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Sample records for stars white dwarfs

  1. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.

    2014-10-01

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

  2. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

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

  3. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  4. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

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

  5. White Dwarfs in Local Star Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchs, Burkhard; Dettbarn, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Gravitational Interactions of White Dwarf Double Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-22

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. White dwarf stars with some hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Eugene Yu-Yu

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

  13. 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.

  14. Asteroseismology of DAV White Dwarf Stars

    SciTech Connect

    Bradley, Paul A.

    1997-12-31

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

  15. White dwarf stars in D dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavanis, P.-H.

    2007-07-01

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

  16. Diffusion of neon in white dwarf stars.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hodgkin; Oppenheimer; Hambly; Jameson; Smartt; Steele

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becklin, E. E.; Zuckerman, B.

    1988-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccollum, Bruce

    1995-01-01

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

  7. 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. Circumstellar debris and pollution at white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2016-04-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Neutron stars and white dwarfs in galactic halos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-11

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1989-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-20

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. Gemini spectra of 12000 K white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Tassoul, M.; Tassoul, J.

    1983-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-14

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, H. L.

    1986-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs

    PubMed Central

    Luyten, Willem J.

    1978-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, Tyler A.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. New directions in microscopic physics of neutron star crusts and white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, Tyler; Crespi, Vincent; Owen, Benjamin

    2015-04-01

    Several aspects of solid-state physics pertaining to compact objects will be discussed. First, we report on properties of strongly magnetized outer envelopes of neutron stars, investigated within the nonlinear magnetic Thomas-Fermi model. In particular, we address the question of phonon thermal conductivity and the degree to which it limits the overall transport anisotropy arising from strongly anisotropic electron conductivity. Second, we have implemented the linear response Thomas-Fermi model in a genetic crystal structure prediction code, and describe a global search of structure and composition for multi-component, accreted NS crusts and Fe-enriched C-O white dwarfs. As part of this work, we have developed a new, self-consistent method for combining the phase stability calculation with the stellar structure calculation. Time permitting, we will show results from grain growth simulation in neutron star crusts, using a phase field method with the linear response Thomas-Fermi model. Connections to astrophysical observables will be emphasized throughout.

  12. 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)

  13. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1998-01-01

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

  14. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Dinçel, B.

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. When White Dwarfs Collide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Wendy Phyllis

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1999-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. White Dwarf Model for PAMELA Positron Excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiyama, Kazumi; Ioka, Kunihito

    2010-10-01

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

  11. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  12. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-19

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-10

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Detection of the White Dwarf Companions of Barium Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. VizieR Online Data Catalog: New white dwarf stars in SDSS DR10 (Kepler+, 2015)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    The targeted white dwarfs were required to be point sources with clean photometry, and to have USNO-B Catalog counterparts (Monet et al.. 2003, Cat. I/284). They were also restricted to regions inside the DR7 imaging footprint and required to have colours within the ranges g<19.2, (u-r)<0.4, -1<(u-g)<0.3, -1<(g-r)<0.5 and to have low Galactic extinction Ar<0.5mag. Additionally, targets that did not have (u-r)<-0.1 and (g-r)<-0.1 were required to have USNO proper motions larger than 2 arcsec per century. Objects satisfying the selection criteria that had not been observed previously by the SDSS were denoted by the WHITEDWARF_NEW target flag, while those with prior SDSS spectra are assigned the WHITEDWARF_SDSS flag. Some of the latter were re-observed with BOSS in order to obtain the extended wavelength coverage that the BOSS spectrograph offers. (1 data file).

  15. 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⊙.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A Study of the Ultraviolet Absorptions in the Spectra of DA White Dwarfs and Ultraviolet Spectra of the Star HR6560

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, Gary A.

    1986-01-01

    Two projects in conjunction with the International Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite are discussed. These projects were to: (1) study the properties of the H2 and H2+ quasi-molecular absorption features at lambda lambda 1600 and 1400 in the ultraviolet spectra of the hydrogen-rich DA white dwarfs and to search for additional spectroscopic features in the spectra of these stars; and (2) use the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum of the peculiar rare earth-rich late F type star, HR6560 (HD159870), to establish whether or not the element abundance anomalies are produced in conjunction with its having a white dwarf binary companion. The data show that HR6560 is probably not associated with any hot subluminous or degenerate star.

  19. 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}.

  20. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-20

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Recombination energy in double white dwarf formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-01

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

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Dark-matter admixed white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

    We study the equilibrium structures of white dwarfs with dark matter cores formed by non-self-annihilating dark matter (DM) particles with masses ranging from 1 GeV to 100 GeV, which are assumed to form an ideal degenerate Fermi gas inside the stars. For DM particles of mass 10 GeV and 100 GeV, we find that stable stellar models exist only if the mass of the DM core inside the star is less than O(10-3)M⊙ and O(10-6)M⊙, respectively. The global properties of these stars, and in particular the corresponding Chandrasekhar mass limits, are essentially the same as those of traditional white dwarf models without DM. Nevertheless, in the 10 GeV case, the gravitational attraction of the DM core is strong enough to squeeze the normal matter in the core region to densities above neutron drip, far above those in traditional white dwarfs. For DM with a particle mass of 1 GeV, the DM core inside the star can be as massive as ˜0.1M⊙ and affects the global structure of the star significantly. In this case, the radius of a stellar model with DM can be about two times smaller than that of a traditional white dwarf. Furthermore, the Chandrasekhar mass limit can also be decreased by as much as 40%. Our results may have implications on the extent to which type Ia supernovae can be regarded as standard candles—a key assumption in the discovery of dark energy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-01

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

  17. Testing gravity using dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakstein, Jeremy

    2015-12-01

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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Nucleosynthesis in white-dwarf atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoyle, F.; Clayton, D. D.

    1974-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. White dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2016-07-01

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

  11. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  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. PMID:26490620

  13. 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.

  14. Double White Dwarf Mergers with CASTRO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Star formation in dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Shawfeng

    In this thesis, we examine the star formation history and stellar feedback effects of dwarf galaxies under the influence of extragalactic ultraviolet radiation, as well as the evolution of residual gas within tidally-limited dwarf galaxies and globular clusters. Previous work has indicated that the background UV flux can easily ionize the gas within typical dwarf galaxies, delaying or even preventing cooling and star formation within them. Many dwarf galaxies within the Local Group are, however, observed to contain multiple generations of stars, the oldest of which formed in the early epochs of cosmic evolution, when the background UV flux was intense. In order to address this paradox, we consider the dynamical evolution of gas in dwarf galaxies using a one-dimensional, spherically symmetric, Lagrangian numerical scheme which also computes the effects of radiative transfer and photoionization. We include in the scheme a physically-motivated star formation recipe and consider the effects of feedback. This scheme allows us to follow the history of the gas and of star formation within dwarf galaxies, as influenced by both external and internal UV radiation. Our results indicate that star formation in the severe environment of dwarf galaxies is a difficult and inefficient process. In potentials with total mass less than a few 106 M⊙ , and velocity dispersion less than a few km s-1 , residual gas is efficiently photoionized by cosmic background UV radiation. For intermediate mass systems, such as the dSphs around the Galaxy, star formation can proceed within early cosmic epochs despite the intense background UV flux. Triggering processes such as merger events, collisions, and tidal disturbance can lead to density enhancements, reducing the recombination timescale, allowing gas to cool and star formation to proceed. However, the star formation and gas retention efficiency may vary widely in galaxies with similar dark matter potentials, because they depend on many

  16. Photometric Variability of Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Metal Lines in DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. Active states and structure transformations in accreting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boneva, Daniela; Kaygorodov, Pavel

    2016-07-01

    Active states in white dwarfs are usually associated with light curve's effects that concern to the bursts, flickering or flare-up occurrences. It is common that a gas-dynamics source exists for each of these processes there. We consider the white dwarf binary stars with accretion disc around the primary. We suggest a flow transformation modeling of the mechanisms that are responsible for ability to cause some flow instability and bring the white dwarfs system to the outburst's development. The processes that cause the accretion rate to sufficiently increase are discussed. Then the transition from a quiescent to an active state is realized. We analyze a quasi-periodic variability in the luminosity of white dwarf binary stars systems. The results are supported with an observational data.

  1. Star Formation in Dwarf-Dwarf Mergers: Fueling Hierarchical Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, K. E.; Kallivayalil, N.; Patton, D. R.; Putman, M. E.; Besla, G.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    We present early results from the first systematic study a sample of isolated interacting dwarf pairs and the mechanisms governing their star formation. Low mass dwarf galaxies are ubiquitous in the local universe, yet the efficiency of gas removal and the enhancement of star formation in dwarfs via pre-processing (i.e. dwarf-dwarf interactions occurring before the accretion by a massive host) are currently unconstrained. Studies of Local Group dwarfs credit stochastic internal processes for their complicated star formation histories, but a few intriguing examples suggest interactions among dwarfs may produce enhanced star formation. We combine archival UV imaging from GALEX with deep optical broad- and narrow-band (Halpha) imaging taken with the pre- One Degree Imager (pODI) on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope and with the 2.3-m Bok telescope at Steward Observatory to confirm the presence of stellar bridges and tidal tails and to determine whether dwarf-dwarf interactions alone can trigger significant levels of star formation. We investigate star formation rates and global galaxy colors as a function of dwarf pair separation (i.e. the dwarf merger sequence) and dwarf-dwarf mass ratio. This project is a precursor to an ongoing effort to obtain high spatial resolution HI imaging to assess the importance of sequential triggering caused by dwarf-dwarf interactions and the subsequent affect on the more massive hosts that later accrete the low mass systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreizler, S.; Werner, K.

    1996-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Diffusion Coefficients in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Isochrones and Luminosity Functions for Old White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Santiago; García-Berro, Enrique

    2016-04-01

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

  17. THREE NEW ECLIPSING WHITE-DWARF-M-DWARF BINARIES DISCOVERED IN A SEARCH FOR TRANSITING PLANETS AROUND M-DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Baranec, Christoph; Bui, Khanh; Davis, Jack T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, Eran O.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Nugent, Peter; and others

    2012-10-01

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

  18. A variational approach to understanding white dwarf evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  19. Accretion on to Magnetic White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, Dayal

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pringle, J. E.

