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Sample records for low-mass white dwarf

  1. The origin of low-mass white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-23

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  3. Formation and Asteroseismology of Extremely Low-mass White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Meng; Arras, Phil

    2016-01-01

    A handful of extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM WD, M<0.2M⊙) have been discovered recently to exhibit g-mode pulsations, extending the classic DA instability strip to much smaller mass. One particular ELM WD (SDSS J111215.82+111745.0) has been observed to pulsate at periods so short that the pulsations may be p-modes, making this star unique among all WD pulsators. Since the ELM WDs are thought to be formed only through binary, and not single star evolution, the observed periods give the opportunity to constrain the interiors of these post-common-envelope or post-Roche-lobe-overflow WD through asteroseismology. I will discuss our recent efforts to construct models of these these ELM WD pulsators using the MESA stellar evolution code to carry out binary evolution. The relative size of the solar-composition envelope to helium core is expected to vary significantly with stellar mass and orbital period. This variation in structure is reflected in the oscillation mode periods for the models. Lastly, I will discuss constraints on the interior structure of J1112 from seismology.

  4. 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.

  5. Full evolution of low-mass white dwarfs with helium and oxygen cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panei, J. A.; Althaus, L. G.; Chen, X.; Han, Z.

    2007-12-01

    We study the full evolution of low-mass white dwarfs with helium and oxygen cores. We revisit the age dichotomy observed in many white dwarf companions to millisecond pulsar on the basis of white dwarf configurations derived from binary evolution computations. We evolve 11 dwarf sequences for helium cores with final masses of 0.1604, 0.1869, 0.2026, 0.2495, 0.3056, 0.3333, 0.3515, 0.3844, 0.3986, 0.4160 and 0.4481Msolar. In addition, we compute the evolution of five sequences for oxygen cores with final masses of 0.3515, 0.3844, 0.3986, 0.4160 and 0.4481Msolar. A metallicity of Z = 0.02 is assumed. Gravitational settling, chemical and thermal diffusion are accounted for during the white dwarf regime. Our study reinforces the result that diffusion processes are a key ingredient in explaining the observed age and envelope dichotomy in low-mass helium-core white dwarfs, a conclusion we arrived at earlier on the basis of a simplified treatment for the binary evolution of progenitor stars. We determine the mass threshold where the age dichotomy occurs. For the oxygen white dwarf sequences, we report the occurrence of diffusion-induced, hydrogen-shell flashes, which, as in the case of their helium counterparts, strongly influence the late stages of white dwarf cooling. Finally, we present our results as a set of white dwarf mass-radius relations for helium and oxygen cores.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Neutron star formation in theoretical supernovae. Low mass stars and white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Nomoto, K.

    1986-01-01

    The presupernova evolution of stars that form semi-degenerate or strongly degenerate O + Ne + Mg cores is discussed. For the 10 to 13 Msub solar stars, behavior of off-center neon flashes is crucial. The 8 to 10 m/sub solar stars do not ignite neon and eventually collapse due to electron captures. Properties of supernova explosions and neutron stars expected from these low mass progenitors are compared with the Crab nebula. The conditions for which neutron stars form from accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs in clsoe binary systems is also examined.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Kun; Li, X.-D.

    2014-08-20

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

  16. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-20

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

  18. 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).

  19. 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).

  20. Very low-mass white dwarfs with a C-O core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prada Moroni, P. G.; Straniero, O.

    2009-12-01

    Context: The lower limit for the mass of white dwarfs (WDs) with a C-O core is commonly assumed to be roughly 0.5 M⊙. As a consequence, WDs of lower masses are usually identified as He-core remnants. Aims: When the initial mass of the progenitor star is between 1.8 and 3 M_⊙, which corresponds to the so-called red giant (RGB) phase transition, the mass of the H-exhausted core at the tip of the RGB is 0.3 < M_H/M⊙ < 0.5. Prompted by this well known result of stellar evolution theory, we investigate the possibility to form C-O WDs with mass M < 0.5 M⊙. Methods: The pre-WD evolution of stars was computed with initial mass of about 2.3 M_⊙, undergoing anomalous mass-loss episodes during the RGB phase and leading to the formation of WDs with He-rich or CO-rich cores. The cooling sequences of the resulting WDs are also described. Results: We show that the minimum mass for a C-O WD is about 0.33 M⊙, so that both He and C-O core WDs can exist in the mass range 0.33-0.5 M⊙. The models computed for the present paper provide the theoretical tools for indentifying the observational counterpart of very low-mass remnants with a C-O core among those commonly ascribed to the He-core WD population in the progressively growing sample of observed WDs of low mass. Moreover, we show that the central He-burning phase of the stripped progeny of the 2.3 M_⊙ star lasts longer and longer as the total mass decreases. In particular, the M = 0.33 M⊙ model takes about 800 Myr to exhaust its central helium, which is more than three times longer than the value for the standard 2.3 M⊙ star: it is, by far, the longest core-He burning lifetime. Finally, we find the occurrence of gravonuclear instabilities during the He-burning shell phase.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-10

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

  2. The ELM Survey. I. A Complete Sample of Extremely Low-mass White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. The formation of low-mass helium white dwarfs orbiting pulsars . Evolution of low-mass X-ray binaries below the bifurcation period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    Context. Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are generally believed to be old neutron stars (NSs) that have been spun up to high rotation rates via accretion of matter from a companion star in a low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB). This scenario has been strongly supported by various pieces of observational evidence. However, many details of this recycling scenario remain to be understood. Aims: Here we investigate binary evolution in close LMXBs to study the formation of radio MSPs with low-mass helium white dwarf companions (He WDs) in tight binaries with orbital periods Porb ≃ 2-9h. In particular, we examine i) if the observed systems can be reproduced by theoretical modelling using standard prescriptions of orbital angular momentum losses (i.e. with respect to the nature and the strength of magnetic braking), ii) if our computations of the Roche-lobe detachments can match the observed orbital periods, and iii) if the correlation between WD mass and orbital period (MWD, Porb) is valid for systems with Porb< 2 days. Methods: Numerical calculations with a detailed stellar evolution code were used to trace the mass-transfer phase in ~400 close LMXB systems with different initial values of donor star mass, NS mass, orbital period, and the so-called γ-index of magnetic braking. Subsequently, we followed the orbital and the interior evolution of the detached low-mass (proto) He WDs, including stages with residual shell hydrogen burning. Results: We find that severe fine-tuning is necessary to reproduce the observed MSPs in tight binaries with He WD companions of mass <0.20 M⊙, which suggests that something needs to be modified or is missing in the standard input physics of LMXB modelling. Results from previous independent studies support this conclusion. We demonstrate that the theoretically calculated (MWD, Porb)-relation is in general also valid for systems with Porb< 2 days, although with a large scatter in He WD masses between 0.15-0.20 M⊙. The results of the thermal

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, J. J.

    2013-08-01

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

  6. Precise mass and radius values for the white dwarf and low mass M dwarf in the pre-cataclysmic binary NN Serpentis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, S. G.; Marsh, T. R.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Dhillon, V. S.; Littlefair, S. P.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hickman, R.

    2010-03-01

    Using the high resolution Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) mounted on the Very Large Telescope in combination with photometry from the high-speed CCD camera ULTRACAM, we derive precise system parameters for the pre-cataclysmic binary NN Ser. A model fit to the ULTRACAM light curves gives the orbital inclination as and the scaled radii, RWD/a and Rsec/a. Analysis of the HeII 4686 Å absorption line gives a radial velocity amplitude for the white dwarf of KWD = 62.3 +/- 1.9kms-1. We find that the irradiation-induced emission lines from the surface of the secondary star give a range of observed radial velocity amplitudes due to differences in optical depths in the lines. We correct these values to the centre of mass of the secondary star by computing line profiles from the irradiated face of the secondary star. We determine a radial velocity of Ksec = 301 +/- 3kms-1, with an error dominated by the systematic effects of the model. This leads to a binary separation of a = 0.934 +/- 0.009Rsolar, radii of RWD = 0.0211 +/- 0.0002Rsolar and Rsec = 0.149 +/- 0.002Rsolar and masses of MWD = 0.535 +/- 0.012Msolar and Msec = 0.111 +/- 0.004Msolar. The masses and radii of both components of NN Ser were measured independently of any mass-radius relation. For the white dwarf, the measured mass, radius and temperature show excellent agreement with a `thick' hydrogen layer of fractional mass MH/MWD = 10-4. The measured radius of the secondary star is 10 per cent larger than predicted by models, however, correcting for irradiation accounts for most of this inconsistency, hence the secondary star in NN Ser is one of the first precisely measured very low mass objects (M <~ 0.3Msolar) to show good agreement with models. ULTRACAM r', i' and z' photometry taken during the primary eclipse determines the colours of the secondary star as (r' - i')sec = 1.4 +/- 0.1 and (i' - z')sec = 0.8 +/- 0.1 which corresponds to a spectral type of M4 +/- 0.5. This is consistent with the

  7. Models of low-mass helium white dwarfs including gravitational settling, thermal and chemical diffusion, and rotational mixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Istrate, A. G.; Marchant, P.; Tauris, T. M.; Langer, N.; Stancliffe, R. J.; Grassitelli, L.

    2016-10-01

    A large number of extremely low-mass helium white dwarfs (ELM WDs) have been discovered in recent years. The majority of them are found in close binary systems suggesting they are formed either through a common-envelope phase or via stable mass transfer in a low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) or a cataclysmic variable (CV) system. Here, we investigate the formation of these objects through the LMXB channel with emphasis on the proto-WD evolution in environments with different metallicities. We study for the first time the combined effects of rotational mixing and element diffusion (e.g. gravitational settling, thermal and chemical diffusion) on the evolution of proto-WDs and on the cooling properties of the resulting WDs. We present state-of-the-art binary stellar evolution models computed with MESA for metallicities of Z = 0.02, 0.01, 0.001 and 0.0002, producing WDs with masses between 0.16-0.45 M⊙. Our results confirm that element diffusion plays a significant role in the evolution of proto-WDs that experience hydrogen shell flashes. The occurrence of these flashes produces a clear dichotomy in the cooling timescales of ELM WDs, which has important consequences e.g. for the age determination of binary millisecond pulsars. In addition, we confirm that the threshold mass at which this dichotomy occurs depends on metallicity. Rotational mixing is found to counteract the effect of gravitational settling in the surface layers of young, bloated ELM proto-WDs and therefore plays a key role in determining their surface chemical abundances, i.e. the observed presence of metals in their atmospheres. We predict that these proto-WDs have helium-rich envelopes through a significant part of their lifetime. This is of great importance as helium is a crucial ingredient in the driving of the κ-mechanism suggested for the newly observed ELM proto-WD pulsators. However, we find that the number of hydrogen shell flashes and, as a result, the hydrogen envelope mass at the beginning of

  8. The triple system HIP 96515: a low-mass eclipsing binary with a DB white dwarf companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huélamo, N.; Vaz, L. P. R.; Torres, C. A. O.; Bergeron, P.; Melo, C. H. F.; Quast, G. R.; Barrado y Navascués, D.; Sterzik, M. F.; Chauvin, G.; Bouy, H.; Landin, N. R.

    2009-09-01

    Context: HIP 96515 A is a double-lined spectroscopic binary included in the SACY catalog as a potential young star. It has a visual companion (CCDM 19371-5134 B, HIP 96515 B) at 8.6 arcsec. If bound to the primary, the optical and infrared colors of this wide companion are consistent with those of a white dwarf. Aims: We attempt to characterize the system HIP 96515 A&B by studying each of its components. Methods: We analyzed spectroscopic and photometric observations of HIP 96515 A and its visual companion, HIP 96515 B. To confirm the system as a common proper-motion pair, we analyzed the astrometry of the components using high-angular resolution infrared observations obtained within a time span of two years, and archival astrometry. Results: The high-resolution optical spectrum of HIP 96515 A was used to derive a mass ratio, M_2/M_1, close to 0.9. The optical lightcurve of HIP 96515 A shows periodic variations with P_orbital = 2.3456 days, revealing that HIP 96515 A is an eclipsing binary with preliminary orbital parameters of i = 89.0° ± 0.2°, and M1 = 0.59 ± 0.03 M⊙ and M2 = 0.54 ± 0.03 M⊙, for the primary and secondary, respectively, at an estimated distance of 42 ± 3 pc. This is a new eclipsing binary with component masses below 0.6 M⊙. Multi-epoch observations of HIP 96515 A&B show that the system is a common proper-motion pair. The optical spectrum of HIP 96515 B is consistent with a pure helium atmosphere (DB) white dwarf. The comparison with evolutionary cooling sequence models provides Teff,WD = 19 126 ± 195 K, log gWD = 8.08, MWD/M⊙ = 0.6, and a distance of ~46 pc. The estimated WD cooling age is ~100 Myr and the total age of the object (including the main-sequence phase) is ~400 Myr. Finally, if HIP 96515 A&B are coeval, and assuming a common age of ~400 Myr, the comparison of the masses of the eclipsing binary members with evolutionary tracks shows that they are underestimated by ~15% and 10%, for the primary and secondary, respectively

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. BEER ANALYSIS OF KEPLER AND CoRoT LIGHT CURVES. IV. DISCOVERY OF FOUR NEW LOW-MASS WHITE DWARF COMPANIONS IN THE KEPLER DATA

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laughlin, Gregory; Bodenheimer, Peter

    1993-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-02-16

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

  15. Formation of Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hennebelle, P.

    2012-11-01

    These lectures attempt to expose the most important ideas, which have been proposed to explain the formation of stars with particular emphasis on the formation of brown dwarfs and low-mass stars. We first describe the important physical processes which trigger the collapse of a self-gravitating piece of fluid and regulate the star formation rate in molecular clouds. Then we review the various theories which have been proposed along the years to explain the origin of the stellar initial mass function paying particular attention to four models, namely the competitive accretion and the theories based respectively on stopped accretion, MHD shocks and turbulent dispersion. As it is yet unsettled whether the brown dwarfs form as low-mass stars, we present the theory of brown dwarfs based on disk fragmentation stressing all the uncertainties due to the radiative feedback and magnetic field. Finally, we describe the results of large scale simulations performed to explain the collapse and fragmentation of molecular clouds.

  16. When White Dwarfs Collide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Wendy Phyllis

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Collapsing white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baron, E.; Cooperstein, J.; Kahana, S.; Nomoto, K.

    1987-01-01

    The results of the hydrodynamic collapse of an accreting C + O white dwarf are presented. Collapse is induced by electron captures in the iron core behind a conductive deflagration front. The shock wave produced by the hydrodynamic bounce of the iron core stalls at about 115 km, and thus a neutron star formed in such a model would be formed as an optically quiet event.

  1. The white dwarf luminosity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Berro, Enrique; Oswalt, Terry D.

    2016-06-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for ∼ 10 Gyr. Their observed properties provide information about the history of the Galaxy, its dark matter content and a host of other interesting astrophysical problems. Examples of these include an independent determination of the past history of the local star formation rate, identification of the objects responsible for the reported microlensing events, constraints on the rate of change of the gravitational constant, and upper limits to the mass of weakly interacting massive particles. To carry on these tasks the essential observational tools are the luminosity and mass functions of white dwarfs, whereas the theoretical tools are the evolutionary sequences of white dwarf progenitors, and the corresponding white dwarf cooling sequences. In particular, the observed white dwarf luminosity function is the key manifestation of the white dwarf cooling theory, although other relevant ingredients are needed to compare theory and observations. In this review we summarize the recent attempts to empirically determine the white dwarf luminosity function for the different Galactic populations. We also discuss the biases that may affect its interpretation. Finally, we elaborate on the theoretical ingredients needed to model the white dwarf luminosity function, paying special attention to the remaining uncertainties, and we comment on some applications of the white dwarf cooling theory. Astrophysical problems for which white dwarf stars may provide useful leverage in the near future are also discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Hot subdwarfs in (eclipsing) binaries with brown dwarf or low-mass main-sequence companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffenroth, Veronika; Geier, Stephan; Heber, Uli

    2014-09-01

    The formation of hot subdwarf stars (sdBs), which are core helium-burning stars located on the extended horizontal branch, is not yet understood. Many of the known hot subdwarf stars reside in close binary systems with short orbital periods of between a few hours and a few days, with either M-star or white-dwarf companions. Common-envelope ejection is the most probable formation channel. Among these, eclipsing systems are of special importance because it is possible to constrain the parameters of both components tightly by combining spectroscopic and light-curve analyses. They are called HW Virginis systems. Soker (1998) proposed that planetary or brown-dwarf companions could cause the mass loss necessary to form an sdB. Substellar objects with masses greater than >10 M_J were predicted to survive the common-envelope phase and end up in a close orbit around the stellar remnant, while planets with lower masses would entirely evaporate. This raises the question if planets can affect stellar evolution. Here we report on newly discovered eclipsing or not eclipsing hot subdwarf binaries with brown-dwarf or low-mass main-sequence companions and their spectral and photometric analysis to determine the fundamental parameters of both components.

