Koester, D.; Schreiber, M. R.; Pala, A. F.

    2017-03-01

    A handful of white dwarfs with helium-dominated atmospheres contain exceptionally large masses of hydrogen in their convection zones, with the metal-polluted white dwarf GD 16 being one of the earliest recognised examples. We report the discovery of a similar star: the white dwarf coincidentally named GD 17. We obtained medium-resolution spectroscopy of both GD 16 and GD 17 and calculated accretion rates and abundances of photospheric H, Mg, Ca, Ti, Fe and Ni. The metal abundance ratios indicate that the two stars recently accreted debris which is Mg-poor compared to the composition of bulk Earth. However, unlike the metal pollutants, H never diffuses out of the atmosphere of white dwarfs and we propose that the exceptionally high atmospheric H content of GD 16 and GD 17 (2.2× 1024g and 2.9× 1024g respectively) could result from previous accretion of water bearing planetesimals. Comparing the detection of trace H and metal pollution among 729 helium atmosphere white dwarfs, we find that the presence of H is nearly twice as common in metal-polluted white dwarfs compared to their metal-free counterparts. This statistically highly significant correlation indicates that a significant amount of H is accreted alongside the metal pollutants in many He atmosphere white dwarfs (including GD 16 and GD 17). We argue that H is most likely accreted in the form of water which must therefore be commonly present in systems with rocky planetesimals.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. A detection of the evolutionary time scale of the DA white dwarf G117 - B15A with the Whole Earth Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Fontaine, G.; Bergeron, P.; Winget, D. E.; Nather, R. E.; Bradley, P. A.; Claver, C. F.; Grauer, A. D.; Vauclair, G.; Marar, T. M. K.

    1991-01-01

    The time rate of change for the main pulsation period of the 13,000 K DA white dwarf G117 - B15A has been detected using the Whole Earth Telescope (WET). The observed rate of period change, P(dot) = (12.0 + or - 3.5) x 10 to the -15th s/s, is somewhat larger than the published theoretical calculations of the rate of period change due to cooling, based on carbon core white dwarf models. Other effects that could contribute to the observed rate of period change are discussed.

  12. MOST Photometry and DDO Spectroscopy of the Eclipsing (White Dwarf + Red Dwarf) Binary V471 Tau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamiński, Krzysztof Z.; Ruciński, Slavek M.; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Kuschnig, Rainer; Rowe, Jason F.; Guenther, David B.; Moffat, Anthony F. J.; Sasselov, Dimitar; Walker, Gordon A. H.; Weiss, Werner W.

    2007-09-01

    The Hyades K2 V + WD system 471 Tau is a prototype post-common envelope system and a likely cataclysmic binary progenitor. We present 10 days of nearly continuous optical photometry by the MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars) satellite and partly simultaneous optical spectroscopy from DDO (David Dunlap Observatory) of the binary. The photometric data indicate that the spot coverage of the K dwarf component was less than observed in the past, suggesting that we monitored the star close to a minimum in its activity cycle. Despite the low spot activity, we still detected seven flarelike events whose estimated energies are among the highest ever observed in V471 Tau and whose times of occurrence do not correlate with the binary orbital phase. A detailed O - C analysis of the times of eclipse over the last ~35 years reveals timing variations which could be explained in several ways, including perturbations by an as-yet-undetected third body in the system or by a small orbital eccentricity inducing slow apsidal motion. The DDO spectra result in improved determinations of the K dwarf projected rotation velocity, VK sin i = 92 km s-1, and the orbital amplitude, KK = 150.5 km s-1. The spectra also allow us to measure changes in Hα emission strength and radial velocity variations. We measure a larger Hα velocity amplitude than found previously, suggesting that the source of the emission in V471 Tau was less concentrated around the sub-white dwarf point on the K star than had been observed in previous studies. Based on data from the MOST satellite, a Canadian Space Agency mission jointly operated by Dynacon, Inc., the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, and the University of British Columbia, with the assistance of the University of Vienna, and on data obtained at the David Dunlap Observatory, University of Toronto.

  13. Quasi-periodic oscillations in accreting magnetic white dwarfs. II. The asset of numerical modelling for interpreting observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busschaert, C.; Falize, É.; Michaut, C.; Bonnet-Bidaud, J.-M.; Mouchet, M.

    2015-07-01

    Context. Magnetic cataclysmic variables are close binary systems containing a strongly magnetized white dwarf that accretes matter coming from an M-dwarf companion. The high magnetic field strength leads to the formation of an accretion column instead of an accretion disk. High-energy radiation coming from those objects is emitted from the column close to the white dwarf photosphere at the impact region. Its properties depend on the characteristics of the white dwarf and an accurate accretion column model allows the properties of the binary system to be inferred, such as the white dwarf mass, its magnetic field, and the accretion rate. Aims: We study the temporal and spectral behaviour of the accretion region and use the tools we developed to accurately connect the simulation results to the X-ray and optical astronomical observations. Methods: The radiation hydrodynamics code Hades was adapted to simulate this specific accretion phenomena. Classical approaches were used to model the radiative losses of the two main radiative processes: bremsstrahlung and cyclotron. Synthetic light curves and X-ray spectra were extracted from numerical simulations. A fast Fourier analysis was performed on the simulated light curves. The oscillation frequencies and amplitudes in the X-ray and optical domains are studied to compare those numerical results to observational ones. Different dimensional formulae were developed to complete the numerical evaluations. Results: The complete characterization of the emitting region is described for the two main radiative regimes: when only the bremsstrahlung losses and when both cyclotron and bremsstrahlung losses are considered. The effect of the non-linear cooling instability regime on the accretion column behaviour is analysed. Variation in luminosity on short timescales (~1 s quasi-periodic oscillations) is an expected consequence of this specific dynamic. The importance of secondary shock instability on the quasi-periodic oscillation

  14. White Dwarf Period Tables I. Pulsators with hydrogen-dominated atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bognar, Zs.; Sodor, A.

    2016-09-01

    We aimed at collecting all known white dwarf pulsators with hydrogen-dominated atmospheres and list their main photometric and atmospheric parameters together with their pulsation periods and amplitudes observed at different epochs. For this purpose, we explored the pulsating white dwarf related literature with the systematic use of the SIMBAD and the NASA's Astrophysics Data System (ADS) databases. We summarized our results in four tables listing seven ZZ Ceti stars in detached white dwarf plus main-sequence binaries, seven extremely low-mass DA pulsators, three hot DAVs and 180 ZZ Ceti stars.

  15. Recent Progress Characterizing Convection Using White Dwarf Light Curves from the Whole Earth Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, J. L.; Dalessio, J.; Montgomery, M. H.; WET Team

    2013-01-01

    Convection remains of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainties in our understanding of stars and other natural phenomena. Montgomery (2005b) shows how precise observations of white dwarf light curves are used to observationally determine the depth of the pulsator's convection zone and its sensitivity to changes in temperature. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) and the Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center (DARC) are currently conducting a project to map convection across the white dwarf instability strips. We present preliminary results for the DA BPM 31594 and the DB EC 04207-4748 and show the current status of our project mapping convection across the hydrogen white dwarf instability strip.

  16. When flux standards go wild: white dwarfs in the age of Kepler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, JJ

    2017-01-01

    White dwarfs have been used as flux standards for decades, thanks to their staid simplicity. We have tested their photometric stability by analyzing the light curves of several hundred spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs, through K2 Campaign 8. We find that the vast majority (>90%) are <1% stable in the Kepler bandpass on 0.04-d to 10-d timescales, confirming that these stellar remnants are generally excellent flux standards. From the cases that do exhibit significant (several percent) variability, we caution that binarity and magnetism are two extremely important attributes to rule out when establishing a white dwarf as a photometric standard.

  17. Disk or halo white dwarfs?. Kinematic analysis of high proper motion surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spagna, A.; Carollo, D.; Lattanzi, M. G.; Bucciarelli, B.

    2004-12-01

    We present an alternative method for the kinematic analysis of high proper motion surveys and discuss its application to the survey of Oppenheimer et al. (2001) for the selection of reliable halo white dwarfs (WDs). The local WD space density we estimate is ρWD ≃ 1/2 × 10-5 M⊙ pc-3, which is about an order of magnitude smaller than the value derived in Oppenheimer et al. (2001), and is consistent with the values obtained from recent reanalyses of the same data. Our result, which corresponds to a fraction of 0.1% / 0.2% of the local dark matter, does not support the scenario suggested by microlensing experiments that ancient cool WDs could contribute significantly to the dark halo of the Milky Way.

  18. Li I AND K I SCATTER IN COOL PLEIADES DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    King, Jeremy R.; Schuler, Simon C.; Hobbs, L. M.; Pinsonneault, Marc H. E-mail: sschuler@noao.ed E-mail: pinsono@astronomy.ohio-state.ed

    2010-02-20

    We utilize high-resolution (R {approx} 60,000), high signal-to-noise ratio ({approx}100) spectroscopy of 17 cool Pleiades dwarfs to examine the confounding star-to-star scatter in the lambda6707 Li I line strengths in this young cluster. Our Pleiades, selected for their small projected rotational velocity and modest chromospheric emission, evince substantial scatter in the line strengths of lambda6707 Li I feature that is absent in the lambda7699 K I resonance line. The Li I scatter is not correlated with that in the high-excitation lambda7774 O I feature, and the magnitude of the former is greater than the latter despite the larger temperature sensitivity of the O I feature. These results suggest that systematic errors in line strength measurements due to blending, color (or color-based T{sub eff}) errors, or line formation effects related to an overlying chromosphere are not the principal source of Li I scatter in our stars. There do exist analytic spot models that can produce, via line formation effects, the observed Li scatter without introducing scatter in the K I line strengths or the color-magnitude diagram. However, these models predict factor of >=3 differences in abundances derived from the subordinate lambda6104 and resonance lambda6707 Li I features; we find no difference in the abundances determined from these two features. These analytic spot models also predict CN line strengths significantly larger than we observe in our spectra. The simplest explanation of the Li, K, CN, and photometric data is that there must be a real abundance component to the Pleiades Li dispersion. We suggest that this real abundance component is the manifestation of relic differences in erstwhile pre-main-sequence Li burning caused by effects of surface activity on stellar structure. We discuss observational predictions of these effects, which may be related to other anomalous stellar phenomena.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Philip D.; Jeffery, C. Simon

    2016-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-02-10

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

  3. White Dwarfs in the Metal-Rich Open Cluster NGC 6253

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffery, E. J.; Campos, F.; Romero, A.; Kepler, S. O.

    2017-03-01

    We have obtained 53 images with the g filter and 19 images with the i filter, each with 600-second exposures of the super metal rich open cluster NGC 6253 with the Gemini-South telescope to create deep images of the cluster to observe the cluster white dwarfs for the first time. We will analyze the white dwarf luminosity function to measure the cluster's white dwarf age, search for any anomalous features (as has been seen in the similarly metal rich cluster NGC 6791), and constrain the initial-final mass relation at high metallicities. We present an update on these observations and our program to study the formation of white dwarfs in super high metallicity environments.

  4. The influence of H2O line blanketing on the spectra of cool dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allard, F.; Hauschildt, P. H.; Miller, S.; Tennyson, J.

    1994-01-01

    We present our initial results of model atmosphere calculations for cool M dwarfs using an opacity sampling method and a new list of H2O lines. We obtain significantly improved fits to the infrared spectrum of the M dwarf VB10 when compared to earlier models. H2O is by far the dominant opacity source in cool stars. To illustrate this, we show the Rosseland mean of the total extinction under various assumptions. Our calculations demonstrate the importance of a good treatment of the water opacities in cool stars and the improvements possible by using up-to-date data for the water line absorption.

  5. Update on the asteroseismology of the Kepler field hot pulsating white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Agnes

    2014-01-01

    In 2012, asteroseismic studies of a pulsating helium atmosphere white dwarf discovered in the Kepler field (KIC 862621) revealed that the star was one of the hottest in its class. Data gathered by Kepler also revealed that a number of the pulsation modes observed in the star were stable over time. Such stable modes can be used to measure a rate of cooling for the star. Combined with interior models of the object, such measurement can help constrain plasmon neutrino emission rates. KIC 862621 is in a temperature range where neutrino cooling contributes to more than half its luminosity. We report on the modeling of the object. The original studies were based on the 5 pulsation periods available at the time. Such a small number of modes only allowed partial constraints on the interior structure. Since then, through continuous observations with Kepler up until the end of the mission, 5 additional independent modes were discovered. We present a new, better constrained asteroseismic study of KIC 862621 based on 10 pulsation periods. Ground observations of the object will continue, yielding a measurement of the rate of cooling. We will then have the elements in place to help us constrain plasmon neutrino emission rates.

  6. The DBV White Dwarf EC20058-5234 the continuing story

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Denis J.

    2010-11-01

    The helium atmosphere pulsator, EC 20058-5234 currently defines the hot edge of the DBV instability strip. Its effective temperature, estimated by both spectroscopic and asteroseismic techniques, is consistent with an extremely hot core for which models predict a neutrino cooling flux that exceeds the surface photon flux. The neutrinos are created primarily by the plasmon decay process. Although EC20058 is multiperiodic, it has been shown to be a very stable pulsator with two dominant modes. Contraction of the white dwarf has largely ceased in the DBV instability strip temperature regime, so the decreasing temperature due to cooling should lead to very small increases in the puslation periods provided no other effects such as resonant mode trapping occor. Beginning with a Whole Earth Telescope run in 1997, we have regularly obtained seasonal data on EC 20058 (largely at Mt John Observatory in NZ) in an effort to determine a Pdot for its pulsation modes and relate this to the theoretical neutrino cooling mechanism. This paper reports on progress.

