Science.gov

Sample records for stars white dwarfs

  1. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.

    2014-10-01

    White dwarfs are the evolutionary endpoint for nearly 95% of all stars born in our Galaxy, the final stages of evolution of all low- and intermediate mass stars, i.e., main sequence stars with masses below (8.5± 1.5) M_{odot}, depending on metallicity of the progenitor, mass loss and core overshoot. Massive white dwarfs are intrinsically rare objects, tand produce a gap in the determination of the initial vs. final mass relation at the high mass end (e.g. Weidemann 2000 A&A, 363, 647; Kalirai et al. 2008, ApJ, 676, 594; Williams, Bolte & Koester 2009, ApJ, 693, 355). Main sequences stars with higher masses will explode as SNII (Smartt S. 2009 ARA&A, 47, 63), but the limit does depend on the metallicity of the progenitor. Massive white dwarfs are probably SNIa progenitors through accretion or merger. They are rare, being the final product of massive stars (less common) and have smaller radius (less luminous). Kepler et al. 2007 (MNRAS, 375, 1315), Kleinman et al. 2013 (ApJS, 204, 5) estimate only 1-2% white dwarfs have masses above 1 M_{odot}. The final stages of evolution after helium burning are a race between core growth and loss of the H-rich envelope in a stellar wind. When the burning shell is exposed, the star rapidly cools and burning ceases, leaving a white dwarf. As they cool down, the magnetic field freezes in, ranging from a few kilogauss to a gigagauss. Peculiar type Ia SN 2006gz, SN 2007if, SN 2009dc, SN 2003fg suggest progenitors in the range 2.4-2.8 M_{odot}, and Das U. & Mukhopadhyay B. (2012, Phys. Rev. D, 86, 042001) estimate that the Chandrasekhar limit increases to 2.3-2.6 M_{odot} for extremely high magnetic field stars, but differential rotation induced by accretion could also increase it, according to Hachisu I. et al. 2012 (ApJ, 744, 69). García-Berro et al. 2012, ApJ, 749, 25, for example, proposes double degenerate mergers are the progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs. We propose magnetic fields enhance the line broadening in

  2. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation has been to study various aspects of multimode pulsations in variable white dwarfs. In particular, nonlinear interactions among pulsation modes in white dwarfs (and, to some extent, in other variable stars), analysis of recent observations where such interactions are important, and preliminary work on the effects of crystallization in cool white dwarfs are reported.

  3. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.

    Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, burned-out stars -- called white dwarfs -- are about 12 to 13 billion years old. By adding the one billion years it took the cluster to form after the Big Bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates that the universe is 13 to 14 billion years old.

    The images, including some taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are available online at

    http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/10/ or

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc .

    The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's .9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope.

    The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles indicate the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars.

    Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the

  4. 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

  5. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1999-12-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA 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.

  6. Are All Magnetic White Dwarf Stars Massive?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  7. 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)

  8. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

    The three possible fates of burned-out stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, are described in elementary terms. Characteristics of these celestial bodies, as provided by Einstein's work, are described. (CP)

  9. An overview of white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  10. WHITE DWARFS IN LOCAL STAR STREAMS

    SciTech Connect

    Fuchs, Burkhard; Dettbarn, Christian

    2011-01-15

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Pulsating White Dwarf Stars and Precision Asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. White Dwarf Stars: A Brief Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. UBV photometry of hot white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. A radio-pulsing white dwarf binary star.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-06

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

    Some Be stars which are intermittent 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Search for Planets around Pulsating White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Central Magnetic Field of a Magnetic White Dwarf Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Hridaya; Sebastian, Kunnat

    2017-07-01

    Observations of over-luminous Type 1a supernovae have prompted researchers to come up with various hypotheses in order to explain them. One hypothesis is based on the explosion of a progenitor super-massive magnetic white dwarf star. These stars are assumed to have very strong magnetic fields inside of them. However, there is a lack of analytic proof of the existence of such magnetic fields in the magnetic white dwarf stars. In this work, we plan to address an analytic proof of the existence of very strong magnetic fields in the center of these magnetic white dwarfs. We will see that for a one Landau-level white dwarf star, with central density {10}9{--}{10}11 {{g}} {{cm}}-3, it is possible to have central magnetic fields of the order of {10}13{--}{10}15G at least. In the presence of strong magnetic fields, the threshold densities chosen for this work that correspond to instabilities due to general relativity and pycnonuclear reactions have been found to increase so that the matter does not acquire instability at such central densities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Discovery of five new massive pulsating white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. RXJ2130.6+4710 - an eclipsing white dwarf-M-dwarf binary star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxted, P. F. L.; Marsh, T. R.; Morales-Rueda, L.; Barstow, M. A.; Dobbie, P. D.; Schreiber, M. R.; Dhillon, V. S.; Brinkworth, C. S.

    2004-12-01

    We report the detection of eclipses in the close white-dwarf-M-dwarf binary star RXJ2130.6+4710. We present light curves in the B, V and I bands and fast photometry obtained with the three-channel CCD photometer Ultracam of the eclipse in the u', g' and r' bands. The depth of the eclipse varies from 3.0 mag in the u' band to less than 0.1 mag in the I band. The times of mid-eclipse are given by the ephemeris BJD(mid-eclipse) = 2452785.681876(2) + 0.521035625(3) E, where figures in parentheses denote uncertainties in the final digit. We present medium-resolution spectroscopy from which we have measured the spectroscopic orbits of the M dwarf and white dwarf. We estimate that the spectral type of the M dwarf is M3.5Ve or M4Ve, although the data on which this is based are not ideal for spectral classification. We have compared the spectra of the white dwarf with synthetic spectra from pure hydrogen model atmospheres to estimate that the effective temperature of the white dwarf is Teff= 18000 +/- 1000 K. We have used the width of the primary eclipse and duration of totality measured precisely from the Ultracam u' data combined with the amplitude of the ellipsoidal effect in the I band and the semi-amplitudes of the spectroscopic orbits to derive masses and radii for the M dwarf and white dwarf. The M dwarf has a mass of 0.555 +/- 0.023 Msolar and a radius of 0.534 +/- 0.053 Rsolar, which is a typical radius for stars of this mass. The mass of the white dwarf is 0.554 +/- 0.017 Msolar and its radius is 0.0137 +/- 0.0014 Rsolar, which is the radius expected for a carbon-oxygen white dwarf of this mass and effective temperature. The light curves are affected by frequent flares from the M dwarf and the associated dark spots on its surface can be detected from the distortions to the light curves and radial velocities. RXJ2130.6+4710 is a rare example of a pre-cataclysmic variable star that will start mass transfer at a period above the period gap for cataclysmic variables.

  18. HOT WHITE DWARF SHINES IN YOUNG STAR CLUSTER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Fundamental Physics from Observations of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mass transfer in white dwarf-neutron star binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobrick, Alexey; Davies, Melvyn B.; Church, Ross P.

    2017-05-01

    We perform hydrodynamic simulations of mass transfer in binaries that contain a white dwarf and a neutron star (WD-NS binaries), and measure the specific angular momentum of material lost from the binary in disc winds. By incorporating our results within a long-term evolution model, we measure the long-term stability of mass transfer in these binaries. We find that only binaries containing helium white dwarfs (WDs) with masses less than a critical mass of MWD, crit = 0.2 M⊙ undergo stable mass transfer and evolve into ultracompact X-ray binaries. Systems with higher mass WDs experience unstable mass transfer, which leads to tidal disruption of the WD. Our low critical mass compared to the standard jet-only model of mass-loss arises from the efficient removal of angular momentum in the mechanical disc winds, which develop at highly super-Eddington mass-transfer rates. We find that the eccentricities expected for WD-NS binaries when they come into contact do not affect the loss of angular momentum, and can only affect the long-term evolution if they change on shorter time-scales than the mass-transfer rate. Our results are broadly consistent with the observed numbers of both ultracompact X-ray binaries and radio pulsars with WD companions. The observed calcium-rich gap transients are consistent with the merger rate of unstable systems with higher mass WDs.

  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. 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.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peery, Benjamin F., Jr.

    1986-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The collapse of white dwarfs to neutron stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woosley, S. E.; Baron, E.

    1992-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  20. Accretion-induced Collapse from Helium Star + White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-07-01

    Accretion-induced collapse (AIC) occurs when an O/Ne white dwarf (WD) grows to nearly the Chandrasekhar mass ({M}{Ch}), reaching central densities that trigger electron captures in the core. Using Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA), we present the first true binary simulations of He star + O/Ne WD binaries, focusing on a 1.5 {M}⊙ He star in a 3 hr orbital period with 1.1{--}1.3 {M}⊙ O/Ne WDs. The helium star fills its Roche lobe after core helium burning is completed and donates helium on its thermal timescale to the WD, \\dot{M}≈ 3× {10}-6 {M}⊙ {{yr}}-1, which is a rate high enough that the accreting helium burns stably on the WD. The accumulated carbon/oxygen ashes from the helium burning undergo an unstable shell flash that initiates an inwardly moving, carbon burning flame. This flame is only quenched when it runs out of carbon at the surface of the original O/Ne core. Subsequent accumulation of fresh carbon/oxygen layers also undergo thermal instabilities, but no mass loss is triggered, which allows {M}{WD}\\to {M}{Ch}, and then triggers the onset of AIC. We also discuss the scenario of accreting C/O WDs that experience shell carbon ignitions to become O/Ne WDs, and then, under continuing mass transfer, lead to AIC. Studies of the AIC event rate using binary population synthesis should include all of these channels, especially this latter channel, which has been previously neglected but might dominate the rate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Deposition of steeply infalling debris around white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, John C.; Veras, Dimitri; Gänsicke, Boris T.

    2017-06-01

    High-metallicity pollution is common in white dwarf (WD) stars hosting remnant planetary systems. However, they rarely have detectable debris accretion discs, possibly because much of the influx is fast steeply infalling debris in star-grazing orbits, producing a more tenuous signature than a slowly accreting disc. Processes governing such deposition between the Roche radius and photosphere have so far received little attention and we model them here analytically by extending recent work on sun-grazing comets to WD systems. We find that the evolution of cm-to-km size (a0) infallers most strongly depends on two combinations of parameters, which effectively measure sublimation rate and binding strength. We then provide an algorithm to determine the fate of infallers for any WD, and apply the algorithm to four limiting combinations of hot versus cool (young/old) WDs with snowy (weak, volatile) versus rocky (strong, refractory) infallers. We find: (i) Total sublimation above the photosphere befalls all small infallers across the entire WD temperature (TWD) range, the threshold size rising with TWD and 100× larger for rock than snow. (ii) All very large objects fragment tidally regardless of TWD: for rock, a0 ≽ 105 cm; for snow, a0 ≽ 103-3 × 104 cm across all WD cooling ages. (iii) A considerable range of a0 avoids fragmentation and total sublimation, yielding impacts or grazes with cold WDs. This range rapidly narrows with increasing TWD, especially for snowy bodies. Finally, we briefly discuss how the various forms of deposited debris may finally reach the photosphere surface itself.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gould, Andrew; Koester, Detlev

    2009-11-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1993-01-01

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

  9. VizieR Online Data Catalog: SDSS magnetic white dwarf stars (Kepler+, 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-07-01

    We classified more than 48000 spectra, selected as possible white dwarf stars from the SDSS DR7 by their colours, through visual inspection and detected Zeeman splittings in 521 DA stars. Table 1 shows the estimated values for the magnetic fields for the 521 spectra we measured. (1 data file).

  10. Comparing the asteroseismic properties of pulsating extremely low-mass pre-white dwarf stars and δ Scuti stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arias, J. P. Sánchez; Córsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Althaus, L. G.

    2017-09-01

    We present the first results of a detailed comparison between the pulsation properties of pulsating Extremely Low-Mass pre-white dwarf stars (the pre-ELMV variable stars) and δ Scuti stars. The instability domains of these very different kinds of stars nearly overlap in the log Teff vs. log g diagram, leading to a degeneracy in the classification of the stars. Our aim is to provide asteroseismic tools for their correct classification.

  11. Astrometric Binaries: White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliversen, Nancy A.

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

  12. Hot DAVs: a probable new class of pulsating white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurtz, D. W.; Shibahashi, H.; Dhillon, V. S.; Marsh, T. R.; Littlefair, S. P.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Parsons, S. G.

    2013-06-01

    We have discovered a pulsating DA white dwarf at the lower end of the temperature range 45 000-30 000 K where a few helium atmosphere white dwarfs are known. There are now three such pulsators known, suggesting that a new class of theoretically predicted pulsating white dwarf stars exists. We name them the hot DAV stars. From high-speed photometric observations with the ULTRACAM photometer on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope, we show that the hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf star WD1017-138 pulsates in at least one mode with a frequency of 1.62 mHz (a period of 624 s). The amplitude of that mode was near 1 mmag at a 10σ confidence level on one night of observation and an 8.4σ confidence level on a second night. The combined data have a confidence level of 11.8σ. This supports the two other detections of hot DAV stars previously reported. From three Very Large Telescope Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph spectra we confirm also that WD1017-138 is a hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf with no trace of helium or metals with Teff = 32 600 K, log g = 7.8 (cgs) and M = 0.55 M⊙. The existence of pulsations in these DA white dwarfs at the cool edge of the 45 000-30 000 K temperature range supports the thin hydrogen layer model for the deficit of helium atmosphere white dwarfs in this range. DA white dwarfs with thick hydrogen layers do not have the superadiabatic, chemically inhomogeneous (μ-gradient) zone that drives pulsation in this temperature range. The potential for higher amplitude hot DAV stars exists; their discovery would open the possibility of a direct test of the explanation for the deficit of helium atmosphere white dwarfs at these temperatures by asteroseismic probing of the atmospheric layers of the hot DAV stars. A search for pulsation in a further 22 candidates with ULTRACAM on the European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope gave null results for pulsation at precisions in the range 0.5-3 mmag, suggesting that the pulsation

  13. Astrophysics with white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalirai, Jasonjot Singh

    2004-10-01

    White dwarfs are the end products of the entire stellar evolutionary process in all intermediate and low mass stars. Over 99% of all stars in our Galaxy will eventually end their lives as white dwarfs. Observationally, studying white dwarfs has proven to be very difficult, primarily due to the faintness of the objects. Bright white dwarfs with M V = 11 have a luminosity only 1/300th of the Sun's intrinsic brightness, while the faintest white dwarfs are 100,000 x fainter than the Sun. In this thesis, we describe three related projects aimed at better understanding white dwarfs themselves, as well as their role as inhabitants of our Galaxy. The data that we have acquired to study these faint stars are of unprecedented quality and depth, thereby making possible several scientific results that have eluded investigation in decades of previous effort. First, we provide new insight into one of the most important questions in astrophysics today, what is the nature of the dark matter? Specifically, we are able to marginally rule out the most likely candidates based on microlensing results, namely white dwarfs, as a strong contribution to the dark matter. This study represents the deepest ever look into the Galactic halo and uses Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data. Secondly, we present results from the continuing study of open star clusters in the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) Open Star Cluster Survey. This work has improved the quality of the photometry of open star clusters by over an order of magnitude compared to what had been previously possible. We present our findings for two very young clusters, NGC 2168 (M35) and NGC 2323 (M50), including a study of their white dwarf populations. These two clusters, and the white dwarfs that we have found within them, will prove to be crucial in constraining one of the most fundamental relations in stellar evolution, the initial-final mass relationship. In the third project, we use the 8-metre Gemini North and 10- metre Keck

  14. Relativistic deflection of background starlight measures the mass of a nearby white dwarf star.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Kailash C; Anderson, Jay; Casertano, Stefano; Bond, Howard E; Bergeron, Pierre; Nelan, Edmund P; Pueyo, Laurent; Brown, Thomas M; Bellini, Andrea; Levay, Zoltan G; Sokol, Joshua; Dominik, Martin; Calamida, Annalisa; Kains, Noé; Livio, Mario

    2017-06-09

    Gravitational deflection of starlight around the Sun during the 1919 total solar eclipse provided measurements that confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity. We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the analogous process of astrometric microlensing caused by a nearby star, the white dwarf Stein 2051 B. As Stein 2051 B passed closely in front of a background star, the background star's position was deflected. Measurement of this deflection at multiple epochs allowed us to determine the mass of Stein 2051 B-the sixth-nearest white dwarf to the Sun-as 0.675 ± 0.051 solar masses. This mass determination provides confirmation of the physics of degenerate matter and lends support to white dwarf evolutionary theory. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. From Accretion to Explosion and Beyond: Transforming White Dwarfs to Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Harris, R.

    2010-03-01

    White dwarfs accreting at high rates can grow in mass, exhibiting episodes of supersoft-source activity. Some can achieve the Chandrasekhar mass and will either become Type Ia supernovae or else will collapse, becoming neutron stars. We consider white dwarfs with giant donors, computing the rates of both supernovae and collapses. For the collapses, we follow each system to the end of accretion. Some of these systems will appear as ultraluminous x-ray sources and some will go on to become low-mass black holes. This scenario should be fairly common in young stellar populations and links a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. Indeed, it is a veritable cornucopia for the high-energy astrophysicist, offering accreting white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes, Type Ia supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, supersoft sources, ultraluminous sources, and neutron star and black hole binaries in globular clusters.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  19. Spectroscopic Reductions of White Dwarf Stars to Support Dark Energy Survey Calibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulledge, Deborah Jean; Robertson, Jacob M.; Tucker, Douglas Lee; Smith, J. Allyn; Wester, William; Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Fix, Mees B.

    2017-01-01

    The Dark Energy Survey is an imaging survey that covers 5000 square degrees in the Southern hemisphere to map galaxies and gather information on dark energy. Science requirements for the survey require a 0.5% uncertainty in color, driven by supernova science. The Dark Energy Survey relies a calibration technique that uses white dwarf stars to set zero points. These white dwarf spectra are fit to models which are used to generate synthetic photometry. These values are compared to the measured values from the survey to verify that the zero points are correct. We present results to date of the spectroscopic reductions of these white dwarf stars in support of the calibrations for the Dark Energy Survey.

  20. Relativistic deflection of background starlight measures the mass of a nearby white dwarf star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Anderson, Jay; Casertano, Stefano; Bond, Howard E.; Bergeron, Pierre; Nelan, Edmund P.; Pueyo, Laurent; Brown, Thomas M.; Bellini, Andrea; Levay, Zoltan G.; Sokol, Joshua; aff1; Dominik, Martin; Calamida, Annalisa; Kains, Noé; Livio, Mario

    2017-06-01

    Gravitational deflection of starlight around the Sun during the 1919 total solar eclipse provided measurements that confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity. We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the analogous process of astrometric microlensing caused by a nearby star, the white dwarf Stein 2051 B. As Stein 2051 B passed closely in front of a background star, the background star’s position was deflected. Measurement of this deflection at multiple epochs allowed us to determine the mass of Stein 2051 B—the sixth-nearest white dwarf to the Sun—as 0.675 ± 0.051 solar masses. This mass determination provides confirmation of the physics of degenerate matter and lends support to white dwarf evolutionary theory.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, E.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-14

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Emission lines from tidally disrupted white dwarfs and other evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clausen, D.; Eracleous, M.; Sigurdsson, S.; Irwin, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    When a black hole tidally disrupts a star, accretion of the debris will produce a luminous flare and reveal the presence of a dormant black hole. The accretion flare can also photoionize a portion of the post-disruption debris. We present models of the emission line spectrum produced in the debris released when a white dwarf or a horizontal branch star is tidally disrupted by an intermediate-mass black hole, and discuss the possibility of using the emission lines to identify such events and constrain the properties of the black hole. We also compare the white dwarf disruption models with observations of white dwarf tidal disruption candidates in globular clusters associated with NGC 4472 and NGC 1399. The bright [O III] lines observed in each system are consistent with these models, but there are some drawbacks to interpreting these sources as tidally disrupted white dwarfs. On the other hand, models of the emission line spectrum produced when a horizontal branch star is disrupted by a ˜ 100 Mʘ black hole are in good agreement with the source in the NGC 1399 globular cluster. Finally, we describe light curves for the emission lines produced in the debris of a tidally disrupted helium core. The modeled light curves are consistent with the recent observations of Gezari et al. (2012).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  8. Constraining the parameter space of branon dark matter using white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panotopoulos, Grigorios; Lopes, Ilídio

    2017-09-01

    In the present work we study the branon dark matter particles impact on compact objects, and we provide the first constraints of the parameter space using white dwarf stars. The branon dark matter model is characterized by two free parameters, namely the branon mass particle M and the brane tension factor f . The latter determines the strength of the interaction of branon dark matter particles with baryons. By considering a typical white dwarf star we were able to obtain constraints on branon dark matter competitive with current limits obtained by direct detection and collider searches. In particular, our results show that (i) for heavy branons with a mass M >10 GeV white dwarfs fail to provide us with bounds better than current limits from dark matter direct detection searches, and (ii) for light branons in the mass range 2 keV white dwarfs are not stronger than the dark matter abundance constraint.

  9. High-field magnetic white dwarfs as the progeny of early-type stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, P. D.; Külebi, B.; Casewell, S. L.; Burleigh, M. R.; Parker, Q. A.; Baxter, R.; Lawrie, K. A.; Jordan, S.; Koester, D.