  5. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs

    PubMed Central

    Luyten, Willem J.

    1978-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-01

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

  11. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1998-01-01

    Work on NAG5-3288 ("White Dwarf Pulsars") has been fully integrated with the identically titled project NAG5-4734. The final report below is the same, since the data analysis and interpretative work are integrated, as are the resulting (previous and in-pipeline) publications. The proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of - 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain and is "on ice". A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the ASCA data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s (Patterson et al. 1998, PASP, 110, 403). Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle".

  12. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caballero, José Antonio

    2007-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roellig, Thomas L.

    2006-01-01

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

  16. A HYBRID SCENARIO FOR THE FORMATION OF BROWN DWARFS AND VERY LOW MASS STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, Shantanu; Vorobyov, Eduard I. E-mail: eduard.vorobiev@univie.ac.at

    2012-05-01

    We present a calculation of protostellar disk formation and evolution in which gaseous clumps (essentially, the first Larson cores formed via disk fragmentation) are ejected from the disk during the early stage of evolution. This is a universal process related to the phenomenon of ejection in multiple systems of point masses. However, it occurs in our model entirely due to the interaction of compact, gravitationally bound gaseous clumps and is free from the smoothing-length uncertainty that is characteristic of models using sink particles. Clumps that survive ejection span a mass range of 0.08-0.35 M{sub Sun }, and have ejection velocities 0.8 {+-} 0.35 km s{sup -1}, which are several times greater than the escape speed. We suggest that, upon contraction, these clumps can form substellar or low-mass stellar objects with notable disks, or even close-separation very low mass binaries. In this hybrid scenario, allowing for ejection of clumps rather than finished protostars/proto-brown-dwarfs, disk formation and the low velocity dispersion of low-mass objects are naturally explained, while it is also consistent with the observation of isolated low-mass clumps that are ejection products. We conclude that clump ejection and the formation of isolated low-mass stellar and substellar objects is a common occurrence, with important implications for understanding the initial mass function, the brown dwarf desert, and the formation of stars in all environments and epochs.

  17. 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

  18. White dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Cataclysmic variables (CVs) provide excellent laboratories to study the effect that the accretion of matter, energy and angular momentum has on the structure of white dwarfs, with important implications on the evolution of these compact binaries, the ignition of thermonuclear surface burning, and potentially their explosion as SNIa. I will provide an overview of our current understanding of CV white dwarfs, with a particular emphasis on the results of a recent large HST program. I will review our knowledge regarding the mass distribution of CV white dwarfs, as well as the secular mean accretion rates that can be inferred from their effective temperatures, and compare those statistics with predictions from CV population models. I will also discuss a sub-set of CVs which underwent thermal-time scale mass transfer, one of the channels that is often discussed as a pathway to SN Ia, and I will illustrate how the study of these "failed SNIa" can contribute to the discussion of SNIa progenitors. Finally, I will discuss the occurrence of non-radial pulsations in white dwarfs, both in CVs and their detached progenitors.

  19. The Physics of White Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1979-01-01

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

  20. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Investigating Low-Mass Binary Stars And Brown Dwarfs with Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mace, Gregory Nathan

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

  3. NLTT 5306: the shortest period detached white dwarf+brown dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, P. R.; Saglia, R. P.; Burleigh, M. R.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Lawrie, K.; Cappetta, M.; Girven, J.; Napiwotzki, R.

    2013-03-01

    We have spectroscopically confirmed a brown dwarf mass companion to the hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf NLTT 5306. The white dwarf's atmospheric parameters were measured using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and X-shooter spectroscopy as Teff = 7756 ± 35 K and log(g) = 7.68 ± 0.08, giving a mass for the primary of MWD = 0.44 ± 0.04 M⊙ at a distance of 71 ± 4 pc with a cooling age of 710 ± 50 Myr. The existence of the brown dwarf secondary was confirmed through the near-infrared arm of the X-shooter data and a spectral type of dL4-dL7 was estimated using standard spectral indices. Combined radial velocity measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, X-shooter and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope's High Resolution Spectrograph of the white dwarf give a minimum mass of 56 ± 3 MJup for the secondary, confirming the substellar nature. The period of the binary was measured as 101.88 ± 0.02 min using both the radial velocity data and i'-band variability detected with the Isaac Newton Telescope. This variability indicates `day' side heating of the brown dwarf companion. We also observe Hα emission in our higher resolution data in phase with the white dwarf radial velocity, indicating that this system is in a low level of accretion, most likely via a stellar wind. This system represents the shortest period white dwarf+brown dwarf binary and the secondary has survived a stage of common envelope evolution, much like its longer period counterpart, WD 0137-349. Both systems likely represent bona fide progenitors of cataclysmic variables with a low-mass white dwarf and a brown dwarf donor.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccarone, Thomas

    2013-09-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-20

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

  9. Diffusion Coefficients in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saumon, D.; Starrett, C. E.; Daligault, J.

    2015-06-01

    Models of diffusion in white dwarfs universally rely on the coefficients calculated by Paquette et al. (1986). We present new calculations of diffusion coefficients based on an advanced microscopic theory of dense plasmas and a numerical simulation approach that intrinsically accounts for multiple collisions. Our method is validated against a state-of-the-art method and we present results for the diffusion of carbon ions in a helium plasma.

  10. 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.

  11. Oscillations of red dwarfs in evolved low-mass binaries with neutron stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sarna, Marek J.; Lee, Umin; Muslimov, Alexander G.

    1994-01-01

    We investigate a novel aspect of a problem related to the properties of low-mass binaries (LMBs) with millisecond pulsars: the pulsations of the red dwarf (donor) companion of the neutron star (NS). The illumination of the donor star by the pulsar's high-energy nonthermal radiation and relativistic wind may substantially affect its structure. We present a quantitative analysis of the oscillation spectrum of a red dwarf which has evolved in an LMB and has undergone the stage of evaporation. We calculate the p- and g-modes for red dwarfs with masses in the interval (0.2-0.6) stellar mass. For comparison, similar calculations are presented for zero age main-sequence (ZAMS) stars of the same masses. For less massive donor stars (approximately 0.2 stellar mass) the oscillation spectrum becomes quantitatively different from that of their ZAMS counterparts. The differnce is due to the fact that a ZAMS star of 0.2 stellar mass is fully convective, while the donor star in an LMB is expected to be far from thermal equilibrium and not fully convective. As a result, in contrast to a low-mass ZAMS star, a red dwarf of the same mass in an LMB allows the existence of g-modes. We also consider tidally forced g-modes, and perform a linear analysis of these oscillations for different degrees of nonsynchronism between the orbital and spin rotation of the red dwarf component. We demonstrate the existence of a series of reasonances for the low-order g-modes which may occur in LMBs at a late stage of their evolution. We discuss the possibility that these oscillations may trigger Roche lobe overflow and sudden mass loss by the donor star. Further implications of this effect for gamma- and X-ray burst phenomena are outlined.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aberasturi, Miriam

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aberasturi, Miriam

    2015-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-10

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

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

    PubMed

    Allard, F; Homeier, D; Freytag, B

    2012-06-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Low-mass ultra-cool dwarfs: Atmospheres, rotation and magnetic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    Low-mass stars and substellar brown dwarfs are the most numerous luminous components of our Galaxy. In order to motivate my research, I begin in Chapter 1 with a review of the M and L spectral types. These spectral classes are the focus of my thesis, since they define the transition from stellar to substellar regimes. In Chapter 2, I attempt to determine the effective temperature of a sample of late M and L dwarfs, by profile fitting the atomic resonance absorption lines of Cesium and Rubidium. An effective temperature scale is devised, assuming constant surface gravity and solar metallicity. In order to investigate more carefully the interplay between effective temperature, gravity and dust formation, I embark in Chapter 3 on a multi-feature spectral analysis of cool M dwarfs. We find that individual spectral features may be degenerate in their response to variations in gravity, temperature and dust. However, the latter parameters can be uniquely determined by a simultaneous examination of multiple lines, such as those of TiO, Na, Cs and FeI. Keeping the above results in mind, I examine, in Chapter 4, the trends in rotation and activity in cool dwarfs. Rotation and chromospheric activity observations are presented for nearly one hundred mid-M to mid-L dwarfs. We find that rotation rates continue to increase with later type. Using a Reynolds number calculation, we show that a decrease in ionization fraction can indeed lead to the observed falloff in activity levels, in the late M and L dwarfs. Acoustic heating effects are also examined. We suggest some possibilities to explain the recently discovered coronal radio emission in these objects. Finally, we propose a mechanism to explain the intermittent flaring that is also observed at these spectral types. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  18. Massive double white dwarfs and the AM CVn birthrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. White dwarf heating and the ultraviolet flux in dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pringle, J. E.

    1988-01-01

    The heating of the outer layers of the white dwarf which is likely to occur during a dwarf nova outburst is investigated. It is shown that the decline in IUE flux, observed during quiescent intervals in the dwarf novae VW Hydri and WX Hydri, may be due to the outer layers cooling off once the heat source is removed. The calculations here assume uniformity of the heat source over the white dwarf surface. This is unlikely to be realized from disk accretion, and discussion is made of what further calculations are required.

  1. Double White Dwarf Merger Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Theories of white dwarf oscillations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanhorn, H. M.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

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

  4. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  5. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. HELIUM CORE WHITE DWARFS IN CATACLYSMIC VARIABLES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-01

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

  8. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-09-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  13. 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).

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. SDSS DR7 WHITE DWARF CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, Ann Marie; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.

    2014-12-01

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

  20. The Effect of Feedback and Reionization on Star Formation in Low-mass Dwarf Galaxy Halos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Christine M.; Bryan, G.; Johnston, K. V.; Smith, B. D.; Mac Low, M.; Sharma, S.; Tumlinson, J.

    2013-01-01

    I will present a set of high resolution simulations of a 109 M⊙ dark matter halo in a cosmological setting done with an adaptive-mesh refinement code as a mass analogue to local low-luminosity dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The primary goal of our simulations is to investigate the roles of reionization and supernova feedback in determining the star formation histories of low mass dwarf galaxies. We include a wide range of physical effects, including metal cooling, molecular hydrogen formation and cooling, photoionization and photodissociation from a metagalactic (but not local) background, a simple prescription for self-shielding, star formation, and a simple model for supernova driven energetic feedback. We find that reionization is primarily responsible for expelling most of the gas in our simulations, but that supernova feedback is required to disperse the dense, cold gas in the core of the halo. Moreover, we show that the timing of reionization can produce an order of magnitude difference in the final stellar mass of the system. For our full physics run with reionization at z=9, we find a stellar mass of about 105 M⊙ at z=0, and a mass-to-light ratio within the half-light radius of approximately 130 M⊙/L⊙, consistent with observed low-luminosity dwarfs. However, the resulting median stellar metallicity is 0.06 Z⊙, considerably larger than observed systems. In addition, we find star formation is truncated between redshifts 4 and 7, at odds with the observed late time star formation in isolated dwarf systems but in agreement with Milky Way ultrafaint dwarf spheroidals. We investigate the efficacy of energetic feedback in our simple thermal-energy driven feedback scheme, and suggest that it may still suffer from excessive radiative losses, despite reaching stellar particle masses of about 100 M⊙, and a comoving spatial resolution of 11 pc. This has led us to pursue improvements in our supernova feedback model to include kinetic as well as thermal energy in

  1. 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.

  2. A census of very-low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the σ Orionis cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodieu, N.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R.; Rebolo, R.; Martín, E. L.; Hambly, N. C.

    2009-10-01

    Context: The knowledge of the initial mass function (IMF) in open clusters constitutes one way of constraining the formation of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, along with the frequency of multiple systems and the properties of disks. Aims: The aim of the project is to determine the shape of the mass function in the low-mass and substellar regimes in the σ Orionis cluster (~3 Myr, ~352 pc, solar metallicity) as accurately as possible and compare it with the results in other clusters. Methods: We have analysed the near-infrared photometric data from the fourth data release (DR4) of the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Suvey (UKIDSS) Galactic clusters survey (GCS) to derive the cluster luminosity and mass functions, evaluate the extent of the cluster, and study the distribution and variability of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs down to the deuterium-burning limit. Results: We have recovered most of the previously published members and found a total of 287 candidate members within the central 30 arcmin in the 0.5-0.009 M⊙ mass range, including new objects not previously reported in the literature. This new catalogue represents a homogeneous dataset of brown dwarf member candidates over the central 30 arcmin of the cluster. The expected photometric contamination by field objects with similar magnitudes and colours to σ Orionis members is ~15%. We present evidence of variability at the 99.5% confidence level over ~yearly timescales in 10 member candidates that exhibit signs of youth and the presence of disks. The level of variability is low (≤0.3 mag) and does not impact the derivation of the cluster luminosity and mass functions. Furthermore, we find a possible dearth of brown dwarfs within the central five arcmin of the cluster, which is not caused by a lower level of photometric sensitivity around the massive, O-type multiple star σ Ori in the GCS survey. Using state-of-the-art theoretical models, we derived the luminosity and mass functions within the central 30

  3. ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF COMPACT WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-10

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

  4. 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)

  5. White Dwarf Model for PAMELA Positron Excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiyama, Kazumi; Ioka, Kunihito

    2010-10-01

    We suggest that white dwarf pulsars can compete with neutron star pulsars for producing the excesses of cosmic ray positrons and electrons (e+/-) observed by the PAMELA, ATIC/PPB-BETS, Fermi and HESS experiments. A double degenerate white dwarf binary mergers into a white dwarf pulsar with rotational energy (~1050 erg) comparable to a neutron star pulsar. The birth rate (~1/100 yr) is also similar, providing the right energy budget. Applying the neutron star theory, we show that the white dwarf pulsars can produce e+/-, up to ~10 TeV for high magnetic fields (>108 G). In contrast to the neutron star case, the adiabatic energy losses of e+/- are negligible since their injection continues after the nebula expansion. The long activity also enhances the nearby sources, potentially dominating the quickly cooled e+/- above TeV energy, detectable by the future CALET experiment.

  6. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

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

  7. White Dwarfs in Local Star Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchs, Burkhard; Dettbarn, Christian

    2011-01-01

    We have studied the fine structure of the phase space distribution of white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood. White dwarfs have kinematics that are typical for the stellar population of the old thin disk of the Milky Way. Using a projection of the space velocities of stars onto vertical angular momentum components and eccentricities of the stellar orbits we demonstrate that stellar streams can be identified in the phase space distribution of the white dwarfs. These correspond to the well-known Sirius, Pleiades, and Hercules star streams. Membership of white dwarfs, which represent the oldest population in the Galaxy, in these streams lends support to the interpretation that the streams owe their existence to dynamical resonance effects of the stars with Galactic spiral arms or the Galactic bar, because these indiscriminately affect all stellar populations.

  8. 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.

  9. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Detection of the White Dwarf Companions of Barium Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Richard O.; Corbally, C. J.; Griffin, E.; McGahee, C. E.

    2010-01-01

    The Barium dwarfs are chemically peculiar F- and G-type stars that show enhanced abundances of s-process elements such as strontium and barium. They are believed to have derived their chemical peculiarities via mass transfer from a former AGB companion, now a white dwarf. These WD companions should be detectable in the far-ultraviolet if their effective temperatures exceed 10,000K. However, despite dedicated IUE searches, no WD companion has been directly detected. We have observed 4 Ba dwarfs with the GALEX ultraviolet space telescope (2 newly discovered Ba dwarfs have archival observations), and report here on the first unequivocal direct detection of a WD companion of a Ba dwarf, HD 15306, the hottest Ba dwarf known (F4 V). This WD companion is detected through a clear far-ultraviolet excess. Detection of the putative WD companions of the other observed Ba dwarfs is somewhat more problematical, as those stars have cooler effective temperatures and chromospheric activity can significantly affect their FUV fluxes. The disentanglement of WD FUV fluxes from FUV emission due to chromospheric activity requires comparison of the observed Ba dwarfs with F- and G-type dwarfs with archival GALEX photometry. We have selected a set of 68 F- and G-type dwarfs from the NStars program (Gray et al. 2003, 2006) that have good quality archival GALEX photometry and show a wide range of chromospheric activity. A comparison of these stars with the 5 remaining GALEX-observed Ba dwarfs suggests that one and perhaps two of these Ba dwarfs have detectable WD companions.

  11. 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.