    1988-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Two new color-selected magnetic DA white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Kinematics of Dwarf Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, Kathryn A.; Margon, Bruce H.; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Rockosi, Constance M.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of molecular carbon absorption bands in the spectra of main sequence dwarfs is remarkable, as these stars have not yet evolved through the helium-burning and dredge-up phases that deposit carbon in a stellar photosphere. Dwarf carbon stars are thus generally considered members of post-mass transfer binaries, with the main sequence star polluted by an evolved, often now invisible, companion. For decades only a handful were known. Now it is recognized that carbon dwarfs likely outnumber the better-understood giant carbon stars. Green (2013) has identified more than 700 carbon dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This large sample- distributed nearly evenly throughout the SDSS footprint- makes a study of stellar kinematics possible for dwarf carbon stars as a class.We examine the proper motions and radial velocities of ~700 carbon dwarfs and compare to a sample of 2×104 non-carbon main sequence stars from the SDSS archive. The spectra of carbon dwarfs and giants can appear indistinguishable, and so the relatively faint carbon dwarfs are recognized only if they have a sufficiently large proper motion to exclude the possibility of their being distant giants. We build our non-carbon control sample by the same proper motion criteria and additionally require that the control stars match the carbon dwarf selection with respect to properties such as photometric colors. In order to examine the kinematics of a sample spread across a large portion of sky, we compare each carbon dwarf with a group of control stars separated from it by less than three degrees. Preliminary results suggest that carbon dwarfs' kinematics are similar to the distributions of their neighboring control stars. We will present the results of detailed tests, including an investigation of several carbon dwarfs with atypical radial velocities.

  2. Massive double white dwarfs and the AM CVn birthrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.

    2005-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Nonlinear Analysis of Pulsating White Dwarf Lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar; Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2015-11-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denissenkov, P. A.; Herwig, F.; Truran, J. W.; Paxton, B.

    2013-07-01

    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 CO ≈ 0.2 M ⊙) surrounded by a thick ONe zone (ΔM ONe >~ 0.85 M ⊙) 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Quark-novae in neutron star - white dwarf binaries: a model for luminous (spin-down powered) sub-Chandrasekhar-mass Type Ia supernovae?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouyed, Rachid; Staff, Jan

    2013-04-01

    We show that, by appealing to a Quark-Nova (QN) in a tight binary system containing a massive neutron star and a CO white dwarf (WD), a Type Ia explosion could occur. The QN ejecta collides with the WD, driving a shock that triggers carbon burning under degenerate conditions (the QN-Ia). The conditions in the compressed low-mass WD (MWD < 0.9 Msolar) in our model mimic those of a Chandrasekhar mass WD. The spin-down luminosity from the QN compact remnant (the quark star) provides additional power that makes the QN-Ia light-curve brighter and broader than a standard SN-Ia with similar 56Ni yield. In QNe-Ia, photometry and spectroscopy are not necessarily linked since the kinetic energy of the ejecta has a contribution from spin-down power and nuclear decay. Although QNe-Ia may not obey the Phillips relationship, their brightness and their relatively “normal looking" light-curves mean they could be included in the cosmological sample. Light-curve fitters would be confused by the discrepancy between spectroscopy at peak and photometry and would correct for it by effectively brightening or dimming the QNe-Ia apparent magnitudes, thus over- or under-estimating the true magnitude of these spin-down powered SNe-Ia. Contamination of QNe-Ia in samples of SNe-Ia used for cosmological analyses could systematically bias measurements of cosmological parameters if QNe-Ia are numerous enough at high-redshift. The strong mixing induced by spin-down wind combined with the low 56Ni yields in QNe-Ia means that these would lack a secondary maximum in the i-band despite their luminous nature. We discuss possible QNe-Ia progenitors.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Evidence for very nearby hidden white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Rotation and Strong Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A gaseous metal disk around a white dwarf.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-22

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. HST spectrophotometry of accreting white dwarf pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2006-08-01

    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. PMID:16885979

  18. 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

    2006-08-01

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Agol, Eric

    2011-04-20

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

  20. 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.

  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. PMID:20463732

  3. 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.

  4. Options of applying of numerical codes for the study of transient processes in a binary star with a white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boneva, Daniela; Kononov, Dmitry

    In this paper we present the idea of applying of numerical codes, particularly of the ZEUS, for the study of transient processes in the close binary stars during the interaction. As a transient processes they could be long- and short-lived and we take into consideration both of them in our survey, as we explained their behavior and connection with tidal influence in the binary configuration. Basic features of the code are revealed. Using the hydrodynamical possibilities of ZEUS 2D and applying our hydrodynamical system of examination, we show what kind of possible results we can derive. This solution gives the initial distribution of the wave after tidally flow of the matter through the contact point of the binary. It is compared to the results obtained with recently employed codes, the ability of working with ZEUS and other numerical codes capabilities to find out the most suitable code or their combination and to make the problem solvable.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. X-ray spectroscopy of hot white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamczak, Jens

    2010-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. DA White Dwarfs in the Kepler Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Uniform period spacings in white dwarf models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1987-01-01

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

  12. On Thermohaline Mixing in Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koester, Detlev

    2015-06-01

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

  13. High-resolution FUSE and HST ultraviolet spectroscopy of the white dwarf central star of Sh 2-216

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauch, T.; Ziegler, M.; Werner, K.; Kruk, J. W.; Oliveira, C. M.; Vande Putte, D.; Mignani, R. P.; Kerber, F.

    2007-07-01

    Context: We perform a comprehensive spectral analysis of LS V +46° 21 in order to compare its photospheric properties to theoretical predictions from stellar evolution theory as well as from diffusion calculations. Aims: LS V +46° 21 is the DAO-type central star of the planetary nebula Sh 2-216. High-resolution, high-S/N ultraviolet observations obtained with FUSE and STIS aboard the HST as well as the optical spectrum have been analyzed in order to determine the photospheric parameters and the spectroscopic distance. Methods: We performed a detailed spectral analysis of the ultraviolet and optical spectrum by means of state-of-the-art NLTE model-atmosphere techniques. Results: From the N IV - N V, O IV - O VI, Si IV - Si V, and Fe V - Fe VII ionization equilibria, we determined an effective temperature of (95± 2) kK with high precision. The surface gravity is log g = 6.9± 0.2. An unexplained discrepancy appears between the spectroscopic distance d = 224+46-58 pc and the parallax distance d = 129+6-5 pc of LS V +46° 21. For the first time, we have identified Mg IV and Ar VI absorption lines in the spectrum of a hydrogen-rich central star and determined the Mg and Ar abundances as well as the individual abundances of iron-group elements (Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni). With the realistic treatment of metal opacities up to the iron group in the model-atmosphere calculations, the so-called Balmer-line problem (found in models that neglect metal-line blanketing) vanishes. Conclusions: Spectral analysis by means of NLTE model atmospheres has presently arrived at a high level of sophistication, which is now hampered largely by the lack of reliable atomic data and accurate line-broadening tables. Strong efforts should be made to improve upon this situation. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract

  14. Infrared Signatures of Disrupted Minor Planets at White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Star Formation and Feedback in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Shawfeng; Lin, D. N. C.; Murray, S. D.

    2003-10-01

    We examine the star formation history and stellar feedback effects of dwarf galaxies under the influence of extragalactic ultraviolet radiation. Previous work has indicated that the background UV flux can easily ionize the gas within typical dwarf galaxies, delaying or even preventing cooling and star formation within them. Many dwarf galaxies within the Local Group are, however, observed to contain multiple generations of stars, the oldest of which formed in the early epochs of cosmic evolution, when the background UV flux was intense. In order to address this paradox, we consider the dynamical evolution of gas in dwarf galaxies using a one-dimensional, spherically symmetric, Lagrangian numerical scheme to compute the effects of radiative transfer and photoionization. We include a physically motivated star formation recipe and consider the effects of feedback. This scheme allows us to follow the history of the gas and of star formation within dwarf galaxies, as influenced by both external and internal UV radiation. Our results indicate that star formation in the severe environment of dwarf galaxies is a difficult and inefficient process. In potentials with total mass less than a few times 106 Msolar and velocity dispersion less than a few kilometers per second, residual gas is efficiently photoionized by cosmic background UV radiation. Since the density scale height of the gas within these galaxies is comparable to their size, gas may be tidally removed from them, leaving behind starless residual dark matter clumps. For intermediate-mass systems, such as the dSphs around the Galaxy, star formation can proceed within early cosmic epochs despite the intense background UV flux. Triggering processes such as merger events, collisions, and tidal disturbance can lead to density enhancements, reducing the recombination timescale, allowing gas to cool and star formation to proceed. However, the star formation and gas retention efficiency may vary widely in galaxies with

  20. 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%).

  1. Freezing of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mochkovitch, R.

    1983-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Dylan P.; West, Andrew A.

    2014-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. SEISMOLOGY OF A MASSIVE PULSATING HYDROGEN ATMOSPHERE WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Detection of trace helium in G104 - 27, a 26,000 K DA white dwarf

    SciTech Connect

    Holberg, J.B.; Kidder, K.M.; Wesemael, F. Montreal Universite, Montreal )

    1990-12-01

    The detection of the He I 4471 A feature in the moderately hot DA white dwarf G104 - 27 places this star within the rather sparse class of DAB white dwarfs. It does not appear possible, on the basis of the present data, to distinguish between a stratified and a homogeneously mixed atmosphere. While a stratified structure would be natural for a DA white dwarf, G104 - 27 resides near the red edge of the DB gap, in a region where DA stars could transform into DB stars through convective mixing in the underlying He envelope and thereby destroy envelope stratification. Both atmospheres are consistent with the existing soft X-ray flux limit for this star. 37 refs.

  9. Detection of trace helium in G104 - 27, a 26,000 K DA white dwarf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holberg, J. B.; Kidder, K. M.; Wesemael, F.

    1990-01-01

    The detection of the He I 4471 A feature in the moderately hot DA white dwarf G104 - 27 places this star within the rather sparse class of DAB white dwarfs. It does not appear possible, on the basis of the present data, to distinguish between a stratified and a homogeneously mixed atmosphere. While a stratified structure would be natural for a DA white dwarf, G104 - 27 resides near the red edge of the DB gap, in a region where DA stars could transform into DB stars through convective mixing in the underlying He envelope and thereby destroy envelope stratification. Both atmospheres are consistent with the existing soft X-ray flux limit for this star.

  10. 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.