    2013-01-01

    We present an analysis of the newly resolved components of two hot, double-degenerate systems, SDSS J074853.07+302543.5 + J074852.95+302543.4 and SDSS J150813.24+394504.9 + J150813.31+394505.6 (CBS 229). We confirm that each system has widely separated components (a > 100 au) consisting of a H-rich, non-magnetic white dwarf and a H-rich, high-field magnetic white dwarf (HFMWD). The masses of the non-magnetic degenerates are found to be larger than typical of field white dwarfs. We use these components to estimate the total ages of the binaries and demonstrate that both magnetic white dwarfs are the progeny of stars with Minit > 2 M⊙. We briefly discuss the traits of all known hot, wide, magnetic + non-magnetic double degenerates in the context of HFMWD formation theories. These are broadly consistent (chance probability, P ≈ 0.065) with HFMWDs forming primarily from early-type stars and, in the most succinct interpretation, link their magnetism to the fields of their progenitors. Our results do not, however, rule out that HFMWDs can form through close binary interactions and studies of more young, wide double degenerates are required to reach firm conclusions on these formation pathways.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Verne V.; Lambert, David L.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Verne V.; Lambert, David L.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Many-body treatment of white dwarf and neutron stars on the brane

    SciTech Connect

    Azam, Mofazzal; Sami, M.

    2005-07-15

    Brane-world models suggest modification of Newton's law of gravity on the 3-brane at submillimeter scales. The brane-world induced corrections are in higher powers of inverse distance and appear as additional terms with the Newtonian potential. The average interparticle distance in white dwarf and neutron stars is 10{sup -10} cms and 10{sup -13} cms, respectively, and therefore, the effect of submillimeter corrections needs to be investigated. We show, by carrying out simple many-body calculations, that the mass and mass-radius relationship of the white dwarf and neutron stars are not effected by submillimeter corrections. However, our analysis shows that the correction terms in the effective theory give rise to force akin to surface tension in normal liquids.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robitaille, Pierre-Marie

    2016-03-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Gary D.; Smith, Paul S.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Gary D.; Smith, Paul S.

    1994-01-01

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

  20. An unusual white dwarf star may be a surviving remnant of a subluminous Type Ia supernova.

    PubMed

    Vennes, S; Nemeth, P; Kawka, A; Thorstensen, J R; Khalack, V; Ferrario, L; Alper, E H

    2017-08-18

    Subluminous Type Ia supernovae, such as the Type Iax-class prototype SN 2002cx, are described by a variety of models such as the failed detonation and partial deflagration of an accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarf star or the explosion of an accreting, hybrid carbon-oxygen-neon core. These models predict that bound remnants survive such events with, according to some simulations, a high kick velocity. We report the discovery of a high proper motion, low-mass white dwarf (LP 40-365) that travels at a velocity greater than the Galactic escape velocity and whose peculiar atmosphere is dominated by intermediate-mass elements. Strong evidence indicates that this partially burnt remnant was ejected following a subluminous Type Ia supernova event. This supports the viability of single-degenerate supernova progenitors. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  1. An unusual white dwarf star may be a surviving remnant of a subluminous Type Ia supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vennes, S.; Nemeth, P.; Kawka, A.; Thorstensen, J. R.; Khalack, V.; Ferrario, L.; Alper, E. H.

    2017-08-01

    Subluminous Type Ia supernovae, such as the Type Iax–class prototype SN 2002cx, are described by a variety of models such as the failed detonation and partial deflagration of an accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarf star or the explosion of an accreting, hybrid carbon-oxygen-neon core. These models predict that bound remnants survive such events with, according to some simulations, a high kick velocity. We report the discovery of a high proper motion, low-mass white dwarf (LP 40-365) that travels at a velocity greater than the Galactic escape velocity and whose peculiar atmosphere is dominated by intermediate-mass elements. Strong evidence indicates that this partially burnt remnant was ejected following a subluminous Type Ia supernova event. This supports the viability of single-degenerate supernova progenitors.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Searching For Infrared Excesses Around White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeb Wilson, Elin; Rebull, Luisa M.; Debes, John H.; Stark, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Many WDs have been found to be “polluted,” meaning they contain heavier elements in their atmospheres. Either an active process that counters gravitational settling is taking place, or an external mechanism is the cause. One proposed external mechanism for atmospheric pollution of WDs is the disintegration and accretion of rocky bodies, which would result in a circumstellar (CS) disk. As CS disks are heated, they emit excess infrared (IR) emission. WDs with IR excesses indicative of a CS disk are known as dusty WDs. Statistical studies are still needed to determine how numerous dusty, polluted WDs are, along with trends and correlations regarding rate of planetary accretion, the lifetimes of CS disks, and the structure and evolution of CS disks. These findings will allow for a better understanding of the fates of planets along with potential habitability of surviving planets.In this work, we are trying to confirm IR excesses around a sample of 69 WD stars selected as part of the WISE InfraRed Excesses around Degenerates (WIRED) Survey (Debes et al. 2011). We have archival data from WISE, Spitzer, 2MASS, DENIS, and SDSS. The targets were initially selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and identified as containing IR excesses based on WISE data. We also have data from the Four Star Infrared Camera array, which is part of Carnegie Institution’s Magellan 6.5 meter Baade Telescope located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. These Four Star data are much higher spatial resolution than the WISE data that were used to determine if each WD has an IR excess. There are often not many bands delineating the IR excess portion of the SED; therefore, we are using the Four Star data to check if there is another source in the WISE beam affecting the IR excess.

  4. The potential of asteroseismology for probing the core chemical stratification in white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

    Context. The details of the C/O core structure in white dwarf stars has mostly remained inaccessible to the technique of asteroseismology, despite several attempts carried out in the past. Aims: We aim to re-assess the potential of asteroseismology for probing the chemical stratification in white dwarf cores, in light of new highly efficient tools recently developed for that purpose. Methods: Using the forward modeling approach and a new parameterization for the core chemical stratification in ZZ Ceti stars, we tested several situations typical of the usually limited constraints available, such as small numbers of observed independent modes, to carry out asteroseismology of these stars. Results: We find that, even with a limited number of modes, the core chemical stratification (in particular, the location of the steep chemical transitions expected in the oxygen profile) can be determined quite precisely due to the significant sensitivity of some confined modes to partial reflexion (trapping) effects. These effects are similar to the well known trapping induced by the shallower chemical transitions at the edge of the core and at the bottom of the H-rich envelope. We also find that success to unravel the core structure depends on the information content of the available seismic data. In some cases, it may not be possible to isolate a unique, well-defined seismic solution and the problem remains degenerate. Conclusions: Our results establish that constraining the core chemical stratification in white dwarf stars based solely on asteroseismology is possible, an opportunity that we have begun to exploit.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  7. A fossil origin for the magnetic field in A stars and white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Braithwaite, Jonathan; Spruit, Hendrik C

    2004-10-14

    Some main-sequence stars of spectral type A are observed to have a strong (0.03-3 tesla), static, large-scale magnetic field, of a chiefly dipolar shape: they are known as 'Ap stars', such as Alioth, the fifth star in the Big Dipper. Following the discovery of these fields, it was proposed that they are remnants of the star's formation, a 'fossil' field. An alternative suggestion is that they could be generated by a dynamo process in the star's convective core. The dynamo hypothesis, however, has difficulty explaining high field strengths and the observed lack of a correlation with rotation. The weakness of the fossil-field theory has been the absence of field configurations stable enough to survive in a star over its lifetime. Here we report numerical simulations that show that stable magnetic field configurations, with properties agreeing with those observed, can develop through evolution from arbitrary, unstable initial fields. The results are applicable equally to Ap stars, magnetic white dwarfs and some highly magnetized neutron stars known as magnetars. This establishes fossil fields as the natural, unifying explanation for the magnetism of all these stars.

  8. Convection in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  10. EL CVn-type binaries - discovery of 17 helium white dwarf precursors in bright eclipsing binary star systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxted, P. F. L.; Bloemen, S.; Heber, U.; Geier, S.; Wheatley, P. J.; Marsh, T. R.; Breedt, E.; Sebastian, D.; Faillace, G.; Owen, C.; Pulley, D.; Smith, D.; Kolb, U.; Haswell, C. A.; Southworth, J.; Anderson, D. R.; Smalley, B.; Collier Cameron, A.; Hebb, L.; Simpson, E. K.; West, R. G.; Bochinski, J.; Busuttil, R.; Hadigal, S.

    2014-01-01

    The star 1SWASP J024743.37-251549.2 was recently discovered to be a binary star in which an A-type dwarf star eclipses the remnant of a disrupted red giant star (WASP 0247-25 B). The remnant is in a rarely observed state evolving to higher effective temperatures at nearly constant luminosity prior to becoming a very low mass white dwarf composed almost entirely of helium, i.e. it is a pre-helium white dwarf (pre-He-WD). We have used the photometric database from the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) to find 17 eclipsing binary stars with orbital periods P = 0.7-2.2 d with similar light curves to 1SWASP J024743.37-251549.2. The only star in this group previously identified as a variable star is the brightest one, EL CVn, which we adopt as the prototype for this class of eclipsing binary star. The characteristic light curves of EL CVn-type stars show a total eclipse by an A-type dwarf star of a smaller, hotter star and a secondary eclipse of comparable depth to the primary eclipse. We have used new spectroscopic observations for six of these systems to confirm that the companions to the A-type stars in these binaries have very low masses ({≈ } 0.2{ M_{⊙}}). This includes the companion to EL CVn which was not previously known to be a pre-He-WD. EL CVn-type binary star systems will enable us to study the formation of very low mass white dwarfs in great detail, particularly in those cases where the pre-He-WD star shows non-radial pulsations similar to those recently discovered in WASP0247-25 B.

  11. 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.

  12. Rotation Velocities of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. Merger of white dwarf-neutron star binaries: Prelude to hydrodynamic simulations in general relativity

    SciTech Connect

    Paschalidis, Vasileios; MacLeod, Morgan; Baumgarte, Thomas W.; Shapiro, Stuart L.

    2009-07-15

    White dwarf-neutron star binaries generate detectable gravitational radiation. We construct Newtonian equilibrium models of corotational white dwarf-neutron star (WDNS) binaries in circular orbit and find that these models terminate at the Roche limit. At this point the binary will undergo either stable mass transfer (SMT) and evolve on a secular time scale, or unstable mass transfer (UMT), which results in the tidal disruption of the WD. The path a given binary will follow depends primarily on its mass ratio. We analyze the fate of known WDNS binaries and use population synthesis results to estimate the number of LISA-resolved galactic binaries that will undergo either SMT or UMT. We model the quasistationary SMT epoch by solving a set of simple ordinary differential equations and compute the corresponding gravitational waveforms. Finally, we discuss in general terms the possible fate of binaries that undergo UMT and construct approximate Newtonian equilibrium configurations of merged WDNS remnants. We use these configurations to assess plausible outcomes of our future, fully relativistic simulations of these systems. If sufficient WD debris lands on the NS, the remnant may collapse, whereby the gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger, and collapse phases will sweep from LISA through LIGO frequency bands. If the debris forms a disk about the NS, it may fragment and form planets.

  14. Merger of white dwarf-neutron star binaries: Prelude to hydrodynamic simulations in general relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paschalidis, Vasileios; MacLeod, Morgan; Baumgarte, Thomas W.; Shapiro, Stuart L.

    2009-07-01

    White dwarf-neutron star binaries generate detectable gravitational radiation. We construct Newtonian equilibrium models of corotational white dwarf-neutron star (WDNS) binaries in circular orbit and find that these models terminate at the Roche limit. At this point the binary will undergo either stable mass transfer (SMT) and evolve on a secular time scale, or unstable mass transfer (UMT), which results in the tidal disruption of the WD. The path a given binary will follow depends primarily on its mass ratio. We analyze the fate of known WDNS binaries and use population synthesis results to estimate the number of LISA-resolved galactic binaries that will undergo either SMT or UMT. We model the quasistationary SMT epoch by solving a set of simple ordinary differential equations and compute the corresponding gravitational waveforms. Finally, we discuss in general terms the possible fate of binaries that undergo UMT and construct approximate Newtonian equilibrium configurations of merged WDNS remnants. We use these configurations to assess plausible outcomes of our future, fully relativistic simulations of these systems. If sufficient WD debris lands on the NS, the remnant may collapse, whereby the gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger, and collapse phases will sweep from LISA through LIGO frequency bands. If the debris forms a disk about the NS, it may fragment and form planets.

  15. Merger of white dwarf-neutron star binaries: Prelude to hydrodynamic simulations in general relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paschalidis, Vasileios; MacLeod, Morgan; Baumgarte, Thomas W.; Shapiro, Stuart L.

    2010-02-01

    White dwarf-neutron star binaries generate detectable gravitational radiation. We construct Newtonian equilibrium models of corotational white dwarf-neutron star (WDNS) binaries in circular orbit and find that these models terminate at the Roche limit. At this point the binary will undergo either stable mass transfer (SMT) and evolve on a secular time scale, or unstable mass transfer (UMT), which results in the tidal disruption of the WD. The path a given binary will follow depends primarily on its mass ratio. We analyze the fate of known WDNS binaries and use population synthesis results to estimate the number of LISA-resolved galactic binaries that will undergo either SMT or UMT. We model the quasistationary SMT epoch by solving a set of simple ordinary differential equations and compute the corresponding gravitational waveforms. Finally, we discuss in general terms the possible fate of binaries that undergo UMT. If sufficient WD debris lands on the NS, the remnant may collapse, whereby the gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger, and collapse phases will sweep from LISA through LIGO frequency bands. If the debris forms a disk about the NS, it may fragment and form planets. )

  16. Probing the Gravitational Dependence of the Fine-Structure Constant from Observations of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bainbridge, Matthew; Barstow, Martin; Reindl, Nicole; Tchang-Brillet, W.-Ü.; Ayres, Thomas; Webb, John; Barrow, John; Hu, Jiting; Holberg, Jay; Preval, Simon; Ubachs, Wim; Dzuba, Vladimir; Flambaum, Victor; Dumont, Vincent; Berengut, Julian

    2017-03-01

    Hot white dwarf stars are the ideal probe for a relationship between the fine-structure constant and strong gravitational fields, providing us with an opportunity for a direct observational test. We study a sample of hot white dwarf stars, combining far-UV spectroscopic observations, atomic physics, atmospheric modelling and fundamental physics, in the search for variation in the fine structure constant. This variation manifests as shifts in the observed wavelengths of absorption lines, such as quadruply ionized iron (FeV) and quadruply ionized nickel (NiV), when compared to laboratory wavelengths. Berengut et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2013, 111, 010801) demonstrated the validity of such an analysis using high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) spectra of G191-B2B. We have made three important improvements by: (a) using three new independent sets of laboratory wavelengths, (b) analysing a sample of objects, and (c) improving the methodology by incorporating robust techniques from previous studies towards quasars (the Many Multiplet method). A successful detection would be the first direct measurement of a gravitational field effect on a bare constant of nature. Here we describe our approach and present preliminary results from nine objects using both FeV and NiV.

  17. White Dwarf Stars From the Telescope to the Laboratory and Back Again: Exploring Extreme Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winget, Donald E.

    2012-01-01

    Astronomy, in contrast with other sciences, has traditionally been considered an observational science; it has not been possible to perform experiments on the objects we observe. This situation has changed in a way that is transformational. Although laboratory astrophysics has long been an important part of astronomical research, what has changed is the ability to produce large enough chunks of a star that we can make measurements and perform experiments. We are now able to make macroscopic quantities of star stuff in the lab: plasmas created under conditions that are the same as the plasmas in stars. In a cosmic sense, as physicist Greg Rochau likes to point out, the conditions on Earth are far from normal, they could even be considered extreme or bizarre compared to the more cosmically normal conditions in stars. We can now examine, on Earth, matter under more cosmically "normal” conditions. I will describe how this came about, the technology behind it, and the results of our recent laboratory experiments done on Z at Sandia National Laboratories. We will discuss how this will change our understanding of white dwarf stars and, through this, what we know about the universe and its contents based on these stars. Finally, we will briefly examine other fundamental astrophysics being done on Z and focus on the tremendous potential of the Z platform for astrophysics experiments in the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  19. Flare Activity and Polarization States of White Dwarfs in Binary Star Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boneva, D.; Filipov, L.

    2017-03-01

    We investigate flare activity and emission properties of white dwarf binary stars. We apply the polarization as a mechanism to probe the flares and the released resulting radiation. The polarization could appear as patterns in these cases, as it depends mainly on the properties of radiation and geometry of the source. The observational data of MV Lyr and CH Cyg are analysed. A repeated variability in the brightness could affect the degree of polarization. Detectable variations in the polarization parameters of selected binaries for the flares activity period are shown in the result. The analysis may help us to establish more evidence of the close correlation between flares, flow structure transformation around the primary star and polarization parameter variability.

  20. White Dwarfs in Astrometric Binaries?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pulsating white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Romero, Alejandra D.

    2017-09-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has allowed us to increase the number of known white dwarfs by a factor of five and consequently the number of known pulsating white dwarfs also by a factor of five. It has also led to the discovery of new types of variable white dwarfs, as the variable hot DQs, and the pulsating Extremely Low Mass white dwarfs. With the Kepler Mission, it has been possible to discover new phenomena, the outbursts present in a few pulsating white dwarfs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orio, Marina; Luna, Gerardo; Zemko, Polina; Kotulla, Ralf; Gallagher, Jay; Harbeck, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    A handful of supersoft X-ray sources in the Magellanic Clouds that could not be identified with transient nova outbursts turned out to be mainly massive close binaries. 6 years ago we suggested that several such sources may exist in M31, because we found that a certain fraction of supersoft sources was located in star forming regions. Following that discovery, we clearly identified a Be binary in M31, and are currently collecting data for another candidate in that galaxy. Work is in progress to assess whether the compact object companion really is a hydrogen burning white dwarf (the alternative being a massive stellar-mass black hole). If we can demonstrate that Be+white dwarf interacting close binaries are common, and that hydrogen is often ignited on the white dwarf in these systems, we have discovered a new promising channel towards the explosion of supernovae of type Ia in star forming regions, without invoking double degenerate systems.

  5. Throwing Icebergs at White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-08-01

    Where do the metals come from that pollute the atmospheres of many white dwarfs? Close-in asteroids may not be the only culprits! A new study shows that distant planet-size and icy objects could share some of the blame.Pollution ProblemsArtists impression of rocky debris lying close around a white dwarf star. [NASA/ESA/STScI/G. Bacon]When a low- to intermediate-mass star reaches the end of its life, its outer layers are blown off, leaving behind its compact core. The strong gravity of this white dwarf causes elements heavier than hydrogen and helium to rapidly sink to its center in a process known as sedimentation, leaving an atmosphere that should be free of metallic elements.Therefore its perhaps surprising that roughly 2550% of all white dwarfs are observed to have atmospheric pollution by heavy elements. The short timescales for sedimentation suggest that these elements were added to the white dwarf recently but how did they get there?Bringing Ice InwardIn the generally accepted theory, pre-existing rocky bodies or an orbiting asteroid belt survive the stars evolution, later accreting onto the final white dwarf. But this scenario doesnt explain a few observations that suggest white dwarfs might be accreting larger planetary-size bodies and bodies with ices and volatile materials.Dynamical evolution of a Neptune-like planet (a) and a Kuiper belt analog object (b) in wide binary star systems. Both have large eccentricity excitations during the white dwarf phase. [Stephan et al. 2017]How might you get large or icy objects which would begin on very wide orbits close enough to a white dwarf to become disrupted and accrete? Led by Alexander Stephan, a team of scientists at UCLA now suggest that the key is for the white dwarf to be in a binary system.Influence of a CompanionIn the authors model, the white-dwarf progenitor is orbited by both a distant stellar companion (a common occurrence) and a number of large potential polluters, which could have masses between that

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-10

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

  8. VizieR Online Data Catalog: New white dwarf and subdwarf stars in SDSS DR12 (Kepler+, 2016)

    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.

    2016-07-01

    Our selection of white dwarf candidates among DR12 objects was similar to that reported for DR10 (Kepler et al., 2015, Cat. J/MNRAS/446/4078). We did not restrict our sample by magnitude, but by S/N>=3. In addition to the 762 targeted white dwarf candidates after DR10 by anc 42, we selected the spectra of any object classified by the elodie pipeline (Bolton et al., 2012AJ....144..144B) as a white dwarf, which returned 35708 spectra, an O, B or A star, which returned another 144471 spectra. Our general colour selection from Kleinman et al. (2013, Cat. J/ApJS/204/5), which takes into account that SDSS multicolour imaging separates hot white dwarf and subdwarf stars from the bulk of the stellar and quasar loci in colour-colour space (Harris et al., 2003, Cat. J/AJ/126/1023), returned 68836 new spectra, from which we identified another 2092 white dwarfs, 79 subdwarfs, 36 cataclysmic variables (CVs), and 3 PG 1159. Most of these spectra were overlapping with the elodie selections. (1 data file).