  12. Nonlinear Analysis of Pulsating White Dwarf Lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-10

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

  19. White Dwarfs in the GALEX Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2007-01-01

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

  20. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-22

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

  1. THE MASSES OF POPULATION II WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Gravitational Interactions of White Dwarf Double Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupuy, Trent J.

    2010-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. White dwarf stars with some hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Eugene Yu-Yu

    This dissertation focuses on white dwarf stars with some hydrogen, that possess a mass of surface hydrogen from 1 x 10--11 M⊙ to 1 x 10--7 M⊙ . The chemical structure of such white dwarfs is mainly controlled by convection and has never been studied in a fully proper manner. We present the first comprehensive study of such objects, including: (1) The relation between surface chemical composition and stellar structure. (2) The cooling curve and curve of surface chemical evolution. (3) The "Teff function" of the galactic disc derived from such cooling curves. The study enables us to: (1) Infer physical quantities such as total hydrogen mass (mH) and core temperature ( Tcore) from spectroscopy. (2) Understand the correlation between the non-DA to DA abundance ratio and Teff, such as the "non-DA gap" proposed by Bergeron, Ruiz, & Leggett (1997). (3) Better understand the cosmo-chronological meaning of the white dwarf luminosity function.

  8. 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.

  9. HST spectrophotometry of accreting white dwarf pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukadam, Anjum S.; Szkody, Paula; Gaensicke, Boris T.

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of non-radial pulsations in cataclysmic variables has opened a new venue of opportunity to probe the stellar parameters of accreting variable white dwarfs using asteroseismic techniques. A unique model fit to the observed periods of the variable white dwarf can reveal information about the stellar mass, core composition, age, rotation rate, magnetic field strength, and distance. Mode identification is an essential step in determining an unambiguous model fit, that could be achieved by determining optical and ultra-violet pulsation amplitudes. We will be presenting our results on ultra-violet HST observations acquired with contemporaneous ground based optical data for several cataclysmic variables. The HST spectrophotometry also yields the effective temperatures of the accreting white dwarfs, allowing us to improve our present determination of the instability strip for accreting pulsators. We thank NASA for the grant HST-GO12870 that has supported this research.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-03-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mace, G. N.

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-22

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A SuperWASP Benchmark Eclipsing Binary with a Very Low-Mass Secondary in the Brown Dwarf Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez Maqueo Chew, Yilen; Garcia-Melendo, Enrique; Hebb, Leslie; Faedi, Francesca; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Pollacco, Don

    2012-08-01

    We will obtain eclipse light curves of a newly discovered eclipsing binary composed of a Sun-like primary with a secondary companion which can be either a very low mass M-dwarf (less than ~0.15 Msun) or a brown dwarf. The objects orbit each other with a period of ~14.3 days in an eccentric orbit, which as been confirmed with a high- precision radial velocity curve for the system. Therefore, these eclipse light curves will allow us to constrain the radii of the eclipsing components and orbital inclination of the system. Furthermore, the depth of the secondary eclipse which can only be observed in the near-infrared, directly constrains the temperature ratio between the components. In combination with the the masses derived from the radial velocity curve, our light curve analysis will unveil the true nature of the secondary. Whether it is a very-low mass star or a brown dwarf, direct measurements of the fundamental properties (masses, radii and temperatures) of such objects are very scarce and will provide key tests to current evolutionary models. Thus, we request two nights with FLAMINGOS at the KPNO 2.1m to observe a complete secondary eclipse of the system at near-infrared wavelengths in order to fully characterize the very low-mass component of the system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  19. Very Low Mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. IV. A Candidate Brown Dwarf or Low-mass Stellar Companion to HIP 67526

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Peng; Ge, Jian; Cargile, Phillip; Crepp, Justin R.; De Lee, Nathan; Porto de Mello, Gustavo F.; Esposito, Massimiliano; Ferreira, Letícia D.; Femenia, Bruno; Fleming, Scott W.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Ghezzi, Luan; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Hebb, Leslie; Lee, Brian L.; Ma, Bo; Stassun, Keivan G.; Wang, Ji; Wisniewski, John P.; Agol, Eric; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Brewington, Howard; Chang, Liang; Nicolaci da Costa, Luiz; Eastman, Jason D.; Ebelke, Garrett; Gary, Bruce; Kane, Stephen R.; Li, Rui; Liu, Jian; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Maia, Marcio A. G.; Malanushenko, Viktor; Malanushenko, Elena; Muna, Demitri; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Ogando, Ricardo L. C.; Oravetz, Audrey; Oravetz, Daniel; Pan, Kaike; Pepper, Joshua; Paegert, Martin; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Rebolo, Rafael; Santiago, Basilio X.; Schneider, Donald P.; Shelden Bradley, Alaina C.; Sivarani, Thirupathi; Snedden, Stephanie; van Eyken, J. C.; Wan, Xiaoke; Weaver, Benjamin A.; Zhao, Bo

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of a candidate brown dwarf (BD) or a very low mass stellar companion (MARVELS-5b) to the star HIP 67526 from the Multi-object Apache point observatory Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The radial velocity curve for this object contains 31 epochs spread over 2.5 yr. Our Keplerian fit, using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, reveals that the companion has an orbital period of 90.2695^{+0.0188}_{-0.0187} days, an eccentricity of 0.4375 ± 0.0040, and a semi-amplitude of 2948.14^{+16.65}_{-16.55} m s-1. Using additional high-resolution spectroscopy, we find the host star has an effective temperature T eff = 6004 ± 34 K, a surface gravity log g (cgs) =4.55 ± 0.17, and a metallicity [Fe/H] =+0.04 ± 0.06. The stellar mass and radius determined through the empirical relationship of Torres et al. yields 1.10 ± 0.09 M ⊙ and 0.92 ± 0.19 R ⊙. The minimum mass of MARVELS-5b is 65.0 ± 2.9M Jup, indicating that it is likely to be either a BD or a very low mass star, thus occupying a relatively sparsely populated region of the mass function of companions to solar-type stars. The distance to this system is 101 ± 10 pc from the astrometric measurements of Hipparcos. No stellar tertiary is detected in the high-contrast images taken by either FastCam lucky imaging or Keck adaptive optics imaging, ruling out any star with mass greater than 0.2 M ⊙ at a separation larger than 40 AU.

  20. VERY LOW MASS STELLAR AND SUBSTELLAR COMPANIONS TO SOLAR-LIKE STARS FROM MARVELS. IV. A CANDIDATE BROWN DWARF OR LOW-MASS STELLAR COMPANION TO HIP 67526

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang Peng; Ge Jian; De Lee, Nathan; Fleming, Scott W.; Lee, Brian L.; Ma Bo; Wang, Ji; Cargile, Phillip; Hebb, Leslie; Stassun, Keivan G.; Crepp, Justin R.; Porto de Mello, Gustavo F.; Ferreira, Leticia D.; Esposito, Massimiliano; Femenia, Bruno; Gonzalez Hernandez, Jonay I.; Ghezzi, Luan; Wisniewski, John P.; Agol, Eric; and others

    2013-09-15

    We report the discovery of a candidate brown dwarf (BD) or a very low mass stellar companion (MARVELS-5b) to the star HIP 67526 from the Multi-object Apache point observatory Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The radial velocity curve for this object contains 31 epochs spread over 2.5 yr. Our Keplerian fit, using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, reveals that the companion has an orbital period of 90.2695{sup +0.0188}{sub -0.0187} days, an eccentricity of 0.4375 {+-} 0.0040, and a semi-amplitude of 2948.14{sup +16.65}{sub -16.55} m s{sup -1}. Using additional high-resolution spectroscopy, we find the host star has an effective temperature T{sub eff} = 6004 {+-} 34 K, a surface gravity log g (cgs) =4.55 {+-} 0.17, and a metallicity [Fe/H] =+0.04 {+-} 0.06. The stellar mass and radius determined through the empirical relationship of Torres et al. yields 1.10 {+-} 0.09 M{sub Sun} and 0.92 {+-} 0.19 R{sub Sun }. The minimum mass of MARVELS-5b is 65.0 {+-} 2.9M{sub Jup}, indicating that it is likely to be either a BD or a very low mass star, thus occupying a relatively sparsely populated region of the mass function of companions to solar-type stars. The distance to this system is 101 {+-} 10 pc from the astrometric measurements of Hipparcos. No stellar tertiary is detected in the high-contrast images taken by either FastCam lucky imaging or Keck adaptive optics imaging, ruling out any star with mass greater than 0.2 M{sub Sun} at a separation larger than 40 AU.

  1. NUCLEAR CONDENSATE AND HELIUM WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-04-10

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

  2. White dwarfs identified in LAMOST DR 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. DA White Dwarfs in the Kepler Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    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-meter, and Bok 2.3-meter 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 eleven happens to be a presumed binary, KIC 11604781, with a period of ˜5 days. 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 timescales.

  5. 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.

  6. Uniform period spacings in white dwarf models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1987-01-01

    Theoretical models of g-mode oscillations in white dwarfs are investigated analytically. Numerical results of period-spacing computations for DOV, DAV, and DBV models are presented in tables, and the relationships between period spacings and the composition and structure of the stellar atmospheres are discussed.

  7. On Thermohaline Mixing in Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koester, Detlev

    2015-06-01

    We discuss the recent claim that the thermohaline (“fingering”) instability is important in accreting white dwarfs, increasing the derived accretion fluxes potentially by orders of magnitude. We present an alternative view and conclude that at least in the steady state this is not the case and the current method of estimating accretion fluxes is correct.

  8. 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

  9. Metal Lines in DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A wide binary trigger for white dwarf pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonsor, Amy; Veras, Dimitri

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. General Relativistic and Newtonian White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Photometric Variability of Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrie, K. A.; Burleigh, M. R.; Brinkworth, C. S.; Marsh, T. R.; Hodgkin, S. T.; Baker, D. E. A.; Cossins, P.; Littlejohns, O. M.; Scott, A. E.; Steele, P. R.

    2013-01-01

    We present our survey results searching for photometric variability and rotation periods of 77 magnetic white dwarfs (MWDs). The sample consists of 24 bright (V < 16), isolated MWDs and 53 MWDs (r' < 18.5) discovered spectroscopically by SDSS. Observations were taken with the 2.5 m Isaac Newton Telescope, La Palma. We determine well-defined periods for 12 stars (16% of the sample) and variability but with poorly constrained periods in a further 13 targets (17%). A period of 7.72 days is found for LHS 5064, the second longest measured for an isolated MWD. Where periods of variability have been determined, the magnetic field strength, temperature, mass and age of the white dwarf have been compared to determine whether any physically interesting correlations emerge.

  18. 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.

  19. Dark-matter admixed white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, S.-C.; Chu, M.-C.; Lin, L.-M.; Wong, K.-W.

    2013-06-01

    We study the equilibrium structures of white dwarfs with dark matter cores formed by non-self-annihilating dark matter (DM) particles with masses ranging from 1 GeV to 100 GeV, which are assumed to form 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(10-3)M⊙ and O(10-6)M⊙, respectively. The global properties of these stars, and in particular the corresponding Chandrasekhar mass limits, are essentially the same as those of traditional white dwarf 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, far above those in traditional white dwarfs. For DM with a particle mass of 1 GeV, the DM core inside the star can be as massive as ˜0.1M⊙ and affects the global structure of the star significantly. In this case, the radius of a stellar model with DM can be about two times smaller than that of a traditional white dwarf. Furthermore, the Chandrasekhar mass limit can also 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—a key assumption in the discovery of dark energy.

  20. Asteroseismology of DAV White Dwarf Stars

    SciTech Connect

    Bradley, Paul A.

    1997-12-31

    The author reviews the seismological structural determinations of ZZ Ceti stars done to date, and supplement these with additional preliminary determinations of his own. He compares the constraints on the hydrogen layer mass to see what trends emerge and also determines if the observed hydrogen layer masses are consistent with proposed theories. He then looks ahead to the prospects of further DAV white dwarf seismology.

  1. The field white dwarf mass distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  2. White dwarfs in Be star binary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Apparao, K. M. V.

    1991-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. White dwarf cosmochronology in the solar neighborhood

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-20

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

  5. Double White Dwarf Mergers with CASTRO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Maximilian P.; Zingale, M.; Calder, A.; Swesty, F. D.

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae are among the brightest explosions in the Universe and are recognized as reliable distance indicators. While the accepted cause of these events is the thermonuclear incineration of white dwarf stars instigated by accretion, the characteristics of the donor stars remain under investigation. Recent observational evidence supports the hypothesis that the progenitors of some events are binary white dwarf systems, and has spurred renewed theoretical interest in a merger scenario. We present preliminary work modeling such a system using the modern, three-dimensional compressible hydrodynamics code CASTRO. CASTRO uses an adaptive Eulerian grid to highly resolve features of interest and has been demonstrated to accurately address typical dynamical problems in astrophysics. We present simulations showing that it is an appropriate tool for the case of white dwarfs orbiting each other under Newtonian gravity. We show the capability of the code to conserve energy and angular momentum over multiple orbits, and we discuss the differences between simulations in inertial and co-rotating reference frames. We also present verification tests of the gravity solver and describe the importance of appropriate boundary conditions. With the success of these verification tests, the next step is to apply CASTRO to the inspiral and onset of mass transfer and determine areas of likely nuclear burning. This work was supported in part by the NSF under award AST-1211563.

  6. An expanded set of brown dwarf and very low mass star models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burrows, A.; Hubbard, W. B.; Saumon, D.; Lunine, J. I.

    1993-01-01

    We present in this paper updated and improved theoretical models of brown dwarfs and late M dwarfs. The evolution and characteristics of objects between 0.01 and 0.2 solar mass are exhaustively investigated and special emphasis is placed on their properties at early ages. The dependence on the helium fraction, deuterium fraction, and metallicity of the masses, effective temperature and luminosities at the edge of the hydrogen main sequence are calculated. We derive luminosity functions for representative mass functions and compare our predictions to recent cluster data. We show that there are distinctive features in the theoretical luminosity functions that can serve as diagnostics of brown dwarf physics. A zero-metallicity model is presented as a bound to or approximation of a putative extreme halo population.

  7. 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.

  8. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF YOUNG BROWN DWARFS AND VERY LOW MASS STARS INFERRED FROM HIGH-RESOLUTION MODEL SPECTRA

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. The IMF in NGC6611: the environmental influence on the formation of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Joana

    2005-07-01

    We propose to use HST with ACS and NICMOS to survey the central area of the young {2 Myr} cluster NGC6611 in the Eagle Nebula, with the goal of constructing the low-mass and substellar Initial Mass Function {IMF}. We plan to obtain deep images in I {F775W} and Z {F850LP} with ACS/WFC, and deep images in J {F110W} and H {F160W} for 25 NICMOS/NIC2 fields within the 202" x 202" ACS/WFC field. Using a proven technique based on the use of IZJH color-magnitude and color-color diagrams to identify and determine the masses of the low-mass pre-main sequence cluster members, we are thus able to construct the IMF down to masses of 0.02-0.03 Msun. With an intense ionizing radiation field but a relatively low density, NGC6611 provides a unique laboratory in which to test the importance of photoevaporation and density on the formation of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, through comparison with the IMFs determined for the different environments in the Orion Nebular Cluster, Taurus and IC348. This will not only offer substantial new insight into the physics of star formation, but also have important ramifications for estimating the global star formation rates at high redshift, the efficiency of galactic chemical evolution and the contribution of sub-stellar mass objects to the baryonic dark matter content of the Universe.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-20

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

  12. The Initial Mass Function of Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in Taurus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhman, K. L.