  7. OPTICAL IDENTIFICATION OF He WHITE DWARFS ORBITING FOUR MILLISECOND PULSARS IN THE GLOBULAR CLUSTER 47 TUCANAE

    SciTech Connect

    Cadelano, M.; Pallanca, C.; Ferraro, F. R.; Dalessandro, E.; Lanzoni, B.; Freire, P. C. C.

    2015-10-10

    We used ultra-deep UV observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope to search for optical companions to binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. We identified four new counterparts (to MSPs 47TucQ, 47TucS, 47TucT, and 47TucY) and confirmed those already known (to MSPs 47TucU and 47TucW). In the color–magnitude diagram, the detected companions are located in a region between the main sequence and the CO white dwarf (WD) cooling sequences, consistent with the cooling tracks of He WDs with masses between 0.15 M{sub ⊙} and 0.20 M{sub ⊙}. For each identified companion, mass, cooling age, temperature, and pulsar mass (as a function of the inclination angle) have been derived and discussed. For 47TucU we also found that the past accretion history likely proceeded at a sub-Eddington rate. The companion to the redback 47TucW is confirmed to be a non-degenerate star, with properties particularly similar to those observed for black widow systems. Two stars have been identified within the 2σ astrometric uncertainty from the radio positions of 47TucH and 47TucI, but the available data prevent us from firmly assessing whether they are the true companions of these two MSPs.

  8. White Dwarf WD-1145+17 "Zombie Star" Consumes Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaye, Thomas G.; Gary, Bruce L.; Rappaport, Saul A.; Foote, Jerry, Benni, Paul

    2016-05-01

    It has long been suspected that white dwarfs accrete asteroid debris as evidenced by heavy metals in many white dwarf spectra. WD1145 was initially detected in Kepler data as an exoplanet candidate with a repeating 1.3% dip over the course of the Jul-Sep 2014 observing season. Follow-up ground based observations were conducted with professional telescopes during March through May of 2015, and these showed that the Kepler dip must likely consist of deeper and shorter dips which come and go with an uncertain pattern. It was hypothesized that the observations were due to an asteroid in a 4.5 hour orbit. In anticipation of its return to nighttime visibility, major observatories scheduled time starting in 2016 Feb. A pro/am collaboration was formed in late 2015 for amateur observations prior to the 2016 Feb professional observations in order to determine an ephemeris for fade activity for the purpose of scheduling relatively short observations with professional telescopes. The amateur observations began in 2015 Nov, sooner than requested, and they showed that the fade activity level had exploded, becoming 20 times the level measured by Kepler. As many as 13 different fades per 4.5-hour orbit were measured, and these varied in depth from night to night. The amateur project turned into a full assault on the star with as many as 4 amateur telescopes observing on the same night. Continuous monitoring mysteriously showed that the clouds drifted in phase with respect to the dominant period i.e., they have a shorter period than measured by Kepler; this would imply that the orbiting dust clouds were located inside the orbit of the parent planetesimal. The best model indicated that the parent planetesimal was releasing fragments from inside its Hill sphere at the L1 Lagrange point, causing them to fall into an inner orbit. New astrophysics was described for the first time when the team used the diameter of the planetesimal orbit, and the diameter of the drift fragment orbit, to

  9. 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.

  10. On the Formation of DA White Dwarfs with low Hydrogen Contents: Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

    Systematic photometric and asteroseismological studies in the last decade support the belief that white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood harbor a broad range of hydrogen-layer contents. The reasons behind this spread of hydrogen-layer masses are not understood and usually misunderstood. In this work we present, and review, the different mechanisms that can (or cannot) lead to the formation of white dwarfs with a broad range hydrogen contents.

  11. New population synthesis model Preliminary results for close double white dwarf populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

    An update is presented to the software package SeBa (Portegies Zwart and Verbunt [1], Nelemans et al. [2]) for simulating single star and binary evolution in which new stellar evolution tracks (Hurley et al. [3]) have been implemented. SeBa is applied to study the population of close double white dwarf and the delay time distribution of double white dwarf mergers that may lead to Supernovae Type Ia.

  12. A New Population Synthesis Model: Preliminary Results for Close Double White Dwarf Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    An update is presented to the software package SeBa (Portegies Zwart and Verbunt [1], Nelemans et al. [2]) for simulating single star and binary evolution in which new stellar evolution tracks (Hurley et al. [3]) have been implemented. SeBa is applied to study the population of close double white dwarf and the delay time distribution of double white dwarf mergers that may lead to Supernovae Type Ia.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finley, David S.

    1998-01-01

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

  14. The Gaia DR1 mass-radius relation for white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Gentile-Fusillo, N.; Raddi, R.; Jordan, S.; Besson, C.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Parsons, S. G.; Koester, D.; Marsh, T.; Bohlin, R.; Kalirai, J.; Deustua, S.

    2017-03-01

    The Gaia Data Release 1 (DR1) sample of white dwarf parallaxes is presented, including six directly observed degenerates and 46 white dwarfs in wide binaries. This data set is combined with spectroscopic atmospheric parameters to study the white dwarf mass-radius relationship (MRR). Gaia parallaxes and G magnitudes are used to derive model atmosphere-dependent white dwarf radii, which can then be compared to the predictions of a theoretical MRR. We find a good agreement between Gaia DR1 parallaxes, published effective temperatures (Teff) and surface gravities (log g), and theoretical MRRs. As it was the case for Hipparcos, the precision of the data does not allow for the characterization of hydrogen envelope masses. The uncertainties on the spectroscopic atmospheric parameters are found to dominate the error budget and current error estimates for well-known and bright white dwarfs may be slightly optimistic. With the much larger Gaia DR2 white dwarf sample, it will be possible to explore the MRR over a much wider range of mass, Teff, and spectral types.

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

    PubMed

    Gilfanov, Marat; Bogdán, Akos

    2010-02-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. The connection between period spectra and constraints in white dwarf asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Agnes

    2017-01-01

    White dwarfs are the end product of evolution for around 98% of the stars in our Galaxy. Buried in their interiors are the records of physical processes that take place during earlier stages in the life of the star. Not long after the discovery of the first pulsating white dwarf, the promise of asteroseismology to unveil the interior structure of white dwarfs and therefore help us constrain their prior evolution became apparent. In recent years, a well-established theory of non-radial oscillations, improved white dwarf models, year of expertise built up in the field of white dwarf asteroseismic fitting, and computing power have culminated in the asteroseismology finally delivering what it promised: a detailed map of the interior structure of white dwarfs. As always in science, new results raise new questions. We perform a number of numerical experiments to better understand the connection between a given set of periods varying in the number of periods and in the set of radial overtones and the quality of the constraints on interior structure one obtains from fitting these periods.

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

    PubMed

    Charpinet, S; Fontaine, G; Brassard, P

    2009-09-24

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Pulsation properties of DB white dwarfs: A preliminary analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Winget, D.E.; Van Horn, H.M.; Tassoul, M.; Hansen, C.J.; Fontaine, G.

    1983-05-01

    We report preliminary results of a numerical investigation of the nonradial g-mode pulsation properties of evolutionary DB white dwarf models. We have solved the fully nonadiabatic equations for modes corresponding to spherical harmonic index l = 1 through 3. For each of the sequences of models we have examined (M/sub asterisk/ = 0.6 M/sub sun/; and helium layer masses of 10/sup -6/ M/sub asterisk/ and 10/sup -4/ M/sub asterisk/), we find a nonradial g-mode instability strip about 3000 K wide. For models with standard ML1 convection, this strip lies in the effective temperature range 19,000 K> or approx. =T/sub e/> or approx. =16,000 K. The boundaries of the instability strip are extremely sensitive to the assumed efficiency of convection, however, and for sequences with more efficient (ML3) convection, we find the instability strip to be in the range 29,000 K> or approx. =T/sub e/> or approx. = 26,000 K. Extrapolation of our calculations to 0.4 M/sub sun/ and 0.9 M/sub sun/ indicates that that the instability strip boundaries are insensitive to uncertainties in the total stellar mass. The most unstable modes have e-folding times of the order of days.

  2. High-energy Neutrino Emission from White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Di; Mészáros, Peter; Murase, Kohta; Dai, Zi-Gao

    2016-11-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs is expected to result in a central fast-rotating core surrounded by a debris disk, in which magnetorotational instabilities give rise to a hot magnetized corona and a magnetized outflow. The dissipation of magnetic energy via reconnection could lead to the acceleration of cosmic-rays (CRs) in the expanding material, which would result in high energy neutrinos. We discuss the possibility of using these neutrino signals as probes of the outflow dynamics, magnetic energy dissipation rate, and CR acceleration efficiency. Importantly, the accompanying high-energy gamma-rays are absorbed within these sources because of the large optical depth, so these neutrino sources can be regarded as hidden cosmic-ray accelerators that are consistent with the non-detection of gamma-rays with Fermi-LAT. While the CR generation rate is highly uncertain, if it reaches ∼ {10}45 {erg} {{Mpc}}-3 {{yr}}-1, the diffuse neutrino flux could contribute a substantial fraction of the IceCube observations. We also evaluate the prospect of observing individual merger events, which provides a means for testing such sources in the future.

  3. Hot White Dwarf Donors in Ultracompact X-Ray Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bildsten, Lars

    2002-09-01

    The discovery of two accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars in binaries with ~43 minute orbital periods allows for a new probe of the donor's structure. For XTE J1751-305, only a hot white dwarf (WD) can fill the Roche lobe. A cold He WD is a possible solution for XTE J0929-314, although I will show that evolutionary arguments make a hot WD more likely. In addition to being larger than the T=0 models, these finite entropy, low-mass (Mc<0.03 Msolar) WDs have a minimum mass for a fixed core temperature. If they remain hot as they lose mass and expand, they can ``evaporate'' to leave an isolated millisecond radio pulsar. They also adiabatically expand upon mass loss at a rate faster than the growth of the Roche radius if the angular momentum deposited in the disk is not returned to the donor. If the timescale of the resulting runaway mass transfer is shorter than the viscous timescale in the outer disk, then the mass transfer instability of Ruderman & Shaham for He WDs would be realized. However, my estimates of these timescales still make the instability unlikely for adiabatic responses. I close by noting the possible impact of finite temperature WDs on our understanding of AM CVn binaries.

  4. Radio Transients from Accretion-induced Collapse of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriya, Takashi J.

    2016-10-01

    We investigate observational properties of accretion-induced collapse (AIC) of white dwarfs (WDs) in radio frequencies. If AIC is triggered by accretion from a companion star, a dense circumstellar medium can be formed around the progenitor system. Then, the ejecta from AIC collide with the dense circumstellar medium, creating a strong shock. The strong shock can produce synchrotron emission that can be observed in radio frequencies. Even if AIC occurs as a result of WD mergers, we argue that AIC may cause fast radio bursts (FRBs) if a certain condition is satisfied. If AIC forms neutron stars (NSs) that are so massive that rotation is required to support themselves (i.e., supramassive NSs), the supramassive NSs may immediately lose their rotational energy by the r-mode instability and collapse to black holes. If the collapsing supramassive NSs are strongly magnetized, they may emit FRBs, as previously proposed. The AIC radio transients from single-degenerate systems may be detected in future radio transient surveys like the Very Large Array Sky Survey or the Square Kilometer Array transient survey. Because AIC has been proposed as a source of gravitational waves (GWs), GWs from AIC may be accompanied by radio-bright transients that can be used to confirm the AIC origin of observed GWs.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, David L.

    2010-07-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-10

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

  7. TURBULENT MIXING ON HELIUM-ACCRETING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2015-03-10

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

  8. EVERY INTERACTING DOUBLE WHITE DWARF BINARY MAY MERGE

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.

    2015-05-20

    Interacting double white dwarf (WD) binaries can give rise to a wide variety of astrophysical outcomes ranging from faint thermonuclear and Type Ia supernovae to the formation of neutron stars and stably accreting AM Canum Venaticorum systems. One key factor affecting the final outcome is whether mass transfer remains dynamically stable or instead diverges, leading to the tidal disruption of the donor and the merger of the binary. It is typically thought that for low ratios of the donor mass to the accretor mass, mass transfer remains stable, especially if accretion occurs via a disk. In this Letter, we examine low mass ratio double WD binaries and find that the initial phase of hydrogen-rich mass transfer leads to a classical nova-like outburst on the accretor. Dynamical friction within the expanding nova shell shrinks the orbit and causes the mass transfer rate to increase dramatically above the accretor's Eddington limit, possibly resulting in a binary merger. If the binary survives the first hydrogen-rich nova outbursts, dynamical friction within the subsequent helium-powered nova shells pushes the system even more strongly toward merger. While further calculations are necessary to confirm this outcome for the entire range of binaries previously thought to be dynamically stable, it appears likely that most, if not all, interacting double WD binaries will merge during the course of their evolution.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Falcon, Ross Edward; Rochau, Gregory A.; Bailey, James E.; ...

    2015-06-18

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

  10. HST Observations of the Pulsating White Dwarf GD 358

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanheira, B. G.; Kepler, S. O.; Nitta, A.; Winget, D. E.; Koester, D.