  9. White Dwarf Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colina, Luis

    1994-01-01

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

  10. 40 Eridani: The Vulcan Sun as a Benchmark for the Evolutionary Properties of White Dwarfs and Cool Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-20

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

  14. New White Dwarf-Brown Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Gaia photometry for white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Context. White dwarfs can be used to study the structure and evolution of the Galaxy by analysing their luminosity function and initial mass function. Among them, the very cool white dwarfs provide the information for the early ages of each population. Because white dwarfs are intrinsically faint only the nearby (~ 20 pc) sample is reasonably complete. The Gaia space mission will drastically increase the sample of known white dwarfs through its 5-6 years survey of the whole sky up to magnitude V = 20-25. Aims: We provide a characterisation of Gaia photometry for white dwarfs to better prepare for the analysis of the scientific output of the mission. Transformations between some of the most common photometric systems and Gaia passbands are derived. We also give estimates of the number of white dwarfs of the different galactic populations that will be observed. Methods: Using synthetic spectral energy distributions and the most recent Gaia transmission curves, we computed colours of three different types of white dwarfs (pure hydrogen, pure helium, and mixed composition with H/He = 0.1). With these colours we derived transformations to other common photometric systems (Johnson-Cousins, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and 2MASS). We also present numbers of white dwarfs predicted to be observed by Gaia. Results: We provide relationships and colour-colour diagrams among different photometric systems to allow the prediction and/or study of the Gaia white dwarf colours. We also include estimates of the number of sources expected in every galactic population and with a maximum parallax error. Gaia will increase the sample of known white dwarfs tenfold to about 200 000. Gaia will be able to observe thousands of very cool white dwarfs for the first time, which will greatly improve our understanding of these stars and early phases of star formation in our Galaxy. Tables 6 and 7 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgFull Tables 3-5 are available at the CDS via

  16. Head-on collisions of binary white dwarf-neutron stars: Simulations in full general relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paschalidis, Vasileios; Etienne, Zachariah; Liu, Yuk Tung; Shapiro, Stuart L.

    2011-03-01

    We simulate head-on collisions from rest at large separation of binary white dwarf-neutron stars (WDNSs) in full general relativity. Our study serves as a prelude to our analysis of the circular binary WDNS problem. We focus on compact binaries whose total mass exceeds the maximum mass that a cold-degenerate star can support, and our goal is to determine the fate of such systems. A fully general relativistic hydrodynamic computation of a realistic WDNS head-on collision is prohibitive due to the large range of dynamical time scales and length scales involved. For this reason, we construct an equation of state (EOS) which captures the main physical features of neutron stars (NSs) while, at the same time, scales down the size of white dwarfs (WDs). We call these scaled-down WD models “pseudo-WDs (pWDs).” Using pWDs, we can study these systems via a sequence of simulations where the size of the pWD gradually increases toward the realistic case. We perform two sets of simulations; One set studies the effects of the NS mass on the final outcome, when the pWD is kept fixed. The other set studies the effect of the pWD compaction on the final outcome, when the pWD mass and the NS are kept fixed. All simulations show that after the collision, 14%-18% of the initial total rest mass escapes to infinity. All remnant masses still exceed the maximum rest mass that our cold EOS can support (1.92M⊙), but no case leads to prompt collapse to a black hole. This outcome arises because the final configurations are hot. All cases settle into spherical, quasiequilibrium configurations consisting of a cold NS core surrounded by a hot mantle, resembling Thorne-Zytkow objects. Extrapolating our results to realistic WD compactions, we predict that the likely outcome of a head-on collision of a realistic, massive WDNS system will be the formation of a quasiequilibrium Thorne-Zytkow-like object.

  17. The initial stellar masses for the formation of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meynet, Georges

    As is well known a star may end its nuclear lifetime as a white dwarf, neutron star, black hole or may, in certain circumstances, leave no remnant at all. The main question to be addressed in this review is the following: what are the progenitors of these different final stages? After a brief review of the major physical principles governing stellar evolution, we present the different evolutionary scenarios resulting from numerical calculations. Particular attention will be paid to the effect of mass loss on theoretical determinations of the mass limits M WD and MBH which are respectively the maximum initial mass leading to the formation of a white dwarf and the minimum initial mass for the formation of a black hole. We terminate this review by the presentation of some relevant observational results. The bulk of this paper is devoted to the discussion of the evolution of single Population I stars. Les étoiles terminent leur évolution soit comme naines blanches, étoiles à neutrons, ou trous noirs, il peut également arriver qu'aucun résidu ne subsiste, l'étoile étant complètement détruite dans ses phases ultimes. La question à laquelle nous allons essayer de répondre dans cet article est la suivante : quels sont les progéniteurs de ces états finaux? Après un bref rappel de quelques principes importants gouvernant l'évolution stellaire, les différents scénarios évolutifs, tels qu'ils sont proposés par les modèles numériques, sont présentés. Les valeurs de la masse initiale maximale pour la formation des naines blanches ainsi que celles de la masse initiale minimale pour la formation des trous noirs sont discutées tant du point de vue théorique, qu'observationnel. La majeure partie de cet article concerne l'évolution d'étoiles simples et de composition chimique solaire.

  18. Theoretical models of highly magnetic white dwarf stars that violate the Chandrasekhar Limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Hridaya

    2017-08-01

    Until recently, white dwarf (WD) stars were believed to be no more massive than 1.44 solar masses (M ȯ ). This belief has been changed now with the observations of over-luminous or 'peculiar' Type la supernovae that have lead researchers to hypothesize the existence of WDs in the mass range 2.4 - 2.8 M ȯ . This discovery also raises some doubt over the reliability of the Type Ia supernova as a standard candle. It is thought that these super-massive WDs are their most likely progenitors and that they probably have a very strong magnetic field inside them. A degenerate electron gas in a magnetic field, such as that present inside this star, will be Landau quantized. Magnetic field changes the momentum space of electrons which in turn changes their density of states (DOS) and that in turn changes the equation of state (EoS) of matter inside the star, as opposed to that without a field. When this change in the DOS is taken into account and a link between the DOS and the EoS is established, as is done in this work, I find a physical reason behind the theoretical mass-radius (M-R) relations of a super-massive WD. I start with different equations of state with at most three Landau levels occupied and then construct stellar models of magnetic WDs (MWDs) using the same. I also show the M-R relations of these stars for a particular chosen value of maximum electron Fermi energy. Once a multiple Landau level system of electrons is considered, I find that it leads to such an EoS that gives multiple branches in the MR relations. Super-massive MWDs are obtained only when the Landau level occupancy is limited to just one level and some of the mass values fall within the mass range given above.

  19. A Massive-born Neutron Star with a Massive White Dwarf Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cognard, Ismaël; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Guillemot, Lucas; Theureau, Gilles; Tauris, Thomas M.; Wex, Norbert; Graikou, Eleni; Kramer, Michael; Stappers, Benjamin; Lyne, Andrew G.; Bassa, Cees; Desvignes, Gregory; Lazarus, Patrick

    2017-08-01

    We report on the results of a 4 year timing campaign of PSR J2222-0137, a 2.44 day binary pulsar with a massive white dwarf (WD) companion, with the Nançay, Effelsberg, and Lovell radio telescopes. Using the Shapiro delay for this system, we find a pulsar mass m p = 1.76 ± 0.06 M ⊙ and a WD mass m c = 1.293 ± 0.025 M ⊙. We also measure the rate of advance of periastron for this system, which is marginally consistent with the general relativity prediction for these masses. The short lifetime of the massive WD progenitor star led to a rapid X-ray binary phase with little (< 10-2 M ⊙) mass accretion onto the neutron star; hence, the current pulsar mass is, within uncertainties, its birth mass, which is the largest measured to date. We discuss the discrepancy with previous mass measurements for this system; we conclude that the measurements presented here are likely to be more accurate. Finally, we highlight the usefulness of this system for testing alternative theories of gravity by tightly constraining the presence of dipolar radiation. This is of particular importance for certain aspects of strong-field gravity, like spontaneous scalarization, since the mass of PSR J2222-0137 puts that system into a poorly tested parameter range.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Dinçel, B.

    2016-07-01

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

  3. White dwarf kinematics versus mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegg, Christopher; Phinney, E. Sterl

    2012-10-01

    We investigated the relationship between the kinematics and mass of young (<3 × 108 yr) white dwarfs using proper motions. Our sample is taken from the colour-selected catalogues of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Palomar-Green Survey, both of which have spectroscopic temperature and gravity determinations. We find that the dispersion decreases with increasing white dwarf mass. This can be explained as a result of less scattering by objects in the Galactic disc during the shorter lifetime of their more massive progenitors. A direct result of this is that white dwarfs with high mass have a reduced scale height, and hence their local density is enhanced over their less massive counterparts. In addition, we have investigated whether the kinematics of the highest mass white dwarfs (>0.95 M⊙) are consistent with the expected relative contributions of single star evolution and mergers. We find that the kinematics are consistent with the majority of high-mass white dwarfs being formed through single star evolution.

  4. Astrophysical false positives in direct imaging for exoplanets: a white dwarf close to a rejuvenated star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurlo, A.; Vigan, A.; Hagelberg, J.; Desidera, S.; Chauvin, G.; Almenara, J. M.; Biazzo, K.; Bonnefoy, M.; Carson, J. C.; Covino, E.; Delorme, P.; D'Orazi, V.; Gratton, R.; Mesa, D.; Messina, S.; Moutou, C.; Segransan, D.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Wildi, F.

    2013-06-01

    Context. As is the case for all techniques involved in the research for exoplanets, direct imaging has to take into account the probability of so-called astrophysical false positives, which are phenomena that mimic the signature of the objects we are seeking. Aims: In this work we present the case of a false positive found during a direct-imaging survey conducted with VLT/NACO. A promising exoplanet candidate was detected around the K2-type star HD 8049 in July 2010. Its contrast of ΔH = 7.05 at 1.57 arcsec allowed us to assume a 35 MJup companion at 50 projected AU, for the nominal system age and heliocentric distance. Methods: To check whether it was gravitationally bound to the host star, as opposed to an unrelated background object, we re-observed the system one year later and concluded a high probability of a bound system. We also used radial velocity measurements of the host star, spanning a time range of ~30 yr, to constrain the companion's mass and orbital properties, as well as to probe the host star's spectral age indicators and general spectral energy distribution. We also obtained U-band imaging with EFOSC and near-infrared spectroscopy for the companion. Results: Combining all these information we conclude that the companion of HD 8049 is a white dwarf (WD) with temperature Teff = 18 800 ± 2100 K and mass MWD = 0.56 ± 0.08 M⊙. The significant radial velocity trend combined with the imaging data indicates that the most probable orbit has a semi-major axis of about 50 AU. The discrepancy between the age indicators speaks against a bona-fide young star. The moderately high level of chromospheric activity and fast rotation, mimicking the properties of a young star, might be induced by the exchange of mass with the progenitor of the WD. This example demonstrates some of the challenges in determining accurate age estimates and identifications of faint companions. Based on observations collected at La Silla and Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile): Programs

  5. 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)

  6. 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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-10-01

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

  9. White dwarfs and the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupree, A. K.; Raymond, J. C.

    1983-01-01

    Radiation emanating from hot (T greater than 40,000 K) white dwarfs can create large volumes of ionized material containing substantial column densities of highly ionized species, in particular Si IV and C IV. The ions N V and O VI can also be produced by hot, hydrogen-rich white dwarfs. These ionization spheres may be detectable around the nearby dwarfs. The relatively high space motions of these stars coupled with long recombination times in the interstellar medium suggest that a white dwarf leaves a region of ionized material - a fossil Stroemgren trail - that marks its progress through the galaxy. White dwarfs create a patchy substrate of ionized gas in the galactic plane and lead to extended ionized regions out of the plane. The spatial frequency of hot white dwarfs indicates that they contribute a radiative energy comparable to that provided by nondegenerate stars and by supernovae and capable of affecting the ionization balance of the interstellar medium.

  10. A Neutron Star-White Dwarf Binary Model for Repeating Fast Radio Burst 121102

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Wei-Min; Dong, Yi-Ze; Liu, Tong; Ma, Renyi; Wang, Junfeng

    2016-06-01

    We propose a compact binary model for the fast radio burst (FRB) repeaters, where the system consists of a magnetic white dwarf (WD) and a neutron star (NS) with strong bipolar magnetic fields. When the WD fills its Roche lobe, mass transfer will occur from the WD to the NS through the inner Lagrange point. The accreted magnetized materials may trigger magnetic reconnection when they approach the NS surface, and therefore the electrons can be accelerated to an ultra-relativistic speed. In this scenario, the curvature radiation of the electrons moving along the NS magnetic field lines can account for the characteristic frequency and the timescale of an FRB. Owing to the conservation of angular momentum, the WD may be kicked away after a burst, and the next burst may appear when the system becomes semi-detached again through the gravitational radiation. By comparing our analyses with the observations, we show that such an intermittent Roche-lobe overflow mechanism can be responsible for the observed repeating behavior of FRB 121102.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. NuSTAR and swift observations of the fast rotating magnetized white dwarf AE Aquarii

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-10

    AE Aquarii is a cataclysmic variable with the fastest known rotating magnetized white dwarf (P {sub spin} = 33.08 s). Compared to many intermediate polars, AE Aquarii shows a soft X-ray spectrum with a very low luminosity (L {sub X} ∼ 10{sup 31} erg s{sup –1}). We have analyzed overlapping observations of this system with the NuSTAR and the Swift X-ray observatories in 2012 September. We find the 0.5-30 keV spectra to be well fitted by either an optically thin thermal plasma model with three temperatures of 0.75{sub −0.45}{sup +0.18}, 2.29{sub −0.82}{sup +0.96}, and 9.33{sub −2.18}{sup +6.07} keV, or an optically thin thermal plasma model with two temperatures of 1.00{sub −0.23}{sup +0.34} and 4.64{sub −0.84}{sup +1.58} keV plus a power-law component with photon index of 2.50{sub −0.23}{sup +0.17}. The pulse profile in the 3-20 keV band is broad and approximately sinusoidal, with a pulsed fraction of 16.6% ± 2.3%. We do not find any evidence for a previously reported sharp feature in the pulse profile.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Jeffrey John

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Pulsational instability of high-luminosity H-rich pre-white dwarf star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calcaferro, Leila M.; Córsico, Alejandro H.; Camisassa, María E.; Althaus, Leandro G.; Shibahashi, Hiromoto

    2017-09-01

    We present a pulsational stability analysis on high-luminosity H-rich (DA) white dwarf models evolved from low-metallicity progenitors. We found that the ɛ mechanism due to H-shell burning is able to excite low-order g modes.

  18. From White Dwarf To Neutron Star To Black Hole: Accretion, Gamma-ray Bursts, And Their Aftermath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne

    2010-01-01

    When white dwarfs with massive companions experience accretion-induced-collapse, the newborn neutron star may continue to accrete until its mass becomes larger than the maximum neutron-star mass. The resulting black hole may have special properties that allow it to be identified post-collapse. We present a set of such evolutions, punctuated by gamma-ray bursts, and assess the expected rates. An individual system may exhibit a remarkable range of high-energy states: supersoft source, ultraluminous x-ray source, hard x-ray binary, and gamma-ray bursts.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-05-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  2. On using occultation and microlensing to find white dwarf and planetary companions of main sequence stars in tranit searches.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agol, E.; Farmer, A.; Mandel, K.

    2002-12-01

    We will prove a gravitational lensing theorem: the magnification of a large source of uniform brightness by a small foreground point-mass lens is M=1+(2RE2-R_L^2)/R_S^2, where RS is the radius of the source and RE and RL are the Einstein radius and size of the lens projected into the source plane; this provides an accurate approximation to the exact magnification for RL,R_E << RS. Remarkably, this result is independent of the shape of the source or position of the lens (except near the edges). We show that this formula can be generalized to include limb-darkening of a circular source by simply inserting the surface-brightness at the position of the foreground object (divided by the average surface-brightness of the star). We use this theorem to compute transit lightcurves in binaries for which the foreground star or planet has a size and Einstein radius much smaller than the background star. White dwarf stars in binaries with semi-major axes of 0.1 AU have a size comparable to their Einstein radii. Thus, white dwarfs orbiting main-sequence stars can show either brightening or eclipse. Since white dwarfs are similar in size to terrestrial planets, we predict how many white dwarf-main sequence binaries might be found in transit searches for terrestrial type planets such as Kepler and Eddington. We estimate that dozens of systems may be found, although the precise number will depend on the properties of low-level variability of the main-sequence stars in these binaries. We also apply these results to planetary transits (RE ~ 0), demonstrating that this simple approximation accurately describes the exact limb-darkened transit lightcurves. Using the HST lightcurve of HD 209458 from Brown et al. (2001), the ratio of the planet radius to stellar radius is measured to be Rp/R_*=0.1207+/- 0.0003 , marginalized over the limb-darkening.

  3. Evolution of long-lived globular cluster stars. IV. Initial helium content and white-dwarf properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chantereau, W.; Charbonnel, C.; Meynet, G.

    2017-06-01

    Context. Globular clusters host stars with chemical peculiarities. The associated helium enrichment is expected to affect the evolution of stars, in general, and of low-mass stars, and in particular the progenitors of white dwarfs (WDs). Aims: We investigate the effects of different initial helium contents on the properties of WDs such as their masses, compositions, and the time since their formation. Methods: We used the grid of stellar models that we presented in the first papers of this series, which were computed for low-mass, low-metallicity stars with different helium content at [Fe/H] = -1.75 up to the end of the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) phase. We determined an initial-to-final mass relation as a function of the initial helium mass fraction, where the final mass is determined at the end of the TP-AGB phase. We couple the results with different possible distributions of the initial helium content for low-mass stars in NGC 6752 to predict the properties of WDs in this cluster. Results: In a globular cluster at a given age, the He enrichment implies lower initial masses for stars at a given phase. Thus it leads to a decrease of the masses of WDs reaching the cooling sequence. In addition the He enrichment increases the total mass and number of WDs and eventually allows the presence of He white dwarf from single progenitors. Conclusions: The low He enrichment determined in most globular clusters with different methods results in negligible effects on the white dwarf properties. However, in the few globular clusters that display a high He enrichment, this may significantly affect the characteristics of the WDs. In NGC 2808 and ω Centauri the high He enrichment even leads to the formation of He WDs from single He-rich progenitors. Therefore investigating the white dwarf mass domain in globular clusters with a high He enrichment would provide an additional indirect way to measure and constrain the He enrichment degree.

  4. Analysis of the DA white dwarf HZ 43 A and its companion star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Napiwotzki, R.; Barstow, M. A.; Fleming, T.; Holweger, H.; Jordan, S.; Werner, K.

    1993-11-01

    The DA white dwarf HZ 43 A (WD 1314+293) is analyzed based on a newly obtained optical spectrogram. We demonstrate that the derived parameters Teff = 49.000 K and log g = 7.7 are in agreement with the observed Ly-alpha line, the slope of the UV continuum, and the measured trigonometric parallax. The EXOSAT spectrograms of Paerels et al. (1986) are used to obtain upper limits for the atmospheric abundance of helium, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen of HZ 43 A by applying the new parameters and up-to-date Non Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres. The result is discussed within the framework of diffusion calculations. It turns out that the resulting abundances of the CNO elements are below the predictions of theory making HZ 43 A an unique object. A red/near-infrared spectrum of the companion star HZ 43 B is used to reclassify it and to estimate temperature and metallicity. We calculate EUV fluxes from models with the derived stellar parameters and use them to check the flux calibrations of EXOSAT and ROSAT. The agreement between predicted and measured count rates is reasonable for the ROSAT-Wide Field Camera (WFC) filters. Most EXOSAT photometric filters exhibit deviations. These are marginally consistent with our error limits for the LX 3000, LX 4000, and the PPL filters. The Al/P calibration is in error. Discrepant results are obtained for the EXOSAT spectrograph and the ROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC). These inconsistencies may cause systematic errors, if for instance PSPC measurements are combined with WFC data for an analysis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne

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

  7. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  8. 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

  9. MagAO Imaging of Long-period Objects (MILO). II. A Puzzling White Dwarf around the Sun-like Star HD 11112

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Bergeron, P.; Simon, Amélie; Arriagada, Pamela; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Mamajek, Eric E.; Weinberger, Alycia; Butler, R. Paul; Males, Jared R.; Morzinski, Katie; Close, Laird M.; Hinz, Philip M.; Bailey, Jeremy; Carter, Brad; Jenkins, James S.; Jones, Hugh; O'Toole, Simon; Tinney, C. G.; Wittenmyer, Rob; Debes, John

    2016-11-01

    HD 11112 is an old, Sun-like star that has a long-term radial velocity (RV) trend indicative of a massive companion on a wide orbit. Here we present direct images of the source responsible for the trend using the Magellan Adaptive Optics system. We detect the object (HD 11112B) at a separation of 2.″2 (100 au) at multiple wavelengths spanning 0.6-4 μm and show that it is most likely a gravitationally bound cool white dwarf. Modeling its spectral energy distribution suggests that its mass is 0.9-1.1 M ⊙, which corresponds to very high eccentricity, near edge-on orbits from a Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis of the RV and imaging data together. The total age of the white dwarf is >2σ, which is discrepant with that of the primary star under most assumptions. The problem can be resolved if the white dwarf progenitor was initially a double white dwarf binary that then merged into the observed high-mass white dwarf. HD 11112B is a unique and intriguing benchmark object that can be used to calibrate atmospheric and evolutionary models of cool white dwarfs and should thus continue to be monitored by RV and direct imaging over the coming years.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durisen, R. H.

    1973-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-21

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. CRYSTAL CHEMISTRY OF THREE-COMPONENT WHITE DWARFS AND NEUTRON STAR CRUSTS: PHASE STABILITY, PHASE STRATIFICATION, AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    SciTech Connect

    Engstrom, T. A.; Yoder, N. C.; Crespi, V. H. E-mail: ncy5007@psu.edu

    2016-02-20

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

  17. Numerical Simulations of Collisional Cascades at the Roche Limits of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Bromley, Benjamin C.