    2000-12-01

    By combining deep optical imaging and infrared spectroscopy with data from the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) and from previous studies (e.g., Briceño et al.), I have measured the initial mass function (IMF) for a reddening-limited sample in four fields in the Taurus star-forming region. This IMF is representative of the young populations within these fields for masses above 0.02 Msolar. Relative to the similarly derived IMF for the Trapezium Cluster (Luhman et al.), the IMF for Taurus exhibits a modest deficit of stars above 1 solar mass (i.e., steeper slope), the same turnover mass (~0.8 Msolar), and a significant deficit of brown dwarfs. If the IMF in Taurus were the same as that in the Trapezium, 12.8+/-1.8 brown dwarfs (>0.02 Msolar) are expected in these Taurus fields where only one brown dwarf candidate is found. These results are used to test theories of the IMF. Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

  13. Radial velocities of very low mass stars and candidate brown dwarf members of the Hyades and Pleiades, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, John R.; Liebert, James; Giampapa, Mark

    1995-01-01

    We have determined H alpha equivalent widths and radial velocities with 1 sigma accuracies of approximately 5 km/s for approximately 20 candidate very low mass members of the Pleiades cluster and for a few proposed very low mass members of the Hyades. Most of the Pleiades targets were selected from the recent Hambly, Hawkins, and Jameson proper motion survey, where they were identified as probable Pleiades brown dwarfs with an age spread from 3 to 70 Myr. Our spectroscopic data and a reinterpretation of the photometric data confirm that these objects are indeed likely Pleiades members; however, we believe that they more likely have masses slightly above the hydrogen burning mass limit and that there is no firm evidence for an age spread amongst these stars. All of the very low mass Pleiades and Hyades members show H alpha in emission. However, the ratio of H alpha flux to biometric flux in the Pleiades shows a maximum near M(sub Bol) approximately equal to 9.5 (M approximately equal to 0.3 solar mass) and a sharp decrease to lower masses. This break occurs at the approximate mass where low mass stars are expected to become fully convective, and it is tempting to assume that the decrease in H alpha flux is caused by some change in the behavior of stellar dynamos at this mass. We do not see a similar break in activity at this mass in the Hyades. We discuss possible evolutionary explanations for this difference in the H alpha activity between the two clusters.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Accretion on to Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, Dayal

    2014-01-01

    The Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables (MCVs) are close interacting binaries where mass is transferred from a late type secondary star to a magnetic white dwarf. Two modes of accretion can be identified depending on the strength of the magnetic field, the mass transfer rate and orbital parameters. (a) Disced Accretion: In the Intermediate polars (IPs), the mass transfer stream circularises and forms an accretion disc. Material couples on to field lines in a narrow inner transition region where the velocity in the orbital plane changes from Keplerian to co-rotation (b) Discless Accretion: In the polars, the accretion stream is disrupted by the magnetic field before it can circularise. Material couples on to field lines via an inner transition region where the velocity changes from essentially free fall to co-rotation. The polars have no counterparts in neutron star systems and their study provides unique insights into the complex nature of the magnetospheric boundary. The observed properties of accretion shocks at the white dwarf surface such as the anomalous soft-X-ray excess and its time variability provide strong support for the hypothesis that under certain circumstances the field channelled funnel flow is "blobby". This has been attributed to interchange instabilities such as the Magnetic Rayleigh-Taylor instability in the shocked gas at the stream-magnetosphere boundary where the stream fragments into discrete clumps of gas. As the clumps penetrate into the magnetosphere, they are shredded into smaller mass blobs via the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability that then couple on to field lines over an extended inner transition region in the orbital plane. The more massive blobs penetrate deep into the photosphere of the white dwarf releasing their energy as a reprocessed soft-X-ray black body component. Although similar instabilities are expected in the inner transition region in disced accretion albeit on a different scale there has been no direct observational evidence

  17. 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.

  18. Nucleosynthesis in white-dwarf atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoyle, F.; Clayton, D. D.

    1974-01-01

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

  19. White-dwarf-white-dwarf galactic background in the LISA data

    SciTech Connect

    Edlund, Jeffrey A.; Tinto, Massimo; Krolak, Andrzej; Nelemans, Gijs

    2005-06-15

    LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) is a proposed space mission, which will use coherent laser beams exchanged between three remote spacecraft to detect and study low-frequency cosmic gravitational radiation. In the low part of its frequency band, the LISA strain sensitivity will be dominated by the incoherent superposition of hundreds of millions of gravitational wave signals radiated by inspiraling white-dwarf binaries present in our own Galaxy. In order to estimate the magnitude of the LISA response to this background, we have simulated a synthesized population that recently appeared in the literature. Our approach relies on entirely analytic expressions of the LISA time-delay interferometric responses to the gravitational radiation emitted by such systems, which allows us to implement a computationally efficient and accurate simulation of the background in the LISA data. We find the amplitude of the galactic white-dwarf binary background in the LISA data to be modulated in time, reaching a minimum equal to about twice that of the LISA noise for a period of about two months around the time when the Sun-LISA direction is roughly oriented towards the Autumn equinox. This suggests that, during this time period, LISA could search for other gravitational wave signals incoming from directions that are away from the galactic plane. Since the galactic white-dwarf background will be observed by LISA not as a stationary but rather as a cyclostationary random process with a period of 1 yr, we summarize the theory of cyclostationary random processes, present the corresponding generalized spectral method needed to characterize such process, and make a comparison between our analytic results and those obtained by applying our method to the simulated data. We find that, by measuring the generalized spectral components of the white-dwarf background, LISA will be able to infer properties of the distribution of the white-dwarf binary systems present in our Galaxy.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, Ann Marie; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.

    2011-11-01

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

  1. Diffusion of neon in white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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}.

  4. Two new extremely hot pulsating white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  5. White dwarf stars in D dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavanis, P.-H.

    2007-07-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Equilibrium structure of white dwarfs at finite temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. ROSAT Pointed Observations of Cool Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    1991-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. REMNANTS OF BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-02-10

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

  18. The g-modes of white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  3. On General Relativistic Uniformly Rotating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. ON GENERAL RELATIVISTIC UNIFORMLY ROTATING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-10

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Isochrones and Luminosity Functions for Old White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richer, Harvey B.; Hansen, Brad; Limongi, Marco; Chieffi, Alessandro; Straniero, Oscar; Fahlman, Gregory G.

    2000-01-01

    Using a new grid of models of cooling white dwarfs, we calculate isochrones and luminosity functions in the Johnson-Kron/Cousins and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) filter sets for systems containing old white dwarfs. These new models incorporate a nongray atmosphere that is necessary to properly describe the effects of molecular opacity at the cool temperatures of old white dwarfs. The various functions calculated and extensively tabulated and plotted are meant to be as utilitarian as possible for observers, so all results are listed in quantities that observers will obtain. The tables and plots developed should eventually prove critical in interpreting the results of HST's Advanced Camera observations of the oldest white dwarfs in nearby globular clusters, in understanding the results of searches for old white dwarfs in the Galactic halo, and in determining ages for star clusters using white dwarfs. As a practical application we demonstrate the use of these results by deriving the white dwarf cooling age of the old Galactic cluster M67.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Vennes, S.; Kawka, A.

    2012-01-20

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Circumstellar debris and pollution at white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2016-04-01

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

  16. GW Lib: a Unique Laboratory for White Dwarf Pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toloza, Odette; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Hermes, JJ; Townsley, Dean M.; Szkody, Paula; Beuermann, K.; Bildsten, Lars; de Martino, D.; Godon, Patrick; Henden, Arne A.; Hubeny, Ivan; Knigge, Christian; Long, Knox S.; Marsh, T. R.; Patterson, Joseph; Schreiber, M. R.; Sion, Edward M.; Zorotovic, Monica

    2015-06-01

    Non-radial pulsations have been identified in a number of accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables. These stars offer insight into the excitation of pulsation modes in mixed H/He/Z atmospheres, and the response of these modes to changes in the white dwarf temperature. Among all pulsating cataclysmic variable white dwarfs, GW Lib stands out by having a well-established observational record of three independent pulsation modes that were wiped out during its 2007 outburst. We have obtained new HST ultraviolet observations in May 2013 that show an unexpected behaviour: besides some activity near the ˜280 s period that has been observed in the past, the white dwarf underwent a large-amplitude brightening. We demonstrate that the brightening is related to an increase of the photospheric temperature, argue against an accretion episode as explanation, and discuss this event in the context of non-radial pulsations on a rapidly rotating star.

  17. 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.

  18. A variational approach to understanding white dwarf evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreizler, S.; Werner, K.

    1996-10-01

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

  4. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-22

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

  5. 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.

  6. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-22

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Santiago; García-Berro, Enrique

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Evidence for very nearby hidden white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  10. Tidal Interactions in Merging White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2011-10-01

    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 1 ≈ 7 × 1010 and Q 2 ≈ 2 × 107, 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 1 for the He WD means its spin velocity will be slower than that expected if it was tidally locked, which, since the binary is eclipsing, may be measurable via the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. After one year, gravitational wave emission shifts the time of eclipses by 5.5 s, but tidal interactions cause the orbit to shrink more rapidly, changing the time by up to an additional 0.3 s after a year. Future eclipse timing measurements may therefore infer the degree of tidal locking.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Rotation and Strong Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-06-01

    We study the co-evolution of rotation and magnetism during the post-main sequence expansion of 1 and 5 M⊙ stars. The magnetic field is sourced by a dynamo operating near the core-envelope boundary, which is driven by the downward pumping of angular momentum though the envelope. In stars with strong and magnetized main-sequence winds, this angular momentum must be supplied by a binary planetary or stellar companion. Magnetic helicity is advected into the growing core as the magnetic field enforces solid-body rotation there, corresponding to a dipolar magnetic field ˜ 106-107 G in the white dwarf (WD) remnant. We estimate the residual spin that results from a shutoff of the dynamo, combined with decoupling of core and envelope, during the last stages of the AGB. Only a thin magnetized layer is left behind in a massive WD: the ohmic transport time is typically less than a Gyr, suggesting that the incidence of strong magnetism in massive WDs will be observed to decrease with age.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. Detecting White Dwarf Companions of Blue Straggler Binaries in the Old Open Cluster NGC 188

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosnell, Natalie M.; Mathieu, R. D.; Geller, A. M.; Knigge, C.; Sills, A.; Leigh, N.

    2013-01-01

    The discovery that the majority of blue stragglers in the old (7 Gyr) open cluster NGC 188 are in binaries with periods of order 1000 days constrains the possible formation mechanism(s) to: i) mass transfer in binary stars, ii) stellar collisions during dynamical encounters of multiple star systems, or iii) mergers of inner binaries in primordial triples driven by the Kozai mechanism. A critical discriminant between these ideas are the secondary stars of the blue straggler binaries. The mass-transfer scenario predicts white dwarf companions, while the collision and merger scenarios predict mostly main-sequence companions. Ground-based spectra of the majority of blue stragglers in NGC 188 do not detect secondary star light, but analysis of the mass functions indicates that the blue straggler binaries with 1000-day period orbits have a secondary-mass distribution that is narrow and peaked near 0.5 Msolar, suggestive of white dwarfs or possibly low-mass main-sequence companions. With Cycle 19 HST/ACS/SBC FUV-imaging we will search for white dwarf companions of the blue stragglers in NGC 188, the first data of which are now acquired. We present spectral energy distribution models of blue straggler-white dwarf pairings. We then combine these SEDs with blue straggler populations in predictive Monte Carlo models. With these models we predict our white dwarf companion detection rates in NGC 188 as a function of blue straggler formation mechanism and age distribution. Support for Program number GO 12492 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  19. An accurate mass and radius measurement for an ultracool white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, S. G.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Marsh, T. R.; Bergeron, P.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Dhillon, V. S.; Bento, J.; Littlefair, S. P.; Schreiber, M. R.

    2012-11-01

    Studies of cool white dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood have placed a limit on the age of the Galactic disc of 8-9 billion years. However, determining their cooling ages requires the knowledge of their effective temperatures, masses, radii and atmospheric composition. So far, these parameters could only be inferred for a small number of ultracool white dwarfs for which an accurate distance is known, by fitting their spectral energy distributions in conjunction with a theoretical mass-radius relation. However, the mass-radius relation remains largely untested, and the derived cooling ages are hence model dependent. Here we report direct measurements of the mass and radius of an ultracool white dwarf in the double-lined eclipsing binary SDSS J013851.54-001621.6. We find MWD = 0.529 ± 0.010 M⊙ and RWD = 0.0131 ± 0.0003 R⊙. Our measurements are consistent with the mass-radius relation and we determine a robust cooling age of 9.5 billion years for the 3570 K white dwarf. We find that the mass and radius of the low-mass companion star, Msec = 0.132 ± 0.003 M⊙ and Rsec = 0.165 ± 0.001 R⊙, are in agreement with evolutionary models. We also find evidence that this >9.5 Gyr old M5 star is still active, far beyond the activity lifetime for a star of its spectral type. This is likely caused by the high tidally enforced rotation rate of the star. The companion star is close to filling its Roche lobe and the system will evolve into a cataclysmic variable in only 70 Myr. Our direct measurements demonstrate that this system can be used to calibrate ultracool white dwarf atmospheric models.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmahan, Robert K.

    1989-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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}ȯ 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}ȯ 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.

  3. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-02-20

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

  9. 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.

  10. White Dwarfs in HETDEX: Preparation for the Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Does an Average White Dwarf Have Enough Mass to Prevent Accretion Disk Tilt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, M. M.

    2010-11-01

    In a recent publication, we introduce the lift force as a common source to accretion disk tilt that is likely relevant to accretion disk systems. Lift is generated by slightly different supersonic gas stream speeds flowing over and under the disk at the bright spot. In this conference proceeding, we focus on whether the average white dwarf has enough mass to prevent a disk tilt in non-magnetic Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) with accretion disks. Assuming a white dwarf mass of 0.6 Msolar and a disk mass of 10-11 Msolar, we vary the secondary mass to establish theoretical minimum mass transfer rates needed to induce and maintain a disk tilt of four degrees around the line of nodes. For mass ratios in the range (0.13<=q = M2M-1<=0.45), we confirm that the secondary mass does not contribute significantly to disk tilt. We also confirm that the average white dwarf does not have enough mass to prevent a disk tilt. We find that disk tilt may be likely in low mass transfer rate systems such as CV SU UMa's.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.; Moore, Kevin

    2014-12-10

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2015-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1991-01-01

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

  3. An analytical model of accretion onto white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ospina, N.; Hernanz, M.

    2013-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Hubble Space Telescope high resolution spectroscoy of the exposed white dwarf in the dwarf nova VW Hydri in quiescence: A rapidly rotating white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Huang, Min; Szkody, Paula; Cheng, Fu-Hua

    1995-01-01

    We obtained a far-ultraviolet spectrum of the dwarf nova VW Hyi in quiescence, with the Hubble Space Telescope Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph covering the region of the Si iv lambda(lambda)1393, 1402 resonance doublet. The broad, shallow Si iv doublet feature is fully resolved, has a total equivalent width of 2.8 A, and is the first metal absorption feature to be clearly detected in the exposed white dwarf. Our synthetic spectral analysis, using a model grid constructed with the code TLUSTY, resulted in a reasonable fit to a white dwarf photosphere with T(sub eff) = 22,000 +/- 2000 K, log g = 8.0 +/- 0.3, an approximately solar Si/H abundance, and a rotational velocity, v sin i approximately equal to 600 km/s. This rotation rate, while not definitive because it is based upon just one line transition, is 20% of the Keplerian (breakup) velocity of the white dwarf and hence does not account for the unexpectedly low boundary-layer luminosity inferred from the soft-X-ray/extreme ultra-violet bands where most of the boundary-layer luminosity should be radiated. The predicted boundary-layer luminosity for a 0.6 solar mass white dwarf accreting at the rate 10(exp -10) solar mass/yr and rotating at 600 km/s, corresponding to VW Hyi in quiescence, is 2 x 10(exp 32) ergs/s when proper account is taken of the rotational kinetic energy going into spinning up the white dwarf. If the boundary-layer area is equal to that of the white dwarf, then T(sub bl) = 24,000 K. This is essentially identical to the photspheric luminosity and temperature determined in far-ultraviolet photospheric analyses. If the boundary-layer area is 10(exp -3) of the white dwarf surface area, then T(sub bl) = 136,000 K.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mustill, Alexander J.; Villaver, Eva

    2012-12-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-10

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

  11. The evolutionary thermal response of a white dwarf to compressional heating by periodic dwarf nova accretion events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    1995-01-01

    The thermal response of the underlying white dwarf in a cataclysmic variable to the periodic deposition of mass by a dwarf nova accretion event is simulated with a quasi-static stellar evolution code incorporating time variable accretion. After accretion at rates typical of dwarf nova outbursts (approx. 10(exp -7) to 10(exp -8)/yr) for outburst durations of days to 2 weeks, the radial infall is shut off and the evolution of the white dwarf is followed during dwarf nova quiescence. The matter is assumed to accrete softly with the same entropy as the white dwarf outer layers. In some sequences accretion is resumed and shut off repeatedly at intervals of months to simulate the thermal evolution of the white dwarf in typical dwarf novae such as SS Cygni and U Geminorum, between successive dwarf nova outbursts. Thermal timescales for white dwarf cooling following a given dwarf nova outburst depend upon the accretion rate, outburst duration, and white dwarf mass; they are nominally in the range 0.2-0.8 years for parameters typical of dwarf novae (white dwarf masses in the range 1.2-0.6 solar mass, outburst accretion rates in the range 1 x 10(exp -7)-10(exp -8) solar mass/yr, outburst durations in the range 7-14, days and quiescent intervals of 30-300 days). If the e-folding timescale of the white dwarf cooling is shorter than the quiescent interval bewteen outbursts, then the effect of compressional heating is too small to be observationally detectable.