  11. Star formation history in forming dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berczik, P.; Kravchuk, S. G.

    The processes of formation and evolution of isolated dwarf galaxies over the Hubble timescale is followed by means of SPH techniques. As an initial protogalaxy perturbation we consider an isolated, uniform, solid -- body rotated sphere involved into the Hubble flow and made of dark and baryonic matter in a 10:1 ratio. The simulations are carried out for the set of models having spin parameters lambda in the range from 0.01 to 0.08 and the total mass of dark matter 1011 M_odot . Our model includes gasdynamics, radiative processes, star formation, supernova feedback and simplified chemistry. The application of modified star formation criterion which accounts for chaotic motions and the time lag between initial development of suitable conditions for star formation and star formation itself (Berczik P.P, Kravchuk S.G. 1997, Ap.Sp.Sci.) provides the realistic description of the process of galaxy formation and evolution. Two parameters: total mass and initial angular momentum of the dwarf protogalaxy play the crucial role in its star formation activity. After the 15 Gyr of the evolution the rapidly rotated dwarf galaxies manifest themselves as an extremly gasrich, heavy element deficient objects showing the initial burst of star formation activity in several spatially separated regions. Slowly rotating objects manifest themselves finally as typical evolved dwarf galaxies.

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

    PubMed

    Charpinet, S; Fontaine, G; Brassard, P

    2009-09-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Gilfanov, Marat; Bogdán, Akos

    2010-02-18

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gilfanov, Marat; Bogdán, Akos

    2010-02-18

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

  16. 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.

  17. Spin and Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. General Relativistic and Newtonian White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Hot DA white dwarfs seen with Einstein, an ultrahot H- and He-poor white dwarf, and Zanstra temperatures of planetary nebula nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1987-01-01

    Einstein observations of hot DA white dwarfs are analyzed using model atmospheres. It is found that, for a relatively limited sample of stars, that hot He-poor stars like HZ 43 are indeed the exception, and that there is an apparent correlation between He/H ratio and increasing temperature. The seventh brightest soft X-ray source in the HEAO-A1 catalog, H1504+65, turns out to be an ultrahot white dwarf star, with a temperature of approximately 160,000 K, showing spectral features of the Zanstra method for determining the temperatures of central stars of planetary nebulae demonstrates that the H I Zanstra temperatures are indeed reliable and suggests that a substantial fraction of these central stars have He/H ratios which are considerably less than the solar value.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  8. White Dwarfs for Calibrating the Dark Energy Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. White dwarfs in an ungravity-inspired model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertolami, Orfeu; Mariji, Hodjat

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Chemical Abundances of Metal-poor stars in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venn, Kim A.; Jablonka, Pascale; Hill, Vanessa; Starkenburg, Else; Lemasle, Bertrand; Shetrone, Matthew; Irwin, Mike; Norris, John; Yong, David; Gilmore, Gerry; Salvadori, Stephania; Skuladottir, Asa; Tolstoy, Eline

    2016-08-01

    Stars in low-mass dwarf galaxies show a larger range in their chemical properties than those in the Milky Way halo. The slower star formation efficiency make dwarf galaxies ideal systems for testing nucleosynthetic yields. Not only are alpha-poor stars found at lower metallicities, and a higher fraction of carbon-enhanced stars, but we are also finding stars in dwarf galaxies that appear to be iron-rich. These are compared with yields from a variety of supernova predictions.

  12. Massive Star Clusters in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Soeren

    2015-08-01

    Dwarf galaxies are often characterized by very high globular cluster specific frequencies, in some cases exceeding that of the Milky Way by a factor of 100 or more. Moreover, the GCs are typically much more metal-poor than the bulk of the field stars, so that a substantial fraction (up to 20-25% or more) of all metal-poor stars in some dwarf galaxies are associated with GCs. The metal-poor components of these galaxies thus represent an extreme case of the "specific frequency problem". In this talk I will review the current status of our understanding of GC systems in dwarf galaxies. Particular emphasis will be placed on the implications of the high GC specific frequencies for the amount of mass loss the clusters could have experienced and the constraints this provides on theories for the origin of multiple populations in globular clusters.

  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. PMID:12672435

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ibata; Irwin; Bienaymé; Scholz; Guibert

    2000-03-20

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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Philip D.; Jeffery, C. Simon

    2016-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Mukremin

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  2. The photospheric temperatures and composition of very hot He-rich white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barstow, M. A.; Holberg, J. B.

    1990-01-01

    Results are reported from a detailed analysis of Exosat observations of six hot He-rich white dwarfs belonging to, or related to, the spectroscopic subclass of PG1159 stars. These objects are thought to evolve directly from O VI type planetary nebulae nuclei and provide an important link in models of white dwarf evolution. When the Exosat data are compared with the predictions of an extensive grid of He-rich model atmospheres, it is possible to obtain temperature estimates for these stars that are much better constrained than previous attempts.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  6. Thermonuclear Supernova Explosions From Hybrid White Dwarf Progenitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Prevention of accretion onto white dwarfs by stellar winds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdonald, James

    1992-01-01

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

  8. A Study of Short-term White Dwarf Variability Using gPhoton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tucker, Michael; Fleming, Scott W.; Caton, Daniel B.; Million, Chase; Shiao, Bernie

    2016-01-01

    The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) was a UV space telescope that operated from 2003 until 2013. A new project at MAST, gPhoton takes advantage of the microchannel-plate photon detector aboard GALEX, which catalogued and time-stamped every photon event by putting the one trillion photon events into a database. Utilizing associated open-source software, gPhoton can create coadd images, movies and light curves at user-defined spatial and temporal scales. As part of early science investigations with gPhoton, 364 white dwarf stars from the McCook-Sion catalog with ample GALEX coverage were photometrically inspected for inter-visit variations during an REU program at STScI. Out of the 364 white dwarfs that were studied, three previously documented pulsating white dwarf stars were confirmed in the UV and (at least) three new pulsating white dwarf stars were discovered. Follow-up observations are conducted at Appalachian State University using optical telescopes at the Dark Sky Observatory. We compare optical and UV light curves of these new white dwarf pulsators and show a selection of other variables found with gPhoton.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamanaha, Christopher M.; Silk, Joseph; Wood, M. A.; Winget, D. E.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-15

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

  13. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-20

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

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

    PubMed

    Pines, D

    1980-02-01

    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. PMID:17749313

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-06-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  17. THE FREQUENCY OF DEBRIS DISKS AT WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-11-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  19. Iron abundance in the hot DA white dwarfs Feige 24 and G191 B2B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vennes, Stephane; Chayer, Pierre; Thorstensen, John R.; Bowyer, Stuart; Shipman, Harry L.

    1992-01-01

    Attention is given to model calculations of the far- and extreme-UV line spectra of highly ionized Fe species (Fe IV, Fe V, and Fe VI) for hot high-gravity H-rich stars. A spectral analysis of 31 hr of exposure of the DA white dwarf Feige 24 with IUE in the echelle mode reveals the presence of Fe with an abundance relative to H by number of (5-10) x 10 exp -6 with an uncertainty dominated by the determination of stellar parameters. An analysis of IUE data from the white dwarf G191 B2B results in a similar Fe abundance if this star shares similar atmospheric parameters (Teff, g) with Feige 24. Fe is thus the second most abundant photospheric element in hot DA white dwarfs.

  20. Freak waves in white dwarfs and magnetars

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-15

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Debris Disks around White Dwarfs: The DAZ Connection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  4. Equilibrium structure of white dwarfs at finite temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Gas, Stars, and Star Formation in Alfalfa Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, Shan; Haynes, Martha P.; Giovanelli, Riccardo; Brinchmann, Jarle; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Neff, Susan G.

    2012-01-01

    We examine the global properties of the stellar and Hi components of 229 low H i mass dwarf galaxies extracted from the ALFALFA survey, including a complete sample of 176 galaxies with H i masses <10(sup 7.7) solar mass and Hi line widths <80 kilometers per second. Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data are combined with photometric properties derived from Galaxy Evolution Explorer to derive stellar masses (M*) and star formation rates (SFRs) by fitting their UV-optical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). In optical images, many of the ALFALFA dwarfs are faint and of low surface brightness; only 56% of those within the SDSS footprint have a counterpart in the SDSS spectroscopic survey. A large fraction of the dwarfs have high specific star formation rates (SSFRs), and estimates of their SFRs and M* obtained by SED fitting are systematically smaller than ones derived via standard formulae assuming a constant SFR. The increased dispersion of the SSFR distribution at M* approximately less than10(exp 8)M(sub 0) is driven by a set of dwarf galaxies that have low gas fractions and SSFRs; some of these are dE/dSphs in the Virgo Cluster. The imposition of an upper Hi mass limit yields the selection of a sample with lower gas fractions for their M* than found for the overall ALFALFA population. Many of the ALFALFA dwarfs, particularly the Virgo members, have H i depletion timescales shorter than a Hubble time. An examination of the dwarf galaxies within the full ALFALFA population in the context of global star formation (SF) laws is consistent with the general assumptions that gas-rich galaxies have lower SF efficiencies than do optically selected populations and that Hi disks are more extended than stellar ones.

  6. A DARK SPOT ON A MASSIVE WHITE DWARF

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-06-01

    We have examined the statistical properties, cooling ages, and vector components of the three-dimensional space motion U, V, W for the enlarged sample of 53 magnetic white dwarfs contained in the fourth edition of the Catalog of Spectroscopically Identified White Dwarfs (McCook & Sion). Their cooling ages range from 2 million years to 12.6 billion years. A comparison of the total kinematic samples of magnetics and DA stars over the same luminosity range 10.0stars compared with sigma(v)=23 km s^-1 for 26 magnetic degenerates with space motions. These results underscore the conclusion that the sample of magnetic white dwarfs appears to be predominantly descended from a young disk stellar population subcomponent characterized by relatively small motions with respect to the Sun. This suggests both links to upper main-sequence Ap/Bp progenitors but possibly also massive ``near miss'' pulsar progenitors. We find preliminary evidence that the magnetic white dwarfs show a peculiar distribution in UV velocity space relative to other spectroscopic subgroups of white dwarfs. However, there is little evidence of a difference in velocity dispersion among the hot and cool magnetic degenerates, despite their having vastly different cooling ages. This may be taken as indirect evidence that the magnetics represent a sample of mixed evolutionary progeny.

  8. The composition and structure of white dwarf atmospheres revealed by extreme ultraviolet spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barstow, Martin A.; Hubeny, Ivan; Lanz, Thierry; Holberg, Jay B.; Sion, Edward M.