    2017-08-01

    We consider the long-term collisional and dynamical evolution of solid material orbiting in a narrow annulus near the Roche limit of a white dwarf. With orbital velocities of 300 {km} {{{s}}}-1, systems of solids with initial eccentricity e≳ {10}-3 generate a collisional cascade where objects with radii r ≲ 100{--}300 {km} are ground to dust. This process converts 1-100 km asteroids into 1 μm particles in 102-106 yr. Throughout this evolution, the swarm maintains an initially large vertical scale height H. Adding solids at a rate \\dot{M} enables the system to find an equilibrium where the mass in solids is roughly constant. This equilibrium depends on \\dot{M} and {r}0, the radius of the largest solid added to the swarm. When {r}0 ≲ 10 km, this equilibrium is stable. For larger {r}0, the mass oscillates between high and low states; the fraction of time spent in high states ranges from 100% for large \\dot{M} to much less than 1% for small \\dot{M}. During high states, the stellar luminosity reprocessed by the solids is comparable to the excess infrared emission observed in many metallic line white dwarfs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ake, Thomas B.; Johnson, Hollis R.

    1988-01-01

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

  19. The physics of white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarida; Mochkovitch, Robert

    1998-12-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for 0953-8984/10/49/015/img6 and allows one to obtain information about the age of the Galaxy as well as about the past stellar formation rate in the solar neighbourhood. Therefore, it is important to identify all of the relevant sources of energy as well as the mechanisms that control its flow to the space. We show in this paper that the inclusion of a detailed treatment of phase transitions in Coulomb plasmas made up of a mixture of different chemical species is crucial, since their redistribution can keep the white dwarf warm for 0.5 to 9 Ga depending on the chemical composition and physical assumptions adopted.

  20. Imaging planets around nearby white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burleigh, M. R.; Clarke, F. J.; Hodgkin, S. T.

    2002-04-01

    We suggest that Jovian planets will survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and that white dwarfs will retain planetary systems in wide orbits (>~5au). Utilizing evolutionary models for Jovian planets, we show that infrared imaging with 8-m class telescopes of suitable nearby white dwarfs should allow us to resolve and detect companions >~3M JUP . Detection of massive planetary companions to nearby white dwarfs would prove that such objects can survive the final stages of stellar evolution, place constraints on the frequency of main-sequence stars with planetary systems dynamically similar to our own and allow direct spectroscopic investigation of their composition and structure.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Zdzislaw E.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musielak, Zdzislaw E.

    1987-01-01

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

  3. THE MASSES OF POPULATION II WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-10

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

  6. 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.

  7. Asteroseismology of ZZ Ceti stars with fully evolutionary white dwarf models. I. The impact of the uncertainties from prior evolution on the period spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Gerónimo, F. C.; Althaus, L. G.; Córsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Kepler, S. O.

    2017-03-01

    Context. ZZ Ceti stars are pulsating white dwarfs with a carbon-oxygen core build up during the core helium burning and thermally pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch phases. Through the interpretation of their pulsation periods by means of asteroseismology, details about their origin and evolution can be inferred. The whole pulsation spectrum exhibited by ZZ Ceti stars strongly depends on the inner chemical structure. At present, there are several processes affecting the chemical profiles that are still not accurately determined. Aims: We present a study of the impact of the current uncertainties of the white dwarf formation and evolution on the expected pulsation properties of ZZ Ceti stars. Methods: Our analysis is based on a set of carbon-oxygen core white dwarf models with masses 0.548 and 0.837 M⊙ that are derived from full evolutionary computations from the ZAMS to the ZZ Ceti domain. We considered models in which we varied the number of thermal pulses, the amount of overshooting, and the 12C(α,γ)16O reaction rate within their uncertainties. Results: We explore the impact of these major uncertainties in prior evolution on the chemical structure and expected pulsation spectrum. We find that these uncertainties yield significant changes in the g-mode pulsation periods. Conclusions: We conclude that the uncertainties in the white dwarf progenitor evolution should be taken into account in detailed asteroseismological analyses of these pulsating stars.

  8. Building Magnetic Fields in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The Potential of White Dwarf Cosmochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-04-01

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

  11. Transit probabilities for debris around white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, John Arban; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Rapid Rotation of a Heavy White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-05-01

    New Kepler observations of a pulsating white dwarf have revealed clues about the rotation of intermediate-mass stars.Learning About ProgenitorsStars weighing in at under 8 solar masses generally end their lives as slowly cooling white dwarfs. By studying the rotation of white dwarfs, therefore, we are able to learn about the final stages of angular momentum evolution in these progenitor stars.Most isolated field white dwarfs cluster in mass around 0.62 solar masses, which corresponds to a progenitor mass of around 2.2 solar masses. This abundance means that weve already learned a good deal about the final rotation of low-mass (13 solar-mass) stars. Our knowledge about the angular momentum of intermediate-mass (38 solar-mass) stars, on the other hand, remains fairly limited.Fourier transform of the pulsations from SDSSJ0837+1856. The six frequencies of stellar variability, marked with red dots, reveal a rotation period of 1.13 hours. [Hermes et al. 2017]Record-Breaking FindA newly discovered white dwarf, SDSSJ0837+1856, is now helping to shed light on this mass range. SDSSJ0837+1856 appears to be unusually massive: its measured at 0.87 solar masses, which corresponds to a progenitor mass of roughly 4.0 solar masses. Determining the rotation of this white dwarf would therefore tell us about the final stages of angular momentum in an intermediate-mass star.In a new study led by J.J. Hermes (Hubble Fellow at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), a team of scientists presents a series of measurements of SDSSJ0837+1856 that suggest its the highest-mass and fastest-rotating isolated pulsating white dwarf known.Histogram of rotation rates determined from the asteroseismology of pulsating white dwarfs (marked in red). SDSSJ0837+1856 (indicated in black) is more massive and rotates faster than any other known pulsating white dwarf. [Hermes et al. 2017]Rotation from PulsationsWhy pulsating? In the absence of measurable spots and other surface features, the way we

  13. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  14. White Dwarf Pulsational Constraints on Stellar Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. New class of Well behaved exact solutions of relativistic charged white-dwarf star with perfect fluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pant, Neeraj

    2011-08-01

    The paper presents a class of interior solutions of Einstein-Maxwell field equations of general relativity for a static, spherically symmetric distribution of the charged fluid. This class of solutions describes well behaved charged fluid balls. The class of solutions gives us wide range of parameter K (0.3277≤ K≤0.49), for which the solution is well behaved hence, suitable for modeling of super dense star. For this solution the mass of a star is maximized with all degree of suitability and by assuming the surface density ρ b =2×1014 g/cm3. Corresponding to K=0.3277 with X=-0.15, the maximum mass of the star comes out to be M=0.92 M Θ with radius r b ≈17.15 km and the surface red shift Z b ≈0.087187. It has been observed that under well behaved conditions this class of solutions gives us the mass of super dense object within the range of white-dwarf.

  16. Post-main-sequence Evolution of Icy Minor Planets. II. Water Retention and White Dwarf Pollution around Massive Progenitor Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malamud, Uri; Perets, Hagai B.

    2017-06-01

    Most studies suggest that the pollution of white dwarf (WD) atmospheres arises from the accretion of minor planets, but the exact properties of polluting material, and in particular the evidence for water in some cases, are not yet understood. Here we study the water retention of small icy bodies in exo-solar planetary systems, as their respective host stars evolve through and off the main sequence and eventually become WDs. We explore, for the first time, a wide range of star masses and metallicities. We find that the mass of the WD progenitor star is of crucial importance for the retention of water, while its metallicity is relatively unimportant. We predict that minor planets around lower-mass WD progenitors would generally retain more water and would do so at closer distances from the WD than compared with high-mass progenitors. The dependence of water retention on progenitor mass and other parameters has direct implications for the origin of observed WD pollution, and we discuss how our results and predictions might be tested in the future as more observations of WDs with long cooling ages become available.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-15

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

  19. 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.

  20. Solidification of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatzman, E.

    1982-01-01

    The internal structure of white dwarfs is discussed. Highly correlated plasmas are reviewed. Implications for phase separation in the core of cooling white dwarfs are considered. The consequences for evolution of white dwarfs are addressed.

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-20

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

  3. 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.

  4. Novel modelling of ultracompact X-ray binary evolution - stable mass transfer from white dwarfs to neutron stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sengar, Rahul; Tauris, Thomas M.; Langer, Norbert; Istrate, Alina G.

    2017-09-01

    Tight binaries of helium white dwarfs (He WDs) orbiting millisecond pulsars (MSPs) will eventually 'merge' due to gravitational damping of the orbit. The outcome has been predicted to be the production of long-lived ultracompact X-ray binaries (UCXBs), in which the WD transfers material to the accreting neutron star (NS). Here we present complete numerical computations, for the first time, of such stable mass transfer from a He WD to a NS. We have calculated a number of complete binary stellar evolution tracks, starting from pre-low-mass X-ray binary systems, and evolved these to detached MSP+WD systems and further on to UCXBs. The minimum orbital period is found to be as short as 5.6 min. We followed the subsequent widening of the systems until the donor stars become planets with a mass of ∼0.005 M⊙ after roughly a Hubble time. Our models are able to explain the properties of observed UCXBs with high helium abundances and we can identify these sources on the ascending or descending branch in a diagram displaying mass-transfer rate versus orbital period.

  5. The 25 parsec local white dwarf population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  6. White Dwarfs in the Galaxy's Halo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppenheimer, B.; Murdin, P.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-20

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

  9. SDSS 1355+0856: a detached white dwarf + M star binary in the period gap discovered by the SWARMS survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badenes, Carles; van Kerkwijk, Marten H.; Kilic, Mukremin; Bickerton, Steven J.; Mazeh, Tsevi; Mullally, Fergal; Tal-Or, Lev; Thompson, Susan E.

    2013-03-01

    SDSS J135523.92 + 085645.4 (SDSS 1355+0856) was identified as a hot white dwarf with a companion from time-resolved Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy as part of the ongoing Sloan White Dwarf Radial velocity data Mining Survey survey. Follow-up observations with the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 m telescope and the Multiple Mirror Telescope revealed weak emission lines in the central cores of the Balmer absorption lines during some phases of the orbit, but no line emission during other phases. This can be explained if SDSS 1355+0856 is a detached white dwarf + M dwarf binary similar to GD 448, where one of the hemispheres of the low-mass companion is irradiated by the proximity of the hot white dwarf. Based on the available data, we derive an orbital period of 0.114 38 ± 0.000 06 d, a primary mass of 0.46 ± 0.01 M⊙, a secondary mass between 0.083 and 0.097 M⊙, and an orbital inclination larger than 57°. This makes SDSS 1355+0856 one of the shortest period post-common envelope white dwarf + M dwarf binaries, and the record holder for the lowest mass stellar companion, which has interesting implications for our understanding of common envelope evolution and the phenomenology of cataclysmic variables. The short cooling time of the WD (25 Myr) implies that the system emerged from the common envelope phase with an orbital period very similar to what we observe today, and was born in the period gap of cataclysmic variables.

  10. A perturbation study of axisymmetric strongly magnetic degenerate stars: the case of super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Prasanta; Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2017-03-01

    In the presence of a strong magnetic field, a stellar equilibrium configuration, aided by the Lorentz force, can support a larger mass than a non-magnetic one. This has been considered a possible explanation of the super-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs giving rise to overluminous Type-Ia supernovae. We present here linear and non-linear perturbation studies of such strongly magetized configurations and show that axisymmetric configurations with poloidal or toroidal fields are unstable. The numerical evolution of the perturbations shows instability after about an Alfvén crossing time. This time-scale is very short for the magnetically supported super-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs. Uniform rotation about the symmetry axis can reduce the growth rate but cannot stabilize the super-massive configurations. It is concluded that long-lived super-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs supported by magnetic field are unlikely to occur in nature.

  11. 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.

  12. Imaging planets around white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burleigh, Matt; Clarke, Fraser; Hodgkin, Simon

    White dwarfs should retain planetary systems in wide orbits (>≅5AU). Evolutionary models for Jovian planets show that infra-red imaging of suitable nearby white dwarfs should allow us to resolve and detect companions >≅5 Mtiny JUP. We have instigated programmes with both the 8m Gemini North (using NIRI), Gemini South (using Flamingos) and with the NAOMI Adaptive Optics system on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope to search for such objects, which will share the large proper motions of their white dwarf hosts.

  13. Photospheric composition and structure in white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.

    1993-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. White dwarfs, the Galaxy and Dirac's cosmology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R.

    1976-01-01

    The additive and multiplicative versions of Dirac's cosmological hypothesis relating the gravitational constant variation with elapsed time and number of particles populating the universe is invoked to account for the deficiency or absence of white dwarfs fainter than about 0.0001 solar luminosity. An estimate is made of white dwarf luminosity in accordance with the two evolutionary models, and it is conjectured that some old white dwarfs with high space velocities may be on the verge of gravitational collapse. Lack of a special mechanism to produce the vast numbers of black holes or other dead stars accounting for 'missing matter' in the vicinity of the sun and in the galactic halo is noted in Dirac's multiplicative model. Results indicate that either Dirac's theory is untenable, or that radiation and heating are of some unknown nature, or that the process of creation of new matter requires a corresponding input of energy.

  16. White dwarfs, the Galaxy and Dirac's cosmology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R.

    1976-01-01

    The additive and multiplicative versions of Dirac's cosmological hypothesis relating the gravitational constant variation with elapsed time and number of particles populating the universe is invoked to account for the deficiency or absence of white dwarfs fainter than about 0.0001 solar luminosity. An estimate is made of white dwarf luminosity in accordance with the two evolutionary models, and it is conjectured that some old white dwarfs with high space velocities may be on the verge of gravitational collapse. Lack of a special mechanism to produce the vast numbers of black holes or other dead stars accounting for 'missing matter' in the vicinity of the sun and in the galactic halo is noted in Dirac's multiplicative model. Results indicate that either Dirac's theory is untenable, or that radiation and heating are of some unknown nature, or that the process of creation of new matter requires a corresponding input of energy.

  17. White Dwarfs in Gaia Data Release 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, S.

    2017-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-01

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

  19. 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 Mergers on Adaptive Meshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Maximilian Peter

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. HUBBLE PINPOINTS WHITE DWARFS IN GLOBULAR CLUSTER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, dying stars - called white dwarfs - are giving astronomers a fresh reading on one of the biggest questions in astronomy: How old is the universe? The ancient white dwarfs in M4 are about 12 to 13 billion years old. After accounting for the time it took the cluster to form after the big bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates for the universe's age. In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's 0.9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope. The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles pinpoint the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars. Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the oldest stars puts astronomers within arm's reach of the universe's age. M4 is 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 made the observations from January through April 2001. These optical observations were combined to

  3. HUBBLE PINPOINTS WHITE DWARFS IN GLOBULAR CLUSTER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, dying stars - called white dwarfs - are giving astronomers a fresh reading on one of the biggest questions in astronomy: How old is the universe? The ancient white dwarfs in M4 are about 12 to 13 billion years old. After accounting for the time it took the cluster to form after the big bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates for the universe's age. In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's 0.9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope. The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles pinpoint the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars. Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the oldest stars puts astronomers within arm's reach of the universe's age. M4 is 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 made the observations from January through April 2001. These optical observations were combined to

  4. Throwing Icebergs at White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephan, Alexander P.; Naoz, Smadar; Zuckerman, B.

    2017-08-01

    White dwarfs (WDs) have atmospheres that are expected to consist nearly entirely of hydrogen and helium, since heavier elements will sink out of sight on short timescales. However, observations have revealed atmospheric pollution by heavier elements in about a quarter to a half of all WDs. While most of the pollution can be accounted for with asteroidal or dwarf planetary material, recent observations indicate that larger planetary bodies, as well as icy and volatile material from Kuiper belt analog objects, are also viable sources of pollution. The commonly accepted pollution mechanisms, namely scattering interactions between planetary bodies orbiting the WDs, can hardly account for pollution by objects with large masses or long-period orbits. Here we report on a mechanism that naturally leads to the emergence of massive body and icy and volatile material pollution. This mechanism occurs in wide binary stellar systems, where the mass loss of the planets’ host stars during post main sequence stellar evolution can trigger the Eccentric Kozai-Lidov mechanism. This mechanism leads to large eccentricity excitations, which can bring massive and long-period objects close enough to the WDs to be accreted. We find that this mechanism readily explains and is consistent with observations.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  9. Merger of a white dwarf-neutron star binary to 1029 carat diamonds: origin of the pulsar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margalit, Ben; Metzger, Brian D.

    2017-03-01

    We show that the merger and tidal disruption of a carbon/oxygen (C/O) white dwarf (WD) by a neutron star (NS) binary companion provides a natural formation scenario for the PSR B1257+12 planetary system. Starting with initial conditions for the debris disc produced of the disrupted WD, we model its long-term viscous evolution, including for the first time the effects of mass and angular momentum loss during the early radiatively inefficient accretion flow (RIAF) phase and accounting for the unusual C/O composition on the disc opacity. For plausible values of the disc viscosity α ∼ 10-3-10-2 and the RIAF mass-loss efficiency, we find that the disc mass remaining near the planet formation radius at the time of solid condensation is sufficient to explain the pulsar planets. Rapid rocky planet formation via gravitational instability of the solid carbon dominated disc is facilitated by the suppression of vertical shear instabilities due to the high solid-to-gas ratio. Additional evidence supporting a WD-NS merger scenario includes (1) the low observed occurrence rate of pulsar planets (≲1 per cent of NS birth), comparable to the expected WD-NS merger rate; (2) accretion by the NS during the RIAF phase is sufficient to spin PSR B1257+12 up to its observed 6 ms period; (3) similar models of 'low angular momentum' discs, such as those produced from supernova fallback, find insufficient mass reaching the planet formation radius. The unusually high space velocity of PSR B1257+12 of ≳326 km s-1 suggests a possible connection to the calcium-rich transients, dim supernovae which occur in the outskirts of their host galaxies and were proposed to result from mergers of WD-NS binaries receiving supernova kicks. The C/O disc composition implied by our model likely results in carbon-rich planets with diamond interiors.

  10. Using DA White Dwarfs to Calibrate Synthetic Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holberg, J. B.

    2007-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Influence of Collisions with Charged Particles on Heavy Metal Spectral Line Profiles in Spectra of A Stars and White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simic, Z.

    2009-09-01

    The significance of trace element spectral data, including Stark broadening parameters, increases with the development of space-born spectroscopy. Here, we investigated theoretically the influence of collisions with charged particles on heavy metal spectral line profiles for Te I, Cr II, Mn II, Au II, Cu III, Zn III, Se III, In III and Sn III in spectra of A stars and white dwarfs. In this work semiclassical theory (Sahal-Bréchot 1969ab) was applied particularly since the most of published results in literature until now are determined using this method. When it can not be applied in an adequate way, due to the lack of reliable atomic data, modified semiempirical theory (Dimitrijević and Konjević 1980, Dimitrijević and Kršljanin 1986) was used. Here, we obtained Stark broadening parameters, widths and shifts, for spectral lines of neutral emitter Te I, singly charged emitters Cr II, Mn II and Au II and doubly charged emitters Cu III, Zn III, Se III, In III and Sn III. In the case with the available experimental and other theoretical data for the considered spectral lines we analized an agreement or a disagreement with our theoretical results. Also, here we considered the contributions of different collision processes to the total Stark width in comparison with the Doppler one. We consider the effect of Stark broadening on the shapes of CrII spectral lines observed in stellar atmospheres of the middle part of the main sequence. Stark broadening parameters were calculated by the semiclassical perturbation approach. For stellar spectra synthesis, the improved version SYNTH3 of the code SYNTH for synthetic spectrum calculations was used. Stark broadening parameters for Cr II spectral lines of seven multiplets belonging to 4s-4p transitions were calculated. New calculated Stark parameters were applied to the analysis of Cr II line profiles observed in the spectrum of Cr-rich star HD 133792. We found that Stark broadening mechanism is very important and should be

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A COMPREHENSIVE SPECTROSCOPIC ANALYSIS OF DB WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. The White Dwarf Mass in Interacting Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukai, Koji

    We are undertaking a comprehensive study of accreting white dwarfs in two broad types of interacting binaries, cataclysmic variables (CVs) and symbiotic stars, using X-ray and multi-wavelength data. Our goal is to understand the detailed accretion and X-ray emission processes in these binaries, and therefore determine what information can be extracted from X-ray observations of these systems. In paritular, we must measure the current masses of white dwarfs in CVs and symbiotic stars and understand if they gain or lose mass over time. We believe that these are all worthy objectives by themselves, with added interest in the context of Type Ia supernova progenitor models and the apparently diffuse Galactic ridge and bulge X-ray emission. For both these issues, we need surveys with well-understood selection effects to measure the space density of CVs and symbiotic stars, and X-ray surveys will likely play a key role. With these long-term goals in mind, we are undertaking several interlinked projects with overlapping sets of objectives and collaborators. In this proposal, we seek support for a subset of our overall research program, thematically linked to one of the most important parameters in any CVs and symbiotic stars: the white dwarf mass (Mwd). The depth of the gravitational potential of the white dwarf sets the maximum temperature that the accreting plasma can reach; therefore, by measuring the maximum temperature in the X-ray spectra of CVs and symbiotic stars, one can infer Mwd. This method has long been applied to magnetic CVs; we believe that it is also applicable to non-magnetic cases. We propose an empirical confirmation of this method for quiescent dwarf novae, and investigate any systematic uncertainties that may be inherent in this method. We already know that CVs and symbiotic stars with strong hard (>10 keV) X-ray emission harbor massive white dwarfs, and have used this fact to study the population such systems detected in INTEGRAL and Swift BAT

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nomoto, Ken'ichi

    1986-01-01

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

  7. High Velocity White Dwarfs from Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, B.

    2002-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. On the Stability of Strange Dwarf Hybrid Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alford, Mark G.; Harris, Steven P.; Sachdeva, Pratik S.