    2005-07-01

    We used time-resolved ultraviolet spectroscopy obtained with the FOS and STIS spectrographs of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), together with archival IUE observations to measure the effective temperature (Teff}), surface gravity (log g) and distance (d) of the pulsating DB white dwarf GD 358 with unprecedented accuracy, and to show the temperature did not change during the 1996 sforzando, when the star changed basically to a single mode pulsator. We also measured, for the first time for a DBV, the spherical harmonic degree (ℓ) for two modes, with k=8 and k=9, which was only possible because the stellar light curve was dominated by a single mode in 1996. In addition, we constrain ℓ to be 1 or 2 for the main pulsations in the normal multiperiodic state. The spectra are best fit for Teff}=24 100± 400 K, log g=7.91±0.26 and d=42.7±2.5 pc. The ultraviolet spectroscopic distance is in better agreement with the seismological value, than the one derived by parallax.

  11. Laboratory Measurements of White Dwarf Photospheric Spectral Lines: Hβ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcon, Ross E.; Rochau, G. A.; Bailey, J. E.; Gomez, T. A.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Nagayama, T.

    2015-06-01

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

  12. Multi-Messenger Astronomy: White Dwarf Binaries, LISA and GAIA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno, Michael; Breivik, Katelyn; Larson, Shane L.

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of gravitational waves has ushered in a new era in astronomy. The low-frequency band covered by the future LISA detector provides unprecedented opportunities for multi-messenger astronomy. With the Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics (GAIA) mission, we expect to discover about 1,000 eclipsing binary systems composed of a WD and a main sequence star - a sizeable increase from the approximately 34 currently known binaries of this type. In advance of the first GAIA data release and the launch of LISA within the next decade, we used the Binary Stellar Evolution (BSE) code simulate the evolution of White Dwarf Binaries (WDB) in a fixed galaxy population of about 196,000 sources. Our goal is to assess the detectability of a WDB by LISA and GAIA using the parameters from our population synthesis, we calculate GW strength h, and apparent GAIA magnitude G. We can then use a scale factor to make a prediction of how many multi- messenger sources we expect to be detectable by both LISA and GAIA in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way. We create binaries 10 times to ensure randomness in distance assignment and average our results. We then determined whether or not astronomical chirp is the difference between the total chirp and the GW chirp. With Astronomical chirp and simulations of mass transfer and tides, we can gather more information about the internal astrophysics of stars in ultra-compact binary systems.

  13. Every Interacting Double White Dwarf Binary May Merge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Ken J.

    2015-05-01

    Interacting double white dwarf (WD) binaries can give rise to a wide variety of astrophysical outcomes ranging from faint thermonuclear and Type Ia supernovae to the formation of neutron stars and stably accreting AM Canum Venaticorum systems. One key factor affecting the final outcome is whether mass transfer remains dynamically stable or instead diverges, leading to the tidal disruption of the donor and the merger of the binary. It is typically thought that for low ratios of the donor mass to the accretor mass, mass transfer remains stable, especially if accretion occurs via a disk. In this Letter, we examine low mass ratio double WD binaries and find that the initial phase of hydrogen-rich mass transfer leads to a classical nova-like outburst on the accretor. Dynamical friction within the expanding nova shell shrinks the orbit and causes the mass transfer rate to increase dramatically above the accretor's Eddington limit, possibly resulting in a binary merger. If the binary survives the first hydrogen-rich nova outbursts, dynamical friction within the subsequent helium-powered nova shells pushes the system even more strongly toward merger. While further calculations are necessary to confirm this outcome for the entire range of binaries previously thought to be dynamically stable, it appears likely that most, if not all, interacting double WD binaries will merge during the course of their evolution.

  14. X-ray and ultraviolet radiation from accreting white dwarfs. IV - Two-temperature treatment with electron thermal conduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, J. N.; Durisen, R. H.; Lamb, D. Q.; Weast, G. J.

    1987-01-01

    Results are reported from two-temperature calculations of the structures and X-ray spectra of radiation shocks generated by accretion onto nonmagnetic white dwarfs. The approach was necessitated by the domination of bremsstrahlung in the emission region by Compton cooling. Features of the shock model, which includes steady, spherical infall of fully ionized plasma and dominance of the stand-off shock by collisional processes, are summarized. A maximum hard X-ray temperature of about 50 keV and a maximum hard X-ray luminosity of 2 x 10 to the 36th ergs/sec were obtained. The results prove that the bulk of accretion energy cannot be transported to the star by electron thermal conduction, provided that bremsstrahlung cooling is dominant over cyclotron cooling.

  15. WHITE-LIGHT FLARES ON COOL STARS IN THE KEPLER QUARTER 1 DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Jenkins, Jon; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David; Caldwell, Doug; Bryson, Steve; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Dupree, Andrea K.; Latham, David W.; Meibom, Soeren; Howell, Steve; Brown, Timothy M.

    2011-02-15

    We present the results of a search for white-light flares on {approx}23,000 cool dwarfs in the Kepler Quarter 1 long cadence data. We have identified 373 flaring stars, some of which flare multiple times during the observation period. We calculate relative flare energies, flare rates, and durations and compare these with the quiescent photometric variability of our sample. We find that M dwarfs tend to flare more frequently but for shorter durations than K dwarfs and that they emit more energy relative to their quiescent luminosity in a given flare than K dwarfs. Stars that are more photometrically variable in quiescence tend to emit relatively more energy during flares, but variability is only weakly correlated with flare frequency. We estimate distances for our sample of flare stars and find that the flaring fraction agrees well with other observations of flare statistics for stars within 300 pc above the Galactic plane. These observations provide a more rounded view of stellar flares by sampling stars that have not been pre-selected by their activity, and are informative for understanding the influence of these flares on planetary habitability.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-05-01

    Observations are reported which refine the binary ephemeris of the Feige 24 system, which contains a peculiar hot DA white dwarf and an M dwarf with an atmosphere illuminated by extreme ultraviolet radiation from the white dwarf. With the new ephemeris and a set of IUE high-dispersion spectra, showing phase-dependent redshifted C IV, N V, and Si IV resonance lines, the orbital velocity, and hence the mass (0.54 + or {minus} 0.20 solar masses), and the gravitational redshift of the white dwarf (14.1 + or {minus} 5.2 km/s) are determined independently. It is shown that the measured Einstein redshift is consistent with an estimated radius for the white dwarf obtained from a model atmosphere solid angle and a parallax measurement. This radius is twice the Hamada-Salpeter radius for the given mass and offers a prospect to investigate the presence of a massive hydrogen envelope in that white dwarf star. 27 refs.

  17. White Dwarf Pollution by Disk Accretion of Tidally Disrupted Rocky Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Wanda; Desch, Steven

    2017-01-01

    Approximately 30% of cool white dwarfs (WDs) show heavy elements which should otherwise sediment out of their atmospheres (Koester et al. 2014; Zuckerman et al. 2010). The prevailing model for the pollution of white dwarf photospheres invokes the formation of a solid disk upon a rocky body falling within the WD Roche radius, which is then transported inward by Poynting-Robertson drag (e.g., Metzger et al. 2012, Rafikov 2011). At high temperatures close to the WD, solid particles sublimate to gas that accretes onto the WD and viscously spreads outward. This concept is supported by observations of Ca II emission from WD disks (e.g., Manser et al. 2016). The model by Metzger et al. (2012) successfully explains the range in inferred mass accretion rates (10^10 g/s, Farihi et al. 2010), provided the gaseous disks viscously spread at rates consistent with a partially suppressed magnetorotational instability (MRI). However, Metzger et al. (2012) do not consider disk chemistry or dust-to-gas mixing in their model, and do not calculate the degree of ionization to explore the extent of MRI in WD disks.We present a 1-D model of a gaseous WD disk accretion, to assess the extent of the magnetorotational instability in WD disks. The disk composition is considered with changes in sublimation rate by pressure. The degree of ionization is determined by considering UV, X-ray, and high-temperature ionization. We calculate the rate of viscous spreading and accretion rates of metals onto WDs.

  18. THE CIRCUMSTELLAR ENVIRONMENT OF R CORONAE BOREALIS: WHITE DWARF MERGER OR FINAL-HELIUM-SHELL FLASH?

    SciTech Connect

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Andrews, J. E.; Sugerman, Ben E. K.; Adam Stanford, S.; Whitney, B. A.; Honor, J.; Babler, B.; Barlow, M. J.; Gordon, K. D.; Bond, Howard E.; Matsuura, M.; Geballe, T. R.; De Marco, O.; Lawson, W. A.; Sibthorpe, B.; Olofsson, G.; Polehampton, E.; Gomez, H. L.; Hargrave, P. C.; Ivison, R. J. E-mail: jandrews@phys.lsu.edu E-mail: stanford@physics.ucdavis.edu E-mail: jhonor@astro.wisc.edu E-mail: mjb@star.ucl.ac.uk; and others

    2011-12-10

    In 2007, R Coronae Borealis (R CrB) went into a historically deep and long decline. In this state, the dust acts like a natural coronagraph at visible wavelengths, allowing faint nebulosity around the star to be seen. Imaging has been obtained from 0.5 to 500 {mu}m with Gemini/GMOS, Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2, Spitzer/MIPS, and Herschel/SPIRE. Several of the structures around R CrB are cometary globules caused by wind from the star streaming past dense blobs. The estimated dust mass of the knots is consistent with their being responsible for the R CrB declines if they form along the line of sight to the star. In addition, there is a large diffuse shell extending up to 4 pc away from the star containing cool 25 K dust that is detected all the way out to 500 {mu}m. The spectral energy distribution of R CrB can be well fitted by a 150 AU disk surrounded by a very large diffuse envelope which corresponds to the size of the observed nebulosity. The total masses of the disk and envelope are 10{sup -4} and 2 M{sub Sun }, respectively, assuming a gas-to-dust ratio of 100. The evidence pointing toward a white dwarf merger or a final-helium-shell flash origin for R CrB is contradictory. The shell and the cometary knots are consistent with a fossil planetary nebula. Along with the fact that R CrB shows significant lithium in its atmosphere, this supports the final-helium-shell flash. However, the relatively high inferred mass of R CrB and its high fluorine abundance support a white dwarf merger.

  19. A PARAMETER-SPACE STUDY OF CARBON-OXYGEN WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Chenchong; Van Kerkwijk, Marten H.; Chang, Philip; Wadsley, James

    2013-04-20

    The merger of two carbon-oxygen white dwarfs can lead to either a spectacular transient, stable nuclear burning or a massive, rapidly rotating white dwarf. Simulations of mergers have shown that the outcome strongly depends on whether the white dwarfs are similar or dissimilar in mass. In the similar-mass case, both white dwarfs merge fully and the remnant is hot throughout, while in the dissimilar case, the more massive, denser white dwarf remains cold and essentially intact, with the disrupted lower mass one wrapped around it in a hot envelope and disk. In order to determine what constitutes ''similar in mass'' and more generally how the properties of the merger remnant depend on the input masses, we simulated unsynchronized carbon-oxygen white dwarf mergers for a large range of masses using smoothed-particle hydrodynamics. We find that the structure of the merger remnant varies smoothly as a function of the ratio of the central densities of the two white dwarfs. A density ratio of 0.6 approximately separates similar and dissimilar-mass mergers. Confirming previous work, we find that the temperatures of most merger remnants are not high enough to immediately ignite carbon fusion. During subsequent viscous evolution, however, the interior will likely be compressed and heated as the disk accretes and the remnant spins down. We find from simple estimates that this evolution can lead to ignition for many remnants. For similar-mass mergers, this would likely occur under sufficiently degenerate conditions that a thermonuclear runaway would ensue.

  20. TOWARD A SPECTROSCOPIC CENSUS OF WHITE DWARFS WITHIN 40 pc OF THE SUN

    SciTech Connect

    Limoges, M.-M.; Bergeron, P.; Lepine, S. E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.ca

    2013-05-15

    We present the preliminary results of a survey aimed at significantly increasing the range and completeness of the local census of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs. The current census of nearby white dwarfs is reasonably complete only to about 20 pc of the Sun, a volume that includes around 130 white dwarfs, a sample too small for detailed statistical analyses. This census is largely based on follow-up investigations of stars with very large proper motions. We describe here the basis of a method that will lead to a catalog of white dwarfs within 40 pc of the Sun and north of the celestial equator, thus increasing by a factor of eight the extent of the northern sky census. White dwarf candidates are identified from the SUPERBLINK proper motion database, allowing us to investigate stars down to a proper motion limit {mu} > 40 mas yr{sup -1}, while minimizing the kinematic bias for nearby objects. The selection criteria and distance estimates are based on a combination of color-magnitude and reduced proper motion diagrams. Our follow-up spectroscopic observation campaign has so far uncovered 193 new white dwarfs, among which we identify 127 DA (including 9 DA+dM and 4 magnetic), 1 DB, 56 DC, 3 DQ, and 6 DZ stars. We perform a spectroscopic analysis on a subsample of 84 DAs, and provide their atmospheric parameters. In particular, we identify 11 new white dwarfs with spectroscopic distances within 25 pc of the Sun, including five candidates to the D < 20 pc subset.