    1995-01-01

    The ROentgen SATellite (ROSAT) and Extreme UltraViolet Explorer (EUVE) all-sky surveys have resulted in an important change in our understanding of the general composition of hydrogen-rich DA white dwarf atmospheres, with the photospheric opacity dominated by heavy elements rather than helium in the hottest stars (T > 40, 000 K). Most stars cooler than 40,000 K have more or less pure H atmospheres. However, one question, which has not been resolved, concerned the specific nature of the heavy elements and the role of helium in the hottest white dwarfs. One view of white dwarf evolution requires that H-rich DA stars form by gravitational settling of He from either DAO or He-rich central stars of planetary nebulae. In this case, the youngest (hottest) DA white dwarfs may still contain visible traces of He. Spectroscopic observations now available with EUVE provide a crucial test of these ideas. Analysis of data from the EUVE Guest Observer programme and EUVE public archive allows quantitative consideration of the sources of EUV opacity and places limits on the abundance of He which may be present.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    1991-01-01

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

  11. The g-modes of white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  12. On General Relativistic Uniformly Rotating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. ON GENERAL RELATIVISTIC UNIFORMLY ROTATING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-10

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

  14. Blue Straggler-White Dwarf binaries in Galactic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekanayake, Gemunu B.; Wilhelm, Ronald J.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  16. ON THE EFFECT OF EXPLOSIVE THERMONUCLEAR BURNING ON THE ACCRETED ENVELOPES OF WHITE DWARFS IN CATACLYSMIC VARIABLES

    SciTech Connect

    Sion, Edward M.; Sparks, Warren E-mail: warrensparks@comcast.net

    2014-11-20

    The detection of heavy elements at suprasolar abundances in the atmospheres of some accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables (CVs), coupled with the high temperatures needed to produce these elements, requires explosive thermonuclear burning. The central temperatures of any formerly more massive secondary stars in CVs undergoing hydrostatic CNO burning are far too low to produce these elements. Evidence is presented that at least some CVs contain donor secondaries that have been contaminated by white dwarf remnant burning during the common envelope phase and are transferring this material back to the white dwarf. This scenario does not exclude the channel in which formerly more massive donor stars underwent CNO processing in systems with thermal timescale mass transfer. Implications for the progenitors of CVs are discussed and a new scenario for the white dwarf's accretion-nova-outburst is given.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1987-01-01

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

  19. HST observations of the pulsating white dwarf GD 358

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  20. Molecular magnetic dichroism in spectra of white dwarfs.

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-20

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

  2. Iron and magnesium in the white dwarf GD 40 - A test of diffusion theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, H. L.; Greenstein, J. L.

    1983-01-01

    An outstanding problem in interpreting the properties of white-dwarf stars is related to the understanding of the chemical abundances in their atmospheres. The hydrogen-rich white-dwarf stars have monoelemental atmospheres, with small quantities of helium and no heavier elements observed in most, possibly all, stars with visible H lines. The helium-rich stars are more complex, and the existence of metallic lines in many of their spectra is now well confirmed. The DB star GD 40 (Gr 384) is the hottest He-rich white-dwarf star to show metal lines, apart from the extremely hot objects, such as HZ 21 and HD 149499B. The present investigation is concerned with IUE spectra which have been obtained of the GD 40. It is found that the near-UV is marked by strong Mg II lines along with broad blends of Fe II lines. An analysis is conducted of the abundances of Fe and Mg at the surface of GD 40 using a limited spectrum-synthesis technique with the measured equivalent widths of the best Fe II features.

  3. Method and Tools for an Objective Approach of White Dwarf Asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charpinet, S.; Giammichele, N.; Brassard, P.; Van Grootel, V.; Fontaine, G.

    2015-06-01

    Stellar oscillation modes propagate deep inside stars and carry on information potentially allowing us to reconstruct, through asteroseismology, parts of their internal structure and dynamics. We present and discuss here our strategy and tools developed to exploit objectively this potential for pulsating white dwarf stars. Our approach relies on a multimodal optimization technique aimed at identifying all potential seismic model solutions that best match the observed periods of a given star. This approach doesn't rely on model grids (hence avoiding their limitations) and makes use of static stellar structures of white dwarf stars as opposed to evolutionary models. The use of parameterized static models is a deliberate choice in this context and is aimed at approaching as closely as possible the real structure of the star as it is observed and probed by the detected oscillation modes without interferences from unavoidable model uncertainties propagated through billion years of evolution. We argue that this strategy is more likely to produce new tight constraints on the internal structure of white dwarf stars from which evolutionary models could be improved.

  4. Radial and Nonradial Pulsations in Hot White Dwarfs -- Cycle 3 Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawaler, Steven

    1992-06-01

    We propose to use the High Speed Photometer to search for the previously unobserved phenomenon of RADIAL pulsations in white dwarfs. Three classes of NONRADIALLY pulsating white dwarfs are known, with pulsation periods ranging from several minutes to half an hour. Theory predicts that stars slightly hotter than the nonradial instability strips for DA, DB, and PG 1159-type white dwarfs should be unstable to radial pulsations, with periods between 0.1 and 10 seconds. We have received Cycle 2 HSP time to search several DA and DB candidates for these predicted rapid pulsations. In Cycle 3 we propose to use HSP to search for the predicted radial pulsations in 3 members of the PG 1159 class. High-speed UV photometry is free from atmospheric scintillation, and takes advantage of the larger stellar fluxes and larger pulsation amplitudes for these extremely hot (above 125,000 K) stars. Our targets are three known nonradial pulsators (two are central stars in planetary nebulae), so that the observations will also provide information on the wavelength dependence of the nonradial pulsation amplitudes. The presence (or absence) of radial pulsations will provide significant new information for (or challenges to) our understanding of white-dwarf pulsations, structure, and evolution.

  5. VizieR Online Data Catalog: White dwarf main-sequence binaries (Rebassa-Mansergas+, 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Agurto-Gangas, C.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gansicke, B. T.; Koester, D.

    2014-07-01

    The spectroscopic catalogue of white dwarf main-sequence (WDMS) binaries from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the largest and most homogeneous sample of compact binary stars currently known. However, because of selection effects, the current sample is strongly biased against systems containing cool white dwarfs and/or early-type companions, which are predicted to dominate the intrinsic population. In this study, we present colour selection criteria that combines optical (ugriz DR8 SDSS) plus infrared (yjhk DR9 UKIRT Infrared Sky Survey, JHK Two Micron All Sky Survey and/or W1W2 Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) magnitudes to select 3419 photometric candidates of harbouring cool white dwarfs and/or dominant (M dwarf) companions. We demonstrate that 84 percent of our selected candidates are very likely genuine WDMS binaries, and that the white dwarf effective temperatures and secondary star spectral types of 71 percent of our selected sources are expected to be below <~10000-15000K, and concentrated at ~M2-3, respectively. We also present an updated version of the spectroscopic SDSS WDMS binary catalogue, which incorporates 47 new systems from SDSS DR8. The bulk of the DR8 spectroscopy is made up of main-sequence stars and red giants that were targeted as part of the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) Survey, therefore the number of new spectroscopic WDMS binaries in DR 8 is very small compared to previous SDSS data releases. Despite their low number, DR8 WDMS binaries are found to be dominated by systems containing cool white dwarfs and therefore represent an important addition to the spectroscopic sample. The updated SDSS DR8 spectroscopic catalogue of WDMS binaries consists of 2316 systems. We compare our updated catalogue with recently published lists of WDMS binaries and conclude that it currently represents the largest, most homogeneous and cleanest sample of spectroscopic WDMS binaries from SDSS. (5 data files).

  6. Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-11-10

    Recently, a new mechanism for Type I supernovae has been proposed whereby relativistic terms enhance the self gravity of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf as it passes near a black hole. It was suggested but not confirmed that this relativistic compression can cause the central density to exceed the threshold for pycnonuclear reactions so that a thermonuclear runaway ensues. Here, we present numerical studies of such relativistically induced explosions of white dwarfs and red giant cores of various mass (particularly a typical 0.6 M{sub {circle_dot}} white dwarf) as they pass near a 3.7 x 10{sup 6} black hole like Sgr A* in the Galactic center. We confirm by hydrodynamic thermonuclear burn simulations in three spatial dimensions that white dwarfs and red giant cores do indeed ignite and explode. In fact they seem to explode even farther from the black hole than earlier estimates due to increased internal temperatures from adiabatic heating as the stars are compressed. We find that the compression is sufficiently fast that red giant cores, or young (< 10{sup 8} yr) white dwarfs can even be heated to thermonuclear rather than pychnonuclear ignition. We propose that such an event might explain the observed ''mixed-morphology'' Sgr A East supernova remnant in the Galactic center.

  15. Trans-iron group elements in hot helium-rich white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Our recent detection of twelve trans-iron group elements (Z=30-56) in the hot helium-rich white dwarf (i.e. spectral type DO) RE0503-289 is a unique discovery. This phenomenon was never observed before in any white dwarf. Abundance analyses hitherto performed for five species (Zn, Ge, Kr, Xe, Ba) reveal values between 155 and 23000 times solar. There are reasons to believe that these extreme overabundances are connected to the evolutionary history of the DO white dwarfs. They are the outcome of a late helium-shell flash that consumes all hydrogen in the stellar envelope and at the same time dredges up helium-rich intershell matter that is enriched with s-process elements. These elements were synthesised in the preceding AGB phase of the evolution. We argue that if RE0503-289 is a typical representative of the DO white dwarfs, then all DOs with similar effective temperature should also show these extraordinary chemical diversity and overabundances. In order to prove this hypothesis, we want to obtain FUV spectra of two other hot DO white dwarfs plus a representative of the PG1159 stars, which are thought to be immediate progenitors of DO white dwarfs. If all three targets show the same heavy-metal abundance pattern, then these objects hold the promise that their metal abundances can be used to constrain AGB star nucleosynthesis. If otherwise RE0503-289 remains a unique object, then an alternative evolutionary scenario (binary WD merger) is probably responsible for its extreme element abundances.

  16. A YOUNG WHITE DWARF WITH AN INFRARED EXCESS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-10

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

  17. Outbursts in Two New Cool Pulsating DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Gas, Stars, and Star Formation in ALFALFA Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shan; Haynes, Martha P.; Giovanelli, Riccardo; Brinchmann, Jarle; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Neff, Susan G.