    2017-10-01

    We investigate the stability of “strange dwarfs”: white-dwarf-sized stars with a density discontinuity between a small dense core of quark matter and a thick low-density mantle of degenerate electrons. Previous work on strange dwarfs suggested that such a discontinuity could stabilize stars that would have been classified as unstable by the conventional criteria based on extrema in the mass–radius relation. We investigate the stability of such stars by numerically solving the Sturm–Liouville equations for the lowest-energy modes of the star. We find that the conventional criteria are correct, and strange dwarfs are not stable.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Jacob; Nave, Gillian

    2015-08-01

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

  11. The Dusty Accretion of Polluted White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  15. The Local Population of White Dwarfs within 25 pc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. On the Evolution of Hydrogen-Deficient White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Non-LTE line-blanketed model atmospheres of hot stars. 2: Hot, metal-rich white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lanz, T.; Hubeny, I.

    1995-01-01

    We present several model atmospheres for a typical hot metal-rich DA white dwarf, T(sub eff) = 60,000 K, log g = 7.5. We consider pure hydrogen models, as well as models with various abundances of two typical 'trace' elements-carbon and iron. We calculte a number of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE) and non-LTE models, taking into account the effect of numerous lines of these elements on the atmospheric structure. We demostrate that while the non-LTE effects are notvery significant for pure hydrogen models, except for describing correctly the central emission in H-alpha they are essential for predicting correctly the ionization balance of metals, such as carbon and iron. Previously reported discrepancies in LTE abundances determinations using C III and C IV lines are easily explained by non-LTE effects. We show that if the iron abundance is larger than 10(exp -5), the iron line opacity has to be considered not only for the spectrum synthesis, but also in the model construction itself. For such metal abundances, non-LTE metal line-blanketed models are needed for detailed abundance studies of hot, metal-rich white dwarfs. We also discuss the predicted Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) spectrum and show that it is very sensitive to metal abundances, as well as to non-LTE effects.

  20. Non-LTE line-blanketed model atmospheres of hot stars. 2: Hot, metal-rich white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lanz, T.; Hubeny, I.

    1995-01-01

    We present several model atmospheres for a typical hot metal-rich DA white dwarf, T(sub eff) = 60,000 K, log g = 7.5. We consider pure hydrogen models, as well as models with various abundances of two typical 'trace' elements-carbon and iron. We calculte a number of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE) and non-LTE models, taking into account the effect of numerous lines of these elements on the atmospheric structure. We demostrate that while the non-LTE effects are notvery significant for pure hydrogen models, except for describing correctly the central emission in H-alpha they are essential for predicting correctly the ionization balance of metals, such as carbon and iron. Previously reported discrepancies in LTE abundances determinations using C III and C IV lines are easily explained by non-LTE effects. We show that if the iron abundance is larger than 10(exp -5), the iron line opacity has to be considered not only for the spectrum synthesis, but also in the model construction itself. For such metal abundances, non-LTE metal line-blanketed models are needed for detailed abundance studies of hot, metal-rich white dwarfs. We also discuss the predicted Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) spectrum and show that it is very sensitive to metal abundances, as well as to non-LTE effects.

  1. Two white dwarfs with oxygen-rich atmospheres.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-08

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

  2. Studying white dwarf merger remnants with FLASH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenks, Malia

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Flaring Red Dwarf Star (Illustration)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-06

    This illustration shows a red dwarf star orbited by a hypothetical exoplanet. Red dwarfs tend to be magnetically active, displaying gigantic arcing prominences and a wealth of dark sunspots. Red dwarfs also erupt with intense flares that could strip a nearby planet's atmosphere over time, or make the surface inhospitable to life as we know it. By mining data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft, a team of astronomers identified dozens of flares at a range of durations and strengths. The team measured events with less total energy than many previously detected flares from red dwarfs. This is important because, although individually less energetic and therefore less hostile to life, smaller flares might be much more frequent and add up over time to produce a cumulative effect on an orbiting planet. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21473

  4. Atypical Thermonuclear Supernovae from Tidally Crushed White Dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Towards an Understanding of the Atmospheres of Cool White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, P. M.; Saumon, D.; Holberg, J.; Leggett, S.

    2013-01-01

    Cool white dwarfs with Teff < 6000 K are the remnants of the oldest stars that existed in our Galaxy. Their atmospheres, when properly characterized, can provide valuable information on white dwarf evolution and ultimately star formation through the history of the Milky Way. Understanding the atmospheres of these stars requires joined observational effort and reliable atmosphere modeling. We discuss and analyze recent observations of the near-ultraviolet (UV) and near-infrared (IR) spectrum of several cool white dwarfs including DQ/DQp stars showing carbon in their spectra. We present fits to the entire spectral energy distribution (SED) of selected cool stars, showing that the current pure-hydrogen atmosphere models are quite reliable, especially in the near-UV spectral region. Recently, we also performed an analysis of the coolest known DQ/DQp stars investigating further the origin of the rm C2 Swan bands-like spectral features that characterize the DQp stars. We show that the carbon abundances derived for DQp stars fit the trend of carbon abundance with Teff seen in normal cool DQ stars. This further supports the recent conclusion of Kowalski (2010a) that DQp stars are DQ stars with pressure distorted Swan bands. However, we encounter some difficulties in reproducing the IR part of the SED of stars having a mixed He/H atmosphere. This indicates limitations in current models of the opacity in dense He/H fluids.

  8. Open Science Project in White Dwarf Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vornanen, T.

    2013-01-01

    I will propose a new way of advancing white dwarf research. Open science is a method of doing research that lets everyone who has something to say about the subject take part in the problem solving process. Already now, the amount of information we gather from observations, theory and modeling is too vast for any one individual to comprehend and turn into knowledge. And the amount of information just keeps growing in the future. A platform that promotes sharing of thoughts and ideas allows us to pool our collective knowledge of white dwarfs and get a clear picture of our research field. It will also make it possible for researchers in fields closely related to ours (AGB stars, planetary nebulae etc.) to join the scientific discourse. In the first stage this project would allow us to summarize what we know and what we don't, and what we should search for next. Later, it could grow into a large collaboration that would have the impact to, for example, suggest instrument requirements for future telescopes to satisfy the needs of the white dwarf community, or propose large surveys. A simple implementation would be a wiki page for collecting knowledge combined with a forum for more extensive discussions. These would be simple and cheap to maintain. A large community effort on the whole would be needed for the project to succeed, but individual workload should stay at a low level.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Helium runaways in white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taam, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    The long term evolution of an accreting carbon white dwarf was studied from the onset of accretion to the ignition of helium. The variations in the details of the helium shell flash examined with respect to variations in mass accretion rate. For intermediate rates the helium flash is potentially explosive whereas for high rates the shell flash is relatively weak. The results are discussed in the context of the long term evolution of novae.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durisen, R. H.

    1975-01-01

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

  14. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Untangling the White Dwarf Luminosity Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, M. C.

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    We present three new eclipsing white-dwarf/M-dwarf binary systems discovered during a search for transiting planets around M-dwarfs. Unlike most known eclipsing systems of this type, the optical and infrared emission is dominated by the M-dwarf components, and the systems have optical colors and discovery light curves consistent with being Jupiter-radius transiting planets around early M-dwarfs. We detail the PTF/M-dwarf transiting planet survey, part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We present a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based box-least-squares search for transits that runs approximately 8 × faster than similar algorithms implemented on general purpose systems. For the discovered systems, we decompose low-resolution spectra of the systems into white-dwarf and M-dwarf components, and use radial velocity measurements and cooling models to estimate masses and radii for the white dwarfs. The systems are compact, with periods between 0.35 and 0.45 days and semimajor axes of approximately 2 R ⊙ (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M ⊙, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M ⊙. We use the Robo-AO laser guide star adaptive optics system to tentatively identify one of the objects as a triple system. We also use high-cadence photometry to put an upper limit on the white-dwarf radius of 0.025 R ⊙ (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%^{+0.10%}_{-0.05%} (90% confidence) of M-dwarfs are in these short-period, post-common-envelope white-dwarf/M-dwarf binaries where the optical light is dominated by the M-dwarf. The lack of detections at shorter periods, despite near-100% detection efficiency for such systems, suggests that binaries including these relatively low-temperature white dwarfs are preferentially found at relatively large orbital radii. Similar eclipsing

  19. 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

  20. A DEEPLY ECLIPSING DETACHED DOUBLE HELIUM WHITE DWARF BINARY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-10

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

  1. Orbital circularisation of white dwarfs and the formation of gravitational radiation sources in star clusters containing an intermediate mass black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, P. B.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.

    2007-12-01

    Aims:We consider how tight binaries consisting of a super-massive black hole of mass M = 103-104 M⊙ and a white dwarf in quasi-circular orbit can be formed in a globular cluster. We point out that a major fraction of white dwarfs tidally captured by the black hole may be destroyed by tidal inflation during ongoing tidal circularisation, and therefore the formation of tight binaries is inhibited. However some fraction may survive tidal circularisation through being spun up to high rotation rates. Then the rates of energy loss through gravitational wave emission induced by tidally excited pulsation modes and dissipation through non linear effects may compete with the rate of increase of pulsation energy due to dynamic tides. The semi-major axes of these white dwarfs are decreased by tidal interaction below a “critical” value where dynamic tides decrease in effectiveness because pulsation modes retain phase coherence between successive pericentre passages. Methods: We estimate the rate of formation of such circularising white dwarfs within a simple framework, modelling them as n = 1.5 polytropes and assuming that results obtained from the tidal theory for slow rotators can be extrapolated to fast rotators. Results: We estimate the total capture rate as N 2.5 × 10-8 {M}41.3r0.1-2.1 yr-1, where M4 = M/104 M⊙ and r0.1 is the radius of influence of the black hole expressed in units 0.1 pc. We find that the formation rate of tight pairs is approximately 10 times smaller than the total capture rate, for typical parameters of the problem. This result is used to estimate the probability of detection of gravitational waves coming from such tight binaries by LISA. Conclusions: We conclude that LISA may detect such binaries provided that the fraction of globular clusters containing black holes in the mass range of interest is substantial and that the dispersion velocity of the cluster stars near the radius of influence of the black hole exceeds 20 km s-1.

  2. Dynamical Masses of Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pala, A. F.; Gänsckie, B. T.

    2017-03-01

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

  3. Effects of magnetic fields in white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franzon, Bruno; Schramm, Stefan

    2017-06-01

    We perform calculations of white dwarfs endowed with strong magnetic fields. White dwarfs are the progenitors of supernova Type Ia explosions and they are widely used as candles to show that the Universe is expanding and accelerating. However, observations of ultraluminous supernovae have suggested that the progenitor of such an explosion should be a white dwarf with mass above the well-known Chandrasekhar limit ~ 1.4 M⊙. In corroboration with other works, but by using a fully general relativistic framework, we obtained also strongly magnetized white dwarfs with masses M ~ 2.0 M⊙.

  4. Constraints on modified gravity models from white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, Srimanta; Shankar, Swapnil; Singh, Tejinder P.

    2017-10-01

    Modified gravity theories can introduce modifications to the Poisson equation in the Newtonian limit. As a result, we expect to see interesting features of these modifications inside stellar objects. White dwarf stars are one of the most well studied stars in stellar astrophysics. We explore the effect of modified gravity theories inside white dwarfs. We derive the modified stellar structure equations and solve them to study the mass-radius relationships for various modified gravity theories. We also constrain the parameter space of these theories from observations.

  5. On the ultraviolet iron spectrum of pre-white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoenberner, D.; Drilling, J. S.

    1985-01-01

    Numerous lines of Fe V, Fe VI, and Fe VII have been detected in high-resolution IUE spectra of two central stars and a number of very hot subdwarfs. The strengths of these lines vary widely from star to star, suggesting that the abundance of iron in the atmospheres of the immediate progenitors of white dwarfs is strongly variable. A possible explanation is elemental separation by gravity and radiation pressure.

  6. Radial pulsations in DB white dwarfs?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1993-01-01

    Theoretical models of DB white dwarfs are unstable against radial pulsation at effective temperatures near 20,000-30,000 K. Many high-overtone modes are unstable, with periods ranging from 12 s down to the acoustic cutoff period of approximately 0.1 s. The blue edge for radial instability lies at slightly higher effective temperatures than for nonradial pulsations, with the temperature of the blue edge dependent on the assumed efficiency of convection. Models with increased convective efficiency have radial blue edges that are increasingly closer to the nonradial blue edge; in all models the instability persists into the nonradial instability strip. Radial pulsations therefore may exist in the hottest DB stars that lie below the DB gap; the greatest chance for detection would be observations in the ultraviolet. These models also explain why searches for radial pulsations in DA white dwarfs have failed: the efficient convection needed to explain the blue edge for nonradial DA pulsation means that the radial instability strip is 1000 K cooler than found in previous investigations. The multiperiodic nature of the expected pulsations can be used to advantage to identify very low amplitude modes using the uniform spacing of the modes in frequency. This frequency spacing is a direct indicator of the mass of the star.

  7. Two new extremely hot pulsating white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Helium runaways in white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taam, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    The long-term evolution of a carbon-accreting white dwarf (M = 0.5 solar mass) has been studied from the onset of accretion to the ignition of helium. The variations in the details of the helium-shell flash have been examined with respect to variations in mass accretion rate. For intermediate rates (10 to the -9th to 10 to the -8th solar mass/yr) the helium flash is potentially explosive, whereas for high rates (5 x 10 to the -8th solar mass/yr) the shell flash is relatively weak. The results are discussed in the context of the long-term evolution of novae.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. The OmegaWhite Survey for short-period variable stars - IV. Discovery of the warm DQ white dwarf OW J175358.85-310728.9

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macfarlane, S. A.; Woudt, P. A.; Dufour, P.; Ramsay, G.; Groot, P. J.; Toma, R.; Warner, B.; Paterson, K.; Kupfer, T.; van Roestel, J.; Berdnikov, L.; Dagne, T.; Hardy, F.

    2017-09-01

    We present the discovery and follow-up observations of the second known variable warm DQ white dwarf OW J175358.85-310728.9 (OW J1753-3107). OW J1753-3107 is the brightest of any of the currently known warm or hot DQ and was discovered in the OmegaWhite Survey as exhibiting optical variations on a period of 35.5452 (2) min, with no evidence for other periods in its light curves. This period has remained constant over the last 2 yr and a single-period sinusoidal model provides a good fit for all follow-up light curves. The spectrum consists of a very blue continuum with strong absorption lines of neutral and ionized carbon, a broad He i λ4471 line and possibly weaker hydrogen lines. The C i lines are Zeeman split, and indicate the presence of a strong magnetic field. Using spectral Paschen-Back model descriptions, we determine that OW J1753-3107 exhibits the following physical parameters: Teff = 15 430 K, log (g) = 9.0, log (N(C)/N(He)) = -1.2 and the mean magnetic field strength is Bz =2.1 MG. This relatively low temperature and carbon abundance (compared to the expected properties of hot DQs) is similar to that seen in the other warm DQ SDSS J1036+6522. Although OW J1753-3107 appears to be a twin of SDSS J1036+6522, it exhibits a modulation on a period slightly longer than the dominant period in SDSS J1036+6522 and has a higher carbon abundance. The source of variations is uncertain, but they are believed to originate from the rotation of the magnetic white dwarf.

  13. 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.

  14. Evaporation and accretion of extrasolar comets following white dwarf kicks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Nicholas; Metzger, Brian D.; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-03-01

    Several lines of observational evidence suggest that white dwarfs receive small birth kicks due to anisotropic mass-loss. If other stars possess extrasolar analogues to the Solar Oort cloud, the orbits of comets in such clouds will be scrambled by white dwarf natal kicks. Although most comets will be unbound, some will be placed on low angular momentum orbits vulnerable to sublimation or tidal disruption. The dusty debris from these comets will manifest itself as an IR excess temporarily visible around newborn white dwarfs; examples of such discs may already have been seen in the Helix Nebula, and around several other young white dwarfs. Future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope may distinguish this hypothesis from alternatives such as a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt analogue. Although competing hypotheses exist, the observation that ≳15 per cent of young white dwarfs possess such discs, if interpreted as indeed being cometary in origin, provides indirect evidence that low-mass gas giants (thought necessary to produce an Oort cloud) are common in the outer regions of extrasolar planetary systems. Hydrogen abundances in the atmospheres of older white dwarfs can, if sufficiently low, also be used to place constraints on the joint parameter space of natal kicks and exo-Oort cloud models.

  15. Magnetic White Dwarfs with Heavy Elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  16. The Star, the Dwarf and the Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-10-01

    properties place it in the category of cool T-type brown dwarfs. ESO PR Photo 38b/06 ESO PR Photo 39b/06 The Relative Position of the Companion to HD 3651 "Due to their faintness even in the infrared, these cool T dwarfs are very difficult to find", said Mugrauer. "Only two other brown dwarfs with similar brightness are presently known. Their study will provide important insights into the atmospheric properties of cool sub-stellar objects." More than 170 stars are currently known to host exoplanets. In some cases, these stars were also found to have one or several stellar companions, showing that planet formation can also take place in a dynamically more complex environment than our own Solar System where planet formation occurred around an isolated single star. In 2001, Mugrauer and his colleagues started an observational programme to find out whether exoplanet host stars are single or married. In this programme, known exoplanet host stars are systematically imaged at two different epochs, at least several months apart. True companions can be distinguished from coincidental background objects as only they move together with the stars over time. With this effective search strategy several new companions of exoplanet host stars have been detected. Most of the detected companions are low-mass stars in the same evolutionary state as the Sun. In two cases, however, the astronomers found the companions to be white dwarfs, that is, stars at the end of their life. These intriguing systems bear evidence that planets can even survive the troubled last moments in the life of a nearby star. The planet host star HD 3651 is thus surrounded by two sub-stellar objects. The planet, HD 3651b, is very close, while the newly found brown dwarf companion revolves around the star 1500 times farther away than the planet. This system is the first imaged example that planets and brown dwarfs can form around the same star.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  19. Dark-matter admixed white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. The True Incidence of Magnetism Among Field White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liebert, James; Bergeron, P.; Holberg, J. B.

    2003-01-01

    We study the incidence of magnetism in white dwarfs from three large and well-observed samples of hot, cool, and nearby white dwarfs in order to test whether the fraction of magnetic degenerates is biased and whether it varies with effective temperature, cooling age, or distance. The magnetic fraction is considerably higher for the cool sample of Bergeron, Ruiz, & Leggett and the Holberg, Oswalt, & Sion sample of local white dwarfs than it is for the generally hotter white dwarfs of the Palomar-Green survey. We show that the mean mass of magnetic white dwarfs in this survey is 0.93 Msolar or more, so there may be a strong bias against their selection in the magnitude-limited Palomar-Green survey. We argue that this bias is not as important in the samples of cool and nearby white dwarfs. However, this bias may not account for all of the difference in the magnetic fractions of these samples. It is not clear that the magnetic white dwarfs in the cool and local samples are drawn from the same population as the hotter PG stars. In particular, two or three of the cool sample are low-mass white dwarfs in unresolved binary systems. Moreover, there is a suggestion from the local sample that the fractional incidence may increase with decreasing temperature, luminosity, and/or cooling age. Overall, the true incidence of magnetism at the level of ~2 MG or greater is at least ~10%, and it could be higher. Limited studies capable of detecting lower field strengths down to ~10 kG suggest by implication that the total fraction may be substantially higher then 10%.

  2. PTF1 J082340.04+081936.5: A Hot Subdwarf B Star with a Low-mass White Dwarf Companion in an 87-minute Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kupfer, Thomas; van Roestel, Jan; Brooks, Jared; Geier, Stephan; Marsh, Tom R.; Groot, Paul J.; Bloemen, Steven; Prince, Thomas A.; Bellm, Eric; Heber, Ulrich; Bildsten, Lars; Miller, Adam A.; Dyer, Martin J.; Dhillon, Vik S.; Green, Matthew; Irawati, Puji; Laher, Russ; Littlefair, Stuart P.; Shupe, David L.; Steidel, Charles C.; Rattansoon, Somsawat; Pettini, Max

    2017-02-01

    We present the discovery of the hot subdwarf B star (sdB) binary PTF1 J082340.04+081936.5. The system has an orbital period of {P}{orb} = 87.49668(1) minutes (0.060761584(10) days), making it the second-most compact sdB binary known. The light curve shows ellipsoidal variations. Under the assumption that the sdB primary is synchronized with the orbit, we find a mass of {M}{sdB}={0.45}-0.07+0.09 {M}ȯ , a companion white dwarf mass of {M}{WD}={0.46}-0.09+0.12 {M}ȯ , and a mass ratio of q=\\tfrac{{M}{WD}}{{M}{sdB}}={1.03}-0.08+0.10. The future evolution was calculated using the MESA stellar evolution code. Adopting a canonical sdB mass of {M}{sdB}=0.47 {M}ȯ , we find that the sdB still burns helium at the time it will fill its Roche lobe if the orbital period was less than 106 minutes at the exit from the last common envelope (CE) phase. For longer CE exit periods, the sdB will have stopped burning helium and turned into a C/O white dwarf at the time of contact. Comparing the spectroscopically derived {log}g and {T}{eff} with our MESA models, we find that an sdB model with a hydrogen envelope mass of 5× {10}-4 {M}ȯ matches the measurements at a post-CE age of 94 Myr, corresponding to a post-CE orbital period of 109 minutes, which is close to the limit to start accretion while the sdB is still burning helium.