  1. SDSS J1152+0248: an eclipsing double white dwarf from the Kepler K2 campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallakoun, N.; Maoz, D.; Kilic, M.; Mazeh, T.; Gianninas, A.; Agol, E.; Bell, K. J.; Bloemen, S.; Brown, W. R.; Debes, J.; Faigler, S.; Kull, I.; Kupfer, T.; Loeb, A.; Morris, B. M.; Mullally, F.

    2016-05-01

    We report the discovery of the sixth known eclipsing double white dwarf (WD) system, SDSS J1152+0248, with a 2.3968 ± 0.0003 h orbital period, in data from the Kepler Mission's K2 continuation. Analysing and modelling the K2 data together with ground-based fast photometry, spectroscopy, and radial-velocity measurements, we determine that the primary is a DA-type WD with mass M1 = 0.47 ± 0.11 M⊙, radius R1 = 0.0197 ± 0.0035 R⊙, and cooling age t1 = 52 ± 36 Myr. No lines are detected, to within our sensitivity, from the secondary WD, but it is likely also of type DA. Its central surface brightness, as measured from the secondary eclipse, is 0.31 of the primary's surface brightness. Its mass, radius, and cooling age, respectively, are M2 = 0.44 ± 0.09 M⊙, R_2=0.0223^{+0.0064}_{-0.0050} R_{⊙}, and t2 = 230 ± 100 Myr. SDSS J1152+0248 is a near twin of the double-lined eclipsing WD system CSS 41177.

  2. The shortest period detached binary white dwarf system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, S. J.; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Andrews, J.; Kleinman, S. J.; Winget, K. I.; Winget, D. E.; Hermes, J. J.

    2011-05-01

    We identify SDSS J010657.39-100003.3 (hereafter J0106-1000) as the shortest period detached binary white dwarf (WD) system currently known. We targeted J0106-1000 as part of our radial velocity programme to search for companions around known extremely low-mass (ELM; ˜0.2 M⊙) WDs using the 6.5-m Multiple Mirror Telescope. We detect peak-to-peak radial velocity variations of 740 km s-1 with an orbital period of 39.1 min. The mass function and optical photometry rule out a main-sequence star companion. Follow-up high-speed photometric observations obtained at the McDonald 2.1-m telescope reveal ellipsoidal variations from the distorted primary but no eclipses. This is the first example of a tidally distorted WD. Modelling the light curve, we constrain the inclination angle of the system to be 67°± 13°. J0106-1000 contains a pair of WDs (0.17 M⊙ primary + 0.43 M⊙ invisible secondary) at a separation of 0.32 R⊙. The two WDs will merge in 37 Myr and most likely form a core He-burning single subdwarf star. J0106-1000 is the shortest time-scale merger system currently known. The gravitational wave strain from J0106-1000 is at the detection limit of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). However, accurate ephemeris and orbital period measurements may enable LISA to detect J0106-1000 above the Galactic background noise. Based on observations obtained at the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.

  3. SGRs and AXPs as Rotation-Powered Massive White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malheiro, Manuel; Rueda, Jorge A.; Ruffini, Remo

    2012-06-01

    SGR 0418+5729 is a ``Rosetta Stone'' for deciphering the energy source of Soft Gamma Ray Repeaters (SGRs) and Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs). We present a model based on canonical physics and astrophysics for SGRs and AXPs powered by massive highly magnetized rotating white dwarfs (WDs), in total analogy with pulsars powered by rotating neutron stars (NSs). We predict for SGR 0418+5729 a lower limit for its spin-down rate, dot{P} ≥ LX P3 /(4π2I) = 1.18 × 10-16, where I is the moment of inertia of the WD. We show for SGRs and AXPs that the occurrence of the glitch and the gain of rotational energy is due to the release of gravitational energy associated to the contraction and decrease of the moment of inertia of the WDs. The steady emission and the outburst following the glitch are explained by the loss of rotational energy of the WDs, in view of the much larger moment of inertia of the WDs, as compared to that of NSs and/or quark stars. There is no need here to invoke the unorthodox concept of magnetic energy release due to the decay of overcritical magnetic fields, as assumed in the magnetar model. A new astrophysical scenario for the SGRs and AXPs associated to Supernova remnants is presented. The observational campaigns of the X-ray Japanese satellite Suzaku on AE Aquarii and the corresponding theoretical works by Japanese groups and recent results of the Hubble Space Telescope, give crucial information for our theoretical model. Follow-on missions of Hubble Telescope and VLT are highly recommended to give further observational evidence of this most fundamental issue of relativistic astrophysics: the identification of the true SGRs/AXPs energy source.

  4. SGRs and AXPs as rotation powered massive white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueda Hernandez, Jorge Armando

    2012-07-01

    SGR 0418+5729 is a ``Rosetta Stone'' for deciphering the energy source of Soft Gamma Ray Repeaters (SGRs) and Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs). We show a model based on canonical physics and astrophysics for SGRs and AXPs powered by massive highly magnetized rotating white dwarfs (WDs), in total analogy with pulsars powered by rotating neutron stars (NSs). We predict for SGR 0418+5729 a lower limit for its spin-down rate, \\dot{P} ≥ L_X P^3/(4π^2 I)=1.18× 10^{-16} where I is the moment of inertia of the WD. We show for SGRs and AXPs that, the occurrence of the glitch and the gain of rotational energy, is due to the release of gravitational energy associated to the contraction and decrease of the moment of inertia of the WDs. The steady emission and the outburst following the glitch are explained by the loss of rotational energy of the Wds, in view of the much larger moment of inertia of the WDs, as compared to the one of NSs and/or quark stars. There is no need here to invoke the unorthodox concept of magnetic energy release due to decay of overcritical magnetic fields, as assumed in the magnetar model. A new astrophysical scenario for the SGRs and AXPs associated to Supernova remnants is presented. The observational campaigns of the X-ray Japanese satellite Suzaku on AE Aquarii and the corresponding theoretical works by Japanese groups and recent results of the Hubble Space Telescope, give crucial information for our theoretical model. Follow-on missions of Hubble Telescope and VLT are highly recommended to give further observational evidence of this most fundamental issue of relativistic astrophysics: the identification of the true SGRs/AXPs energy source.

  5. LABORATORY MEASUREMENTS OF WHITE DWARF PHOTOSPHERIC SPECTRAL LINES: Hβ

    SciTech Connect

    Falcon, Ross E.; Gomez, T. A.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Rochau, G. A.; Bailey, J. E.; Nagayama, T. E-mail: dew@astro.as.utexas.edu E-mail: garocha@sandia.gov E-mail: gomezt@astro.as.utexas.edu

    2015-06-20

    We spectroscopically measure multiple hydrogen Balmer line profiles from laboratory plasmas to investigate the theoretical line profiles used in white dwarf (WD) atmosphere models. X-ray radiation produced at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories initiates plasma formation in a hydrogen-filled gas cell, replicating WD photospheric conditions. Here we present time-resolved measurements of Hβ and fit this line using different theoretical line profiles to diagnose electron density, n{sub e}, and n = 2 level population, n{sub 2}. Aided by synthetic tests, we characterize the validity of our diagnostic method for this experimental platform. During a single experiment, we infer a continuous range of electron densities increasing from n{sub e} ∼ 4 to ∼30 × 10{sup 16} cm{sup −3} throughout a 120-ns evolution of our plasma. Also, we observe n{sub 2} to be initially elevated with respect to local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE); it then equilibrates within ∼55 ns to become consistent with LTE. This supports our electron-temperature determination of T{sub e} ∼ 1.3 eV (∼15,000 K) after this time. At n{sub e} ≳ 10{sup 17} cm{sup −3}, we find that computer-simulation-based line-profile calculations provide better fits (lower reduced χ{sup 2}) than the line profiles currently used in the WD astronomy community. The inferred conditions, however, are in good quantitative agreement. This work establishes an experimental foundation for the future investigation of relative shapes and strengths between different hydrogen Balmer lines.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-18

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

  7. WD0837+185: THE FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF AN EXTREME MASS-RATIO WHITE-DWARF-BROWN-DWARF BINARY IN PRAESEPE

    SciTech Connect

    Casewell, S. L.; Burleigh, M. R.; Wynn, G. A.; Alexander, R. D.; Lawrie, K. A.; Jameson, R. F.; Napiwotzki, R.; Dobbie, P. D.; Hodgkin, S. T.

    2012-11-10

    There is a striking and unexplained dearth of brown dwarf companions in close orbits (<3 AU) around stars more massive than the Sun, in stark contrast to the frequency of stellar and planetary companions. Although rare and relatively short-lived, these systems leave detectable evolutionary end points in the form of white-dwarf-brown-dwarf binaries and these remnants can offer unique insights into the births and deaths of their parent systems. We present the discovery of a close (orbital separation {approx}0.006 AU) substellar companion to a massive white dwarf member of the Praesepe star cluster. Using the cluster age and the mass of the white dwarf, we constrain the mass of the white dwarf progenitor star to lie in the range 3.5-3.7 M{sub Sun} (B9). The high mass of the white dwarf means the substellar companion must have been engulfed by the B star's envelope while it was on the late asymptotic giant branch (AGB). Hence, the initial separation of the system was {approx}2 AU, with common envelope evolution reducing the separation to its current value. The initial and final orbital separations allow us to constrain the combination of the common envelope efficiency ({alpha}) and binding energy parameters ({lambda}) for the AGB star to {alpha}{lambda} {approx} 3. We examine the various formation scenarios and conclude that the substellar object was most likely captured by the white dwarf progenitor early in the life of the cluster, rather than forming in situ.

  8. FINGERING CONVECTION AND CLOUDLESS MODELS FOR COOL BROWN DWARF ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Mourier, P.; Baraffe, I.; Chabrier, G.; Drummond, B.; Homeier, D.; Venot, O. E-mail: pascal.tremblin@cea.fr

    2015-05-01

    This work aims to improve the current understanding of the atmospheres of brown dwarfs, especially cold ones with spectral types T and Y, whose modeling is a current challenge. Silicate and iron clouds are believed to disappear at the photosphere at the L/T transition, but cloudless models fail to reproduce correctly the spectra of T dwarfs, advocating for the addition of more physics, e.g., other types of clouds or internal energy transport mechanisms. We use a one-dimensional radiative/convective equilibrium code ATMO to investigate this issue. This code includes both equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium chemistry and solves consistently the PT structure. Included opacity sources are H{sub 2}-H{sub 2}, H{sub 2}-He, H{sub 2}O, CO, CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4}, NH{sub 3}, K, Na, and TiO, VO if they are present in the atmosphere. We show that the spectra of Y dwarfs can be accurately reproduced with a cloudless model if vertical mixing and NH{sub 3} quenching are taken into account. T dwarf spectra still have some reddening in, e.g., J–H, compared to cloudless models. This reddening can be reproduced by slightly reducing the temperature gradient in the atmosphere. We propose that this reduction of the stabilizing temperature gradient in these layers, leading to cooler structures, is due to the onset of fingering convection, triggered by the destabilizing impact of condensation of very thin dust.

  9. Pulsating low-mass white dwarfs in the frame of new evolutionary sequences. I. Adiabatic properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-01

    Context. Many low-mass white dwarfs with masses M∗/M⊙ ≲ 0.45, including the so-called extremely low-mass white dwarfs (M∗/M⊙ ≲ 0.20 - 0.25), have recently been discovered in the field of our Galaxy through dedicated photometric surveys. The subsequent discovery of pulsations in some of them has opened the unprecedented opportunity of probing the internal structure of these ancient stars. Aims: We present a detailed adiabatic pulsational study of these stars based on full evolutionary sequences derived from binary star evolution computations. The main aim of this study is to provide a detailed theoretical basis of reference for interpreting present and future observations of variable low-mass white dwarfs. Methods: Our pulsational analysis is based on a new set of He-core white-dwarf models with masses ranging from 0.1554 to 0.4352 M⊙ derived by computing the non-conservative evolution of a binary system consisting of an initially 1 M⊙ ZAMS star and a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star. We computed adiabatic radial (ℓ = 0) and non-radial (ℓ = 1,2) p and g modes to assess the dependence of the pulsational properties of these objects on stellar parameters such as the stellar mass and the effective temperature, as well as the effects of element diffusion. Results: We found that for white dwarf models with masses below ~ 0.18 M⊙, g modes mainly probe the core regions and p modes the envelope, therefore pulsations offer the opportunity of constraining both the core and envelope chemical structure of these stars via asteroseismology. For models with M∗ ≳ 0.18 M⊙, on the other hand, g modes are very sensitive to the He/H compositional gradient and therefore can be used as a diagnostic tool for constraining the H envelope thickness. Because both types of objects have not only very distinct evolutionary histories (according to whether the progenitor stars have experienced CNO-flashes or not), but also have strongly different pulsation properties, we propose to

  10. Relativistically-Compressed Exploding White-Dwarf Model for Sgr A East

    SciTech Connect

    Dearborn, D P; Wilson, J R; Mathews, G J

    2004-11-10

    Recently, a new mechanism for Type I supernovae has been proposed whereby relativistic terms enhance the self gravity of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf as it passes near a black hole. It was suggested but not confirmed that this relativistic compression can cause the central density to exceed the threshold for pycnonuclear reactions so that a thermonuclear runaway ensues. Here, we present numerical studies of such relativistically induced explosions of white dwarfs and red giant cores of various mass (particularly a typical 0.6 M{sub {circle_dot}} white dwarf) as they pass near a 3.7 x 10{sup 6} black hole like Sgr A* in the Galactic center. We confirm by hydrodynamic thermonuclear burn simulations in three spatial dimensions that white dwarfs and red giant cores do indeed ignite and explode. In fact they seem to explode even farther from the black hole than earlier estimates due to increased internal temperatures from adiabatic heating as the stars are compressed. We find that the compression is sufficiently fast that red giant cores, or young (< 10{sup 8} yr) white dwarfs can even be heated to thermonuclear rather than pychnonuclear ignition. We propose that such an event might explain the observed ''mixed-morphology'' Sgr A East supernova remnant in the Galactic center.