    2012-06-01

    We examine the global properties of the stellar and H I components of 229 low H I mass dwarf galaxies extracted from the ALFALFA survey, including a complete sample of 176 galaxies with H I masses <107.7 M ⊙ and H I line widths <80 km s-1. Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data are combined with photometric properties derived from Galaxy Evolution Explorer to derive stellar masses (M *) and star formation rates (SFRs) by fitting their UV-optical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). In optical images, many of the ALFALFA dwarfs are faint and of low surface brightness; only 56% of those within the SDSS footprint have a counterpart in the SDSS spectroscopic survey. A large fraction of the dwarfs have high specific star formation rates (SSFRs), and estimates of their SFRs and M * obtained by SED fitting are systematically smaller than ones derived via standard formulae assuming a constant SFR. The increased dispersion of the SSFR distribution at M * <~ 108 M ⊙ is driven by a set of dwarf galaxies that have low gas fractions and SSFRs; some of these are dE/dSphs in the Virgo Cluster. The imposition of an upper H I mass limit yields the selection of a sample with lower gas fractions for their M * than found for the overall ALFALFA population. Many of the ALFALFA dwarfs, particularly the Virgo members, have H I depletion timescales shorter than a Hubble time. An examination of the dwarf galaxies within the full ALFALFA population in the context of global star formation (SF) laws is consistent with the general assumptions that gas-rich galaxies have lower SF efficiencies than do optically selected populations and that H I disks are more extended than stellar ones. Based on observations made with the Arecibo Observatory and the NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana and

  19. Star Formation in Dwarf Galaxies: Life in a Rough Neighborhood

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, S

    2003-10-16

    Star formation within dwarf galaxies is governed by several factors. Many of these factors are external, including ram-pressure stripping, tidal stripping, and heating by external UV radiation. The latter, in particular, may prevent star formation in the smallest systems. Internal factors include negative feedback in the form of UV radiation, winds and supernovae from massive stars. These act to reduce the star formation efficiency within dwarf systems, which may, in turn, solve several theoretical and observational problems associated with galaxy formation. In this contribution, we discuss our recent work being done to examine the importance of the many factors in the evolution of dwarf galaxies.

  20. IUE spectrophotometry of the DA4 primary in the short-period white dwarf-red dwarf spectroscopic binary Case 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, E. M.; Guinan, E. F.; Wesemael, F.

    1984-01-01

    Low-resolution ultraviolet International Ultraviolet Explorer spectra of the DA white dwarf Case 1 are presented. The spectra show the presence of the 1400 A feature, already discovered in several other DA stars, and of a shallower trough in the 1550-1700 A range. A model atmosphere analysis of the ultraviolet energy distribution of the Ly-alpha red wing yields T(e) = 13,000 + or - 500 K. Possible interpretations of the 1400 A feature are reviewed. Case 1 is the coolest white dwarf found in a short-period, detached white dwarf-red dwarf binary, and its cooling time is consistent with estimates of the efficiency of angular momentum removal mechanisms in the phases subsequent to common envelope binary evolution.

  1. ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF COMPACT WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-10

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

  2. Tidal Interactions in Merging White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2011-10-01

    The recently discovered system J0651 is the tightest known detached white dwarf (WD) binary. Since it has not yet initiated Roche-lobe overflow, it provides a relatively clean environment for testing our understanding of tidal interactions. I investigate the tidal heating of each WD, parameterized in terms of its tidal Q parameter. Assuming that the heating can be radiated efficiently, the current luminosities are consistent with Q 1 ≈ 7 × 1010 and Q 2 ≈ 2 × 107, for the He and C/O WDs, respectively. Conversely, if the observed luminosities are merely from the cooling of the WDs, these estimated values of Q represent the upper limits. A large Q 1 for the He WD means its spin velocity will be slower than that expected if it was tidally locked, which, since the binary is eclipsing, may be measurable via the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. After one year, gravitational wave emission shifts the time of eclipses by 5.5 s, but tidal interactions cause the orbit to shrink more rapidly, changing the time by up to an additional 0.3 s after a year. Future eclipse timing measurements may therefore infer the degree of tidal locking.

  3. TIDAL INTERACTIONS IN MERGING WHITE DWARF BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Piro, Anthony L.

    2011-10-20

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

  4. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. A Spectroscopic Survey and Analysis of Bright, Hydrogen-rich White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Bergeron, P.; Ruiz, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    We have conducted a spectroscopic survey of over 1300 bright (V <= 17.5), hydrogen-rich white dwarfs based largely on the last published version of the McCook & Sion catalog. The complete results from our survey, including the spectroscopic analysis of over 1100 DA white dwarfs, are presented. High signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra were obtained for each star and were subsequently analyzed using our standard spectroscopic technique where the observed Balmer line profiles are compared to synthetic spectra computed from the latest generation of model atmospheres appropriate for these stars. First, we present the spectroscopic content of our sample, which includes many misclassifications as well as several DAB, DAZ, and magnetic white dwarfs. Next, we look at how the new Stark broadening profiles affect the determination of the atmospheric parameters. When necessary, specific models and analysis techniques are used to derive the most accurate atmospheric parameters possible. In particular, we employ M dwarf templates to obtain better estimates of the atmospheric parameters for those white dwarfs that are in DA+dM binary systems. Certain unique white dwarfs and double-degenerate binary systems are also analyzed in greater detail. We then examine the global properties of our sample including the mass distribution and their distribution as a function of temperature. We then proceed to test the accuracy and robustness of our method by comparing our results to those of other surveys such as SPY and Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Finally, we revisit the ZZ Ceti instability strip and examine how the determination of its empirical boundaries is affected by the latest line profile calculations. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla or Paranal Observatories under program ID 078.D-0824(A).

  6. A SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY AND ANALYSIS OF BRIGHT, HYDROGEN-RICH WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Gianninas, A.; Bergeron, P.; Ruiz, M. T. E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.ca

    2011-12-20

    We have conducted a spectroscopic survey of over 1300 bright (V {<=} 17.5), hydrogen-rich white dwarfs based largely on the last published version of the McCook and Sion catalog. The complete results from our survey, including the spectroscopic analysis of over 1100 DA white dwarfs, are presented. High signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra were obtained for each star and were subsequently analyzed using our standard spectroscopic technique where the observed Balmer line profiles are compared to synthetic spectra computed from the latest generation of model atmospheres appropriate for these stars. First, we present the spectroscopic content of our sample, which includes many misclassifications as well as several DAB, DAZ, and magnetic white dwarfs. Next, we look at how the new Stark broadening profiles affect the determination of the atmospheric parameters. When necessary, specific models and analysis techniques are used to derive the most accurate atmospheric parameters possible. In particular, we employ M dwarf templates to obtain better estimates of the atmospheric parameters for those white dwarfs that are in DA+dM binary systems. Certain unique white dwarfs and double-degenerate binary systems are also analyzed in greater detail. We then examine the global properties of our sample including the mass distribution and their distribution as a function of temperature. We then proceed to test the accuracy and robustness of our method by comparing our results to those of other surveys such as SPY and Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Finally, we revisit the ZZ Ceti instability strip and examine how the determination of its empirical boundaries is affected by the latest line profile calculations.

  7. The progenitors of magnetic white dwarfs in open clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. High-resolution UVES/VLT spectra of white dwarfs observed for the ESO SN Ia Progenitor Survey. III. DA white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koester, D.; Voss, B.; Napiwotzki, R.; Christlieb, N.; Homeier, D.; Lisker, T.; Reimers, D.; Heber, U.

    2009-10-01

    Context: The ESO Supernova Ia Progenitor Survey (SPY) took high-resolution spectra of more than 1000 white dwarfs and pre-white dwarfs. About two thirds of the stars observed are hydrogen-dominated DA white dwarfs. Here we present a catalog and detailed spectroscopic analysis of the DA stars in the SPY. Aims: Atmospheric parameters effective temperature and surface gravity are determined for normal DAs. Double-degenerate binaries, DAs with magnetic fields or dM companions, are classified and discussed. Methods: The spectra are compared with theoretical model atmospheres using a χ2 fitting technique. Results: Our final sample contains 615 DAs, which show only hydrogen features in their spectra, although some are double-degenerate binaries. 187 are new detections or classifications. We also find 10 magnetic DAs (4 new) and 46 DA+dM pairs (10 new). Based on data obtained at the Paranal Observatory of the European Southern Observatory for programmes 165.H-0588 and 167.D-0407.

  12. Discovery of a brown dwarf in the Pleiades star cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebolo, R.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R.; Martín, E. L.

    1995-09-01

    BROWN dwarfs are cool star-like objects that have insufficient mass to maintain stable nuclear fusion in their interiors. Although brown dwarfs are not stars, they are expected to form in the same way, and their frequency of occurrence should reflect the trends seen in the birthrates of low-mass stars. But finding brown dwarfs has proved to be difficult, because of their low intrinsic luminosity. The nearby Pleiades star cluster is widely recognized as a likely host for detectable brown dwarfs because of its young age - the still-contracting brown dwarfs should radiate a large fraction of their gravitational energy at near-infrared wavelengths. Here we report the discovery of a brown dwarf near the centre of the Pleiades. The luminosity and temperature of this object are so low that its mass must be less than 0.08 solar masses, the accepted lower limit on the mass of a true star1-3. The detection of only one brown dwarf within our survey area is consistent with a smooth extrapolation of the stellar mass function of the Pleiades4, suggesting that brown dwarfs, although probably quite numerous in the Galactic disk, are unlikely to comprise more than ~1% of its mass.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mustill, Alexander J.; Villaver, Eva

    2012-12-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Meng; Arras, Phil

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriya, Takashi J.

    2016-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-08-10

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

  20. Accretion of planetary debris onto the unique white dwarf GD394

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, David

    2014-10-01

    It is now undisputed that metal-pollution of the H or He atmospheres observed in a substantial fraction of white dwarfs is due to accretion of planetary debris. While significant progress has been made in establishing the frequency of such evolved planetary systems, and statistics on the abundances of the debris material are beginning to emerge, very little is known regarding the delivery mechanism of the debris. Given that the red giant progenitors of the metal-polluted white dwarfs evaporated all planetary material within >1 AU, the debris found at many white dwarfs must originate originally from a substantial distance of the star. The canonical model is that remaining planets perturb the orbits of astroids, sending them onto a white dwarf grazing course, where the extreme gravity will result in their tidal disruption. The debris then must undergo complex dynamical evolution, and eventually fall into the white dwarf atmosphere. EUV light curves of GD394, an extremely metal-polluted white dwarf, suggest a strong variation of the metal abundances over the stellar surface. We propose to obtain spin-phase resolved high-resolution spectroscopy of GD394 over its 1.15d rotation period to resolve the abundance pattern on its surface from variations in the photospheric metal lines, and thereby probe the geometry of the circumstellar debris. Line profile variations can be used to reconstruct the surface distribution of the metals using Roche tomography. In addition, comparison to a single archive HST/GHRS observation from 1992 will place tight constraints on the long-term variation of the accretion rate, and the life time of the circumstellar debris.