  3. AR Sco: A Precessing White Dwarf Synchronar?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, J. I.

    2017-02-01

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

  4. A coronagraphic search for brown dwarfs around nearby stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  5. A coronagraphic search for brown dwarfs around nearby stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-06-01

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

  6. A coronagraphic search for brown dwarfs around nearby stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  7. Hot DQ white dwarfs: a pulsational test of the mixing scenario for their formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, A.; Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.; García-Berro, E.

    2010-11-01

    Hot DQ white dwarfs constitute a new class of white dwarf stars, uncovered recently within the framework of SDSS project. There exist nine of them, out of a total of several thousands white dwarfs spectroscopically identified. Recently, three hot DQ white dwarfs have been reported to exhibit photometric variability with periods compatible with pulsation g-modes. In this contribution, we presented the results of a non-adiabatic pulsation analysis of the recently discovered carbon-rich hot DQ white dwarf stars. Our study relies on the full evolutionary models of hot DQ white dwarfs recently developed by Althaus et al. (2009), that consistently cover the whole evolution from the born-again stage to the white dwarf cooling track. Specifically, we performed a stability analysis on white dwarf models from stages before the blue edge of the DBV instability strip (Teff ≈ 30000 K) until the domain of the hot DQ white dwarfs (18000-24000 K), including the transition DB→hot DQ white dwarf. We explore evolutionary models with M*= 0.585M⊙ and M* = 0.87M⊙, and two values of thickness of the He-rich envelope (MHe = 2 × 10-7M* and MHe = 10-8M*).

  8. Circumstellar features in hot DA white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bannister, N. P.; Barstow, M. A.; Holberg, J. B.; Bruhweiler, F. C.

    2003-05-01

    We present a phenomenological study of highly ionized, non-photospheric absorption features in high spectral resolution vacuum ultraviolet spectra of 23 hot DA white dwarfs. Prior to this study, four of the survey objects (Feige 24, REJ 0457-281, G191-B2B and REJ 1614-085) were known to possess these features. We find four new objects with multiple components in one or more of the principal resonance lines: REJ 1738+665, Ton 021, REJ 0558-373 and WD 2218+706. A fifth object, REJ 2156-546, also shows some evidence of multiple components, though further observations are required to confirm the detection. We discuss possible origins for these features including ionization of the local interstellar environment, the presence of material inside the gravitational well of the white dwarf, mass loss in a stellar wind and the existence of material in an ancient planetary nebula around the star. We propose ionization of the local interstellar medium as the origin of these features in G191-B2B and REJ 1738+665, and demonstrate the need for higher-resolution spectroscopy of the sample, to detect multiple interstellar medium velocity components and to identify circumstellar features that may lie close to the photospheric velocity.

  9. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  11. Calibrating White Dwarf Asteroseismic Fitting Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  12. Generalized uncertainty principle and the maximum mass of ideal white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Rashidi, Reza

    2016-11-15

    The effects of a generalized uncertainty principle on the structure of an ideal white dwarf star is investigated. The equation describing the equilibrium configuration of the star is a generalized form of the Lane–Emden equation. It is proved that the star always has a finite size. It is then argued that the maximum mass of such an ideal white dwarf tends to infinity, as opposed to the conventional case where it has a finite value.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Globular cluster interstellar media: ionized and ejected by white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, I.; Zijlstra, A. A.

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet radiation from white dwarfs can efficiently clear Galactic globular clusters (GCs) of their intracluster medium (ICM). This solves the problem of the missing ICM in clusters, which is otherwise expected to build up to easily observable quantities. To show this, we recreate the ionizing flux in 47 Tuc, following randomly generated stars through their asymptotic giant branch (AGB), post-AGB and white dwarf evolution. Each white dwarf can ionize all the material injected into the cluster by stellar winds for ˜3 Myr of its evolution: ˜40 such white dwarfs exist at any point. Every GC's ICM should be ionized. The neutral cloud in M15 should be caused by a temporary overdensity. A pressure-supported ICM will expand over the cluster's tidal radius, where it will be truncated, allowing Jeans escape. The modelled Jeans mass-loss rate approximates the total stellar mass-loss rate, allowing efficient clearing of ICM. Any cluster's ICM mass should equal the mass injected by its stars over the sound travel time between the cluster core and tidal radius. We predict ˜11.3 M⊙ of ICM within 47 Tuc, cleared over ˜4 Myr, compared to a dynamical time-scale of 4.3 Myr. We present a new mass hierarchy, discussing the transition between GCs dwarf galaxies.

  16. DE Canum Venaticorum: a bright, eclipsing red dwarf-white dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Besselaar, E. J. M.; Greimel, R.; Morales-Rueda, L.; Nelemans, G.; Thorstensen, J. R.; Marsh, T. R.; Dhillon, V. S.; Robb, R. M.; Balam, D. D.; Guenther, E. W.; Kemp, J.; Augusteijn, T.; Groot, P. J.

    2007-05-01

    Context: Close white dwarf-red dwarf binaries must have gone through a common-envelope phase during their evolution. DE CVn is a detached white dwarf-red dwarf binary with a relatively short (~8.7 h) orbital period. Its brightness and the presence of eclipses makes this system ideal for a more detailed study. Aims: From a study of photometric and spectroscopic observations of DE CVn we derive the system parameters that we discuss in the framework of common-envelope evolution. Methods: Photometric observations of the eclipses are used to determine an accurate ephemeris. From a model fit to an average low-resolution spectrum of DE CVn, we constrain the temperature of the white dwarf and the spectral type of the red dwarf. The eclipse light curve is analysed and combined with the radial velocity curve of the red dwarf determined from time-resolved spectroscopy to derive constraints on the inclination and the masses of the components in the system. Results: The derived ephemeris is HJDmin = 2 452 784.5533(1) + 0.3641394(2) × E. The red dwarf in DE CVn has a spectral type of M3V and the white dwarf has an effective temperature of 8 000 K. The inclination of the system is 86+3°-2 and the mass and radius of the red dwarf are 0.41± 0.06 M⊙ and 0.37+0.06-0.007 R⊙, respectively, and the mass and radius of the white dwarf are 0.51+0.06-0.02 M⊙ and 0.0136+0.0008-0.0002 R⊙, respectively. Conclusions: We found that the white dwarf has a hydrogen-rich atmosphere (DA-type). Given that DE CVn has experienced a common-envelope phase, we can reconstruct its evolution and we find that the progenitor of the white dwarf was a relatively low-mass star (M≤ 1.6~M⊙). The current age of this system is 3.3-7.3× 109 years, while it will take longer than the Hubble time for DE CVn to evolve into a semi-detached system.

  17. White Dwarfs population as seen by Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    The launch of Gaia satellite of ESA is approaching (scheduled in 2013) and the scientific community is preparing for the maximal scientific return. As white dwarfs are very faint (especially in the very cool regime, Teff ≤ 5,000 K), they are very hard to detect and only the closest ones have been observed until now. Gaia, through its 5--6 years survey of the whole sky up to magnitude 20-25 (depending on the colour of the source), will drastically increase the sample of known white dwarfs and provide a lot of new science in this field. Using synthetic spectral energy distribution libraries and the most recent Gaia transmission curves, we derive colours of three different kinds of white dwarfs (pure hydrogen, pure helium and mixed composition with H/He=0.1). With these colours we derive transformations to other common photometric systems (Johnson-Cousins, Sloan Digital Sky Survey and 2MASS). Different relationships have to be considered for different white dwarfs compositions. Pure-He white dwarfs show an unique behaviour valid at different temperatures, but pure-H white dwarfs need to be analysed in two different temperature regimes, as their behaviour changes around Teff =5,000 K. We also compare the estimations of number of white dwarfs as predicted by the Gaia Universe Model Snapshot and by a different model of white dwarfs population (Napiwotzky's simulations). Among all white dwarfs observed, the most interesting ones will be those in the very cool regime. According to our simulations, Gaia will be able to observe thousands of them for the first time.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  20. TIDAL NOVAE IN COMPACT BINARY WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, Jim; Lai Dong

    2012-09-01

    Compact binary white dwarfs (WDs) undergoing orbital decay due to gravitational radiation can experience significant tidal heating prior to merger. In these WDs, the dominant tidal effect involves the excitation of outgoing gravity waves in the inner stellar envelope and the dissipation of these waves in the outer envelope. As the binary orbit decays, the WDs are synchronized from outside in (with the envelope synchronized first, followed by the core). We examine the deposition of tidal heat in the envelope of a carbon-oxygen WD and study how such tidal heating affects the structure and evolution of the WD. We show that significant tidal heating can occur in the star's degenerate hydrogen layer. This layer heats up faster than it cools, triggering runaway nuclear fusion. Such 'tidal novae' may occur in all WD binaries containing a CO WD, at orbital periods between 5 minutes and 20 minutes, and precede the final merger by 10{sup 5}-10{sup 6} years.

  1. COS Spectroscopy of White Dwarf Companions to Blue Stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Imaging Extrasolar Planets Around Nearby White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burleigh, M.; Clarke, F.; Hodgkin, S.

    White dwarfs should retain planetary systems in wide orbits (greater than about 5 AU). Evolutionary models for jovian planets show that infrared imaging of suitable nearby white dwarfs should allow us to resolve and detect companions of mass greater than about 5 Jupiter masses. We have instigated programs with both the 8m Gemini North (using NIRI), Gemini South (using Flamingos) and with the NAOMI Adaptive Optics system on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope to search for such objects, which will share the large proper motions of their white dwarf hosts.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2001-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions of Nearby Dwarf Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrance, Patrick

    2014-06-01

    The discovery of G77-61 (Dahn et al. 1977) -- a star with a carbon-rich spectrum a mere 58 pc away and therefore of relatively low luminosity -- led to the recognition that _dwarf_ carbon (dC) stars exist. As more dCs are now known, the accepted paradigm of the presence of atmospheric carbon is that dCs must contain a white dwarf secondary. While the white dwarf companion was going through an AGB stage, it deposited carbon-rich material in the atmosphere of the lower-mass (and now brighter) dwarf star. Indeed, a handful of the dC's have exhibited radial velocity signatures consistent with this picture. To allow for the carbon to still be present in the atmosphere past the AGB stage, a replenishing outer shell or disk has been proposed. Current understanding of the formation and evolution of a dC is, however, limited by the small number of objects and observations. We present a full range of fluxes and flux limits from 1 - 160 um including 2MASS, WISE, Spitzer, and Herschel observations for a list of the nearest carbon dwarfs. We reconstruct the spectral energy distribution exploring the mid-infrared region where any residual debris disks would be detectable. The carbon dwarfs have been historically studied in the visible, and these new infrared observations provide a picture of the circumstellar dust.

  10. 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.

  11. DISCOVERY OF AN ULTRAMASSIVE PULSATING WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Tidal Effects in Inspiraling Double White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavanis, Pierre-Henri; Sire, Clément

    2008-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-20

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. UBV photometry of hot DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kidder, K. M.; Holberg, J. B.; Mason, Paul A.

    1991-01-01

    Johnson UBV photometry has been obtained photoelectrically for a set of DA white dwarfs with effective temperatures greater than 20,000 K and for the AM Her type binary HO538 + 608. Most of the white dwarfs lie within existing Einstein IPC or EXOSAT LE soft X-ray fields, therefore they are of interest as potential serendipitous soft X-ray sources. In addition, high dispersion spectroscopy has been used to differentiate seven of these objects to be subdwarfs.

  19. THE C-FLAME QUENCHING BY CONVECTIVE BOUNDARY MIXING IN SUPER-AGB STARS AND THE FORMATION OF HYBRID C/O/Ne WHITE DWARFS AND SN PROGENITORS

    SciTech Connect

    Denissenkov, P. A.; Herwig, F.; Truran, J. W.; Paxton, B. E-mail: fherwig@uvic.ca

    2013-07-20

    After off-center C ignition in the cores of super asymptotic giant branch (SAGB) stars, the C flame propagates all the way down to the center, trailing behind it the C-shell convective zone, and thus building a degenerate ONe core. This standard picture is obtained in stellar evolution simulations if the bottom C-shell convection boundary is assumed to be a discontinuity associated with a strict interpretation of the Schwarzschild condition for convective instability. However, this boundary is prone to additional mixing processes, such as thermohaline convection and convective boundary mixing. Using hydrodynamic simulations, we show that contrary to previous results, thermohaline mixing is too inefficient to interfere with the C-flame propagation. However, even a small amount of convective boundary mixing removes the physical conditions required for the C-flame propagation all the way to the center. This result holds even if we allow for some turbulent heat transport in the CBM region. As a result, SAGB stars build in their interiors hybrid C-O-Ne degenerate cores composed of a relatively large CO core (M{sub CO} Almost-Equal-To 0.2 M{sub Sun }) surrounded by a thick ONe zone ({Delta}M{sub ONe} {approx}> 0.85 M{sub Sun }) with another thin CO layer above. If exposed by mass loss, these cores will become hybrid C-O-Ne white dwarfs. Otherwise, the ignition of C-rich material in the central core, surrounded by the thick ONe zone, may trigger a thermonuclear supernova (SN) explosion. The quenching of the C-flame may have implications for the ignition mechanism of SN Ia in the double-degenerate merger scenario.

  20. 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).

  1. Hot C-rich white dwarfs: testing the DB-DQ transition through pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Althaus, L. G.; García-Berro, E.

    2009-11-01

    Context: Hot DQ white dwarfs are a new class of white dwarf stars that were discovered recently within the framework of the SDSS project. There are nine known hot DQ stars, out of a total of several thousands white dwarfs spectroscopically identified. Three hot DQ white dwarfs have been reported to exhibit photometric variability with periods compatible with pulsation g-modes. Aims: We present a nonadiabatic pulsation analysis of carbon-rich hot DQ white dwarf stars. One of our main aims is to test the convective-mixing scenario for the origin of hot DQs by studying their pulsational properties. Methods: Our pulsation study is based on the full evolutionary models of hot DQ white dwarfs developed by Althaus and collaborators, which consistently cover the entire evolution from the born-again stage to the white dwarf cooling track. Specifically, we present a stability analysis of white dwarf models from stages before the blue edge of the DBV instability strip (Teff ≈ 30 000 K), until the domain of the hot DQ white dwarfs (18 000-24 000 K), including the transition DB→hot DQ white dwarf. We explore evolutionary models with M* = 0.585 M⊙ and M* = 0.87 M⊙, and two values of the thickness of the He-rich envelope (MHe = 2×10-7 M* and MHe = 10-8 M_*). These envelopes are 4-5 orders of magnitude thinner than those of standard DB white dwarf models resulting from canonical stellar evolution computations. Results: We found that at evolutionary phases in which the models are characterized by He-dominated atmospheres, they exhibit unstable g-mode pulsations typical of DBV stars, and when the models become DQ white dwarfs with carbon-dominated atmospheres, they continue being pulsationally unstable with characteristics similar to DB models, and in agreement with the periods detected in variable hot DQ white dwarfs. In particular, for models with MHe = 10-8 M_*, a narrow gap exists separating the DB from the DQ instability domains. Conclusions: Our calculations provide

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Detailed Spectroscopic and Photometric Analysis of DQ White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dufour, P.; Bergeron, P.; Fontaine, G.

    2005-07-01

    We present an analysis of spectroscopic and photometric observations of cool DQ white dwarfs based on improved model atmosphere calculations. In particular, we revise the atmospheric parameters of the trigonometric parallax sample of Bergeron, Leggett, & Ruiz and discuss the astrophysical implications on the temperature scale and mean mass, as well as the chemical evolution of these stars. We also analyze 40 new DQ stars discovered in the First Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Our analysis confirms that effective temperatures (Teff) derived from model atmospheres including carbon are significantly lower than the temperatures obtained from pure helium models. Similarly, the mean mass of the trigonometric parallax sample, =0.62Msolar, is significantly lower than that obtained from pure helium models, =0.73Msolar, and more consistent with the spectroscopic mean mass of DB stars, =0.59Msolar, the most likely progenitors of DQ white dwarfs. We find that DQ stars form a remarkably well-defined sequence in a carbon abundance versus effective temperature diagram; below Teff~10,000 K, carbon pollution decreases monotonically with decreasing effective temperature. Improved evolutionary models including diffusion and connecting to the PG 1159 phase are used to infer a typical value for the thickness of the helium layer MHe/M* between 10-3 and 10-2, compatible with the predictions of post-AGB models. Several DQ stars in our sample, however, show larger than average carbon abundances. We argue that these DQ stars are all massive white dwarfs and could represent the high-mass tail of the white dwarf mass distribution, with their hotter counterparts corresponding to the hot DQ stars reported recently by Liebert et al. The number distribution of DQ white dwarfs as a function of effective temperature clearly shows a sudden drop at about Teff~7000 K and an abrupt cutoff at Teff~6000 K. The existence of this cutoff is now statistically more significant

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. WHITE DWARF-RED DWARF SYSTEMS RESOLVED WITH THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE. II. FULL SNAPSHOT SURVEY RESULTS

    SciTech Connect

    Farihi, J.; Hoard, D. W.; Wachter, S.

    2010-10-15

    Results are presented for a Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys high-resolution imaging campaign of 90 white dwarfs with known or suspected low-mass stellar and substellar companions. Of the 72 targets that remain candidate and confirmed white dwarfs with near-infrared excess, 43 are spatially resolved into two or more components, and a total of 12 systems are potentially triples. For 68 systems where a comparison is possible, 50% have significant photometric distance mismatches between their white dwarf and M dwarf components, suggesting that white dwarf parameters derived spectroscopically are often biased due to the cool companion. Interestingly, 9 of the 30 binaries known to have emission lines are found to be visual pairs and hence widely separated, indicating an intrinsically active cool star and not irradiation from the white dwarf. There is a possible, slight deficit of earlier spectral types (bluer colors) among the spatially unresolved companions, exactly the opposite of expectations if significant mass is transferred to the companion during the common envelope phase. Using the best available distance estimates, the low-mass companions to white dwarfs exhibit a bimodal distribution in projected separation. This result supports the hypothesis that during the giant phases of the white dwarf progenitor, any unevolved companions either migrate inward to short periods of hours to days, or outward to periods of hundreds to thousands of years. No intermediate projected separations of a few to several AU are found among these pairs. However, a few double M dwarfs (within triples) are spatially resolved in this range, empirically demonstrating that such separations were readily detectable among the binaries with white dwarfs. A straightforward and testable prediction emerges: all spatially unresolved, low-mass stellar and substellar companions to white dwarfs should be in short-period orbits. This result has implications for substellar companion and

  9. 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.

  10. Effective geometry of a white dwarf

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-15

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecavalier-Hurtubise, É.; Bergeron, P.

    2017-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Survival of a brown dwarf after engulfment by a red giant star.

    PubMed

    Maxted, P F L; Napiwotzki, R; Dobbie, P D; Burleigh, M R

    2006-08-03

    Many sub-stellar companions (usually planets but also some brown dwarfs) orbit solar-type stars. These stars can engulf their sub-stellar companions when they become red giants. This interaction may explain several outstanding problems in astrophysics but it is unclear under what conditions a low mass companion will evaporate, survive the interaction unchanged or gain mass. Observational tests of models for this interaction have been hampered by a lack of positively identified remnants-that is, white dwarf stars with close, sub-stellar companions. The companion to the pre-white dwarf AA Doradus may be a brown dwarf, but the uncertain history of this star and the extreme luminosity difference between the components make it difficult to interpret the observations or to put strong constraints on the models. The magnetic white dwarf SDSS J121209.31 + 013627.7 may have a close brown dwarf companion but little is known about this binary at present. Here we report the discovery of a brown dwarf in a short period orbit around a white dwarf. The properties of both stars in this binary can be directly observed and show that the brown dwarf was engulfed by a red giant but that this had little effect on it.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. White Star technology.

    PubMed

    Olson, Randall J; Kumar, Rajiv

    2003-02-01

    White Star micropulse technology is a software modification that allows extremely short bursts of ultrasound energy. Studies have shown that this decreases wound heat build-up with the retained efficiency of continuous ultrasound. Decreased energy utilization with improved corneal function and improved nuclear fragment followability appear to be additional benefits.

  18. Photometric Parallaxes for Red Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphrey, Nick; Robertson, T.

    2008-05-01

    The luminosity function of low luminosity red stars is import due to the high frequency of such stars and their substantial contribution to the mass of baryonic matter as determined by analysis of the numbers of such stars within a few parsecs of the Sun. Many such stars relatively close to the Sun have not been detected due to their low luminosity and to an inability to distinguish between red giant and dwarf stars. A sample of one hundred potential red dwarf stars was selected from 2MASS photometric data, and USNO-B photometric and astrometric data. Sample stars were observed using the SARA (Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy) telescope using Kron-Cousins RI photometry and intermediate-band CaH photometry. All thirty two sample stars observed have luminosity classes consistent with red dwarfs. The photometric parallaxes range from 40 to 230 pc. A comparison of USNO-B R magnitudes and the observed CCD R magnitudes (observed - USNO) indicated no systematic difference (-0.03 with and standard error of the mean of 0.05). A comparison of the R-I color index showed a mean difference of -0.21 and standard error of the mean of 0.03. The selection criterion used seems to be quite efficient in identifying red dwarf stars. This study used data collected with the SARA Telescope and was funded by grants from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium and Ball State University.

  19. Time-dependent models of accretion discs with nuclear burning following the tidal disruption of a white dwarf by a neutron star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margalit, Ben; Metzger, Brian D.