  11. A Spectroscopic Search for Chemically Stratified White Dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manseau, P. M.; Bergeron, P.; Green, E. M.

    2016-12-01

    We present a detailed search and analysis of chemically stratified hybrid (traces of helium and hydrogen) white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Only one stratified white dwarf, PG 1305-017, was known prior to this analysis. The main objective is to confirm the existence of several new stratified objects. We first describe our new generation of stratified model atmospheres, where a thin hydrogen layer floats in diffusive equilibrium on top of a more massive helium layer. We then present the results of our search for hot ({T}{eff} > 30,000 K) white dwarfs with a hybrid spectral type among the ˜38,000 white dwarf spectra listed in the SDSS. A total of 51 spectra were retained in our final sample, which we analyze using spectroscopic fits to both chemically homogeneous and stratified model atmospheres. We identify 14 new stratified white dwarfs in the SDSS sample. From these results, we draw several conclusions regarding the physical processes that might explain the presence of helium in the atmospheres of all the stars in our sample.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-10

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

  13. White Dwarfs:. Contributors and Tracers of the Galactic Dark-Matter Halo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koopmans, L. V. E.; Blandford, R. D.

    2002-03-01

    We examine the claim by Oppenheimer et al. (2001) that the local halo density of white dwarfs is an order of magnitude higher than previously thought. As it stands, the observational data support the presence of a kinematically distinct population of halo white dwarfs at the >99% confidence level. A maximum-likelihood analysis gives a radial velocity dispersion of σ hU = 150+80-40\\ km s-1 and an asymmetric drift of ν ha = 176+102-80\\ km s-1, for a Schwarzschild velocity distribution function with σU:σV:σW = 1:2/3:1/2. Halo white dwarfs have a local number density of 1.1+2.1-0.7 × 10-4\\ pc-3, which amounts to 0.8+1.6-0.5 per cent of the nominal local dark-matter halo density and is 5.0+9.5-3.2 times (90% C.L.) higher and thus only marginally in agreement with previous estimates. We discuss several direct consequences of this white-dwarf population (e.g. microlensing) and postulate a potential mechanism to eject young white dwarfs from the disc to the halo, through the orbital instabilities in triple or multiple stellar systems.

  14. A Study of Short-term White Dwarf Variability Using gPhoton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tucker, Michael; Fleming, Scott W.; Caton, Daniel B.; Million, Chase; Shiao, Bernie

    2016-01-01

    The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) was a UV space telescope that operated from 2003 until 2013. A new project at MAST, gPhoton takes advantage of the microchannel-plate photon detector aboard GALEX, which catalogued and time-stamped every photon event by putting the one trillion photon events into a database. Utilizing associated open-source software, gPhoton can create coadd images, movies and light curves at user-defined spatial and temporal scales. As part of early science investigations with gPhoton, 364 white dwarf stars from the McCook-Sion catalog with ample GALEX coverage were photometrically inspected for inter-visit variations during an REU program at STScI. Out of the 364 white dwarfs that were studied, three previously documented pulsating white dwarf stars were confirmed in the UV and (at least) three new pulsating white dwarf stars were discovered. Follow-up observations are conducted at Appalachian State University using optical telescopes at the Dark Sky Observatory. We compare optical and UV light curves of these new white dwarf pulsators and show a selection of other variables found with gPhoton.

  15. The Initial-Final Mass Relation: Analysis of White Dwarfs in the M7 Open Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cummings, Jeff D.; Kalirai, Jason S.; Geisler, Douglas; Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Mauro, Francesco; Deliyannis, Constantine P.

    2017-01-01

    The initial-final mass relation (IFMR) is a direct comparison of the mass a star forms with on the main sequence to its final mass as a white dwarf. This provides critical information for our understanding of stellar evolution and mass loss, and how these are dependent on initial mass. Our group has done detailed analysis of the known white dwarfs in star clusters to improve the semi-empirical IFMR, but limited data (most importantly at the highest masses) causes remaining uncertainties. Our new wide-field photometric and spectroscopic observations of the young and nearby M7 open cluster have discovered and confirmed five new white dwarfs consistent with single-star membership. Four are intermediate-mass white dwarfs (0.65 to 0.85 Msun) and the final is a white dwarf estimated to be at 1.25 Msun and with an estimated initial mass of 6.75 Msun. Higher signal-to-noise follow-up spectra are required, but these and similar observations of other young and nearby clusters will begin to characterize the poorly explored ultra-high-mass end of the IFMR.

  16. Post-common envelope binaries from SDSS - VII. A catalogue of white dwarf-main sequence binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Schreiber, M. R.; Koester, D.; Rodríguez-Gil, P.

    2010-02-01

    We present a catalogue of 1602 white-dwarf-main-sequence (WDMS) binaries from the spectroscopic Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 6 (SDSS DR6). Among these, we identify 440 as new WDMS binaries. We select WDMS binary candidates by template fitting all 1.27 million DR6 spectra, using combined constraints in both χ2 and signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, we use Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and UKIRT Infrared Sky Survey (UKIDSS) magnitudes to search for objects in which one of the two components dominates the SDSS spectrum. We use a decomposition/fitting technique to measure the effective temperatures, surface gravities, masses and distances to the white dwarfs, as well as the spectral types and distances to the companions in our catalogue. Distributions and density maps obtained from these stellar parameters are then used to study both the general properties and the selection effects of WDMS binaries in the SDSS. A comparison between the distances measured to the white dwarfs and the main-sequence companions shows dsec > dwd for approximately one-fifth of the systems, a tendency already found in our previous work. The hypothesis that magnetic activity raises the temperature of the inter-spot regions in active stars that are heavily covered by cool spots, leading to a bluer optical colour compared to inactive stars, remains the best explanation for this behaviour. We also make use of SDSS-GALEX-UKIDSS magnitudes to investigate the distribution of WDMS binaries, as well as their white-dwarf effective temperatures and companion star spectral types, in ultraviolet to infrared colour space. We show that WDMS binaries can be very efficiently separated from single main-sequence stars and white dwarfs when using a combined ultraviolet, optical and infrared colour selection. Finally, we also provide radial velocities for 1068 systems measured from the NaI λλ8183.27, 8194.81 absorption doublet and/or the Hα emission line. Among the systems with multiple SDSS

  17. Characterizing the Cool KOIs: Sub-Earth-Sized Planet Candidates Around Mid M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, Philip; Becker, J.; Vanderburg, A.; Johnson, J. A.; Rojas-Ayala, B.; Covey, K. R.; Hamren, K.; Schlawin, E.; Lloyd, J. P.

    2013-01-01

    We present new results from the Cool KOI Program: a continuing infrared spectroscopic survey of M dwarfs with transiting extrasolar planet-candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler Mission. We use recently developed K-band spectral indices to measure M-dwarf effective temperatures and metallicities and interpolate those values onto the 5-Gyr Dartmouth evolutionary isochrones to determine M-dwarf masses and radii. We present new stellar parameters of the M dwarfs in the 2012 Kepler catalog of extrasolar planet candidate hosts, identified as Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs). We find that several mid-M dwarf KOIs host short-period, sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates with sizes and orbital periods similar to the satellites of Jupiter. These short-period 'sub-Earths' may represent a link between planet-formation and Jovian-satellite formation. We present future directions for measuring their frequency around mid-M dwarfs in the absence of accurate stellar parameters for the full sample of Kepler M dwarf targets.

  18. Creating and measuring white dwarf photospheres in a terrestrial laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcon, Ross Edward

    2014-08-01

    As the ultimate fate of nearly all stars, including our Sun, white dwarfs (WDs) hold rich and informative histories in their observable light. To determine a fundamental parameter of WDs, mass, we perform the first measurement of the average gravitational redshift of an ensemble of WDs. We find a larger mean mass than that determined from the primary and expansive technique known as the spectroscopic method. The potential inaccuracy of this method has broad astrophysical implications, including for our understanding of Type 1a supernova progenitors and for constraining the age of the Universe. This motivates us to investigate the WD atmosphere models used with the spectroscopic method, particularly the input theoretical line profiles, by developing a new experimental platform to create plasmas at WD photospheric conditions (Te~1 eV, ne~1017 cm-3). Instead of observing WD spectra to infer the plasma conditions at the surface of the star, we set the conditions and measure the emergent spectra in the laboratory. X-rays from a z-pinch dynamic hohlraum generated at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories irradiate a gas cell to initiate formation of a large (120x20x10 mm or 24 cm3) plasma. We observe multiple Balmer lines from our plasma in emission and in absorption simultaneously along relatively long (~120 mm) lines of sight perpendicular to the heating radiation. Using a large, radiation-driven plasma aides us to achieve homogeneity along our observed lines of sight. With time-resolved spectroscopy we measure lines at a range of electron densities that spans an order of magnitude, and we do this within one pulsed power shot experiment. Observing our plasma in absorption not only provides the signal-to-noise to measure relative line shapes, it allows us to measure relative line strengths because the lines share the same lower level population. This constrains the theoretical reduction factors used to describe ionization potential depression or the

  19. Photospheric soft X-ray emission from hot DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wesemael, F.; Raymond, J. C.; Kahn, S. M.; Liebert, J.; Steiner, J. E.; Shipman, H. L.

    1984-01-01

    The Einstein Observatory's imaging proportional counter has detected 150-eV soft X-ray radiation from the four hot DA white dwarfs EG 187, Gr 288 and 289, and LB 1663. The observed pulse height spectra suggest that the emission is generated by hot photospheres whose T(eff) lie in the 30,000-60,000 K range. The IUE spacecraft UV spectra and H-beta line profiles for the four stars have been fitted, along with the X-ray fluxes, with a grid of hot, high gravity, homogeneous model atmospheres of mixed H-He composition. In all cases, the data require the presence of some X-ray opacity in the photosphere. Attention is given to the implications of this result in the context of white dwarf surface layer diffusion theories. Also noted are the limits imposed on the hot white dwarf population by the Einstein Medium Sensitivity Survey.

  20. 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.

  1. New Observations of the Mysterious Metal-Polluted White Dwarf GD 394

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D. J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Koester, D.; Holberg, J.; Burleigh, M. R.; Belardi, C.

    2017-03-01

    GD394 is a hot, extremely metal-polluted white dwarf. EUVE observations in the early 1990s revealed a 1.15 day periodicity with a 25 percent amplitude. This was hypothesised to be due to an accretion spot on the white dwarf, rotating into and out of view on the white dwarf spin period. We have obtained phase-resolved HST/STIS high-resolution FUV spectra of GD394 that sample the entire spin period. The spectra contain dozens of strong metal absorption lines, which we use to test the hypothesis of a rotating spot. No variation is seen in the STIS spectra, nor between them and a 1992 GHRS spectrum. Furthermore, archive SuperWASP observations do not show the optical variability predicted by the spot hypothesis. The STIS spectra also show mysterious C IV lines that may be an indicator of circumstellar material.

  2. Spectroscopic Reductions of White Dwarf Stars to Support Dark Energy Survey Calibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulledge, Deborah Jean; Robertson, Jacob M.; Tucker, Douglas Lee; Smith, J. Allyn; Wester, William; Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Fix, Mees B.

    2017-01-01

    The Dark Energy Survey is an imaging survey that covers 5000 square degrees in the Southern hemisphere to map galaxies and gather information on dark energy. Science requirements for the survey require a 0.5% uncertainty in color, driven by supernova science. The Dark Energy Survey relies a calibration technique that uses white dwarf stars to set zero points. These white dwarf spectra are fit to models which are used to generate synthetic photometry. These values are compared to the measured values from the survey to verify that the zero points are correct. We present results to date of the spectroscopic reductions of these white dwarf stars in support of the calibrations for the Dark Energy Survey.

  3. The Real Time Disintegration of an Asteroid Transiting a White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Siyi; Rappaport, Saul; DeVore, John; Ivanov, Valentin; Debes, John; Provencal, Judith; Vanderburg, Andrew; Croll, Bryce; Dufour, Patrick; Zuckerman, Ben

    2016-08-01

    There is strong evidence that an actively disintegrating asteroid is orbiting the white dwarf WD 1145+017. This scenario is supported by several observations, including: (i) transits from multiple objects within the white dwarf's tidal radius; (ii) infrared excess from a circumstellar dust disk; (iii) ubiquitous high-velocity absorption lines from circumstellar gas; (iv) a heavily polluted atmosphere from the accretion of the circumstellar material. We were awarded Spitzer DDT time to perform photometric observation simultaneously with a few other telescopes on March 29, 2016. Our preliminary analysis has returned the first detection of a color-dependent transit. Here, we propose to monitor this system over the next two years to understand the change of the transiting material as well as the possible change of the dust disk. This system provides a unique window to study the real time disintegration of an asteroid around a white dwarf.