  1. Stellar explosions from accreting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Kevin L.

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

  2. Toward a Network of Faint DA White Dwarfs as High-precision Spectrophotometric Standards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayan, G.; Axelrod, T.; Holberg, J. B.; Matheson, T.; Saha, A.; Olszewski, E.; Claver, J.; Stubbs, C. W.; Bohlin, R. C.; Deustua, S.; Rest, A.

    2016-05-01

    We present the initial results from a program aimed at establishing a network of hot DA white dwarfs to serve as spectrophotometric standards for present and future wide-field surveys. These stars span the equatorial zone and are faint enough to be conveniently observed throughout the year with large-aperture telescopes. The spectra of these white dwarfs are analyzed in order to generate a non-local-thermodynamic-equilibrium model atmosphere normalized to Hubble Space Telescope colors, including adjustments for wavelength-dependent interstellar extinction. Once established, this standard star network will serve ground-based observatories in both hemispheres as well as space-based instrumentation from the UV to the near IR. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this concept and show how two different approaches to the problem using somewhat different assumptions produce equivalent results. We discuss the lessons learned and the resulting corrective actions applied to our program.

  3. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

    White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10(-6). Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 10(4) K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. PMID:23537137

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

    PubMed

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-01

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

  8. Amplitude Variability as Evidence of Crystallization in GD 518 and Other Massive Pulsating White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermes, J. J.; Kepler, S. O.; Montgomery, M. H.; Gianninas, A.; Castanheira, Barbara G.; Winget, D. E.

    2015-06-01

    In 2013 March we discovered pulsations in the most massive pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarf to date, GD 518. Model atmosphere fits to the optical spectrum of this star show it is a Teff = 12,030±210 K, log g = 9.08±0.06 white dwarf, which corresponds to a mass of 1.20±0.03 M⊙. Such a massive WD should also be significantly crystallized at this temperature, and may possibly contain an oxygen-neon core. The star exhibits multi-periodic luminosity variations at timescales ranging from roughly 425 to 595 s and amplitudes up to 0.7% in a given night, consistent in period and amplitude with the observed variability of typical ZZ Ceti stars, although the pulsation amplitudes change drastically over the 33 days of our discovery observations. We investigate the possibility that these amplitude variations are a consequence of the pulsation modes sampling only the non-crystallized outer mass fraction of the white dwarf (perhaps <0.05 M⊙ of material), and thus have very low mode inertia. Amplitude variability could be an observational consequence of a significantly crystallized stellar interior.

  9. STRENGTHENING THE CASE FOR ASTEROIDAL ACCRETION: EVIDENCE FOR SUBTLE AND DIVERSE DISKS AT WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Farihi, J.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Lee, J.-E. E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.ed E-mail: jelee@sejong.ac.k

    2010-05-10

    Spitzer Space Telescope IRAC 3-8 {mu}m and AKARI IRC 2-4 {mu}m photometry are reported for 10 white dwarfs with photospheric heavy elements; nine relatively cool stars with photospheric calcium and one hotter star with a peculiar high carbon abundance. A substantial infrared excess is detected at HE 2221-1630, while modest excess emissions are identified at HE 0106-3253 and HE 0307+0746, implying these latter two stars have relatively narrow ({Delta}r < 0.1 R{sub sun}) rings of circumstellar dust. A likely 7.9 {mu}m excess is found at PG 1225-079 and may represent, together with G166-58, a sub-class of dust ring with a large inner hole. The existence of attenuated disks at white dwarfs substantiates the connection between their photospheric heavy elements and the accretion of disrupted minor planets, indicating many polluted white dwarfs may harbor orbiting dust, even those lacking an obvious infrared excess.

  10. A compact planetary nebula around the hot white dwarf EGB 6/PG 0950 + 139

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liebert, James; Green, Richard; Bond, Howard E.; Holberg, J. B.; Wesemael, F.

    1989-01-01

    The remarkable central star (0950 + 139), a very hot DA/DAO white dwarf, of the planetary nebula EGB 6 is described. Follow-up observations relevant to the analyses of both the nebula and the stellar photosphere are presented. Three kinds of scenarios are discussed to account for the existence of this peculiar nebula, but none appears very promising. The first consideration is that the nebula was ejected from the white dwarf as a discret event. This hypothesis is heavily constrained by the nebular size, density, and expansion rate; by the low luminosity and radius of the star; and by the absence of evidence for variation in density-sensitive forbidden lines from 1978 to 1987. No plausible mechanism can cause the observed amount of mass to be lost directly from a white dwarf in a steady or sporadic wind, at outflow velocities orders of magnitude below the escape velocity. Final consideration is given to the possibility that the gas is lost from a close companion star, but there is no evidence that this is a close binary system.

  11. A compact planetary nebula around the hot white dwarf EGB 6/PG 0950 + 139

    SciTech Connect

    Liebert, J.; Green, R.; Bond, H.E.; Holberg, J.B.; Wesemael, F. Mount Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories, Pasadena, CA Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD Arizona Univ., Tucson Montreal Universite, Montreal )

    1989-11-01

    The remarkable central star (0950 + 139), a very hot DA/DAO white dwarf, of the planetary nebula EGB 6 is described. Follow-up observations relevant to the analyses of both the nebula and the stellar photosphere are presented. Three kinds of scenarios are discussed to account for the existence of this peculiar nebula, but none appears very promising. The first consideration is that the nebula was ejected from the white dwarf as a discret event. This hypothesis is heavily constrained by the nebular size, density, and expansion rate; by the low luminosity and radius of the star; and by the absence of evidence for variation in density-sensitive forbidden lines from 1978 to 1987. No plausible mechanism can cause the observed amount of mass to be lost directly from a white dwarf in a steady or sporadic wind, at outflow velocities orders of magnitude below the escape velocity. Final consideration is given to the possibility that the gas is lost from a close companion star, but there is no evidence that this is a close binary system. 45 refs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Evidence for an external origin of heavy elements in hot DA white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, M. A.; Barstow, J. K.; Casewell, S. L.; Holberg, J. B.; Hubeny, I.

    2014-05-01

    We present a series of systematic abundance measurements for 89 hydrogen atmosphere (DA-type) white dwarfs with temperatures spanning 16 000-77 000 K drawn from the FUSE spectral archive. This is the largest study to date of white dwarfs where radiative forces are significant, exceeding our earlier work, based mainly on International Ultraviolet Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope data, by a factor 3. Using heavy element blanketed non-local thermodynamic equilibrium stellar atmosphere calculations, we have addressed the heavy element abundance patterns making completely objective measurements of abundance values and their error ranges using a χ2 fitting technique. We are able to establish the broad range of abundances seen in a given temperature range and establish the incidence of stars which appear, in the optical, to be atmospherically devoid of any material other than H. We compare the observed abundances to predictions of radiative levitation calculations, revealing little agreement. We propose that the supply of heavy elements is accreted from external sources rather than being intrinsic to the star. These elements are then retained in the white dwarf atmospheres by radiative levitation, a model that can explain both the diversity of measured abundances for stars of similar temperature and gravity, including cases with apparently pure H envelopes, and the presence of photospheric metals at temperatures where radiative levitation is no longer effective.

  14. The hot white-dwarf companions of HR 1608, HR 8210, and HD 15638

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landsman, Wayne; Simon, Theodore; Bergeron, P.

    1993-01-01

    We have obtained low-dispersion IUE spectra of the late-type stars HD 15638 (F3 V), HR 1608 (=63 Eridani, KO IV), and HR 8210 (A8m). Each of these stars had been detected as a strong EUV source with the Wide Field Camera aboard the ROSAT satellite. The short-wavelength IUE spectrum of each star reveals the presence of a hot white-dwarf companion. We have fit the Lyman-alpha profile and UV continuum of each white dwarf using pure hydrogen models. The excellent fit of the data to the models provides confirmation of the Finley and Koester absolute calibration of the SWP camera of IUE. The UV data alone are insufficient to constrain the model gravity, but an additional constraint is provided by the photometric distance to the late-type primary. The most interesting of the three white dwarfs is the companion to HR 8210 for which our results imply a mass of 1.15 +0.05/-0.15 solar mass. This result is in good agreement with the lower limit on the mass derived from the spectroscopic orbit (greater than 1.1 solar mass), provided that the inclination is close to 90 deg.

  15. Spin-up and mixing in accreting white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Livio, M.; Truran, J.W.

    1987-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. An experimental platform for creating white dwarf photospheres in the laboratory: Preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    We present the current status of the White Dwarf Photosphere Experiment at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. This experiment has evolved into a unique platform for simultaneously measuring emission, absorption, and back-lighter continua spectra of plasmas with white dwarf (WD) photospheric compositions and conditions (Te∼1 eV, ne∼1016-1018e/cm3); our current experiments involve line profile measurements of hydrogen-corresponding to the most common surface composition in white dwarf stars, with future experiments planned for helium, carbon, and oxygen. These profiles will test line broadening theories used in white dwarf model atmospheres to infer the fundamental parameters (e.g., effective temperature and mass) of thousands of WDs. This experiment uses the large amount of x-rays generated from a z-pinch dynamic hohlraum to radiatively drive plasma formation in a gas cell. We reach significantly higher densities than the landmark study of Wiese et al. (1972), thereby putting competing line broadening theories to the test in a regime where their predictions strongly diverge. The simultaneous measurement of emission, absorption, and back-lighter continua in macroscopic plasmas represents a significant advance relative to hydrogen line profile experiments of the past.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  19. All things White Dwarf: The State of Stellar Forensics at the University of Texas and Sandia National Laboratories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winget, Donald

    2011-10-01

    Astronomy has always been considered an observational science, in contrast with other experimental sciences like physics, chemistry, biology, and geology. This is because it has not been possible to perform experiments on the objects we observe. This situation has changed in a way that is transformational. We are now able to make macroscopic bits of star stuff in the lab: plasmas created under conditions that are the same as the plasmas in stars. 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. In this way, astronomy joins her sister sciences in becoming an experimental science as well as an observational one. I will describe how this came about, the technology behind it, and the results of recent laboratory experiments. Most importantly, we will discuss how this will change our understanding of the universe and its contents. This work will shed new light on our recent discoveries involving McDonald Observatory: planets around white dwarf stars, massive carbon/oxygen variable white dwarf stars, and white dwarf-white dwarf binaries -- including one detached double eclipsing system with an orbital period of 12 minutes. We should measure the rate of change of the orbital period in this system within a year and we expect it to be the highest S/N source of gravitational radiation, easily detectable with LISA or similar approaches.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  1. DETECTION OF WHITE DWARF COMPANIONS TO BLUE STRAGGLERS IN THE OPEN CLUSTER NGC 188: DIRECT EVIDENCE FOR RECENT MASS TRANSFER

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-01

    Several possible formation pathways for blue straggler stars have been developed recently, but no one pathway has yet been observationally confirmed for a specific blue straggler. Here we report the first findings from a Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys/Solar Blind Channel far-UV photometric program to search for white dwarf companions to blue straggler stars. We find three hot and young white dwarf companions to blue straggler stars in the 7 Gyr open cluster NGC 188, indicating that mass transfer in these systems ended less than 300 Myr ago. These companions are direct and secure observational evidence that these blue straggler stars were formed through mass transfer in binary stars. Their existence in a well-studied cluster environment allows for observational constraints of both the current binary system and the progenitor binary system, mapping the entire mass transfer history.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccarone, Thomas

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1991-01-01

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

  4. An analytical model of accretion onto white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ospina, N.; Hernanz, M.