  12. Two new color-selected magnetic DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liebert, J.; Schmidt, G. D.; Sion, E. M.; Starrfield, S. G.; Green, R. F.; Boroson, T. A.

    1985-01-01

    The discovery of two magnetic white dwarfs culled from blue star surveys is reported. The surveys were carried out with the Mount Lemnon 1.5-meter reflecting telescope attached to a two-holer polarimeter/photometer. Spectral observations of the objects, (PG 1533 - 057, and K813 - 14), indicate the presence of hydrogen and Zeeman components. On the basis of dipolar field simulations, it is shown that PG 1533 - 057 has a polar field strength of 31 megagauss (MG) while K813 - 14 has a polar field strength of 29 MG. A third known white dwarf has a polar field strength of 18 MG. All the dwarfs had temperatures in the 11,000-20,000 K range. The possibility that a significant fraction of isolated magnetic degenerate stars could be the progeny of magnetic accreting binary systems is considered.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-20

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

  14. White Dwarf Stars in the HET Dark Energy Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanheira, Barbara; Winget, D.; Gebhardt, K.; Allende Prieto, C.; Shetrone, M.; Odewahn, S.; Montgomery, M. H.

    2012-01-01

    In this poster, we present the project that will survey all white dwarf stars observed in the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) and the Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) observations in parallel mode. The final product will be a unique magnitude-limited catalog of as many as 10,000 stars. Since we will use data from an Integral-field Units, our survey will be free of the selection biases that plagued preceding surveys, e.g. the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The critical advantages of our program are our ability to produce a white dwarf luminosity function five magnitudes fainter than the one derived from the Palomar-Green survey and with a similar number of faint stars as the one from SDSS. Our project will help to derive a more precise age of the Galactic disk, and will provide fundamental information about the white dwarf population and the star formation history of the Milky Way, impacting the white dwarf field and many other fields of astronomy.

  15. Stellar Archaeology with Gaia: The Galactic White Dwarf Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gänsicke, B.; Tremblay, P.; Barstow, M.; Bono, G.; Burleigh, M.; Casewell, S.; Dhillon, V.; Farihi, J.; Garcia-Berro, E.; Geier, S.; Gentile-Fusillo, N.; Hermes, J.; Hollands, M.; Istrate, A.; Jordan, S.; Knigge, C.; Manser, C.; Marsh, T.; Nelemans, G.; Pala, A.; Raddi, R.; Tauris, T.; Toloza, O.; Veras, D.; Werner, K.; Wilson, D.

    2016-10-01

    Gaia will identify several 105 white dwarfs, most of which will be in the solar neighborhood at distances of a few hundred parsecs. Ground-based optical follow-up spectroscopy of this sample of stellar remnants is essential to unlock the enormous scientific potential it holds for our understanding of stellar evolution, and the Galactic formation history of both stars and planets.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. High-Resolution EUV Spectroscopy of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Michael P.; Wood, K. S.; Barstow, M. A.

    2014-01-01

    We compare results of high-resolution EUV spectroscopic measurements of the isolated white dwarf G191-B2B and the binary system Feige 24 obtained with the J-PEX (Joint Plasmadynamic Experiment), which was sponsored jointly by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and NASA. J-PEX delivers the world's highest resolution in EUV and does so at high effective area (e.g., more effective area in a sounding rocket than is available with Chandra at adjacent energies, but in a waveband Chandra cannot reach). The capability J-PEX represents is applicable to the astrophysics of hot plasmas in stellar coronae, white dwarfs and the ISM. G191-B2B and Feige 24 are quite distinct hot white dwarf systems having in common that they are bright in the portion of the EUV where He emission features and edges occur, hence they can be exploited to probe both the stellar atmosphere and the ISM, separating those components by model-fitting that sums over all relevant (He) spectral features in the band. There is evidence from these fits that atmospheric He is being detected but the result is more conservatively cast as a pair of upper limits. We discuss how longer duration satellite observations with the same instrumentation could increase exposure to detect atmospheric He in these and other nearby hot white dwarfs.

  1. a Search for Radial Pulsations in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawaler, Steven

    1991-07-01

    Several classes of NONRADIALLY pulsating white dwarfs are known, with pulsation periods of several minutes. Theoretical work predicts that DB and DA white dwarfs that are slightly hotter than the known nonradial instability strips should be unstable to RADIAL pulsations with periods of about 0.1--1 second. However, ground-based observations have failed to reveal such periodicities. We propose to use HST's High Speed Photometer to search for the predicted radial pulsations in DB and DA white dwarfs. UV high-speed photometry offers the advantages of larger stellar fluxes (the effective temperatures of our three targets are 13,000--30,000 K) and significantly larger pulsation amplitudes (factors of 2 to 3) compared to ground-based photometry, along with freedom from atmospheric scintillation, giving HST a distinct gain over any ground-based facility. The presence (or absence) of the predicted rapid oscillations will provide significant new information for (or challenges to) the theory of white-dwarf pulsations, structure, and evolution.

  2. The Mass Distribution of White Dwarfs: An Unwavering Obsession

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergeron, P.; Gianninas, A.; Boudreault, S.

    2007-09-01

    We discuss some of our current knowledge of the mass distribution of DA and non-DA stars using various methods for measuring white dwarf masses including spectroscopic, trigonometric parallax, and gravitational redshift measurements, with a particular emphasis on the problems encountered at the low end of the cooling sequence where energy transport by convection becomes important.

  3. UV Spectroscopy of a Peculiar White Dwarf Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCully, Curtis

    2012-10-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. SNIa, white dwarfs and the variation of the gravitational constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, J.; Garcia-Berro, E.; Lorén-Aguilar, P.

    2010-11-01

    The critical role that the gravitational constant, G, plays in the Theory of General Relativity and the possibility, introduced by theories that unify gravity with other interactions, that G could vary in time and space have bursted the interest in detecting such variations or, at least, to bound them as tightly as possible. White dwarfs represent the last evolutionary stage of stars with masses smaller than 10 ± 2 M⊙. Since their mechanical structure is sustained by the pressure of degenerate electrons, they do not radiate nuclear energy and their evolution is just a simple gravothermal cooling process. On the other hand, white dwarfs in close binary systems can accrete matter from the companion, experiencing nova outbursts, or in some cases they can also reach Chandrasekhar's mass and explode as a Type Ia supernova (SNIa). Since the cooling of single white dwarfs and the properties of SNIa strongly depend on the precise value of G and on its possible secular variation, white dwarfs can be used to constrain such hypothetical variations. When white dwarfs are cool enough, their luminosity is entirely of gravothermal origin. Any variation of G modifies the energy balance of their interiors and, consequently, also modifies their luminosity. Formally, the influence of a secular variation of G can be expressed as L=-Ḃ+Ω(Ġ/G) where B=U+Ω is the total binding energy, U is the total internal energy and Ω is the gravitational energy. Thus, if Ġ ≠ 0 the luminosity is modified and the characteristic cooling time is different from that obtained in the case in which Ġ = 0. Detecting such variations can be done using the luminosity function of white dwarfs, which is defined as the number of white dwarfs of a given luminosity per unit of magnitude interval. It increases monotonically with the magnitude and displays a sharp cut-off due to the finite age of the Galaxy. The position of this cut-off is sensitive to the age of the Galaxy and to the value of Ġ and, thus

  7. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Nonlinear Time Series Analysis of White Dwarf Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jevtic, N.; Zelechoski, S.; Feldman, H.; Peterson, C.; Schweitzer, J.

    2001-12-01

    We use nonlinear time series analysis methods to examine the light intensity curves of white dwarf PG1351+489 obtained by the Whole Earth Telescope (WET). Though these methods were originally introduced to study chaotic systems, when a clear signature of determinism is found for the process generating an observable and it couples the active degrees of freedom of the system, then the notion of phase space provides a framework for exploring the system dynamics of nonlinear systems in general. With a pronounced single frequency, its harmonics and other frequencies of lower amplitude on a broadband background, the PG1351 light curve lends itself to the use of time delay coordinates. Our phase space reconstruction yields a triangular, toroidal three-dimensional shape. This differs from earlier results of a circular toroidal representation. We find a morphological similarity to a magnetic dynamo model developed for fast rotators that yields a union of both results: the circular phase space structure for the ascending portion of the cycle, and the triangular structure for the declining portion. The rise and fall of the dynamo cycle yield both different phase space representations and different correlation dimensions. Since PG1351 is known to have no significant fields, these results may stimulate the observation of light curves of known magnetic white dwarfs for comparison. Using other data obtained by the WET, we compare the phase space reconstruction of DB white dwarf PG1351 with that of GD 358 which has a more complex power spectrum. We also compare these results with those for PG1159. There is some general similarity between the results of the phase space reconstruction for the DB white dwarfs. As expected, the difference between the results for the DB white dwarfs and PG1159 is great.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bochanski, Jr, John J.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Spectroscopic observations of V443 Herculis - A symbiotic binary with a low mass white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobrzycka, Danuta; Kenyon, Scott J.; Mikolajewska, Joanna

    1993-01-01

    We present an analysis of new and existing photometric and spectroscopic observations of the symbiotic binary V443 Herculis. This binary system consists of a normal M5 giant and a hot compact star. These two objects have comparable luminosities: about 1500 solar for the M5 giant and about 1000 solar for the compact star. We identify three nebular regions in this binary: a small, highly ionized volume surrounding the hot component, a modestly ionized shell close to the red giant photosphere, and a less dense region of intermediate ionization encompassing both binary components. The system parameters for V443 Her suggest the hot component currently declines from a symbiotic nova eruption.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-08-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Examining Flare Rates in Close M dwarf + White Dwarf binary pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Dylan P.; West, Andrew A.; Becker, Andrew C.

    2015-01-01

    We present a preliminary study to examine the statistical flare rates for M dwarfs with close white dwarf companions (WD+dM; typical separations < 1 AU). Previous studies have shown a strong correlation between M dwarfs that are active (showing Hα in emission) and their stellar flare rates. Our analysis of M dwarfs with close WD companions demonstrated that the M dwarfs are more active than their field counterparts. One implication of having a close binary companion is presumed to be increased stellar rotation through disk-disruption, tidal effects, and/or angular momentum exchange; increased stellar activity has long been attributed to an increase in stellar rotation. We examine the difference between the flare rates observed in close WD+dM binary systems and field M dwarfs. Our sample consists of a subset of 202 (70 of which are magnetically active) close WD+dM pairs from Morgan et al. that were observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82, a transient observing mode where multi-epoch observations in the Sloan ugriz bands were obtained. We present results that will assist in identifying and categorizing transient phenomena and limiting expensive follow-up observations for future time-domain studies, such as LSST.

  16. Examining Flare Rates in Close M Dwarf + White Dwarf Binary Pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Dylan P.; West, Andrew A.

    2014-06-01

    We present a preliminary study to examine the statistical flare rates for M dwarfs with a close white dwarf companion (WD+dM; typical separations < 1 AU). Previous studies show a strong correlation between M dwarfs that are active (showing Hα in emission) and their stellar flare rates. Our previous analysis of M dwarfs with close WD companions demonstrated that the M dwarfs are more active than their field counterparts. One implication of having a close binary companion is presumed to be increased stellar rotation through disk-disruption, tidal effects, and/or angular momentum exchange; increased stellar rotation has long been attributed to an increase in stellar activity for stars. We examine the difference between the flare rates observed in close WD+dM binary systems and field M dwarfs. Our sample consists of a subset of 202 (70 of which are magnetically active) close WD+dM pairs from Morgan et al. that were observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82, a transient observing mode where multi-epoch observations in the Sloan ugriz bands were obtained.

  17. A precision study of two eclipsing white dwarf plus M dwarf binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, S. G.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Dhillon, V. S.; Littlefair, S. P.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Hickman, R. D. G.; Burleigh, M. R.; Kerry, P.; Koester, D.; Nebot Gómez-Morán, A.; Pyrzas, S.; Savoury, C. D. J.; Schreiber, M. R.; Schmidtobreick, L.; Schwope, A. D.; Steele, P. R.; Tappert, C.

    2012-03-01

    We use a combination of X-shooter spectroscopy, ULTRACAM high-speed photometry and SOFI near-infrared photometry to measure the masses and radii of both components of the eclipsing post common envelope binaries SDSS J121258.25-012310.1 and GK Vir. For both systems, we measure the gravitational redshift of the white dwarf (WD) and combine it with light-curve model fits to determine the inclinations, masses and radii. For SDSS J1212-0123, we find an inclination of i= 85?7 ± 0?5, masses of MWD= 0.439 ± 0.002 M⊙ and Msec= 0.273 ± 0.002 M⊙, and radii RWD= 0.0168 ± 0.0003 R⊙ and Rsec= 0.306 ± 0.007 R⊙. For GK Vir, we find an inclination of i= 89?5°± 0?6, masses of MWD= 0.564 ± 0.014 M⊙ and Msec= 0.116 ± 0.003 M⊙ and radii RWD= 0.0170 ± 0.0004 R⊙ and Rsec= 0.155 ± 0.003 R⊙. The mass and radius of the WD in GK Vir are consistent with evolutionary models for a 50 000 K carbon-oxygen (CO) core WD. Although the mass and radius of the WD in SDSS J1212-0123 are consistent with CO core models, evolutionary models imply that a WD with such a low mass and in a short period binary must have a helium core. The mass and radius measurements are consistent with helium core models but only if the WD has a very thin hydrogen envelope (MH/MWD≤ 10-6). Such a thin envelope has not been predicted by any evolutionary models. The mass and radius of the secondary star in GK Vir are consistent with evolutionary models after correcting for the effects of irradiation by the WD. The secondary star in SDSS J1212-0123 has a radius ˜9 per cent larger than predicted.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopytova, Taisiya

    2016-01-01

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

  19. THE DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF LOW-MASS HYDROGEN-BURNING STARS, BROWN DWARFS, AND PLANETARY-MASS OBJECTS FORMED THROUGH DISK FRAGMENTATION

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yun; Kouwenhoven, M. B. N.; Stamatellos, D.; Goodwin, S. P.

    2015-06-01

    Theory and simulations suggest that it is possible to form low-mass hydrogen-burning stars, brown dwarfs (BDs), and planetary-mass objects (PMOs) via disk fragmentation. As disk fragmentation results in the formation of several bodies at comparable distances to the host star, their orbits are generally unstable. Here, we study the dynamical evolution of these objects. We set up the initial conditions based on the outcomes of the smoothed-particle hydrodynamics simulations of Stamatellos and Whitworth, and for comparison we also study the evolution of systems resulting from lower-mass fragmenting disks. We refer to these two sets of simulations as set 1 and set 2, respectively. At 10 Myr, approximately half of the host stars have one companion left, and approximately 22% (set 1) to 9.8% (set 2) of the host stars are single. Systems with multiple secondaries in relatively stable configurations are common (about 30% and 44%, respectively). The majority of the companions are ejected within 1 Myr with velocities mostly below 5 km s{sup −1}, with some runaway escapers with velocities over 30 km s{sup −1}. Roughly 6% (set 1) and 2% (set 2) of the companions pair up into very low-mass binary systems, resulting in respective binary fractions of 3.2% and 1.2%. The majority of these pairs escape as very low-mass binaries, while others remain bound to the host star in hierarchical configurations (often with retrograde inner orbits). Physical collisions with the host star (0.43 and 0.18 events per host star for set 1 and set 2, respectively) and between companions (0.08 and 0.04 events per host star for set 1 and set 2, respectively) are relatively common and their frequency increases with increasing disk mass. Our study predicts observable properties of very low-mass binaries, low-mass hierarchical systems, the BD desert, and free-floating BDs and PMOs in and near young stellar groupings, which can be used to distinguish between different formation scenarios of very low-mass

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-10

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

  1. 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.

  2. White dwarf binaries and the gravitational wave foreground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benacquista, Matthew

    2016-02-01

    Galactic white dwarf binaries will be an abundant source of gravitational waves in the mHz frequency band of space-based detectors such as eLISA. A few thousand to a few tens of thousands of these systems will be individually resolvable by eLISA, depending on the final detector configuration. The remaining tens of millions of close white dwarf binaries will create an unresolvable anisotropic foreground of gravitational waves that will be comparable to the instrument noise of eLISA at frequencies below about a mHz. Both the resolvable binaries and the foreground can be used to better understand this population. Careful choice of the initial orientation of eLISA can mitigate this foreground in searches for other sources.

  3. A gaseous metal disk around a white dwarf.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-22

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

  4. 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.

  5. PG 1346+082 - An interacting binary white dwarf system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.; Winget, D. E.; Nather, R. E.; Liebert, James; Wesemael, F.