  4. Signature of the Core Stratification in Pulsating White Dwarfs and Tests of Seismic Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charpinet, S.; Giammichele, N.; Brassard, P.; Fontaine, G.

    2017-03-01

    We discuss and illustrate how the C/O stratification in the core of white dwarf stars affects their g-mode pulsation spectrum. This effect, mostly occurring through the interplay of partial wave reflection (mode trapping), leaves a subtle but detectable signature, in particular with now available ultra high precision photometry from space, that could be exploited to infer the main structures in this stratification. We provide tests demonstrating that asteroseismology can indeed be used, in some cases, to probe the innermost composition stratification of pulsating white dwarfs. This brings interesting prospects to constrain the core chemical stratification inherited from previous evolutionary phases, which is one of the most uncertain aspect of white dwarf internal structure.

  5. New insights on pulsating white dwarfs from 3D radiation-hydrodynamical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Fontaine, Gilles; Ludwig, Hans-Günter; Gianninas, Alexandros; Kilic, Mukremin

    We have recently computed a grid of 3D radiation-hydrodynamical simulations for the atmosphere of pure-hydrogen DA white dwarfs in the range 5.0 < log g < 9.0. Our grid covers the full ZZ Ceti instability strip where pulsating DA white dwarfs are located. We have significantly improved the theoretical framework to study these objects by removing the free parameters of 1D convection, which were previously a major modeling hurdle. We present improved atmospheric parameter determinations based on spectroscopic fits with 3D model spectra, allowing for an updated definition of the empirical edges of the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Our 3D simulations also precisely predict the depth of the convection zones, narrowing down the internal layers where pulsation are being driven. We hope that these 3D effects will be included in asteroseismic models in the future to predict the region of the HR diagram where white dwarfs are expected to pulsate.

  6. Observational Constraints on the Age-Metallicity Relation from White Dwarf-Main Sequence Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Anguiano, B.; García-Berro, E.; Freeman, K. C.; Cojocaru, R.; Manser, C. J.; Pala, A. F.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Liu, X.-W.

    2017-03-01

    The age-metallicity relation (AMR) is a fundamental observational property to understand how the Galactic disc formed and evolved chemically in time. However, there is not yet a consensus on the observed properties of the AMR for the solar neighbourhood. This is due primarily to the difficulty of obtaining precise stellar ages for individual field stars. We have started an observational campaign to provide the much needed observational AMR by using white dwarf-main sequence (WDMS) binaries. White dwarfs are natural clocks and can be used to derive accurate ages. Metallicities can be obtained from the main sequence companions. Since white dwarfs and main sequence stars in these binary systems are coeval, these binaries provide an unique opportunity to observationally determine in a robust way the AMR. Here we present the AMR derived from the analysis of a sample of 23 WDMS binaries.

  7. Iron abundance in the hot DA white dwarfs Feige 24 and G191 B2B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vennes, Stephane; Chayer, Pierre; Thorstensen, John R.; Bowyer, Stuart; Shipman, Harry L.

    1992-01-01

    Attention is given to model calculations of the far- and extreme-UV line spectra of highly ionized Fe species (Fe IV, Fe V, and Fe VI) for hot high-gravity H-rich stars. A spectral analysis of 31 hr of exposure of the DA white dwarf Feige 24 with IUE in the echelle mode reveals the presence of Fe with an abundance relative to H by number of (5-10) x 10 exp -6 with an uncertainty dominated by the determination of stellar parameters. An analysis of IUE data from the white dwarf G191 B2B results in a similar Fe abundance if this star shares similar atmospheric parameters (Teff, g) with Feige 24. Fe is thus the second most abundant photospheric element in hot DA white dwarfs.

  8. From Accretion to Explosion and Beyond: Transforming White Dwarfs to Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Harris, R.

    2010-03-01

    White dwarfs accreting at high rates can grow in mass, exhibiting episodes of supersoft-source activity. Some can achieve the Chandrasekhar mass and will either become Type Ia supernovae or else will collapse, becoming neutron stars. We consider white dwarfs with giant donors, computing the rates of both supernovae and collapses. For the collapses, we follow each system to the end of accretion. Some of these systems will appear as ultraluminous x-ray sources and some will go on to become low-mass black holes. This scenario should be fairly common in young stellar populations and links a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. Indeed, it is a veritable cornucopia for the high-energy astrophysicist, offering accreting white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes, Type Ia supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, supersoft sources, ultraluminous sources, and neutron star and black hole binaries in globular clusters.

  9. Evolution of double white dwarf binaries undergoing direct-impact accretion: Implications for gravitational wave astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kremer, Kyle; Breivik, Katelyn; Larson, Shane L.; Kalogera, Vassiliki

    2017-01-01

    For close double white dwarf binaries, the mass-transfer phenomenon known as direct-impact accretion (when the mass transfer stream impacts the accretor directly rather than forming a disc) may play a pivotal role in the long-term evolution of the systems. In this analysis, we explore the long-term evolution of white dwarf binaries accreting through direct-impact and explore implications of such systems to gravitational wave astronomy. We cover a broad range of parameter space which includes initial component masses and the strength of tidal coupling, and show that these systems, which lie firmly within the LISA frequency range, show strong negative chirps which can last as long as several million years. Detections of double white dwarf systems in the direct-impact phase by detectors such as LISA would provide astronomers with unique ways of probing the physics governing close compact object binaries.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Zhongxiang; Tziamtzis, Anestis; Wang, Xuebing

    2014-02-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Pruning The ELM Survey: Characterizing Candidate Low-mass White Dwarfs through Photometric Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Keaton J.; Gianninas, A.; Hermes, J. J.; Winget, D. E.; Kilic, Mukremin; Montgomery, M. H.; Castanheira, B. G.; Vanderbosch, Z.; Winget, K. I.; Brown, Warren R.

    2017-02-01

    We assess the photometric variability of nine stars with spectroscopic Teff and log g values from the ELM Survey that locates them near the empirical extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarf instability strip. We discover three new pulsating stars: SDSS J135512.34+195645.4, SDSS J173521.69+213440.6, and SDSS J213907.42+222708.9. However, these are among the few ELM Survey objects that do not show radial velocity (RV) variations that confirm the binary nature expected of helium-core white dwarfs. The dominant 4.31 hr pulsation in SDSS J135512.34+195645.4 far exceeds the theoretical cut-off for surface reflection in a white dwarf, and this target is likely a high-amplitude δ Scuti pulsator with an overestimated surface gravity. We estimate the probability to be less than 0.0008 that the lack of measured RV variations in four of eight other pulsating candidate ELM white dwarfs could be due to low orbital inclination. Two other targets exhibit variability as photometric binaries. Partial coverage of the 19.342 hr orbit of WD J030818.19+514011.5 reveals deep eclipses that imply a primary radius >0.4 R⊙—too large to be consistent with an ELM white dwarf. The only object for which our time series photometry adds support to ELM white dwarf classification is SDSS J105435.78‑212155.9, which has consistent signatures of Doppler beaming and ellipsoidal variations. We conclude that the ELM Survey contains multiple false positives from another stellar population at Teff ≲ 9000 K, possibly related to the sdA stars recently reported from SDSS spectra.

  13. 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.

  14. DOUBLE DEGENERATE MERGERS AS PROGENITORS OF HIGH-FIELD MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Loren-Aguilar, Pablo; Aznar-Siguan, Gabriela; Torres, Santiago; Camacho, Judit

    2012-04-10

    High-field magnetic white dwarfs have been long suspected to be the result of stellar mergers. However, the nature of the coalescing stars and the precise mechanism that produces the magnetic field are still unknown. Here, we show that the hot, convective, differentially rotating corona present in the outer layers of the remnant of the merger of two degenerate cores can produce magnetic fields of the required strength that do not decay for long timescales. Using a state-of-the-art Monte Carlo simulator, we also show that the expected number of high-field magnetic white dwarfs produced in this way is consistent with that found in the solar neighborhood.

  15. Completeness of the Nearby White Dwarfs Sample: Let Us Count the Ways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oswalt, T. D.; Holberg, J.; Sion, E.

    2017-03-01

    We have recently extended our ongoing survey of the local white dwarf population, effectively doubling the sample volume. Based upon the latest distance determinations, Holberg et al. (2016) estimated the present 20 pc and 25 pc samples were about 86 and 68 percent complete, respectively. Here we examine how the completeness of the 25 pc sample depends upon other observables such as apparent magnitude, proper motion, photometric color index, etc. The results may provide additional clues to why “Sirius-Like systems” are underrepresented in the extended 25 pc sample and how additional nearby single white dwarf stars may be found.

  16. A spectrophotometric analysis of the hot helium-rich white dwarf HD 149499 B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

    A comprehensive analysis of the hot helium-rich white dwarf HD 149499 B is presented based on International Ultraviolet Explorer ultraviolet spectra along with available optical spectra and photometry. Line strengths, line profiles, and continuum fluxes are analyzed in terms of a new grid of hot, high-gravity stellar atmospheres of mixed composition. The line strengths furnish the strongest temperature and gravity diagnostics because they are not affected by the contamination of the white dwarf optical spectrum and photometric properties by the K0 V companion, 2.35 arcsec away. Wegner's (1978) classification of HD 149499 B as a DO star is confirmed.

  17. Significantly Super-Chandrasekhar Limiting Mass White Dwarfs and their Consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhopadhyay, B.; Das, U.; Rao, A. R.; Subramanian, S.; Bhattacharya, M.; Mukerjee, S.; Bhatia, T. S.; Sutradhar, J.

    2017-03-01

    Since 2012, we have initiated a new idea showing that the mass of highly magnetized or modified Einstein's gravity induced white dwarfs could be significantly super-Chandrasekhar with a different mass-limit. This discovery has several important consequences, including explanation of peculiar, over-luminous type Ia supernovae, soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars without invoking extraordinarily strong, yet unobserved, magnetic fields. It further argues for a possible second standard candle. Based on simpler calculations, these white dwarfs are also shown to be much less luminous than their standard counter-parts (of low magnetic fields). This discovery altogether initiates a new field of research.

  18. NEW EVOLUTIONARY SEQUENCES FOR HOT H-DEFICIENT WHITE DWARFS ON THE BASIS OF A FULL ACCOUNT OF PROGENITOR EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Althaus, L. G.; Panei, J. A.; Miller Bertolami, M. M.; Corsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Rohrmann, R. D.

    2009-10-20

    We present full evolutionary calculations appropriate for the study of hot hydrogen-deficient DO white dwarfs, PG 1159 stars, and DB white dwarfs. White dwarf sequences are computed for a wide range of stellar masses and helium envelopes on the basis of a complete treatment of the evolutionary history of progenitors stars, including the core hydrogen and helium burning phases, the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch phase, and the born-again episode that is responsible for the hydrogen deficiency. We also provide colors and magnitudes for the new sequences for T {sub eff} < 40,000 K, where the NLTE effects are not dominant. These new calculations provide a homogeneous set of evolutionary tracks appropriate for mass and age determinations for both PG 1159 stars and DO white dwarfs. The calculations are extended down to an effective temperature of 7000 K. We applied these new tracks to redetermine stellar masses and ages of all known DO white dwarfs with spectroscopically determined effective temperatures and gravities, and compare them with previous results. We also compare for the first time consistent mass determinations for both DO and PG 1159 stars, and find a considerably higher mean mass for the DO white dwarfs. We discuss as well the chemical profile expected in the envelope of variable DB white dwarfs from the consideration of the evolutionary history of progenitor stars. Finally, we present tentative evidence for a different evolutionary channel, other than that involving the PG 1159 stars, for the formation of hot, hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs.

  19. THE POST-MERGER MAGNETIZED EVOLUTION OF WHITE DWARF BINARIES: THE DOUBLE-DEGENERATE CHANNEL OF SUB-CHANDRASEKHAR TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE AND THE FORMATION OF MAGNETIZED WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Ji Suoqing; Fisher, Robert T.; Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Loren-Aguilar, Pablo; Cremer, Pascal; Behrends, Jan

    2013-08-20

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) play a crucial role as standardizable cosmological candles, though the nature of their progenitors is a subject of active investigation. Recent observational and theoretical work has pointed to merging white dwarf binaries, referred to as the double-degenerate channel, as the possible progenitor systems for some SNe Ia. Additionally, recent theoretical work suggests that mergers which fail to detonate may produce magnetized, rapidly rotating white dwarfs. In this paper, we present the first multidimensional simulations of the post-merger evolution of white dwarf binaries to include the effect of the magnetic field. In these systems, the two white dwarfs complete a final merger on a dynamical timescale, and are tidally disrupted, producing a rapidly rotating white dwarf merger surrounded by a hot corona and a thick, differentially rotating disk. The disk is strongly susceptible to the magnetorotational instability (MRI), and we demonstrate that this leads to the rapid growth of an initially dynamically weak magnetic field in the disk, the spin-down of the white dwarf merger, and to the subsequent central ignition of the white dwarf merger. Additionally, these magnetized models exhibit new features not present in prior hydrodynamic studies of white dwarf mergers, including the development of MRI turbulence in the hot disk, magnetized outflows carrying a significant fraction of the disk mass, and the magnetization of the white dwarf merger to field strengths {approx}2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} G. We discuss the impact of our findings on the origins, circumstellar media, and observed properties of SNe Ia and magnetized white dwarfs.

  20. 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.