    2016-09-01

    We construct time-dependent one-dimensional (vertically averaged) models of accretion discs produced by the tidal disruption of a white dwarf (WD) by a binary neutron star (NS) companion. Nuclear reactions in the disc mid-plane burn the WD matter to increasingly heavier elements at sequentially smaller radii, releasing substantial energy which can impact the disc dynamics. A model for disc outflows is employed, by which cooling from the outflow balances other sources of heating (viscous, nuclear) in regulating the Bernoulli parameter of the mid-plane to a fixed value ≲0. We perform a comprehensive parameter study of the compositional yields and velocity distributions of the disc outflows for WDs of different initial compositions. For C/O WDs, the radial composition profile of the disc evolves self-similarly in a quasi-steady-state manner, and is remarkably robust to model parameters. The nucleosynthesis in helium WD discs does not exhibit this behaviour, which instead depends sensitively on factors controlling the disc mid-plane density (e.g. the strength of the viscosity, α). By the end of the simulation, a substantial fraction of the WD mass is unbound in outflows at characteristic velocities of ˜109 cm s-1. The outflows from WD-NS merger discs contain 10-4-3 × 10-3 M⊙ of radioactive 56Ni, resulting in fast (˜ week long) dim (˜1040 erg s-1) optical transients; shock heating of the ejecta by late-time outflows may increase the peak luminosity to ˜1043 erg s-1. The accreted mass on to the NS is probably not sufficient to induce gravitational collapse, but may be capable of spinning up the NS to periods of ˜10 ms, illustrating the feasibility of this channel in forming isolated millisecond pulsars.

  20. Optical and Ultraviolet Analyses of ZZ Ceti Stars and Study of the Atmospheric Convective Efficiency in DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergeron, P.; Wesemael, F.; Lamontagne, R.; Fontaine, G.; Saffer, R. A.; Allard, N. F.

    1995-08-01

    New high signal-to-noise optical spectrophotometry is presented for 22 ZZ Ceti stars. The atmospheric parameters (Teff log g) and the mass are derived for each object using new model atmospheres and synthetic spectra calculated within the mixing-length theory, as well as recent published mass-radius relationships. Various parameterizations of the convective efficiency are explored. The mass distribution obtained from the optical solutions indicate that the so-called ML2 parameterization of the mixing-length theory yields a mean mass of 0.58 Msun, in excellent agreement with that of hotter DA stars (0.59 Msun) whose atmospheres are completely radiative. ML1 and ML3 models, on the other hand, yield mean masses which are, respectively, too high (0.70 Msun) and too low (0.51 Msun). With ML2 models, ZZ Ceti stars are found within a narrow instability strip located in the range 13,650 ≥ Teff ≥ 11,960 K. A similar analysis of IUE and HST spectroscopic observations is presented as well. It is first shown that a unique solution for Teff and log g cannot be achieved on the basis of ultraviolet spectroscopy alone, and that one of these parameters needs to be constrained independently. When log g values from the optical analysis are adopted, the analysis of the ultraviolet data requires a parameterization less efficient than ML2. Models calculated with ML2/α = 0.6 are shown to provide an excellent internal consistency between ultraviolet and optical temperatures. The corresponding instability strip becomes cooler and narrower (12,460 ≥ Teff ≥ 11,160 K) than that inferred from ML2 models. Furthermore, the atmospheric parameters obtained with these models are consistent with the observed photometry, the trigonometric parallax measurements, and the gravitational redshift masses. However, the mean mass of the sample increases to a value ˜0.06 Msun larger than that of hotter DA stars. An explanation for this discrepancy is offered in the light of recent nonadiabatic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Imaging Extra-Solar Planets around White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burleigh, Matt R.; Clarke, Fraser

    In Burleigh Clarke and Hodgkin (2002 MNRAS 331 L41) we showed that Jovian planets in initially wide orbits (>5AU) should survive the final stages of stellar evolution and migrate outwards to orbit the resultant white dwarfs at separations of up to >100AU. Using evolutionary models for massive Jupiters we also showed that such planets should be detectable around a variety of suitable white dwarfs within 20pc of the Sun. Based on these predictions we have been searching for planets >5Mjup around nearby white dwarfs using direct imaging in the near infra-red. We will present results from our observational programmes with the two 8m Gemini Telescopes and with the NAOMI Adaptive Optics programme on the 4m William Herschell Telescope on La Palma. Detection of massive planetary companions to nearby white dwarfs would prove that such objects can survive the final stages of stellar evolution place constraints on the frequency of main sequence stars with planetary systems dynamically similar to our own and allow direct spectroscopic investigation of their composition and structure.

  7. Empirical Determination of Convection in Pulsating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  8. Planetary Engulfment as a Trigger for White Dwarf Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrovich, Cristobal; Muñoz, Diego J.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  10. Mass-Radius Relation of Strongly Magnetized White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, P.; Bhattacharya, D.

    2017-03-01

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

  11. General relativistic calculations for white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathew, Arun; Nandy, Malay K.

    2017-05-01

    The mass-radius relations for white dwarfs are investigated by solving the Newtonian as well as Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff (TOV) equations for hydrostatic equilibrium assuming the electron gas to be non-interacting. We find that the Newtonian limiting mass of 1.4562{M}⊙ is modified to 1.4166{M}⊙ in the general relativistic case for {}_2^4{{He}} (and {}_612{{C}}) white dwarfs. Using the same general relativistic treatment, the critical mass for {}2656{{Fe}} white dwarfs is obtained as 1.2230{M}⊙ . In addition, departure from the ideal degenerate equation of state (EoS) is accounted for by considering Salpeter’s EoS along with the TOV equation, yielding slightly lower values for the critical masses, namely 1.4081{M}⊙ for {}_2^4{{He}}, 1.3916{M}⊙ for {}_612{{C}} and 1.1565{M}⊙ for {}2656{{Fe}} white dwarfs. We also compare the critical densities for gravitational instability with the neutronization threshold densities to find that {}_2^4{{He}} and {}_612{{C}} white dwarfs are stable against neutronization with the critical values of 1.4081{M}⊙ and 1.3916{M}⊙ , respectively. However, the critical masses for {}_816{{O}}, {}1020{{Ne}}, {}1224{{Mg}}, {}1428{{Si}}, {}1632{{S}} and {}2656{{Fe}} white dwarfs are lower due to neutronization. Corresponding to their central densities for neutronization thresholds, we obtain their maximum stable masses due to neutronization by solving the TOV equation coupled with the Salpeter EoS.

  12. Sirius B - A still mysterious white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wesemael, F.; Fontaine, G.

    1982-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Pulsating White Dwarfs in Globular Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  15. The Field White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Ultra-high precision white dwarf asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. White Dwarfs: Small and Strong

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-04-04

    This chart shows data from NASA Kepler space telescope, which looks for planets by monitoring changes in the brightness of stars. As planets orbit in front of a star, they block the starlight, causing periodic dips.

  18. NEW EVOLUTIONARY SEQUENCES FOR HOT H-DEFICIENT WHITE DWARFS ON THE BASIS OF A FULL ACCOUNT OF PROGENITOR EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Althaus, L. G.; Panei, J. A.; Miller Bertolami, M. M.; Corsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Rohrmann, R. D.

    2009-10-20

    We present full evolutionary calculations appropriate for the study of hot hydrogen-deficient DO white dwarfs, PG 1159 stars, and DB white dwarfs. White dwarf sequences are computed for a wide range of stellar masses and helium envelopes on the basis of a complete treatment of the evolutionary history of progenitors stars, including the core hydrogen and helium burning phases, the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch phase, and the born-again episode that is responsible for the hydrogen deficiency. We also provide colors and magnitudes for the new sequences for T {sub eff} < 40,000 K, where the NLTE effects are not dominant. These new calculations provide a homogeneous set of evolutionary tracks appropriate for mass and age determinations for both PG 1159 stars and DO white dwarfs. The calculations are extended down to an effective temperature of 7000 K. We applied these new tracks to redetermine stellar masses and ages of all known DO white dwarfs with spectroscopically determined effective temperatures and gravities, and compare them with previous results. We also compare for the first time consistent mass determinations for both DO and PG 1159 stars, and find a considerably higher mean mass for the DO white dwarfs. We discuss as well the chemical profile expected in the envelope of variable DB white dwarfs from the consideration of the evolutionary history of progenitor stars. Finally, we present tentative evidence for a different evolutionary channel, other than that involving the PG 1159 stars, for the formation of hot, hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  4. X-ray spectroscopy of hot white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamczak, Jens

    2010-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. The Chromospheric Activity-Age Relation for M Dwarf Stars in Wide Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestri, N. M.

    2002-12-01

    We present new chromospheric activity-age relations for M dwarf stars in wide binary systems with white dwarf companions. This study is unique in that we use the cooling age of the white dwarf to determine the age of the M dwarf star in the binary system. Assuming that the members of the gravitationally bound system are coeval, the age of the white dwarf is therefore the age of the M dwarf companion. The colors and magnitudes at which chromospheric activity becomes pervasive (at the ``Hα limit") in M stars have been shown to correlate linearly with log(age) in young (<= 4 Gyr) cluster M dwarfs. We find that M dwarfs in wide binaries older than 4 Gyr depart from this linear relation and are found to have activity at colors and magnitudes both bluer and brighter than predicted by M dwarf cluster relations. Also, activity is present in nearly all cluster M dwarfs above the ``Hα limit", whereas not all binary M dwarfs are found to be active above this limit. These relations differ considerably from the rotationally driven dynamo relation for F, G, and K stars that suggests a different magnetic heating mechanism for M dwarf stars. The new relations extend to ages beyond the oldest ages provided by cluster M dwarf activity-age estimates. However, more work is necessary to decrease the uncertainties in these new relations and extend them to later (>= M5.5) spectral types. This work was supported by the NASA Graduate Researchers Program Grant NGT 200415; A Grant-in-Aid of Research from the National Academy of Sciences administered by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; NASA Grant Y701296; and NSF Grant AST 0206115.

  7. On the maximum mass of magnetized white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, D.; Fantina, A. F.; Chamel, N.; Novak, J.; Oertel, M.

    2017-07-01

    We develop a detailed and self-consistent numerical model, assuming a poloidal magnetic field, for extremely magnetized white dwarfs, which have been proposed as progenitors of overluminous Type Ia supernovae. This model can describe fully consistent equilibria of magnetic stars in axial symmetry, with rotation, general relativistic effects and realistic equations of state (including electrostatic interactions and taking into account Landau quantization of electrons due to the magnetic field). We study the influence of each of these ingredients on to the white dwarf structure and, in particular, on their maximum mass. We perform an extensive stability analysis of such objects, with their highest surface magnetic fields reaching ˜1013 G (at which point the star adopts a torus-like shape). We confirm previous speculations that, although very massive strongly magnetized white dwarfs, could potentially exist, the onset of electron captures and pycnonuclear reactions may severely limit their stability. Finally, the emission of gravitational waves by these objects is addressed - our results suggest that detection by the currently planned space-based detector Laser Interferometer Space Antenna is unlikely.

  8. New White Dwarfs and Cataclysmic Variables from the FBS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, Areg M.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Observations and Theory of Pulsating Helium White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinfadt, Justin D.

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

  13. DA white dwarfs in the Kepler field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. SOAR + SMARTS Southern White Dwarf Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subasavage, John P.; Lepine, S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Nuclear-dominated accretion and subluminous supernovae from the merger of a white dwarf with a neutron star or black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metzger, B. D.

    2012-01-01

    We construct one-dimensional steady-state models of accretion discs produced by the tidal disruption of a white dwarf (WD) by a neutron star (NS) or stellar mass black hole (BH). At radii r ≲ 108.5-109 cm the mid-plane density and temperature are sufficiently high to burn the initial WD material into increasingly heavier elements (e.g. Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe and Ni) at sequentially smaller radii. When the energy released by nuclear reactions is comparable to that released gravitationally, we term the disc a nuclear-dominated accretion flow (NuDAF). At small radii ≲107 cm iron photodisintegrates into helium and then free nuclei, and in the very innermost disc cooling by neutrinos may be efficient. At the high accretion rates of relevance ˜10-4 to 0.1 M⊙ s-1, most of the disc is radiatively inefficient and prone to outflows powered by viscous dissipation and nuclear burning. Outflow properties are calculated by requiring that material in the mid-plane be marginally bound (Bernoulli constant ≲ 0), due (in part) to cooling by matter escaping the disc. For reasonable assumptions regarding the properties of disc winds, we show that a significant fraction (≳ 50-80 per cent) of the total WD mass is unbound. The composition of the ejecta is predominantly O, C, Si, Mg, Ne, Fe and S [He, C, Si, S, Ar and Fe], in the case of C-O [pure He] WDs, respectively, along with a small quantity ˜10-3 to 10-2 M⊙ of radioactive 56Ni and, potentially, a trace amount of hydrogen. Depending on the pressure dependence of wind cooling, we find that the disc may be thermally unstable to nuclear burning, the likelihood of which increases for higher mass WDs. We use our results to evaluate possible electromagnetic counterparts of WD-NS/BH mergers, including optical transients powered by the radioactive decay of 56Ni and radio transients powered by the interaction of the ejecta with the interstellar medium. We address whether recently discovered subluminous Type I supernovae result from

  18. Polluting white dwarfs with perturbed exo-comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caiazzo, Ilaria; Heyl, Jeremy S.

    2017-08-01

    We present a model to account for the observed debris discs around young white dwarfs and the presence of metal lines in their spectra. Stellar evolution models predict that the mass-loss on the AGB will be pulsed; furthermore, observations indicate that the bulk of the mass-loss occurs on the AGB. In this case, if the progenitors of the white dwarfs had remnants of planetary formation like the Sun's Oort cloud or the Kuiper Belt and a planet lying within that cloud or nearby, we find that up to 2 per cent of the planetesimals will fall either into planet-crossing orbits or into chaotic regions after the mass-loss, depending on the location and mass of the planet (from Mars to Neptune). This yields a sufficient mass of comets that can be scattered towards the star, form a debris disc and pollute the atmosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  20. Discovery of Photospheric Germanium in Hot DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vennes, Stéphane; Chayer, Pierre; Dupuis, Jean

    2005-04-01

    We report the identification of Ge IV resonance lines in ultraviolet spectra of the hot DA white dwarfs Feige 24, G191-B2B, and GD 246. The lines originate in the stellar photosphere, and we measure low Ge/H abundance ratios ranging between -8.0 and -8.7. We also tentatively identify a resonance line of Sn IV blended with an Fe V line in the spectrum of G191-B2B. The presence of germanium extends our knowledge of the abundance pattern in hot white dwarfs beyond the iron group. The abundance ratio appears nearly solar, which implies either that the germanium abundance mixture in these stars has remained unaltered since leaving the main sequence or that diffusion processes (e.g., selective radiation pressure) are coincidentally reproducing a solar Ge/H ratio.

  1. Photometric Variability and Rotation in Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  3. Trace hydrogen in helium atmosphere white dwarfs as a possible signature of water accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentile Fusillo, Nicola Pietro; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Farihi, Jay; Koester, Detlev; Schreiber, Matthias R.; Pala, Anna F.

    2017-06-01

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

  4. 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

    hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs. Conclusions: Our simulations place interesting constraints on important characteristics of the stellar populations of NGC 6791. In particular, we find that the fraction of single helium-core white dwarfs must be smaller than 5%, that a subpopulation of stars with zero metallicity must be ≲12%, while if the adopted metallicity of the subpopulation is solar the upper limit is ~8%. Finally, we also find that the fraction of hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs in this particular cluster is surprinsingly small (≲6%).

  5. 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.

  6. Echoes of a Decaying Planetary System: The Gaseous and Dusty Disks Surrounding Three White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff-Kim, Agnès

    2017-09-01

    White dwarfs are the end product of evolution for around 98% of the stars in our Galaxy. Buried in their interiors are the records of physical processes that take place during earlier stages in the life of the star. In recent years, a well-established theory of non-radial oscillations, improved white dwarf models, year of expertise built up in the field of white dwarf asteroseismic fitting, and computing power have culminated in the asteroseismology finally delivering what it promised: a detailed map of the interior structure of white dwarfs. As always in science, new results raise new questions. We perform a number of numerical experiments to better understand the connection between a given set of periods varying in the number of periods and in the set of radial overtones and the quality of the constraints on interior structure one obtains from fitting these periods.

  8. A survey of pulsating DA and DB white dwarfs Observations with the Whole Earth Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-09-01

    White dwarfs represent the end point of stellar evolution for the majority of stars. As such, they are excellent astrophysical laboratories. They are structurally simple, with electron degenerate cores surrounded by thin surface layers of helium and/or hydrogen. The g-mode pulsations provide a window into their internal structure. The Whole Earth Telescope has been conducting a long-term survey of pulsating white dwarfs with the goal of providing an empirical map of convection parameters across the DA and DB instability strips. We present an overview of white dwarf asteroseismology, and discuss the current status of our survey.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. The Theoretical Instability Strip of V777 Her White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Seismology of a Massive Pulsating Hydrogen Atmosphere White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  15. Dwarf Discoveries from Serendipitous Field Star Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Wayne

    2016-05-01

    For the past two years, The University of Colorado, in collaboration with Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGTN) has been taking Sloans r' and i' images of approximately 200 galaxies during each new moon period to provide ground data in support of the approximately 1100 hours of warm Spitzer time awarded to Dr. Mansi Kasliwal's Caltech SPIRITS program. Currently there are over 6,000 images in this archive. Small telescope scientists routinely image the same fields, building similar archives brimming with science potential. This paper reports the technique to develop serendipitous observations of dwarf field stars. Answers to questions surrounding the dwarf's early life in proximity to non-hierarchal multiple star groups, about how dwarfs not only survive but are so numerous are well within the capabilities of small telescope scientists. The role of the small telescope scientist is of vital importance in these (re)discovery, confirmation, monitoring and reporting tasks.

  16. Heavy-element abundance patterns in hot DA white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-05-01

    We present a series of systematic abundance measurements for 25 hot DA white dwarfs in the temperature range ~20 000-110 000 K, based on far-ultraviolet spectroscopy with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS)/Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) on-board Hubble Space Telescope, IUE and FUSE. Using our latest heavy-element blanketed non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) stellar atmosphere calculations we have addressed the heavy-element abundance patterns, making completely objective measurements of abundance values and upper limits using a χ2 fitting technique to determine the uncertainties in the abundance measurements, which can be related to the formal upper limits in those stars where particular elements are not detected. We find that the presence or absence of heavy elements in the hot DA white dwarfs largely reflects what would be expected if radiative levitation is the supporting mechanism, although the measured abundances do not match the predicted values very well, as reported by other authors in the past. Almost all stars hotter than ~50 000 K contain heavy elements. For most of these the spread in element abundances is quite narrow and similar to the abundances measured in G191-B2B. However, there is an unexplained dichotomy at lower temperatures with some stars having apparently pure H envelopes and others having detectable quantities of heavy elements. The heavy elements present in these cooler stars are often stratified, lying in the outermost layers of the envelope. A few strong temperature/evolutionary effects are seen in the abundance measurements. There is a decreasing Si abundance with temperature, the N abundance pattern splits into two groups at lower temperature and there is a sharp decline in Fe and Ni abundance to zero, below ~50 000 K. When detected, the Fe and Ni abundances maintain an approximately constant ratio, close to the cosmic value of ~20. For the hottest white dwarfs observed by STIS, the strongest

  17. Massive Star Clusters in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Søren S.

    2017-03-01

    Dwarf galaxies can have very high globular cluster specific frequencies, and the GCs are in general significantly more metal-poor than the bulk of the field stars. In some dwarfs, such as Fornax, WLM, and IKN, the fraction of metal-poor stars that belong to GCs can be as high as 20%-25%, an order of magnitude higher than the 1%-2% typical of GCs in halos of larger galaxies. Given that chemical abundance anomalies appear to be present also in GCs in dwarf galaxies, this implies severe difficulties for self-enrichment scenarios that require GCs to have lost a large fraction of their initial masses. More generally, the number of metal-poor field stars in these galaxies is today less than what would originally have been present in the form of low-mass clusters if the initial cluster mass function was a power-law extending down to low masses. This may imply that the initial GC mass function in these dwarf galaxies was significantly more top-heavy than typically observed in present-day star forming environments.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Strange stars, strange dwarfs, and planetary-like strange-matter objects

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, F.; Schaab, C.; Weigel, M.K.; Glendenning, N.K.