    1987-01-01

    PG 1346+082 is both a photometric and a spectroscopic variable, spanning the B-magnitude range 13.6-17.2. High-speed photometric data reveal rapid flickering in the low-state light curve. The system also shows spectroscopic variations, displaying broad shallow He I absorption lines at maximum light and a weak emission feature at He I (4471 A) at minimum light. Hydrogen lines are conspicuous by their absence. Is is concluded that PG 1346+082 is an interacting binary white dwarf system. Furthermore, because continuum fits to IUE high-state data suggest temperatures consistent with membership in the DB white dwarf instability strip, it is suggested that some of the photometric variations may arise from pulsations.

  6. How much hydrogen is there in a white dwarf?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdonald, James; Vennes, Stephane

    1991-01-01

    Stratified hydrogen/helium envelope models in diffusive equilibrium are calculated for a 0.6-solar-mass white dwarf for effective temperatures between 10,000 and 80,000 K in order to investigate the observational constraints placed on the total hydrogen mass. Convective mixing is included ab initio in the calculations, and synthetic spectra are used for comparing these models with observational materials. It is shown that evolutionary changes in the surface composition of white dwarfs cannot be explained by a model in which a small amount of hydrogen floats to the surface from initially being mixed in the outer parts of a helium envelope. It is pointed out that the shape of the hydrogen lines can be used for constraining theories of convective overshoot.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Freezing of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mochkovitch, R.

    1983-06-01

    Assuming a C-12 and O-16 mixture phase diagram exhibiting an oxygen-poor eutectic, the cooling and solidification of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf is considered. Freezing is in the present case an efficient chemical differentiation mechanism, and an almost pure oxygen snow which is denser than the liquid crystallizes and settles at the center as the carbon is mixed throughout the rest of the star by convective motions due to an unstable concentration gradient. Although solid carbon begins to form when the fluid at the oxygen core boundary has reached the eutectic composition, the high gravity may ensure further differentiation because the carbon snow, which is less dense than the liquid, will rise to lower density regions and melt. White dwarf evolution is compared to the coexistence of carbon and oxygen in an alloy. Cooling time is increased by the combined effects of lower luminosity and binding energy release radiation due to the differentiation process.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Blaut, Arkadiusz; Babak, Stanislav; Krolak, Andrzej

    2010-03-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-15

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

  12. A study of white dwarf radiative accretion shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashed, Hussain Yousef

    1992-01-01

    Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO's) of period of 1-3 seconds, with root mean square amplitude 1-3 percent have been discovered in the optical emission from four AM Her objects, AN UMa, V834 Cen, VV Pup, and EF Eri. Middleditch (1982) suggested that the QPO's were due to the oscillatory instability of radiative shocks discovered by Langer, Chanmugam, and Shaviv (1981). If the QPO's are due to shock oscillations then the QPO's can be used to constrain several fundamental parameters of the AM Her QPO systems such as the mass and magnetic field strength of the white dwarf. Unfortunately, it is not clear if the QPO's are due to the oscillatory instability. The QPO's are found only in the optical portion of the spectrum and, thus, presumably, are due to variations in the cyclotron luminosity of the shock. Prior to this work, no detailed calculations of the cyclotron (optical) emission from accreting white dwarfs have been performed. Chanmugam et al. (1985) presented calculations for the cyclotron emission of white dwarf shocks, but they did not self-consistently solve the radiative transfer and hydrodynamic equations. This work provides theoretical results for the stability properties and the optical spectra of white dwarf radiative accretion shocks for the weak cyclotron case thought to apply to the AM Her objects. Comparison of these results with observations of the AM Her QPO sources suggests that the properties of the shock oscillation model, in its current form, are not compatible with observations. Namely, radiative shocks with parameters typical of the AM Her QPO sources probably cannot sustain limit cycle oscillations due to strong cyclotron emission and/or electron thermal conduction. However, because several aspects of the observations are naturally explained as shock oscillations, it may turn-out that shock oscillations, in some guise, are responsible for the QPO's.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Laminar flame acceleration by neon enrichment in white dwarf supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamulak, David; Brown, Edward F.; Timmes, Francis X.

    We explore how the laminar flame speed of degenerate C/O thermonuclear burning during a type Ia supernova depends on the composition of the white dwarf. Type Ia supernovae are currently the premier standard candle for measuring distances to redshift 1.6. The currently favored scenario for this supernovae is the thermonuclear incineration of a C/O white dwarf. Recent observations suggest that there may be more than one population of progenitor, and it has been suggested the peak luminosity may depend on the composition of the progenitor white dwarf. Of particular interest is 22 Ne, which is formed from CNO elements during core He burning of the progenitor star and therefore reflects the metallicity of the progenitor. We find that the laminar flame speed of a C/O mixture increases linearly with the abundance of 22 Ne when the abundance of 22 Ne is small. The faster and narrower laminar flame enlarges the lengthscale at which turbulent eddies can disrupt the burn. As a result, the addition of 22 Ne might lower the density at which a transition to distributed burning occurs.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. ROCKY EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY COMPOSITIONS DERIVED FROM EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D. E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu E-mail: koester@astrophysik.uni-kiel.de

    2011-11-01

    We report Keck High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data and model atmosphere analysis of two helium-dominated white dwarfs, PG1225-079 and HS2253+8023, whose heavy pollutions most likely derive from the accretion of terrestrial-type planet(esimal)s. For each system, the minimum accreted mass is {approx}10{sup 22} g, that of a large asteroid. In PG1225-079, Mg, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni have abundance ratios similar to bulk Earth values, while we measure four refractory elements, Ca, Sc, Ti, and V, all at a factor of {approx}2-3 higher abundance than in the bulk Earth. For HS2253+8023 the swallowed material was compositionally similar to bulk Earth in being more than 85% by mass in the major element species, O, Mg, Si, and Fe, and with abundances in the distinctive proportions of mineral oxides-compelling evidence for an origin in a rocky parent body. Including previous studies we now know of four heavily polluted white dwarfs where the measured oxygen and hydrogen are consistent with the view that the parents' bodies formed with little ice, interior to any snow line in their nebular environments. The growing handful of polluted white dwarf systems with comprehensive abundance measurements form a baseline for characterizing rocky exoplanet compositions that can be compared with bulk Earth.

  1. X-ray evidence for white dwarf binaries in globular clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hertz, P.; Grindlay, J. E.

    1983-01-01

    Data from an X ray survey of globular clusters by means of instrumentation on the Einstein Observatory indicate the existence of a distinct class of low-luminosity (L) sources. L was measured in the 10 to the 32nd to 10 to the 34th ergs/sec range when viewing point-like objects. The L-value is three orders of magnitude less than that of neutron star binaries, and is consistent with projections for binaries with 0.5 solar mass white dwarfs. They were located outside the cluster cores, which was taken as an indication of low mass. More than three sources at the lowest luminosity bound were observed in two clusters, suggesting a steep rise in the luminosity function, which agreed with observational data on galactic plane cataclysmic variables.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-20

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

  4. Enhanced Low-temperature Triple-alpha and Helium-accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connolly, Ryan; Brown, Edward

    2015-10-01

    The triple-alpha reaction is of critical importance to a variety of astrophysical phenomena. Despite this relevance, the non-resonant contribution to the reaction rate at temperatures below 108 K remains uncertain, with calculations by different groups spanning over 20 orders of magnitude around 107 K Recently, Nguyen et al. (2012) showed that their calculation of the reaction rate, although enhanced at low temperatures compared to the standard NACRE rate, remains consistent with post-main-sequence evolution and the well-observed red giant branch. Nevertheless, there are other astrophysical scenarios where an enhancement of the triple-alpha rate at low temperatures may have observable consequences. One example is AM CVn systems, in which a white dwarf accretes helium-rich material from a low-mass companion in a tight binary. As the white dwarf accretes, runaway helium burning may ignite at the base of the envelope, resulting in a ``helium nova.'' Using the MESA stellar evolution code, we find that for the most energetic outbursts the new triple-alpha rate increases both the time delay and mass of the helium envelope at ignition by a factor of two or more, which may affect the observable frequency and energetics of these explosive events in future surveys.

  5. Strong Radio Emission from a Hyperactive L Dwarf: A Low-Mass Oddball or a Rosetta Stone for Ultracool Dwarf Activity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgasser, Adam J.; Melis, C.; Zauderer, B. A.; Berger, E.

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection of radio emission at 5.5 GHz from the unusually active L5 + T7 binary 2MASS J13153094-2649513AB, based on observations conducted with the Australian Telescope Compact Array. An unresolved source at the proper-motion-corrected position of 2MASS J1315-2649AB was detected with a continuum flux of 0.37+/-0.05 mJy, corresponding to a radio luminosity L_rad = (9+/-3)x10^23 erg/s or log(L_rad/L_bol) = -5.24+/-0.22. While we cannot resolve the emission to one or both components, its strength strongly favors the L5 primary, making this component the latest-type L dwarf to be detected in the radio. No detection is made at 9.0 GHz to a 5-sigma limit of 0.29 mJy, consistent with a declining power law spectrum scaling as nu^-0.5 or steeper. The emission is quiescent, with no evidence of variability or bursts over 3 hours, and no measurable polarization (V/I < 34%). 2MASS J1315-2649AB is one of the most radio-luminous ultracool dwarfs detected in quiescent emission to date, comparable in strength to other ultracool dwarfs detected while in outburst. Its combination of strong and persistent H-alpha and radio emission is unique among L dwarfs, but we find no evidence of interaction between primary and secondary. We suggest further observations that may reveal whether 2MASS J1315-2649AB is a true oddball or a benchmark for understanding the origins of activity in the coldest stars and brown dwarfs.

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

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk MH; Bell; Kaspi; Kulkarni

    2000-02-10

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

  7. 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

  8. Peculiar variations of white dwarf pulsation frequencies and maestro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalessio, James Ruland

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-10

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

  10. A Survey of Helium Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steeghs, Daniel

    2005-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-20

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

  12. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theissen, Christopher; West, A. A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-20

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

  18. DEUTERIUM BURNING IN MASSIVE GIANT PLANETS AND LOW-MASS BROWN DWARFS FORMED BY CORE-NUCLEATED ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Bodenheimer, Peter; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Saumon, Didier E-mail: gennaro.dangelo@nasa.gov E-mail: jfortney@ucolick.org

    2013-06-20

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Atmospheric parameters and carbon abundance for hot DB white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

    Atmospheric parameters for hot DB (helium atmosphere) white dwarfs near effective temperatures of 25 000 K are extremely difficult to determine from optical spectroscopy. The neutral He lines reach a maximum in this range and change very little with effective temperature and surface gravity. Moreover, an often unknown amount of hydrogen contamination can change the resulting parameters significantly. This is particularly unfortunate because this is the range of variable DBV or V777 Her stars. Accurate atmospheric parameters are needed to help or confirm the asteroseismic analysis of these objects. Another important aspect is the new class of white dwarfs - the hot DQ - whose spectra are dominated by carbon lines. The analysis shows that their atmospheres are pure carbon. The origin of these stars is not yet understood, but they may have an evolutionary link with the hotter DBs, as studied here. Our aim is to determine accurate atmospheric parameters and element abundances and study the implications for the evolution of white dwarfs of spectral classes DB and hot DQ. High-resolution UV spectra of five DBs were studied with model atmospheres. We determined stellar parameters and abundances or upper limits of C and Si. These objects were compared with cooler DBs below 20 000 K. We find photospheric C and no other heavy elements - with extremely high limits on the C/Si ratio - in two of the five hot DBs. We compare various explanations for this unusual composition that have been proposed in the literature: accretion of interstellar or circumstellar matter, radiative levitation, carbon dredge-up from the deeper interior below the helium layer, and a residual stellar wind. None of these explanations is completely satisfactory, and the problem of the origin of the hot DQ remains an open question.

  4. High Resolution EUV & FUV Spectroscopy of DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.; Good, S. A.; Bannister, N. P.; Burleigh, M. R.; Holberg, J. B.; Bruhweiler, F. C.; Napiwotzki, R.; Cruddace, R. G.; Kowalski, M. P.

    We report on recent results from a high-resolution spectroscopic survey of hot DA white dwarfs, based on IUE, FUSE and HST observations. For the first time, we address the measurement of element abundances in a completely objective manner with a spectroscopic model fitting technique, which allows us to consider formally the limits that can be placed on abundances in stars where no heavy elements are detected. We also include our latest analysis of the high resolution EUV spectrum of G191-B2B recorded by J-PEX.

  5. Meridional circulation in rotating stars. V. Cooling white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Tassoul, M.; Tassoul, J.

    1983-04-01

    In this paper we discuss the large-scale meridonal circulation and concomitant differential rotation in a cooling white dwarf that does not greatly depart from spherical symmetry. It is found that the circulation velocities are utterly negligible in the degenerate interior as well as in the thin nondegenerate envelope, where the presence of a (turbulent) viscous boundary layer allows the velocities to satisfy all of the surface boundary conditions. There are no 1/rho singularities in the meridional flow. The back reaction of the circulatory currents on the overall rotation rate is not very large either, thus implying at most a mild differential rotation when departure from sphericity is small.

  6. White dwarfs in an ungravity-inspired model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertolami, Orfeu; Mariji, Hodjat

    2016-05-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papish, Oded; Perets, Hagai Binyamin

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. White Dwarfs for Calibrating the Dark Energy Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nomoto, K.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. NEW EXTINCTION AND MASS ESTIMATES FROM OPTICAL PHOTOMETRY OF THE VERY LOW MASS BROWN DWARF COMPANION CT CHAMAELEONTIS B WITH THE MAGELLAN AO SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-13

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

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-20

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Floriano, F. J.

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. 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

    2016-05-18

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-20

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

  15. 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

  16. The progenitors of magnetic white dwarfs in open clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Külebi, B.; Kalirai, J.; Jordan, S.; Euchner, F.

    2013-06-01

    Context. White dwarfs are the final stages of stellar evolution for most stars in the galaxy and magnetic white dwarfs (MWDs) represent at least ten percent of the whole sample. According to the fossil-field hypothesis magnetic fields are remnants of the previous stages of evolution. However, population synthesis calculations are unable to reproduce the MWD sample without binary interaction or inclusion of a population of progenitor with unobservable small-scale fields. Aims: One necessary ingredient in population synthesis is the initial-to-final-mass relation (IFMR) which describes the mass-loss processes during the stellar evolution. When white dwarfs are members of open clusters, their evolutionary histories can be assessed through the use of cluster properties. This enables an independent way of determining the mass of their progenitors. The discovery of the magnetic WD 0836+201 in the Praesepe cluster prompted the question whether magnetic fields affect the IFMR. In this work we investigate this suggestion through investigations of all three known MWDs in open clusters. Methods: We assess the cluster membership by correlating the proper-motion of MWDs with the cluster proper-motion and by analyzing the candidates spectroscopically with our magnetic model spectra in order to estimate the effective temperature and radii. Furthermore, we use mass-radius relations and evolutionary models to constrain the histories of the probable cluster members. Results: We identified SDSS J085523.87+164059.0 to be a proper-motion member of Praesepe. We also included the data of the formerly identified cluster members NGC 6819-8, WD 0836+201 and estimated the mass, cooling age and the progenitor masses of the three probable MWD members of open clusters. According to our analysis, the newly identified cluster member SDSS J085523.87+164059.0 is an ultra-massive MWD of mass 1.12 ± 0.11 M⊙. Conclusions: We increase the sample of MWDs with known progenitor masses to ten, with the

  17. A connection between the instability strips of ZZ Ceti and V777 Herculis white dwarfs. Pulsating accreting GW Lib white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    Aims: We aim to determine the theoretical instability strips of white dwarfs with diverse H and He content in their atmospheres, from a solar composition to a H-depleted atmosphere. Pulsators with mixed H-He atmospheres are indeed known to exist, and these are the white dwarfs in cataclysmic accreting systems of the GW Lib type. We thus also aim to determine the range of periods of excited pulsation modes, and to qualitatively compare these to the observed periods in GW Lib white dwarf pulsators. Methods: In the first full nonadiabatic stability analysis of pulsators of this kind, we applied a time-dependent convection treatment and an energy leakage argument to compute, for cooling models of white dwarfs with various masses and envelope compositions, the location of the blue and the red edges, as well as the properties of pulsation modes. Results: We find that our derived instability strips form a true continuum in the log g-Teff plane and that their individual location depends uniquely on the assumed atmospheric composition, from the solar composition models at low effective temperatures to the H-depleted models at much higher temperatures. Taking into account our previous results from the ZZ Ceti (pure H atmosphere) and V777 Her (pure He atmosphere) white dwarf pulsators, this implies that all of these instability domains are connected via the same fundamental driving mechanism. Applying our results to the case of white dwarf pulsators of the GW Lib type, we find that our theoretical instability strips can qualitatively account for all of the known cases. The computed range of periods of excited modes also compares qualitatively very well to the observed ones. Conclusions: The GW Lib pulsators are very similar in nature to ZZ Ceti and V777 Her white dwarfs. It is the diverse chemical compositions in their atmosphere and envelope that defines their specific pulsation properties. Beyond GW Lib pulsators, white dwarfs can sometimes exhibit mixed H-He atmospheres

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cooling of the white dwarf in U Geminorum between outbursts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Long, Knox S.; Sion, Edward M.; Huang, Min; Szkody, Paula

    1994-01-01

    We have obtained far-ultraviolet (1150-1610 A) spectra of U Gem with the Faint Object Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope approximately 13 and 70 days after the end of a normal dwarf nova outburst of the system. Both spectra appear dominated by the White Dwarf (WD) in U Gem. At 1400 A, the flux from U Gem declined approximately 28% between the two observations. Detailed comparison of the spectra with solar abundance WD models suggest that average surface temperature of the WD surface cooled from approximately 39,400 K to approximately 32,100 K between the two observations. The main features which are not fitted well by WD models are absorption due to N V lambda lambda-1239, 1243 and emission at Lyman-alpha. These observations provide unambiguous confirmation that the WD in U Gem cools during quiescence, as was suggested by analyses of far-ultraviolet spectra obtained with International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) and Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT).