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  6. The hinterland: compilation of nearby brown dwarfs and ultracool stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramos, Christopher David

    This work is a compilation and analysis of ultracool dwarfs (UCDs) and brown dwarfs within 25 parsecs. It supplements the work of Stauffer et al. [2010] who updated the reputable and widely relied upon Third Catalog of Nearby Stars [Gliese & Jahreiß 1991] with revised coordinates and cross-matched each object with the 2MASS point source catalog [Cutri et al. 2003]. I began by incorporating newly discovered (post 1991) cool companions to Gliese-Jahreiß stars that had been previously undetectable. I then expanded the compilation to include isolated UCDs and other nearby systems with at least one UCD component. Multiple systems are a panacea for astrophysical problems: by applying Kepler's laws, the model-independent mass of brown dwarfs and low mass stars can be determined and hence serve to constrain theory. This work puts this data into context by exploring the history of brown dwarf theory and reviewing open questions concerning their nature.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Surprising Rapid Collapse of Sirius B from Red Giant to White Dwarf Through Mass Transfer to Sirius a

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yousef, Shahinaz; Ali, Ola

    2013-03-01

    Sirius was observed in antiquity as a red star. In his famous astronomy textbook the Almagest written 140 AD, Ptolemy described the star Sirius as fiery red. He curiously depicted it as one of six red-colored stars. The other five are class M and K stars, such as Arcturus and Betelgeuse. Apparent confirmation in ancient Greek and Roman sources are found and Sirius was also reported red in Europe about 1400 years ago. Sirius must have changed to a white dwarf in the night of Ascension. The star chapter in the Quran started with "by the star as it collapsed (1) your companion have not gone astray nor being misled (2), and in verse 49 which is the rotation period of the companion Sirius B around Sirius A, it is said" He is the Lord of Sirius (49). If Sirius actually was red what could have caused it to change into the brilliant bluish-white star we see today? What the naked eye perceives as a single star is actually a binary star system, consisting of a white main sequence star of spectral type A1V, termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA2, termed Sirius B. The red color indicates that the star seen then was a red giant. It looks that what they have seen in antiquity was Sirius B which was then a red giant and it collapsed to form a white dwarf. Since there is no evidence of a planetary nebula, then the red Sirius paradox can be solved in terms of stellar evolution with mass transfer. Sirius B was the most massive star which evolved to a red giant and filled the Roche lobe. Mass transfer to Sirius A occurred through the Lagrangian point. Sirius A then became more massive while Sirius B lost mass and shrank. Sirius B then collapsed abruptly into a white dwarf. In the case of Algol, Ptolmy observed it as white star but it was red at the time of El sufi. At present it is white. The rate of mass transfer from Sirius B to Sirius A, and from Algol B to A is estimated from observational data of colour change from red to bullish white to be 0

  9. Carbon-Oxygen White Dwarfs Accreting CO-rich Matter. I. A Comparison between Rotating and Nonrotating Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piersanti, Luciano; Gagliardi, Simona; Iben, Icko, Jr.; Tornambé, Amedeo

    2003-02-01

    We investigate the lifting effect of rotation on the thermal evolution of CO white dwarfs accreting CO-rich matter. We find that rotation induces the cooling of the accreting structure so that the delivered gravitational energy causes a greater expansion with respect to the standard nonrotating case. The increase in the surface radius produces a decrease in the surface value of the critical angular velocity and, therefore, the accreting white dwarf becomes gravitationally unbound (Roche instability). This occurrence is due to an increase in the total angular momentum of the accreting white dwarf and depends critically on the amount of specific angular momentum deposited by the accreted matter. If the specific angular momentum of the accreted matter is equal to that of the outer layers of the accreting structure, the Roche instability occurs well before the accreting white dwarf can attain the physical conditions for carbon burning. If the values of both initial angular velocity and accretion rate are small, we find that the accreting white dwarf undergoes a secular instability when its total mass approaches 1.4 Msolar. At this stage, the ratio between the rotational energy and the gravitational binding energy of the white dwarf becomes of the order of 0.1, so that the star must deform by adopting an elliptical shape. In this case, since the angular velocity of the white dwarf is as large as ~1 rad s-1, the anisotropic mass distribution induces the loss of rotational energy and angular momentum via gravitational wave radiation. We find that, independent of the braking efficiency, the white dwarf contracts and achieves the physical conditions suitable for explosive carbon burning at the center so that a Type Ia supernova event is produced.

  10. HST Observations of the Pulsating White Dwarf GD 358

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  11. The pulsar-like white dwarf in AE Aquarii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikhsanov, Nazar R.

    1998-10-01

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

  12. Numerical simulations of the convective flame in white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livne, Eli

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vannah, Sara; Frank, Juhan

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Molecular magnetic dichroism in spectra of white dwarfs.

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-31

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

  15. EVERY INTERACTING DOUBLE WHITE DWARF BINARY MAY MERGE

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.

    2015-05-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, David L.

    2010-07-10

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

  17. Inhomogeneous structure in the chromospheres of dwarf M stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turner, N. J.; Cram, L. E.; Robinson, R. D.

    1991-01-01

    Linear combinations of observed spectra of the H-alpha and Ca-II resonance and IR lines from the chromospheres of a quiet (Gl 1) and an active (Gl 735) dwarf-M star are compared with the corresponding spectra from a star of intermediate activity (Gl 887). It is shown that the intermediate spectra cannot be explained as a simple juxtaposition of the extreme chromospheric states. It is concluded that the range of observed strengths of chromospheric activity indicators in dwarf-M stars is due, at least in part, to changes in the radial structure of the chromospheric heating function and not to changes in the area filling factor.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

  19. Potential Impacts of ASTRO-H on the Studies of Accreting White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukai, Koji; Yuasa, Tadayuki; Harayama, Atsushi; Hayashi, Takayuki; Ishida, Manabu; Long, Knox S.; Terada, Yukikatsu; Tsujimoto, Masahiro; ASTRO-H Team

    2015-01-01

    Interacting binaries in which a white dwarf accretes material from a companion - cataclysmic variables (CVs) in which the mass loss is via Roche-lobe overflow, and symbiotic stars in which the white dwarf captures the wind of a late type giant - are important populations of X-ray sources. Accretion onto the white dwarf surface often creates shocks with temperatures in the 10-50 keV range. If the post-shock region stays optically thin, it produces multi-temperature plasma emission over the medium to hard X-ray band (~0.5-50 keV). This makes them well-matched to the capabilities of the upcoming ASTRO-H mission, which will allow high-resolution spectroscopy in the 0.3-10 keV range with the microcalorimeter instrument, Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS), and simultaneous imaging spectroscopy in the 5-80 keV range with the Hard X-ray Imager (HXI). We will highlight several areas in which ASTRO-H can make unique contributions to the studies of these binaries. For example, X-ray emitting plasma in many of these systems are expected to have such high densities that only the SXS can provide density diagnostics. The prominent Fe K lines will allow dynamical studies of the X-ray emitting plasma for which velocities of order 1,000 km s-2 are expected. Finally, we discuss the potential of ASTRO-H to study the reflection off the white dwarf surface, both via the continuum bump observable with the HXI and the 6.4 keV fluorescent iron line with the SXS. For near Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs, the gravitational redshift of the latter is within reach of the instrumental capability and may provide the best direct measurement of their masses.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ubaldi, Lorenzo

    2014-06-24

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

  1. High-Resolution EUV Spectroscopy of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. a Search for Radial Pulsations in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawaler, Steven

    1991-07-01

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

  3. UV Spectroscopy of a Peculiar White Dwarf Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCully, Curtis

    2012-10-01

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

  4. A Search for Metal Lines in the Spectra of DA White Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G. A.

    1986-01-01

    A theoretical analysis was carried out in order to interpret the ultraviolet spectra of DB white dwarfs obtained earlier with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite. Here the results of the IUE ultraviolet spectroscopy combined with visual data and model atmospheres of DB white dwarfs are reported. In particular, a search for spectra lines due to the element carbon using the ultraviolet was made. In no case is there a positive detection of carbon and from these data, and upper limits for carbon by number relative to helium are derived in the range of C: He 10 to the minus 5 power to 10 to the minus 7 power for the 16 DB stars with ultraviolet spectra in the temperature range 11400 K T sub EFF less than 2300 K. The low carbon abundances found in the atmospheres of the DB stars agree well with the hypothesis that the atmospheric carbon observed in the cooler DQ members of the helium-rich white dwarf sequence is produced by a convective dredging mechanism.