  1. Cool Dwarf Scale Heights from the Deep Lens Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorman, P.; Loomba, D.; Boeshaar, P.; Ryan, R.

    2011-12-01

    We have added 1.12 sq. deg. of survey J-band (1.2μm) deep imaging (J = 21.4, 5σ) from Palomar WIRC and 2.5 sq. deg. of targeted FLAMINGOS imaging (median depth J = 20.44, 5σ) to 4 sq. deg. of deep Rz' imaging from the Deep Lens Survey. Using color models derived from photometry and spectroscopy of known M, L, and T dwarfs, we assign a spectral type probability to each object, and calculate model likelihoods for sech2 and exponential disks of various scale heights by comparing the predicted distance distribution to the estimated object distances. The best-fit exponential scale heights for M9-L2 and L2-L5 dwarfs are ZS = 345 pc and 324 pc, respectively; however, the sech2 models show a possible decrease in the scale height from Z0 = 575 pc to 175 pc between those two groups, which may indicate a weakness in the previously used exponential models.

  2. HST eclipse mapping of dwarf nova OY Carinae in quiescence: An 'Fe II curtain' with Mach approx. = 6 velocity dispersion veils the white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horne, Keith; Marsh, T. R.; Cheng, F. H.; Hubeny, Ivan; Lanz, Theirry

    1994-01-01

    Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of the eclipsing dwarf nova OY Car in its quiescent state are used to isolate the ultraviolet spectrum (1150-2500 A at 9.2 A Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) resolution) of the white dwarf, the accretion disk, and the bright spot. The white dwarf spectrum has a Stark-broadened photospheric L(alpha) absorption, but is veiled by a forest of blended Fe II features that we attribute to absorption by intervening disk material. A fit gives T(sub w) approx. = 16.5 x 10(exp 3) K for the white dwarf with a solar-abundance, log g = 8 model atmosphere, and T approx. = 10(exp 4) K, n(sub e) approx. = 10(exp 13)/cu cm, N(sub H) approx. = 10(exp 22) sq cm, and velocity dispersion delta V approx. = 60 km/s for the veil of homogeneous solar-abundance local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) gas. The veil parameters probably measure characteristic physical conditions in the quiescent accretion disk or its chromosphere. The large velocity dispersion is essential for a good fit; it lowers (chi square)/778 from 22 to 4. Keplerian shear can produce the velocity dispersion if the veiling gas is located at R approx. = 5 R(sub W) with (delta R)/R approx. = 0.3, but this model leaves an unobscured view to the upper hemisphere of the white dwarf, incompatible with absorptions that are up to 80% deep. The veiling gas may be in the upper atmosphere of the disk near its outer rim, but we then require supersonic (Mach approx. = 6) but sub-Keplerian (delta V/V(sub Kep) approx. = 0.07) velocity disturbances in this region to produce both the observed radial velocity dispersion and vertical motions sufficient to elevate the gas to z/R = cos i = 0.12. Such motions might be driven by the gas stream, since it may take several Kepler periods to reestablish the disk's vertical hydrostatic equilibrium. The temperature and column density of the gas we see as Fe II absorption in the ultraviolet are similar to what is required to produce the strong Balmer jump and

  3. A SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY AND ANALYSIS OF BRIGHT, HYDROGEN-RICH WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Gianninas, A.; Bergeron, P.; Ruiz, M. T. E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.ca

    2011-12-20

    We have conducted a spectroscopic survey of over 1300 bright (V {<=} 17.5), hydrogen-rich white dwarfs based largely on the last published version of the McCook and Sion catalog. The complete results from our survey, including the spectroscopic analysis of over 1100 DA white dwarfs, are presented. High signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra were obtained for each star and were subsequently analyzed using our standard spectroscopic technique where the observed Balmer line profiles are compared to synthetic spectra computed from the latest generation of model atmospheres appropriate for these stars. First, we present the spectroscopic content of our sample, which includes many misclassifications as well as several DAB, DAZ, and magnetic white dwarfs. Next, we look at how the new Stark broadening profiles affect the determination of the atmospheric parameters. When necessary, specific models and analysis techniques are used to derive the most accurate atmospheric parameters possible. In particular, we employ M dwarf templates to obtain better estimates of the atmospheric parameters for those white dwarfs that are in DA+dM binary systems. Certain unique white dwarfs and double-degenerate binary systems are also analyzed in greater detail. We then examine the global properties of our sample including the mass distribution and their distribution as a function of temperature. We then proceed to test the accuracy and robustness of our method by comparing our results to those of other surveys such as SPY and Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Finally, we revisit the ZZ Ceti instability strip and examine how the determination of its empirical boundaries is affected by the latest line profile calculations.

  4. The evolution and fate of super-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf merger remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, Josiah; Quataert, Eliot; Kasen, Daniel

    2016-12-01

    We present stellar evolution calculations of the remnant of the merger of two carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (CO WDs). We focus on cases that have a total mass in excess of the Chandrasekhar mass. After the merger, the remnant manifests as an L ˜ 3× 10^4 L_{⊙} source for ˜104 yr. A dusty wind may develop, leading these sources to be self-obscured and to appear similar to extreme asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Roughly ˜10 such objects should exist in the Milky Way and M31 at any time. As found in previous work, off-centre carbon fusion is ignited within the merger remnant and propagates inwards via a carbon flame, converting the WD to an oxygen-neon (ONe) composition. By following the evolution for longer than previous calculations, we demonstrate that after carbon-burning reaches the centre, neutrino-cooled Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction leads to off-centre neon ignition in remnants with masses ≥ 1.35 M_{⊙}. The resulting neon-oxygen flame converts the core to a silicon WD. Thus, super-Chandrasekhar WD merger remnants do not undergo electron-capture induced collapse as traditionally assumed. Instead, if the remnant mass remains above the Chandrasekhar mass, we expect that it will form a low-mass iron core and collapse to form a neutron star. Remnants that lose sufficient mass will end up as massive, isolated ONe or Si WDs.

  5. Transformation from planetary nebula nucleus to white dwarf: a seismological study of stellar metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Kawaler, S.D.

    1986-01-01

    The existence of several pulsating hot degenerates provides the exciting opportunity to study this transitory stage of stellar evolution with the techniques available from pulsation theory. Stellar models were evolved the planetary nebula-nucleus (PNN) phase to the cooling white dwarf phase using a variety of techniques; equations of linear adiabatic nonradial oscillations for these models were solved. The g-mode periods are determined within the degenerate core at high luminosities. The high radial overtone (20-40) and low order 1 (1-3) g-mode periods are comparable to those seen in the variable PG1159 stars. The period spacings agree as well, and appear to yield mode identifications. Rates of period change can be used to probe the mass, structure, composition, and energy loss mechanisms of these degenerates. The rates of period change for PNNs are strongly dependent on the rate of energy loss via neutrinos. The time scale for period change is about 10/sup 6/ years. Evolutionary changes in the rotation rate can be important also.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. 3D MODEL ATMOSPHERES FOR EXTREMELY LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-20

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

  9. The 2011 Outburst of Recurrent Nova T Pyx: X-Ray Observations Expose the White Dwarf Mass and Ejection Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chomiuk, Laura; Nelson, Thomas; Mukai, Koji; Solokoski, J. L.; Rupen, Michael P.; Page, Kim L.; Osborne, Julian P.; Kuulkers, Erik; Mioduszewski, Amy J.; Roy, Nirupam; Weston, Jennifer; Krauss, Miriam I.

    2014-01-01

    The recurrent nova T Pyx underwent its sixth historical outburst in 2011, and became the subject of an intensive multi-wavelength observational campaign.We analyze data from the Swift and Suzaku satellites to produce a detailed X-ray light curve augmented by epochs of spectral information. X-ray observations yield mostly non-detections in the first four months of outburst, but both a super-soft and hard X-ray component rise rapidly after Day 115. The super-soft X-ray component, attributable to the photosphere of the nuclear-burning white dwarf, is relatively cool (approximately 45 electron volts) and implies that the white dwarf in T Pyx is significantly below the Chandrasekhar mass (approximately 1 M). The late turn-on time of the super-soft component yields a large nova ejecta mass (approximately greater than 10(exp -5) solar mass), consistent with estimates at other wavelengths. The hard X-ray component is well fit by a approximately 1 kiloelectron volt thermal plasma, and is attributed to shocks internal to the 2011 nova ejecta. The presence of a strong oxygen line in this thermal plasma on Day 194 requires a significantly super-solar abundance of oxygen and implies that the ejecta are polluted by white dwarf material. The X-ray light curve can be explained by a dual-phase ejection, with a significant delay between the first and second ejection phases, and the second ejection finally released two months after outburst. A delayed ejection is consistent with optical and radio observations of T Pyx, but the physical mechanism producing such a delay remains a mystery.

  10. The 2011 outburst of recurrent nova T Pyx: X-ray observations expose the white dwarf mass and ejection dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Chomiuk, Laura; Nelson, Thomas; Mukai, Koji; Rupen, Michael P.; Mioduszewski, Amy J.; Krauss, Miriam I.; Page, Kim L.; Osborne, Julian P.; Kuulkers, Erik; Roy, Nirupam

    2014-06-20

    The recurrent nova T Pyx underwent its sixth historical outburst in 2011, and became the subject of an intensive multi-wavelength observational campaign. We analyze data from the Swift and Suzaku satellites to produce a detailed X-ray light curve augmented by epochs of spectral information. X-ray observations yield mostly non-detections in the first four months of outburst, but both a super-soft and hard X-ray component rise rapidly after Day 115. The super-soft X-ray component, attributable to the photosphere of the nuclear-burning white dwarf, is relatively cool (∼45 eV) and implies that the white dwarf in T Pyx is significantly below the Chandrasekhar mass (∼1 M {sub ☉}). The late turn-on time of the super-soft component yields a large nova ejecta mass (≳ 10{sup –5} M {sub ☉}), consistent with estimates at other wavelengths. The hard X-ray component is well fit by a ∼1 keV thermal plasma, and is attributed to shocks internal to the 2011 nova ejecta. The presence of a strong oxygen line in this thermal plasma on Day 194 requires a significantly super-solar abundance of oxygen and implies that the ejecta are polluted by white dwarf material. The X-ray light curve can be explained by a dual-phase ejection, with a significant delay between the first and second ejection phases, and the second ejection finally released two months after outburst. A delayed ejection is consistent with optical and radio observations of T Pyx, but the physical mechanism producing such a delay remains a mystery.

  11. SPECTROSCOPIC CONFIRMATION OF UV-BRIGHT WHITE DWARFS FROM THE SANDAGE TWO-COLOR SURVEY OF THE GALACTIC PLANE

    SciTech Connect

    Lepine, Sebastien; Bergeron, P.; Lanning, Howard H.

    2011-03-15

    We present spectroscopic observations confirming the identification of hot white dwarfs among UV-bright sources from the Sandage Two-color Survey of the Galactic Plane and listed in the Lanning (Lan) catalog of such sources. A subsample of 213 UV-bright Lan sources have been identified as candidate white dwarfs based on the detection of a significant proper motion. Spectroscopic observations of 46 candidates with the KPNO 2.1 m telescope confirm 30 sources to be hydrogen white dwarfs with subtypes in the DA1-DA6 range, and with one of the stars (Lan 161) having an unresolved M dwarf as a companion. Five more sources are confirmed to be helium white dwarfs, with subtypes from DB3 to DB6. One source (Lan 364) is identified as a DZ 3 white dwarf, with strong lines of calcium. Three more stars are found to have featureless spectra (to within detection limits) and are thus classified as DC white dwarfs. In addition, three sources are found to be hot subdwarfs: Lan 20 and Lan 480 are classified as sdOB, and Lan 432 is classified sdB. The remaining four objects are found to be field F star interlopers. Physical parameters of the DA and DB white dwarfs are derived from model fits.

  12. The historical record for Sirius - Evidence for a white-dwarf thermonuclear runaway?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruhweiler, Frederick C.; Kondo, Yoji; Sion, Edward M.

    1986-01-01

    Evidence was recently presented that in medieval times Sirius was a bright red star, rather than the present bluish-white star. Here, the results of attempts to detect possible planetary nebula ejecta toward Sirius using data obtained by the IUE are presented. Based on these results and in the light of recent advances in understanding white-dwarf evolution, it is proposed that Sirius B underwent a recent thermonuclear runaway event triggered by a diffusion-induced CN reaction.

  13. The Circumstellar Environment of R Coronae Borealis: White Dwarf Merger or Final-helium-shell Flash?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Sugerman, Ben E. K.; Stanford, S. Adam; Whitney, B. A.; Honor, J.; Babler, B.; Barlow, M. J.; Gordon, K. D.; Andrews, J. E.; Geballe, T. R.; Bond, Howard E.; De Marco, O.; Lawson, W. A.; Sibthorpe, B.; Olofsson, G.; Polehampton, E.; Gomez, H. L.; Matsuura, M.; Hargrave, P. C.; Ivison, R. J.; Wesson, R.; Leeks, S. J.; Swinyard, B. M.; Lim, T. L.