    1995-05-01

    This paper gives an overview of the properties of all possible equilibrium sequences of compact strange-matter stars with nuclear crusts, which range from strange stars to strange dwarfs. In contrast to their non-strange counterparts--neutron stars and white dwarfs--their properties are determined by two (rather than one) parameters, the central star density and the density at the base of the nuclear crust. This leads to stellar strange-matter configurations whose properties are much more complex than those of the conventional sequence. As an example, two generically different categories of stable strange dwarfs are found, which could be the observed white dwarfs. Furthermore the authors find very-low-mass strange stellar objects, with masses as small as those of Jupiter or even lighter planets. Such objects, if abundant enough, should be seen by the presently performed gravitational microlensing searches.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-20

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Spin and Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-08-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Exoplanet recycling in massive white-dwarf debris discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Lieshout, Rik

    2017-06-01

    When a star evolves into a white dwarf, the planetary system it hosts can become unstable. Planets in such systems may then be scattered onto star-grazing orbits, leading to their tidal disruption as they pass within the white dwarf’s Roche limit. We study the massive, compact debris discs that may arrise from this process using a combination of analytical estimates and numerical modelling. The discs are gravitationally unstable, resulting in an enhanced effective viscosity due to angular momentum transport associated with self-gravity wakes. For disc masses greater than ~1026 g (corresponding to progenitor objects comparable to the Galilean moons), viscous spreading dominates over Poynting-Robertson drag in the outer parts of the disc. In such massive discs, mass is transported both in- and outwards. When the outward-flowing material spreads beyond the Roche limit, it coagulates into new (minor) planets in a process analogous to the ongoing formation of Saturn’s innermost moonlets. This process recycles a substantial fraction of the original disc mass (tens of percents), with the bulk of the mass locked in a single large body orbitting in a 2:1 mean-motion resonance with the Roche limit. As such, the recycling of a tidally disrupted super-Earth could yield an Earth-mass planet on a 10--20 hr orbit. For white dwarfs with a temperature below 6000-7000 K (corresponding to a cooling age of >1--2 Gyr), this orbit is located in the white dwarf’s habitable zone. The recycling process also creates a string of smaller bodies just outside the Roche limit. These may account for the collection of minor planets postulated to orbit white dwarf WD 1145+017.

  8. Variable White Dwarf Data Tables

    SciTech Connect

    Bradley, P. A.

    1997-12-31

    Below, I give a brief explanation of the information in these tables. In all cases, I list the WD {number_sign}, either from the catalog of McCook {ampersand} Sion (1987) or determined by me from the epoch 1950 coordinates. Next, I list the most commonly used name (or alias), then I list the variable star designation if it is available. If not, I list the constellation name and a V** or?? depending on what the last designated variable star for that constellation is. I present epoch 2000 coordinates for all of the stars, which I precessed from the 1950 ones in most cases. I do not include proper motion effects; this is negligible for all except the largest proper motion DAV stars, such as L 19-2, BPM 37093, B 808, and G 29-38. Even in these cases, the error is no more than 30` in declination and 2 s in right ascension. I culled effective temperatures from the latest work (listed under each table); they are now much more homogeneous than before. I pulled the magnitude estimates from the appropriate paper, and they are mean values integrated over several cycles. The amplitude given is for the height of a typical pulse in the light curve. The periods correspond the dominant ones found in the light curve. In some cases, there is a band of power in a given period range, or the light curve is very complex, and I indicate this in the table. In the references, I generally list the paper with the most comprehensive pulsation analysis for the star in question. In some cases, there is more than one good reference, and I list them as well.

  9. Stripped Red Giants - Helium Core White Dwarf Progenitors and their sdB Siblings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heber, U.

    2017-03-01

    Some gaps in the mosaic of binary star evolution have recently been filled by the discoveries of helium-core white dwarf progenitors (often called extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarfs) as stripped cores of first-giant branch objects. Two varieties can be distinguished. One class is made up by SB1 binaries, companions being white dwarfs as well. Another class, the so-called EL CVn stars, are composite spectrum binaries, with A-Type companions. Pulsating stars are found among both classes. A riddle is posed by the apparently single objects. There is a one-to-one correspondence of the phenomena found for these new classes of star to those observed for sdB stars. In fact, standard evolutionary scenarios explain the origin of sdB stars as red giants that have been stripped close to the tip of first red giant branch. A subgroup of subluminous B stars can also be identified as stripped helium-cores of red giants. They form an extension of the ELM sequence to higher temperatures. Hence low mass white dwarfs of helium cores and sdB stars in binaries are close relatives in terms of stellar evolution.

  10. Stellar model chromospheres. XIII - M dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giampapa, M. S.; Worden, S. P.; Linsky, J. L.

    1982-01-01

    Single-component, homogeneous model chromospheres that are consistent with high-resolution profiles of the Ca II K line calibrated in surface flux units for three dMe and 2 dM stars observed at quiescent times are constructed. The models reveal several systematic trends. Large values of the ratio of T(min) to T(eff) are derived, indicating a large amount of nonradiative heating present in the upper photospheres of M dwarf stars. It is also found that the lower chromospheric temperature gradient is similar for all the M dwarf stars. Since for the models here the chromospheric K line emission strength is most sensitive to the total amount of chromospheric material present within the approximate temperature range T(min)-6000 K, increasing the emission strength is not simply due to increasing chromospheric temperature gradients. It is also found that both the electron density and electron temperature at one thermalization length in the K line below the top of the chromospheres are greater in the dMe stars than in the dM stars. The M dwarf models here have microturbulent velocities between 1 and 2 km/sec, which are much smaller than for solar chromosphere models.

  11. Tracking star formation in dwarf cluster galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rude, Cody Millard

    The evolution of galaxies in dense environments can be affected by close encounters with neighboring galaxies and interactions with the intracluster medium (ICM). Dwarf galaxies may be especially susceptible to these effects due to their low mass. The goal of my dissertation research is to look for signs of star formation in cluster dwarf galaxies by measuring and comparing the r- and u-band luminosity functions of 15 low redshift Abell galaxy clusters using archival data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Luminosity functions, dwarf-to-giant ratios, and blue fractions are measured in four cluster-centric annuli from stacked cluster data. To account for differences in cluster optical richness, each cluster is scaled according to r200, where r200 is the radius of a sphere, centered on the cluster, whose average density is 200 times the critical density of the universe. The outer region of the cluster sample shows an increase in the faint-end slope of the u-band luminosity function relative to the r-band, indicating star formation in dwarf galaxies. The blue fraction for dwarf galaxies steadily rises with increasing cluster-centric radii. The change in the blue fraction of giant galaxies also increases, but at a lower rate. Additionally, the inner regions of clusters ranging from 0.185 < z < 0.7 from the "Cluster Lensing and Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH)" are used to generate blue- and red-band luminosity functions, dwarf-to-giant ratios, and blue fractions. Comparisons of the inner region of the CLASH and CFHT clusters show an increase in the blue fraction of dwarf galaxies with redshift that is not present in giant galaxies.

  12. 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.

  13. Deflagrating white dwarfs: a Type Ia supernova model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calder, A. C.; Plewa, T.; Vladimirova, N.; Brown, E. F.; Lamb, D. Q.; Robinson, K.; Truran, J. W.

    2003-12-01

    We present multidimensional simulations of deflagrating Chandrasekhar-mass C/O white dwarfs for both centered and off-centered ignition. Type Ia supernovae are thought to be thermonuclear explosions of Chandrasekhar-mass C/O white dwarfs. These events are used as ``standard candles" for investigating the structure of the Universe and play a fundamental role in galactic chemical evolution. Despite their importance, the exact nature of the explosion mechanism remains unsolved. Observations of intermediate mass elements such as Si, S, Mg indicate that the explosion begins as a deflagration. Our simulations utilize a custom implementation of the ``thick flame" model of Khokhlov for the sub-grid-scale nuclear flame. We present results of an extensive 1- and 2-dimensional parameter study of these events. We present three-dimensional whole-star deflagrations investigating the effect of centered vs. off-center ignition. Our results indicate that a slightly off-center ignition leads to a result that is not compatible with observations, providing constraints on conditions in the central region of the white dwarf prior to ignition. This work was supported by the DOE ASCI/Alliances program at the University of Chicago under grant No. B341495.

  14. 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.

  15. The field white dwarf mass distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. WhiteStar user's guide

    SciTech Connect

    Ezell, T.F.

    1990-08-01

    The WhiteStar project provides design engineers with needed part design data. WhiteStar encourages the use of preferred parts by providing a user-convenient parts database. This report shows selections the user makes in order to obtain information on a particular part. 15 figs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  19. Gravitational redshift for the Pleiad white dwarf LB 1497

    SciTech Connect

    Wegner, G.; Reid, I.N.; Mcmahan, R.K., Jr. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena North Carolina, University, Chapel Hill )

    1991-07-01

    A new gravitational redshift of +84 {plus minus} 9 km/s is derived for the white dwarf WD 0349 + 247 in the Pleiades (LB 1497) using the Hale 5-m telescope and the MMT. For a carbon core this translates to a mass of 1.02 solar masses using the Hamada-Salpeter mass-radius relation. The effective temperature is derived from the H-{alpha} and H-{beta} line profiles and is found to be 32,000 {plus minus} 1000 K. Using 5.54 mag for the Pleiades distance modulus, this yields log (radius/solar radius) = -2.13 {plus minus} 0.03 for the star. This radius combined with the redshift gives 0.98 solar masses for the star's mass. These values agree with the mass-radius relation and can be used to place constraints on the evolution of the star. 40 refs.

  20. Four new massive pulsating white dwarfs including an ultramassive DAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curd, Brandon; Gianninas, A.; Bell, Keaton J.; Kilic, Mukremin; Romero, A. D.; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Winget, D. E.; Winget, K. I.

    2017-06-01

    We report the discovery of four massive (M > 0.8 M⊙) ZZ Ceti white dwarfs, including an ultramassive 1.16 M⊙ star. We obtained ground-based, time series photometry for 13 white dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 and Data Release 10 whose atmospheric parameters place them within the ZZ Ceti instability strip. We detect monoperiodic pulsations in three of our targets (J1015, J1554 and J2038) and identify three periods of pulsation in J0840 (173, 327 and 797 s). Fourier analysis of the remaining nine objects does not indicate variability above the 4 detection threshold. Our preliminary asteroseismic analysis of J0840 yields a stellar mass M = 1.14 ± 0.01 M⊙, hydrogen and helium envelope masses of MH = 5.8 × 10-7 M⊙ and MHe = 4.5 × 10-4 M⊙ and an expected core crystallized mass ratio of 50-70 per cent. J1015, J1554 and J2038 have masses in the range 0.84-0.91 M⊙ and are expected to have a CO core; however, the core of J0840 could consist of highly crystallized CO or ONeMg given its high mass. These newly discovered massive pulsators represent a significant increase in the number of known ZZ Ceti white dwarfs with mass M > 0.85 M⊙, and detailed asteroseismic modelling of J0840 will allow for significant tests of crystallization theory in CO and ONeMg core white dwarfs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gooneratne, Sakura

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

  2. Planet-Planet Scattering and White Dwarf Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollands, Mark; Gänsicke, Boris; Koester, Detlev

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Accreting neutron stars, black holes, and degenerate dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Pines, D

    1980-02-08

    During the past 8 years, extended temporal and broadband spectroscopic studies carried out by x-ray astronomical satellites have led to the identification of specific compact x-ray sources as accreting neutron stars, black holes, and degenerate dwarf stars in close binary systems. Such sources provide a unique opportunity to study matter under extreme conditions not accessible in the terrestrial laboratory. Quantitative theoretical models have been developed which demonstrate that detailed studies of these sources will lead to a greatly increased understanding of dense and superdense hadron matter, hadron superfluidity, high-temperature plasma in superstrong magnetic fields, and physical processes in strong gravitational fields. Through a combination of theory and observation such studies will make possible the determination of the mass, radius, magnetic field, and structure of neutron stars and degenerate dwarf stars and the identification of further candidate black holes, and will contribute appreciably to our understanding of the physics of accretion by compact astronomical objects.

  7. Rejuvenation of the Innocent Bystander: Testing Spin-Up in a Dwarf Carbon Star Sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Paul

    2014-09-01

    Carbon stars (C>O) were long assumed to all be giants, because only AGB stars dredge up significant carbon into their atmospheres. We now know that dwarf carbon (dC) stars are actually far more common than C giants. These dC stars are hypothesized to have accreted C-rich envelope material from an AGB companion, in systems that have likely undergone a planetary nebula phase, eventually yielding a white dwarf and a dC star that has gained both significant mass and angular momentum. To test whether the X-ray emission strength and spectral properties are consistent with a rejuvenated dynamo, we propose a Chandra pilot study of dCs selected from the SDSS; some have hot white dwarf companions (indicating more recent mass transfer), and all show Balmer emission lines (a sign of activity).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-01

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

  9. Mass loss, levitation, accretion, and the sharp-lined features in hot white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Bruhweiler, F.C.; Kondo, Y.

    1983-06-15

    We have studied eight white dwarfs, seven DA and one He-rich types, observed at a high resolution (lambda/..delta..lambdaroughly-equal10/sup 4/) with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). Of the seven DA white dwarfs, three show spectral signatures of ionized heavy elements, such as Si II, SI III, C IV, Si IV, and N V, arising in the immediate environment of these stars. The shortward-shifted lines in two (G191--B2B and 2111+49) of the three DA types showing metallic lines are tentatively interpreted as an indication of mass loss from these stars. The He-rich white dwarf shows the features due to C cV and He II, which also arise in the immediate environment of that star. Although the statistical sample presented here is limited, we tentatively suggest a temperature and effective gravity range (T/sub eff/> or approx. =20,000 K and log (g) < or approx. =8.0) in DA white dwarfs within which metallic lines are present either in the photosphere or in the halo of the stars. We examine the physical processes relevant to the appearance of such metallic lines. We tentatively propose that radiative levitation can explain the appearance of the observed lines in the hot DA white dwarfs, although the role of radiation forces in mass loss is not clear.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. The not-so-extreme white dwarf of the CV GD 552

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unda-Sanzana, E.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Morales-Rueda, L.; Dhillon, V. S.; Thoroughgood, T. D.; Tremou, E.; Watson, C. A.; Hinojosa-Goñi

    2009-06-01

    GD 552 is a cataclysmic binary which was previously believed to be composed of an M-star and a white dwarf, the latter having an extreme mass of 1.4 solar masses. In a recent paper we showed that this is not compatible with new observational evidence and presented an alternative model in which the white dwarf has a typical mass and the companion is a brown dwarf, making the system a likely member of the elusive group of CVs which have already evolved through minimum orbital period. Here we present additional spectroscopical evidence supporting this conclusion by means of skew mapping.

  12. Post main sequence evolution of icy minor planets: water retention and white dwarf pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malamud, Uri; Perets, Hagai

    2017-06-01

    We investigate the evolution of icy minor planets from the moment of their birth and through the all evolutionary stages of their host stars, including the main sequence, red giant branch and asymptotic giant branch phases. We then asses the degree of water retention in planetary systems around white dwarf, as a function of various parameters. We consider progenitor stars of different masses and metallicities. We also consider minor planets of various sizes, initial orbital distances, compositions and formation times. Our results indicate that water can survive to the white dwarf stage in a variety of circumstances, especially around G, F, A and even some B type stars. We discuss the significance of water retention with respect to white dwarf pollution and also for planet habitability.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Agnes

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash

    2005-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash

    2004-07-01

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

  17. Probing white dwarf interiors with LISA: periastron precession in eccentric double white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Willems, B; Vecchio, A; Kalogera, V

    2008-02-01

    In globular clusters, dynamical interactions give rise to a population of eccentric double white dwarfs detectable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) up to the Large Magellanic Cloud. In this Letter, we explore the detectability of periastron precession in these systems with LISA. Unlike previous investigations, we consider contributions due to tidal and rotational distortions of the binary components in addition to general relativistic contributions to the periastron precession. At orbital frequencies above a few mHz, we find that tides and stellar rotation dominate, opening up a possibly unique window to the study of the interior and structure of white dwarfs.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, J. J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Gentile Fusillo, Nicola Pietro; Raddi, R.; Hollands, M. A.; Dennihy, E.; Fuchs, J. T.; Redfield, S.

    2017-06-01

    White dwarf stars have been used as flux standards for decades, thanks to their staid simplicity. We have empirically tested their photometric stability by analysing the light curves of 398 high-probability candidates and spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs observed during the original Kepler mission and later with K2 Campaigns 0-8. We find that the vast majority (>97 per cent) of non-pulsating and apparently isolated white dwarfs are stable to better than 1 per cent in the Kepler bandpass on 1-hr to 10-d time-scales, confirming that these stellar remnants are useful flux standards. From the cases that do exhibit significant variability, we caution that binarity, magnetism and pulsations are three important attributes to rule out when establishing white dwarfs as flux standards, especially those hotter than 30 000 K.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Philip D.; Jeffery, C. Simon

    2016-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Identification of Nearby Dwarf Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrance, P. J.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Reid, I. N.

    2004-12-01

    The comparison of optical and 2MASS near-infrared photometry for large samples of cataloged proper motion stars has the potential to discover previously unrecognized nearby objects of rare type. We have obtained classification spectra for carbon dwarf candidates which lie in a sparsely populated part of optical/near-IR color-color space within a cross-reference of the New Luytens Two-Tenths (NLTT) catalogue and 2MASS 2nd Release. We present the discovery of nine of the coolest and nearest carbon dwarfs, whose optical spectra, exhibiting absorptions by C2 and/or CN is displayed. The only known discriminator between carbon giants and dwarfs is luminosity, which can be gained through distance or inferred from proper motion. Therefore, we have also observed most known dwarfs and giants to fully explore spectroscopic diagnostics that can be used to differentiate between carbon dwarfs and giants including many published in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey papers. We also plan to continue to merge the NLTT with the 2MASS ALL-Sky Release and obtain classification spectra for candidates for the rest of the sky not covered in the first merge.

  3. The historical record for Sirius - Evidence for a white-dwarf thermonuclear runaway?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruhweiler, Frederick C.; Kondo, Yoji; Sion, Edward M.

    1986-01-01

    Evidence was recently presented that in medieval times Sirius was a bright red star, rather than the present bluish-white star. Here, the results of attempts to detect possible planetary nebula ejecta toward Sirius using data obtained by the IUE are presented. Based on these results and in the light of recent advances in understanding white-dwarf evolution, it is proposed that Sirius B underwent a recent thermonuclear runaway event triggered by a diffusion-induced CN reaction.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raddi, R.

    2017-03-01

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

  5. Star formation in proto dwarf galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noriega-Crespo, A.; Bodenheimer, P.; Lin, D. N. C.; Tenorio-Tagle, G.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of the onset of star formation on the residual gas in primordial low-mass Local-Group dwarf spheroidal galaxies is studied by a series of hydrodynamical simulations. The models have concentrated on the effect of photoionization. The results indicate that photoionization in the presence of a moderate gas density gradient can eject most of the residual gas on a time scale of a few 10 to the 7th power years. High central gas density combined with inefficient star formation, however, may prevent mass ejection. The effect of supernova explosions is discussed briefly.

  6. SPECTROSCOPIC CONFIRMATION OF UV-BRIGHT WHITE DWARFS FROM THE SANDAGE TWO-COLOR SURVEY OF THE GALACTIC PLANE

    SciTech Connect

    Lepine, Sebastien; Bergeron, P.; Lanning, Howard H.

    2011-03-15

    We present spectroscopic observations confirming the identification of hot white dwarfs among UV-bright sources from the Sandage Two-color Survey of the Galactic Plane and listed in the Lanning (Lan) catalog of such sources. A subsample of 213 UV-bright Lan sources have been identified as candidate white dwarfs based on the detection of a significant proper motion. Spectroscopic observations of 46 candidates with the KPNO 2.1 m telescope confirm 30 sources to be hydrogen white dwarfs with subtypes in the DA1-DA6 range, and with one of the stars (Lan 161) having an unresolved M dwarf as a companion. Five more sources are confirmed to be helium white dwarfs, with subtypes from DB3 to DB6. One source (Lan 364) is identified as a DZ 3 white dwarf, with strong lines of calcium. Three more stars are found to have featureless spectra (to within detection limits) and are thus classified as DC white dwarfs. In addition, three sources are found to be hot subdwarfs: Lan 20 and Lan 480 are classified as sdOB, and Lan 432 is classified sdB. The remaining four objects are found to be field F star interlopers. Physical parameters of the DA and DB white dwarfs are derived from model fits.

  7. Turbulence and Star Formation in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollyday, Gigja; Hunter, Deidre Ann; Little Things Team

    2015-01-01

    We are interested in understanding the nature and role of turbulence in the interstellar medium of dwarf irregular galaxies. Turbulence, resulting from a variety of processes, is a potential source for cloud formation, and thus star formation. We have undertaken an indirect analysis of turbulence via the third (skewness) and fourth (kurtosis) moments of the distribution of atomic hydrogen gas densities using the LITTLE THINGS data for a 40-count sample of nearby (<10.3 Mpc) dwarf galaxies. We followed the formulism used by Burkhart et al. (2010) in a study of the SMC. We found that there is evidence of turbulence in dwarf galaxies at a level comparable to that found in the SMC, but we have found no correlation between integrated star formation rates and integrated kurtosis values nor a clear correlation between kurtosis as a function of radius with gas surface density and star formation profiles. We are grateful for a summer internship provided by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Northern Arizona University, run by Dr. Kathy Eastwood and Dr. David Trilling and funded by the National Science Foundation through grant AST-1004107.

  8. Reliable Radii for M Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Andrew; Feiden, Gregory A.; Gaidos, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Precise and accurate parameters for late-type (late K and M) dwarf stars are critical for characterizing their planets. A deluge of planets discovered by Kepler has driven the need for even more precise stellar radii. We present our efforts to better constrain the luminosity-radius and Teff-radius relations for late-type (K5-M6) stars, taking advantage of improved techniques to calculate bolometric fluxes and [Fe/H] for M dwarfs. We determine effective temperatures for these stars by comparing observed spectra to atmospheric models, and confirm the accuracy of these temperatures using stars with temperatures determined from long-baseline optical interferometry. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law we can empirically determine radii for these stars to better than 5%. We find the Teff-radius relation depends strongly on [Fe/H], which was missed in earlier studies that used smaller samples or less precise methods. We expect our empirical relations to be increasingly useful with the arrival of Gaia parallaxes in the near future.

  9. 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.

  10. The fate of exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolland, B.;