  2. 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.

  3. Dynamical mass determinations for the white dwarf components of HZ 9 and Case 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, John R.

    1987-01-01

    Radial-velocity curves for both components of the short-period, white dwarf M dwarf binary systems Case 1 and HZ 9 have been determined from 1-A-resolution spectra obtained at the MMT. The radial-velocity curves for the M dwarf components agree well with previous determinations. The new data have been used to estimate masses for the white dwarfs, yielding 0.38 solar mass for the Case 1 DA and 0.51 solar mass for the HZ 9 DA, with 1sigma uncertainties of about 0.1 solar mass.

  4. 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.

  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. White dwarf kicks and implications for barium stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  7. Detectability of Substellar Companions Around White Dwarfs with Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvotti, Roberto; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Lattanzi, Mario; Morbidelli, Roberto

    2015-06-01

    To date not a single-bona fide planet has been identified orbiting a single white dwarf. In fact we are ignorant about the final configuration of >95% of planetary systems. Theoretical models predict a gap in the final distribution of orbital periods, due to the opposite effects of stellar mass loss (planets pushed outwards) and tidal interactions (planets pushed inwards) during the RGB and the AGB stellar expansions. Over its five year primary mission, Gaia is expected to astrometrically detect the first (few tens of) WD massive planets/BDs giving first evidence that WD planets exist, at least those in wide orbits. In this article we present preliminary results of our simulations of what Gaia should be able to find in this field.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-11

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

  9. An X-ray-selected white dwarf of intermediate luminosity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margon, Bruce; Bolte, Michael; Anderson, Scott F.

    1987-01-01

    Spectrophotometric observations of a previously uncataloged 17th magnitude hot DA white dwarf are reported. Simple models can reproduce the visible spectrum if the star has log g = 8.0 + or - 0.5 and T(eff) = 22,500 + or - 2000 K. The implied distance is about 200 pc. It is plausible that photospheric emission from this star is responsible for the observed X-ray source. Identification of this object with the X-ray source would imply a photosphere free of traces of helium inferred in other X-ray-emitting DAs, and would support previous suggestions that current DA model atmospheres are in need of revision at X-ray wavelengths.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Testing Model Atmospheres for Young Very-low-mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in the Infrared: Evidence for Significantly Underestimated Dust Opacities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tottle, Jonathan; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2015-05-01

    We test state-of-the-art model atmospheres for young very-low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the infrared, by comparing the predicted synthetic photometry over 1.2-24 μm to the observed photometry of M-type spectral templates in star-forming regions. We find that (1) in both early and late young M types, the model atmospheres imply effective temperatures ({{T}eff}) several hundred Kelvin lower than predicted by the standard pre-main sequence (PMS) spectral type-{{T}eff} conversion scale (based on theoretical evolutionary models). It is only in the mid-M types that the two temperature estimates agree. (2) The {{T}eff} discrepancy in the early M types (corresponding to stellar masses ≳ 0.4 {{M}⊙ } at ages of a few Myr) probably arises from remaining uncertainties in the treatment of atmospheric convection within the atmospheric models, whereas in the late M types it is likely due to an underestimation of dust opacity. (3) The empirical and model-atmosphere J-band bolometric corrections are both roughly flat, and similar to each other, over the M-type {{T}eff} range. Thus the model atmospheres yield reasonably accurate bolometric luminosities ({{L}bol}), but lead to underestimations of mass and age relative to evolutionary expectations (especially in the late M types) due to lower {{T}eff}. We demonstrate this for a large sample of young Cha I and Taurus sources. (4) The trends in the atmospheric model J-Ks colors, and their deviations from the data, are similar at PMS and main sequence ages, suggesting that the model dust opacity errors we postulate here for young ages also apply at field ages.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Upasana; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2012-10-01

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

  2. An Eccentric Binary Millisecond Pulsar with a Helium White Dwarf Companion in the Galactic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, John; Kaplan, David L.; Stovall, Kevin; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Deneva, Julia S.; Koester, Detlev; Jenet, Fredrick; Martinez, Jose G.

    2016-10-01

    Low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs) are believed to be exclusive products of binary evolution, as the universe is not old enough to produce them from single stars. Because of the strong tidal forces operating during the binary interaction phase, the remnant systems observed today are expected to have negligible eccentricities. Here, we report on the first unambiguous identification of an LMWD in an eccentric (e = 0.13) orbit around the millisecond pulsar PSR J2234+0511, which directly contradicts this picture. We use our spectra and radio-timing solution (derived elsewhere) to infer the WD temperature ({T}{{eff}}=8600+/- 190 K), and peculiar systemic velocity relative to the local standard of rest (≃ 31 km s‑1). We also place model-independent constraints on the WD radius ({R}{{WD}}={0.024}-0.002+0.004 {R}ȯ ) and surface gravity ({log} g={7.11}-0.16+0.08 dex). The WD and kinematic properties are consistent with the expectations for low-mass X-ray binary evolution and disfavor a dynamic three-body formation channel. In the case of the high eccentricity being the result of a spontaneous phase transition, we infer a mass of ∼1.60 M ⊙ for the pulsar progenitor, which is too low for the quark-nova mechanism proposed by Jiang et al., and too high for the scenario of Freire & Tauris, in which a WD collapses into a neutron star via a rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse. We find that eccentricity pumping via interaction with a circumbinary disk is consistent with our inferred parameters. Finally, we report tentative evidence for pulsations that, if confirmed, would transform the star into an unprecedented laboratory for WD physics.

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bear, Ealeal; Soker, Noam

    2015-07-01

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

  6. The Evolution and Fate of Super-Chandrasekhar Mass White Dwarf Merger Remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, Josiah; Quataert, Eliot; Kasen, Daniel

    2016-09-01

    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 × 104 L⊙ source for ˜104 yr. A dusty wind may develop, leading these sources to be self-obscured and to appear similar to extreme AGB stars. Roughly ˜10 such objects should exist in the Milky Way and M31 at any time. As found in previous work, off-center carbon fusion is ignited within the merger remnant and propagates inward 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 center, neutrino-cooled Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction leads to off-center 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.

  7. A STRANGE STAR SCENARIO FOR THE FORMATION OF ECCENTRIC MILLISECOND PULSAR/HELIUM WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Long; Li, Xiang-Dong; Dey, Jishnu; Dey, Mira

    2015-07-01

    According to the recycling scenario, millisecond pulsars (MSPs) have evolved from low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). Their orbits are expected to be circular due to tidal interactions during binary evolution, as observed in most binary MSPs. There are some peculiar systems that do not fit this picture. Three recent examples are the PSRs J2234+06, J1946+3417, and J1950+2414, all of which are MSPs in eccentric orbits but with mass functions compatible with expected He white dwarf (WD) companions. It has been suggested these MSPs may have formed from delayed accretion-induced collapse of massive WDs, or the eccentricity may be induced by dynamical interaction between the binary and a circumbinary disk. Assuming that the core density of accreting neutron stars (NSs) in LMXBs may reach the density of quark deconfinement, which can lead to phase transition from NSs to strange quark stars, we show that the resultant MSPs are likely to have an eccentric orbit, due to the sudden loss of the gravitational mass of the NS during the transition. The eccentricities can be reproduced with a reasonable estimate of the mass loss. This scenario might also account for the formation of the youngest known X-ray binary Cir X–1, which also possesses a low-field compact star in an eccentric orbit.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Moll, R.; Woosley, S. E.

    2013-09-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ibata; Irwin; Bienaymé; Scholz; Guibert

    2000-03-20

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Philip D.; Jeffery, C. Simon

    2016-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Charpinet, S; Fontaine, G; Brassard, P

    2009-09-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Gilfanov, Marat; Bogdán, Akos

    2010-02-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. The pulsar-like white dwarf in AE Aquarii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikhsanov, Nazar R.

    1998-10-01

    The spindown power of the compact companion in the close binary system AE Aqr essentially exceeds the bolometrical luminosity of the system. The interpretation of this phenomenon under various assumptions about the state and the nature of the primary companion is discussed. It is shown that the rapid braking on the compact companion of AE Aqr can be explained in terms of the pulsar mechanism provided the magnetic moment of the compact star mu ga 1.4 x 10(34) {R_mm G cm(3}) , that implies a magnetic field strength at the surface of the white dwarf of about 50 MG. Under this condition the spindown power is used predominantly for the generation of magneto-dipole waves and particle acceleration. A stream-fed, diskless mass-exchange picture with the average rate of mass transfer dot {M} ~ (0.5/5) x 10(17) {R_mm g s(-1}) is expected in the frame of the suggested model. Similarity of some properties of the X-ray emission observed from AE Aqr and canonical radio pulsars in the ROSAT energy range (e.g. the power law spectrum of pulsing component with alpha ~ -2 and the ratio L_{R_mm X}/L_{R_mm sd} ~ 10(-3) ) allows to suggest common mechanisms of particle acceleration and the polar cap heating in these systems.

  12. 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.

  13. Numerical simulations of the convective flame in white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livne, Eli

    1993-01-01

    A first step toward better understanding of the mechanism driving convective flames in exploding white dwarfs is presented. The propagation of the convective flame is examined using a two-dimensional implicit hydrodynamical code. The large scales of the instability are captured by the grid while the scales that are smaller than the grid resolution are approximated by a mixing-length approximation. It is found that largescale perturbations (of order of the pressure scale height) do grow significantly during the expansion, leading to a very nonspherical burning front. The combustion rate is strongly enhanced (compared to the unperturbed case) during the first second, but later the expansion of the star suppresses the flame speed, leading to only partial incineration of the nuclear fuel. Our results imply that large-scale perturbations by themselves are not enough to explain the mechanism by which convective flames are driven, and a study of the whole spectrum of relevant perturbations is needed. The implications of these preliminary results on future simulations, in the context of current models for Type Ia supernovae, are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vannah, Sara; Frank, Juhan

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Molecular magnetic dichroism in spectra of white dwarfs.

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-31

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

  16. 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.

  17. A MULTI-SURVEY APPROACH TO WHITE DWARF DISCOVERY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-04-15

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

  18. Emission lines in the magnetic white dwarf GD 356

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenstein, J. L.; McCarthy, J. K.

    1985-02-01

    Spectrographic measurements of the magnetic white dwarf GC 356 are presented, and, two weak emission line Zeeman triplets at H-alpha and H-beta are analyzed. The measurements were carried out using a high signal-to-noise ratio double spectrograph and CCD detectors attached to the Hale 5 meter refector telescope. Multichannel spectrophotometry of GD 356 indicated a temperature of about 7500 K. The H-alpha absorption triplet in G99-47 was studied, in order to correct emission measurements in GD 356. After scaling the absorption lines in G99 47 to fit the field in GD 356, the corrected H-alpha emission increased by 50 percent. The final H-alpha profile is represented by random fields of 11.0 megagauss with a spread of 1.1 megagauss. On the basis of the emission line analysis, some possible reasons for the absence of polarization in GD are discussed, including: (1) that GD 356 has an interacting companion; (2) that active convection in GD 356 interacts with the magnetic field to produce magnetoionic heating; and (3) that there is an ongoing accretion of interstellar matter in GD 356. It is suggested that GD 356 may be detectable with the IUE ultraviolet observatory.

  19. COSMOLOGICAL FAST RADIO BURSTS FROM BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-20

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-06-18

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2013-09-15

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

  7. Blue Straggler-White Dwarf binaries in Galactic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekanayake, Gemunu B.; Wilhelm, Ronald J.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  10. A subsample of white dwarfs among the fbs blue stellar objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinamyan, P. K.; Mickaelian, A. M.

    2011-09-01

    Results are reported from studies of a subsample of white dwarfs in the second part of the FBS survey. Of the 217 WD identified in the FBS, most are DA dwarfs, but the subclasses DO, DOB, DB, DAB, DAZ, DZ, and DC are also encountered. Multiwavelength studies are conducted on the sample from the FBS survey: of the 217 white dwarfs, 178 coincide with 2MASS sources, GALEX (ultraviolet) data exist for 155, 23 are ROSAT x-ray sources, and SDSS data with stellar magnitudes in five photometric bands, u, g, r, i, and z, are available for 120. The WD sample from the FBS survey is compared with similar surveys (PG and SDSS). Average B and R magnitudes, as well as an average value of the length of the low dispersion spectra of white dwarfs from the DFBS are also given.

  11. A Galex/Spitzer/Wise View Of The White Dwarf Population In The Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Mukremin

    We propose to use a unique dataset made available by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to characterize the local white dwarf population in the Galaxy. We have recently identified 40,000 white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey through high proper motion and optical spectroscopy observations. About 32,000 of these have GALEX ultraviolet observations and 6,000 have Spitzer or WISE infrared observations. Spitzer imaging observations of around 3,000 white dwarfs are available in nearly 8,000 Astronomical Observation Requests. The majority of these data were taken as part of non-white dwarf related projects and they have never been analyzed for our targets. We will use these data and combine ultraviolet, optical, and mid-infrared photometry as well as state of the art model atmospheres to study the Galactic population of white dwarfs. By exploiting the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum available from these missions, we will constrain the physical parameters of 40,000 white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood, create precise white dwarf luminosity functions and constrain the ages and the star formation histories of the Galactic disk and halo. Any deviation from the predicted spectral energy distributions would indicate the presence of companions or circumstellar debris disks. This will be the largest survey of its kind and it will provide the best constraints on the white dwarf luminosity function, and the frequency of stellar and substellar companions, and debris disks around white dwarfs and their progenitor main-sequence stars. These are all exciting results that can realistically be completed within the timescale of this proposal. The 2011 version of the NASA Strategic plan states ``In conjunction with ground and airborne telescopes, our strategy is to design and launch space telescopes that exploit the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum to view the broad diversity

  12. 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.

  13. A Hubble Space Telescope study of the underlying white dwarf in the dwarf nova VW Hydri during quiescence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Szkody, Paula; Cheng, Fu-Hua; Huang, Min

    1995-01-01

    We have analyzed a far-ultraviolet spectrum of the dwarf nova VW Hyi obtained during quiescence with the Hubble Space Telescope Faint Object Spectrograph (HST FOS). The observation occurred 10 days after the return to optical quiescence from a superoutburst of VW Hyi. The spectrum reveals a very strong Stark-broadened Ly-alpha absorption with narrow geocoronal emission, and a very rich metallic absorption-line spectrum dominated by strong resonance absorption features of singly and doubly ionized silicon and carbon, the first solid identification of metallic absorption features arising in the accreted atmosphere of the white dwarf. We confirm the reported low-resolution IUE detection of the underlying white dwarf photosphere by Mateo & Szkody. A synthetic spectral analysis with hot, high-gravity LTE model atmospheres yields a best-fit model with the following parameters: T(sub eff) = 22,000 +/- 1000 K, log g = 8.0 +/- 0.3, with chemical abundances for oxygen of 0.3 times solar, for nitrogen of 5 times solar, and for all other heavy elements of 0.15 times solar. Based upon our absorption-line measurements of the observations at different orbital phases, we find no conclusive evidence of equivalent width variations with orbital phase. In the absence of any significant reduction of the white dwarf's core mass by past nova explosions, its lower limit cooling age is approximately 50 million years.