    2011-12-01

    In 2007, R Coronae Borealis (R CrB) went into a historically deep and long decline. In this state, the dust acts like a natural coronagraph at visible wavelengths, allowing faint nebulosity around the star to be seen. Imaging has been obtained from 0.5 to 500 μm with Gemini/GMOS, Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2, Spitzer/MIPS, and Herschel/SPIRE. Several of the structures around R CrB are cometary globules caused by wind from the star streaming past dense blobs. The estimated dust mass of the knots is consistent with their being responsible for the R CrB declines if they form along the line of sight to the star. In addition, there is a large diffuse shell extending up to 4 pc away from the star containing cool 25 K dust that is detected all the way out to 500 μm. The spectral energy distribution of R CrB can be well fitted by a 150 AU disk surrounded by a very large diffuse envelope which corresponds to the size of the observed nebulosity. The total masses of the disk and envelope are 10-4 and 2 M ⊙, respectively, assuming a gas-to-dust ratio of 100. The evidence pointing toward a white dwarf merger or a final-helium-shell flash origin for R CrB is contradictory. The shell and the cometary knots are consistent with a fossil planetary nebula. Along with the fact that R CrB shows significant lithium in its atmosphere, this supports the final-helium-shell flash. However, the relatively high inferred mass of R CrB and its high fluorine abundance support a white dwarf merger. Based in part on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and from the data archive at STScI, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  14. The white dwarfs within 25 pc of the Sun: Kinematics and spectroscopic subtypes

    SciTech Connect

    Sion, Edward M.; McCook, George P.; Wasatonic, Richard; Myszka, Janine; Holberg, J. B.; Oswalt, Terry D. E-mail: george.mccook@villanova.edu E-mail: janine.myszka@villanova.edu E-mail: toswalt@fit.edu

    2014-06-01

    We present the fractional distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, range and distribution of surface temperatures, and kinematical properties of the white dwarfs (WDs) within 25 pc of the Sun. There is no convincing evidence of halo WDs in the total 25 pc sample of 224 WDs. There is also little to suggest the presence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 25 pc. It appears that the entire 25 pc sample likely belongs to the thin disk. We also find no significant kinematic differences with respect to spectroscopic subtypes. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 25 pc sample is 1.8, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection, which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. We compare this ratio with the results of other studies. We find that at least 11% of the WDs within 25 pc of the Sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that likely originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this interpretation is correct, then it suggests the possibility that a similar percentage have planets, asteroid-like bodies, or debris disks orbiting them. Our volume-limited sample reveals a pileup of DC WDs at the well-known cutoff in DQ WDs at T {sub eff} ∼ 6000 K. Mindful of small number statistics, we speculate on its possible evolutionary significance. We find that the incidence of magnetic WDs in the 25 pc sample is at least 8% in our volume-limited sample, dominated by cool WDs. We derive approximate formation rates of DB and DQ degenerates and present a preliminary test of the evolutionary scenario that all cooling DB stars become DQ WDs via helium convective dredge-up with the diffusion tail of carbon extending upward from their cores.

  15. X-ray orbital modulation of a white dwarf accreting from an L dwarf. The system SDSS J121209.31+013627.7

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelzer, B.; de Martino, D.; Casewell, S. L.; Wynn, G. A.; Roy, M.

    2017-01-01

    In an XMM-Newton observation of the binary SDSS J121209.31+013627.7, consisting of a white dwarf and an L dwarf, we detect X-ray orbital modulation as proof of accretion from the substellar companion onto the magnetic white dwarf. We constrain the system geometry (inclination as well as magnetic and pole-cap angle) through modelling of the X-ray light curve, and we derive a mass accretion rate of 3.2 × 10-14M⊙/ yr from the X-ray luminosity ( 3 × 1029 erg/s). From X-ray studies of L dwarfs, a possible wind driven from a hypothesized corona on the substellar donor is orders of magnitude too weak to explain the observed accretion rate, while the radius of the L dwarf is comparable to its Roche lobe (0.1 R⊙), making Roche-lobe overflow the likely accretion mechanism in this system.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-10

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

  18. The White Dwarf Luminosity Function and the Age of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, J. A.; Oswalt, T. D.

    1996-12-01

    We present the results for the White Dwarf Luminosity Function (WDLF) derived from our entire sample of common proper motion binaries (CPMBs) containing white dwarfs (WDs). Approximately 170 WDs are contained in our study which makes it one of the largest samples ever used in the determination of the WDLF. We will discuss our sample selection and completion techniques and the constraint this sample places on the debate about the age of the Galaxy and ultimately the Universe. The WDs in this study were identified spectroscopically [Oswalt et al. in White Dwarfs, ed. G. Wegner, (Springer: Berlin), (1990)] and satisfy the limits [V < 18.50, mu > 0.10 "/yr] over which the sample's incompleteness is well-behaved (and hence correctible). The size of this sample allows us to set firm limits on the age of Galactic disk, making use of the latest interior [Wood, in White Dwarfs, eds. D. Koester & K. Werner (Kluwer: Dordrecht), 1995] and atmosphere [Bergeron, P., et al. Astrophys. J. 449, 258-279, 1995] models. Our new results, which strengthen the >= 9.5(+1.1}_{-0.8) Gyr(1 sigma ) age for the Galactic disk [Oswalt et al. Nature 382, 692 (1996)], will be presented. JAS gratefully acknowledges support from the NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program, grant NGT-51086 and TDO gratefully acknowledges support from NSF grant AST 90-16284.

  19. The Impact of Accurate Distances on UV Spectroscopy of White Dwarfs and Cataclysmic Variables

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    evolution. Four instability strips in the HR diagram are associated with planetary nebulae nuclei (PNN) and white dwarfs (WDs). The rst instability...strip occurs during the high luminosity planetary nebula phase. The second is during the pre- WD stars of the PG 1159 spectral type, which are direct

  20. A new magnetic white dwarf discovered during the Large Bright Quasar Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Foltz, C.B.; Latter, W.B.; Hewett, P.C.; Weymann, R.J.; Morris, S.L.; Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ; Cambridge Univ.; Mount Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories, Pasadena, CA )

    1989-08-01

    A previously unknown magnetic white dwarf has been discovered as part of the Large, Bright Quasar Survey (Foltz et al., 1988). The absorption features are identified with transitions of hydrogen and are analyzed in the context of high-field Zeeman models to derive a polar dipole field strength of 24 x 10 to the 6th G at the stellar surface. 11 refs.

  1. The frequency of occurrence of novae hosting an ONe white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil-Pons, P.; García-Berro, E.; José, J.; Hernanz, M.; Truran, J. W.

    2003-09-01

    In this paper, we revisit the problem of the determination of the frequency of occurrence of galactic nova outbursts which involve an oxygen-neon (ONe) white dwarf. The improvement with respect to previous work on the subject derives from the fact that we use the results that our evolutionary calculations provide for the final mass and for the chemical profiles of intermediate-to-massive primary components of close binary systems. In particular, the final evolutionary stages, such as the carbon burning phase, have been carefully followed for the whole range of masses of interest. The chemical profiles obtained with our evolutionary code are of interest in determining the chemical composition of the ejecta after being processed through the thermonuclear runaway, although such other factors as the efficiency of the mixing between the accreted material and that of the underlying white dwarf must also be considered. In our calculations of the frequency of occurrence of nova outbursts involving an ONe white dwarf, we also take into account the observational selection effects introduced by the different recurrence times of the outbursts and by the spatial distribution of novae. In spite of the very different evolutionary sequences, we find that approximately 1/3 of the observed nova outbursts should involve an oxygen-neon white dwarf, in agreement with previous theoretical estimates.

  2. High-field magnetic white dwarfs as the progeny of early-type stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, P. D.; Külebi, B.; Casewell, S. L.; Burleigh, M. R.; Parker, Q. A.; Baxter, R.; Lawrie, K. A.; Jordan, S.; Koester, D.

    2013-01-01

    We present an analysis of the newly resolved components of two hot, double-degenerate systems, SDSS J074853.07+302543.5 + J074852.95+302543.4 and SDSS J150813.24+394504.9 + J150813.31+394505.6 (CBS 229). We confirm that each system has widely separated components (a > 100 au) consisting of a H-rich, non-magnetic white dwarf and a H-rich, high-field magnetic white dwarf (HFMWD). The masses of the non-magnetic degenerates are found to be larger than typical of field white dwarfs. We use these components to estimate the total ages of the binaries and demonstrate that both magnetic white dwarfs are the progeny of stars with Minit > 2 M⊙. We briefly discuss the traits of all known hot, wide, magnetic + non-magnetic double degenerates in the context of HFMWD formation theories. These are broadly consistent (chance probability, P ≈ 0.065) with HFMWDs forming primarily from early-type stars and, in the most succinct interpretation, link their magnetism to the fields of their progenitors. Our results do not, however, rule out that HFMWDs can form through close binary interactions and studies of more young, wide double degenerates are required to reach firm conclusions on these formation pathways.

  3. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Spectroscopically identified white dwarfs (McCook+, 2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCook, G. P.; Sion, E. M.

    2016-10-01

    This is an update of the Villanova catalog published in the ApJS paper, corresponding to the Web version of the catalog in Apr 2014 (see http://www.astronomy.villanova.edu/WDCatalog/index.html). The introduction to the 1999 catalog is in the file "preface.tex". The total number of white dwarfs in this version is 14294. (5 data files).

  4. Sirius B: Confronting the Limits of our Understanding of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.; Joyce, S.; Casewell, S. L.; Holberg, J. B.; Bond, H. E.; Burleigh, M. R.

    2017-03-01

    Sirius B is the visually brightest and closest of all white dwarfs and we should understand it better than any other. However, as part of a binary system, its proximity to the main sequence companion Sirius A makes it very difficult to observe from the ground. Consequently, detailed study of this white dwarf has relied on a range of space-based observatories, including ROSAT, EUVE, FUSE and HST. Photometry and spectroscopy of exquisite quality and the highest signal-to- noise have been obtained from these missions from which we have been able to study the star in great detail. In principle, the measurements made are the most precise of any white dwarf. Nevertheless, Sirius B remains a challenging object to understand. So far it has proved impossible to compute a self-consistent model atmosphere that can match observations across its full energy distribution. Furthermore, separate determinations of its mass and radius from Balmer line fitting, measurement of the gravitational redshift and astrometry of the binary remain stubbornly in significant disagreement. We examine all the systematic effects that come into play with the various models and measurements and consider what improvements need to be made to finally understand Sirius B and, by implication, many other white dwarfs.

  5. Stripped Red Giants - Helium Core White Dwarf Progenitors and their sdB Siblings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heber, U.

    2017-03-01

    Some gaps in the mosaic of binary star evolution have recently been filled by the discoveries of helium-core white dwarf progenitors (often called extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarfs) as stripped cores of first-giant branch objects. Two varieties can be distinguished. One class is made up by SB1 binaries, companions being white dwarfs as well. Another class, the so-called EL CVn stars, are composite spectrum binaries, with A-Type companions. Pulsating stars are found among both classes. A riddle is posed by the apparently single objects. There is a one-to-one correspondence of the phenomena found for these new classes of star to those observed for sdB stars. In fact, standard evolutionary scenarios explain the origin of sdB stars as red giants that have been stripped close to the tip of first red giant branch. A subgroup of subluminous B stars can also be identified as stripped helium-cores of red giants. They form an extension of the ELM sequence to higher temperatures. Hence low mass white dwarfs of helium cores and sdB stars in binaries are close relatives in terms of stellar evolution.

  6. Panchromatic Calibration of Astronomical Observations with State-of-the-Art White Dwarf Model Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauch, T.

    2016-05-01

    Theoretical spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of white dwarfs provide a powerful tool for cross-calibration and sensitivity control of instruments from the far infrared to the X-ray energy range. Such SEDs can be calculated from fully metal-line blanketed NLTE model-atmospheres that are e.g. computed by the Tübingen NLTE Model-Atmosphere Package (TMAP) that has arrived at a high level of sophistication. TMAP was successfully employed for the reliable spectral analysis of many hot, compact post-AGB stars. High-quality stellar spectra obtained over a wide energy range establish a data base with a large number of spectral lines of many successive ions of different species. Their analysis allows to determine effective temperatures, surface gravities, and element abundances of individual (pre-)white dwarfs with very small error ranges. We present applications of TMAP SEDs for spectral analyses of hot, compact stars in the parameter range from (pre-) white dwarfs to neutron stars and demonstrate the improvement of flux calibration using white-dwarf SEDs that are e.g. available via registered services in the Virtual Observatory.

  7. The Symbiotic Channel to Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs and Type 1a Supernovae.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Robert J.; Di Stefano, R.

    2010-01-01

    We present a study of the efficacy of generation of Type 1a supernovae and of accretion-induced collapse (AIC) of white dwarfs from binaries that evolve through a symbiotic-star phase. The symbiotic binaries, comprised of a red giant and a white dwarf, undergo stable mass transfer via either winds or Roche-lobe overflow and nuclear burning of accreted matter on the surface of the white dwarf. Populations of binaries are generated according to a standard prescription, and their orbits are evolved. Orbital evolutions assume a modified Reimer's wind law and a variety of parametrizations of the process of angular-momentum loss and of nuclear burning on the white dwarfs. In general, we find that the rate of production of AICs in these systems is not very sensitive to the input parameters, with a significant number generated per million solar masses in binaries, regardless of input parameters. On the other hand, we find the efficacy of Type 1a supernova generation to be a strong function of the assumed parameter values. Also, we find that the number of double-degenerate systems produced via the symbiotic channel is a fairly insensitive function of input parameters. Implications of these findings for the populations of supersoft sources, ultraluminous X-ray sources, and neutron stars in globular clusters are discussed.