  14. CoRoT 101186644: A transiting low-mass dense M-dwarf on an eccentric 20.7-day period orbit around a late F-star. Discovered in the CoRoT lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tal-Or, L.; Mazeh, T.; Alonso, R.; Bouchy, F.; Cabrera, J.; Deeg, H. J.; Deleuil, M.; Faigler, S.; Fridlund, M.; Hébrard, G.; Moutou, C.; Santerne, A.; Tingley, B.

    2013-05-01

    We present the study of the CoRoT transiting planet candidate 101186644, also named LRc01_E1_4780. Analysis of the CoRoT lightcurve and the HARPS spectroscopic follow-up observations of this faint (mV = 16) candidate revealed an eclipsing binary composed of a late F-type primary (Teff = 6090 ± 200 K) and a low-mass, dense late M-dwarf secondary on an eccentric (e = 0.4) orbit with a period of ~20.7 days. The M-dwarf has a mass of 0.096 ± 0.011 M⊙, and a radius of 0.104-0.006+0.026 R⊙, which possibly makes it the smallest and densest late M-dwarf reported so far. Unlike the claim that theoretical models predict radii that are 5-15% smaller than measured for low-mass stars, this one seems to have a radius that is consistent and might even be below the radius predicted by theoretical models. Based on observations made with the 1-m telescope at the Wise Observatory, Israel, the Swiss 1.2-m Leonhard Euler telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile, the IAC-80 telescope at the Observatory del Teide, Canarias, Spain, and the 3.6-m telescope at La Silla Observatory (ESO), Chile (program 184.C-0639).

  15. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Gaia photometry for white dwarfs (Carrasco+, 2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, J. M.; Catalan, S.; Jordi, C.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Napiwotzki, R.; Luri, X.; Robin, A. C.; Kowalski, P. M.

    2014-03-01

    The Gaia space mission, through its 5-6 years survey of the whole sky up to magnitude V=20-25, will drastically increase the sample of known white dwarfs allowing to address new science questions. In this paper we provide a characterisation of Gaia photometry for the case of white dwarfs to better prepare for the analysis of the scientific output of the mission including relationships among colours involving Gaia magnitudes (white light G, blue GBP, red GRP and GRVS passbands) and colours from other commonly used photometric systems (Johnson-Cousins, SDSS and 2MASS). We also present numbers of white dwarfs predicted by the Gaia Universe Model Snapshot and compare them with an alternative simulation calibrated with the local white dwarfs sample. In these online tables we provide the values used to fit the relationships in the paper, especially useful for those cases where the deviation from the established relationships is large. The most recent Gaia transmission curves and three different compositions for white dwarfs were considered here (pure hydrogen, pure helium and mixed composition with H/He=0.1). (3 data files).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Remarkable spectral variability on the spin period of the accreting white dwarf in V455 And

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloemen, S.; Steeghs, D.; De Smedt, K.; Vos, J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Marsh, T. R.; Rodriguez-Gil, P.

    2013-03-01

    We present spin-resolved spectroscopy of the accreting white dwarf binary V455 And. With a suggested spin period of only 67 s, it has one of the fastest spinning white dwarfs known. To study the spectral variability on the spin period of the white dwarf, we observed V455 And with 2 s integration times, which is significantly shorter than the spin rate of the white dwarf. To achieve this cadence, we used the blue arm of the ISIS spectrograph at the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope, equipped with an electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD). Strong coherent signals were detected in our time series, which led to a robust determination of the spin period of the white dwarf (Pspin = 67.619 ± 0.002 s). Folding the spectra on the white dwarf spin period uncovered very complex emission line variations in Hγ, He I λ4472 and He II λ4686. We attribute the observed spin phase dependence of the emission line shape to the presence of magnetically controlled accretion on to the white dwarf via accretion curtains, consistent with an intermediate polar type system. We are, however, not aware of any specific model that can quantitatively explain the complex velocity variations we detect in our observations. The orbital variations in the spectral lines indicate that the accretion disc of V455 And is rather structureless, contrary to the disc of the prototype of the intermediate polars, DQ Her. This work demonstrates the potential of EMCCDs to observe faint targets at high cadence, as readout noise would make such a study impossible with conventional CCDs.

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Wanda; Desch, Steven; Turner, Neal; Kalyaan, Anusha

    2016-06-01

    About 1/3 of white dwarfs (WDs) are polluted with heavy elements (e.g., Koester et al., 2014; Zuckerman et al., 2010) that should sediment out of their atmospheres on astronomically short timescales unless replenished by accretion from a reservoir, at rates that for many WDs must exceed ~1010 g/s (Farihi et al., 2010). Direct accretion of planetesimals is too improbable and Poynting-Robertson drag of dust is too slow (due to the low luminosity of WDs) (Jura, 2003), so it is often assumed that WDs accrete from a disk of gas and solid particles, fed by tidal disruption of planeteismals inside the WD Roche limit (e.g. Debes et al., 2012; Rafikov, 2011a, 2011b). A few such gaseous disks have been directly observed, through emission from Ca II atoms in the disk (e.g. Manser et al., 2016; Wilson et al. 2014). Models successfully explain the accretion rates of metals onto the WD, provided the gaseous disk viscously spreads at rates consistent with a partially suppressed magnetorotational instability (Rafikov, 2011a, 2011b). However, these models currently do not explore the likely extent of the magnetorotational instability in disks by calculating the degree of ionization, or suppression by strong magnetic field.We present a 1-D model of a gaseous WD disk accretion, to assess the extent of the magnetorotational instability in WD disks. The composition of the disk, the ionization and recombination mechanisms, and the degree of ionization of the disk are explored. Magnetic field strengths consistent with WD dipolar magnetic fields are assumed. Elsasser numbers are calculated as a function of radius in the WD disk. The rate of viscous spreading is calculated, and the model of Rafikov (2011a, 2011b) updated to compute likely accretion rates of metals onto WDs.

  2. 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.

  3. ZERO IMPACT PARAMETER WHITE DWARF COLLISIONS IN FLASH

    SciTech Connect

    Hawley, W. P.; Athanassiadou, T.; Timmes, F. X.

    2012-11-01

    We systematically explore zero impact parameter collisions of white dwarfs (WDs) with the Eulerian adaptive grid code FLASH for 0.64 + 0.64 M {sub Sun} and 0.81 + 0.81 M {sub Sun} mass pairings. Our models span a range of effective linear spatial resolutions from 5.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} to 1.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} cm. However, even the highest resolution models do not quite achieve strict numerical convergence, due to the challenge of properly resolving small-scale burning and energy transport. The lack of strict numerical convergence from these idealized configurations suggests that quantitative predictions of the ejected elemental abundances that are generated by binary WD collision and merger simulations should be viewed with caution. Nevertheless, the convergence trends do allow some patterns to be discerned. We find that the 0.64 + 0.64 M {sub Sun} head-on collision model produces 0.32 M {sub Sun} of {sup 56}Ni and 0.38 M {sub Sun} of {sup 28}Si, while the 0.81 + 0.81 M {sub Sun} head-on collision model produces 0.39 M {sub Sun} of {sup 56}Ni and 0.55 M {sub Sun} of {sup 28}Si at the highest spatial resolutions. Both mass pairings produce {approx}0.2 M {sub Sun} of unburned {sup 12}C+{sup 16}O. We also find the 0.64 + 0.64 M {sub Sun} head-on collision begins carbon burning in the central region of the stalled shock between the two WDs, while the more energetic 0.81 + 0.81 M {sub Sun} head-on collision raises the initial post-shock temperature enough to burn the entire stalled shock region to nuclear statistical equilibrium.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Angular Momentum Transport in Double White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motl, Patrick M.; Tohline, J. E.; Frank, J.

    2006-12-01

    We present numerical simulations of dynamically unstable mass transfer in a double white dwarf binary with initial mass ratio, q = 0.4. The binary components are approximated as polytropes of index n = 3/2 and the synchronously rotating, semi-detached equilibrium binary is evolved hydrodynamically with the gravitational potential being computed through the solution of Poisson's equation. Upon initiating deep contact, the mass transfer rate grows by more than an order of magnitude over approximately ten orbits, as would be expected for dynamically unstable mass transfer. However, the mass transfer rate then reaches a peak value, the binary expands and the mass transfer event subsides. The binary must therefore have crossed the critical mass ratio for stability against dynamical mass transfer. Despite the initial loss of orbital angular momentum into the spin of the accreting star, we find that the accretor's spin saturates and angular momentum is returned to the orbit more efficiently than has been previously suspected for binaries in the direct impact accretion mode. To explore this surprising result, we directly measure the critical mass ratio for stability by imposing artificial angular momentum loss at various rates to drive the binary to an equilibrium mass transfer rate. For one of these driven evolutions, we attain equilibrium mass transfer and deduce that the mass ratio for stability is approximately 2/3. This is consistent with the result for mass transferring binaries that effectively return angular momentum to the orbit through an accretion disk. This work has been supported in part by NSF grants AST 04-07070 and PHY 03-26311 and in part through NASA's ATP program grant NAG5-13430. The computations were performed primarily at NCSA through grant MCA98N043 and at LSU's Center for Computation & Technology.

  7. White Dwarfs in SDSS DR9 and DR10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentile Fusillo, Nicola Pietro; Gänsicke, Boris; Koester, Detlev

    2015-06-01

    Currently the largest catalogue of spectroscopically identified WDs is based on the 7th Data Release (DR) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and contains over 20000 WDs (Kleinman et al. 2013). However, only a fraction of all WDs in the photometric footprint of SDSS have been spectroscopically followed up. Using DR7 spectroscopy as a training sample, we developed a method to select high confidence photometric WD candidates. The novelty of our selection is that it allows us to assign to any object with multi-colour and proper motion data a well-defined "probability of being a white dwarf" (or a contaminant). Exploiting this selection method we compiled a catalogue (Gentile Fusillo et al. in prep) which currently covers the entire photometric footprint of SDSS, 14555sq deg, with a limiting magnitude of g ≤ 19. The catalogue contains over 20000 high-confidence WDs and WD candidates 11500 of which have not yet been followed up with Sloan spectroscopy. Even though, so far, our catalogue relies only SDSS we plan to extend the sky coverage as additional deep multi-colour large area surveys become available. DR10 includes over 1.4 million spectra taken with the new BOSS spectrograph, which improves over the original SDSS spectograph in both resolution and wavelength coverage, but has so far not been systematically mined for WD science. As part of this project, we also inspected over 8000 BOSS spectra of bright (g ≤ 19) colour selected sources and classified 1765 new WDs. We used this independent, spectroscopically confirmed sample to further validate our selection method. Finally we discuss possible application of our catalogue , focusing on the selection and follow up of 9 new DZs which show strong pollution from elements other than Ca and IR excess emission emission consistent with the presence of debris discs.

  8. Gemini spectra of 12000 K white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Castanheira, B. G.; Costa, A. F. M.; Koester, D.

    2006-11-01

    We report signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) ~= 100 optical spectra for four DA white dwarf stars acquired with the GMOS spectrograph of the 8-m Gemini north telescope. These stars have 18 < g < 19 and are around Teff ~ 12000 K, where the hydrogen lines are close to maximum. Our purpose is to test if the effective temperatures and surface gravities derived from the relatively low-S/N ( ~ 21) optical spectra acquired by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey through model atmosphere fitting are trustworthy. Our spectra range from 3800 to 6000 Å, therefore including Hβ to H9. The H8 line was only marginally present in the SDSS spectra, but is crucial to determine the gravity. When we compare the values published by Kleinman et al. and Eisenstein et al. with our line-profile technique (LPT) fits, the average differences are: ΔTeff ~= 320 K, systematically lower in the SDSS, and Δ log g ~= 0.24 dex, systematically larger in the SDSS. The correlation between the gravity and the effective temperature can only be broken at wavelengths bluer than 3800 Å. The uncertainties in Teff are 60 per cent larger, and in log g larger by a factor of 4, than the internal uncertainties of Kleinman et al. and Eisenstein et al. 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 Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil) and CONICET (Argentina). E-mail: kepler@if.ufrgs.br

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. THE WHITE DWARFS WITHIN 20 PARSECS OF THE SUN: KINEMATICS AND STATISTICS

    SciTech Connect

    Sion, Edward M.; McCook, George P.; Wasatonic, Richard; Holberg, J. B.; Oswalt, Terry D. E-mail: george.mccook@villanova.edu E-mail: holberg@vega.lpl.arizona.edu

    2009-12-15

    We present the kinematical properties, distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, and stellar population subcomponents of the white dwarfs within 20 pc of the Sun. We find no convincing evidence of halo white dwarfs in the total 20 pc sample of 129 white dwarfs nor is there convincing evidence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 20 parsecs. Virtually, the entire 20 pc sample likely belongs to the thin disk. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 20 pc sample is 1.6, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. The addition of five new stars to the 20 pc sample yields a revised local space density of white dwarfs of (4.9 {+-} 0.5) x 10{sup -3} pc{sup -3} and a corresponding mass density of (3.3 {+-} 0.3) x 10{sup -3} M {sub sun} pc{sup -3}. We find that at least 15% of the white dwarfs within 20 parsecs of the Sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that possibly originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this interpretation is correct, this suggests the possibility that the same percentage have planets or asteroid-like bodies orbiting them.

  13. The Parentage of Magnetic White Dwarfs: Implications from Their Space Motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anselowitz, Tara; Wasatonic, Richard; Matthews, Karen; Sion, Edward M.; McCook, George P.

    1999-06-01

    We have examined the statistical properties, cooling ages, and vector components of the three-dimensional space motion U, V, W for the enlarged sample of 53 magnetic white dwarfs contained in the fourth edition of the Catalog of Spectroscopically Identified White Dwarfs (McCook & Sion). Their cooling ages range from 2 million years to 12.6 billion years. A comparison of the total kinematic samples of magnetics and DA stars over the same luminosity range 10.0white dwarfs appears to be predominantly descended from a young disk stellar population subcomponent characterized by relatively small motions with respect to the Sun. This suggests both links to upper main-sequence Ap/Bp progenitors but possibly also massive ``near miss'' pulsar progenitors. We find preliminary evidence that the magnetic white dwarfs show a peculiar distribution in UV velocity space relative to other spectroscopic subgroups of white dwarfs. However, there is little evidence of a difference in velocity dispersion among the hot and cool magnetic degenerates, despite their having vastly different cooling ages. This may be taken as indirect evidence that the magnetics represent a sample of mixed evolutionary progeny.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-01

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

  16. A SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE STUDY OF THE DEBRIS DISKS AROUND FOUR SDSS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Brinkworth, C. S.; Girven, J. M.; Hoard, D. W.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Marsh, T. R.; Parsons, S. G.; Koester, D.

    2012-05-01

    We present Spitzer Space Telescope data of four isolated white dwarfs that were previously known to harbor circumstellar gaseous disks. Infrared Array Camera photometry shows a significant infrared excess in all of the systems, SDSS0738+1835, SDSS0845+2257, SDSS1043+0855, and SDSS1617+1620, indicative of a dusty extension to those disks. The 4.5 {mu}m excesses seen in SDSS0738, SDSS0845, and SDSS1617 are 7.5, 5.7, and 4.5 times the white dwarf contribution, respectively. In contrast, in SDSS1043, the measured flux density at 4.5 {mu}m is only 1.7 times the white dwarf contribution. We compare the measured IR excesses in the systems to models of geometrically thin, optically thick disks, and find that we are able to match the measured spectral energy distributions to within 3{sigma} of the uncertainties, although disks with unfeasibly hot inner dust temperatures generally provide a better fit than those below the dust sublimation temperature. Possible explanations for the dearth of dust around SDSS1043+0855 are briefly discussed. Including our previous study of SDSS1228+1040, all five white dwarfs with gaseous debris disks have significant amounts of dust around them. It is evident that gas and dust can coexist around these relatively warm, relatively young white dwarfs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Tamanaha, C.M.; Silk, J.; Wood, M.A.; Winget, D.E. McDonald Observatory, Austin, TX )

    1990-07-01

    The dynamically inferred dark halo mass density, amounting to above 0.01 solar masses/cu pc at the sun's Galactocentric radius, can be composed of faint white dwarfs provided that the halo formed in a sufficiently early burst of star formation. The model is constrained by the observed disk white dwarf luminosity function which falls off below log (L/solar L) = -4.4, due to the onset of star formation in the disk. By using a narrow range for the initial mass function and an exponentially decaying halo star formation rate with an e-folding time equal to the free-fall time, all the halo dark matter is allowed to be in cool white dwarfs which lie beyond the falloff in the disk luminosity function. Although it is unlikely that all the dark matter is in these dim white dwarfs, a definite signature in the low-luminosity end of the white dwarf luminosity function is predicted even if they comprise only 1 percent of the dark matter. Current CCD surveys should answer the question of the existence of this population within the next few years. 39 refs.