  5. ASYMMETRY AND THE NUCLEOSYNTHETIC SIGNATURE OF NEARLY EDGE-LIT DETONATION IN WHITE DWARF CORES

    SciTech Connect

    Chamulak, David A.; Truran, James W.; Meakin, Casey A.; Seitenzahl, Ivo R.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the leading explosion scenarios for Type Ia supernovae involve the nuclear incineration of a white dwarf star through a detonation wave. Several scenarios have been proposed as to how this detonation may actually occur, but the exact mechanism and environment in which it takes place remain unknown. We explore the effects of an off-center initiated detonation on the spatial distribution of the nucleosynthetic yield products in a toy model-a pre-expanded near Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf. We find that a single-point near edge-lit detonation results in asymmetries in the density and thermal profiles, notably the expansion timescale, throughout the supernova ejecta. We demonstrate that this asymmetry of the thermodynamic trajectories should be common to off-center detonations where a small amount of the star is burned prior to detonation. The sensitivity of the yields on the expansion timescale results in an asymmetric distribution of the elements synthesized as reaction products. We tabulate the shift in the center of mass of the various elements produced in our model supernova and find an odd-even pattern for elements past silicon. Our calculations show that off-center single-point detonations in carbon-oxygen white dwarfs are marked by significant composition asymmetries in their remnants which bear potentially observable signatures in both velocity and coordinate space, including an elemental nickel mass fraction that varies by a factor of 2-3 from one side of the remnant to the other.

  6. Soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars as highly magnetized white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata; Rao, A. R.

    2016-05-01

    We explore the possibility that soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are powered by highly magnetized white dwarfs (B-WDs). We take a sample of SGRs and AXPs and provide the possible parameter space in mass, radius, and surface magnetic field based on their observed properties (period and its derivative) and the assumption that these sources obey the mass-radius relation derived for the B-WDs. The radius and magnetic field of B-WDs are adequate to explain energies in SGRs/AXPs as the rotationally powered energy. In addition, B-WDs also adequately explain the perplexing radio transient GCRT J1745-3009 as a white dwarf pulsar. Note that the radius and magnetic fields of B-WDs are neither extreme (unlike of highly magnetized neutron stars) nor ordinary (unlike of magnetized white dwarfs, yet following the Chandrasekhar's mass-radius relation (C-WDs)). In order to explain SGRs/AXPs, while the highly magnetized neutron stars require an extra, observationally not well established yet, source of energy, the C-WDs predict large ultra-violet luminosity which is observationally constrained from a strict upper limit. Finally, we provide a set of basic differences between the magnetar and B-WD hypotheses for SGRs/AXPs.

  7. An atmospheric analysis of the carbon-rich white dwarf G35 - 26

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thejll, Peter; Shipman, Harry L.; Macdonald, James; Macfarland, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The first detailed atmospheric analysis of the DQ white dwarf G35 - 26 is presented. The analysis is based on published spectra and on helium-rich, homogeneous, blanketed LTE models containing carbon, hydrogen, and small amounts of N, O, and Ca, and on the assumption that G35 - 26 is a single star. The observed spectra are fitted against the model spectra, and T(eff), log(g), and abundances of H, He, C are determined along with upper limits on N, O, and Ca. The mass and zero temperature Hamada-Salpeter (ZTHS) radius, distance, parallax, and tangential velocity are derived. The mass, 1.2-1.33 solar, is the highest yet observed for a single white dwarf if the star is on the ZTHS relation. O + Ne + Mg white dwarf in this mass range are predicted by theory and G35 - 26 may be the first such object discovered. Given an ZTHS radius, the distance is between 33 and 69 pc.

  8. Nonlinear Time Series Analysis of White Dwarf Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, G. A.

    1984-01-01

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

  11. THE DROP DURING LESS THAN 300 DAYS OF A DUSTY WHITE DWARF'S INFRARED LUMINOSITY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-10

    We report Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera photometry of WD J0959–0200, a white dwarf that displays excess infrared radiation from a disk, likely produced by a tidally disrupted planetesimal. We find that in 2010, the fluxes in both 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm decreased by ∼35% in less than 300 days. The drop in the infrared luminosity is likely due to an increase of the inner disk radius from one of two scenarios: (1) a recent planetesimal impact; (2) instability in the circumstellar disk. The current situation is tantalizing; high-sensitivity, high-cadence infrared studies will be a new tool to study the interplay between a disk and its host white dwarf star.

  12. Long-term eclipse timing of white dwarf binaries: an observational hint of a magnetic mechanism at work

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bours, M. C. P.; Marsh, T. R.; Parsons, S. G.; Dhillon, V. S.; Ashley, R. P.; Bento, J. P.; Breedt, E.; Butterley, T.; Caceres, C.; Chote, P.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Hardy, L. K.; Hermes, J. J.; Irawati, P.; Kerry, P.; Kilkenny, D.; Littlefair, S. P.; McAllister, M. J.; Rattanasoon, S.; Sahman, D. I.; Vučković, M.; Wilson, R. W.

    2016-08-01

    We present a long-term programme for timing the eclipses of white dwarfs in close binaries to measure apparent and/or real variations in their orbital periods. Our programme includes 67 close binaries, both detached and semi-detached and with M-dwarfs, K-dwarfs, brown dwarfs or white dwarfs secondaries. In total, we have observed more than 650 white dwarf eclipses. We use this sample to search for orbital period variations and aim to identify the underlying cause of these variations. We find that the probability of observing orbital period variations increases significantly with the observational baseline. In particular, all binaries with baselines exceeding 10 yr, with secondaries of spectral type K2 - M5.5, show variations in the eclipse arrival times that in most cases amount to several minutes. In addition, among those with baselines shorter than 10 yr, binaries with late spectral type (>M6), brown dwarf or white dwarf secondaries appear to show no orbital period variations. This is in agreement with the so-called Applegate mechanism, which proposes that magnetic cycles in the secondary stars can drive variability in the binary orbits. We also present new eclipse times of NN Ser, which are still compatible with the previously published circumbinary planetary system model, although only with the addition of a quadratic term to the ephemeris. Finally, we conclude that we are limited by the relatively short observational baseline for many of the binaries in the eclipse timing programme, and therefore cannot yet draw robust conclusions about the cause of orbital period variations in evolved, white dwarf binaries.

  13. Can brown dwarfs survive on close orbits around convective stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damiani, C.; Díaz, R. F.

    2016-05-01

    Context. The mass range of brown dwarfs extends across the planetary domain to stellar objects. There is a relative paucity of brown dwarfs companions around FGKM-type stars compared to exoplanets for orbital periods of less than a few years, but most of the short-period brown dwarf companions that are fully characterised by transits and radial velocities are found around F-type stars. Aims: We examine the hypothesis that brown dwarf companions could not survive on close orbit around stars with important convective envelopes because the tides and angular momentum loss, the result of magnetic braking, would lead to a rapid orbital decay with the companion being quickly engulfed. Methods: We use a classical Skumanich-type braking law and constant time-lag tidal theory to assess the characteristic timescale for orbital decay for the brown dwarf mass range as a function of the host properties. Results: We find that F-type stars may host massive companions for a significantly longer time than G-type stars for a given orbital period, which may explain the paucity of G-type hosts for brown dwarfs with an orbital period less than five days. On the other hand, we show that the small radius of early M-type stars contributes to orbital decay timescales that are only half those of F-type stars, despite their more efficient tidal dissipation and magnetic braking. For fully convective later type M-dwarfs, orbital decay timescales could be orders of magnitude greater than for F-type stars. Moreover, we find that, for a wide range of values of tidal dissipation efficiency and magnetic braking, it is safe to assume that orbital decay for massive companions can be neglected for orbital periods greater than ten days. Conclusions: For orbital periods greater than ten days, brown dwarf occurrence should largely be unaffected by tidal decay, whatever the mass of the host. On closer orbital periods, the rapid engulfment of massive companions could explain the lack of G and K-type hosts

  14. Evidence for dwarf stars at D of about 100 kiloparsecs near the Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Richstone, Douglas; Flynn, Chris

    1992-04-01

    A method is presented for detecting individual, metal-poor, dwarf stars at distances less than about 150 kpc - a method specifically designed to filter out stars from among the much more numerous faint background field galaxies on the basis of broad-band colors. This technique is applied to two fields at high Galactic latitude, for which there are deep CCD data in four bands ranging from 3600 to 9000 A. The field in Sextans probably contains more than about five dwarf stars with BJ not greater than 25.5. These are consistent with being at a common distance about 100 kpc and lie about 1.7 deg from the newly discovered dwarf galaxy in Sextans whose distance is about 85 +/- 10 kpc. The stars lie near the major axis of the galaxy and are near or beyond the tidal radius. The second field, toward the south Galactic pole, may contain up to about five extra-Galactic stars, but these show no evidence for being at a common distance. Possible applications of this type technique are discussed, and it is shown that even very low surface brightness star clusters or dwarf galaxies may be detected at distances less than about 1 Mpc.

  15. Evidence for dwarf stars at D of about 100 kiloparsecs near the Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gould, Andrew; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Richstone, Douglas; Flynn, Chris

    1992-01-01

    A method is presented for detecting individual, metal-poor, dwarf stars at distances less than about 150 kpc - a method specifically designed to filter out stars from among the much more numerous faint background field galaxies on the basis of broad-band colors. This technique is applied to two fields at high Galactic latitude, for which there are deep CCD data in four bands ranging from 3600 to 9000 A. The field in Sextans probably contains more than about five dwarf stars with BJ not greater than 25.5. These are consistent with being at a common distance about 100 kpc and lie about 1.7 deg from the newly discovered dwarf galaxy in Sextans whose distance is about 85 +/- 10 kpc. The stars lie near the major axis of the galaxy and are near or beyond the tidal radius. The second field, toward the south Galactic pole, may contain up to about five extra-Galactic stars, but these show no evidence for being at a common distance. Possible applications of this type technique are discussed, and it is shown that even very low surface brightness star clusters or dwarf galaxies may be detected at distances less than about 1 Mpc.

  16. Formation of Millisecond Pulsars with Heavy White Dwarf Companions: Extreme Mass Transfer on Subthermal Timescales.

    PubMed

    Tauris; van Den Heuvel EP; Savonije

    2000-02-20

    We have performed detailed numerical calculations of the nonconservative evolution of close X-ray binary systems with intermediate-mass (2.0-6.0 M middle dot in circle) donor stars and a 1.3 M middle dot in circle accreting neutron star. We calculated the thermal response of the donor star to mass loss in order to determine its stability and follow the evolution of the mass transfer. Under the assumption of the "isotropic reemission model," we demonstrate that in many cases it is possible for the binary to prevent a spiral-in and survive a highly super-Eddington mass transfer phase (1star is not too deep. These systems thus provide a new formation channel for binary millisecond pulsars with heavy CO white dwarfs and relatively short orbital periods (3-50 days). However, we conclude that to produce a binary pulsar with a O-Ne-Mg white dwarf or Porb approximately 1 day (e.g., PSR B0655+64) the above scenario does not work, and a spiral-in phase is still considered the most plausible scenario for the formation of such a system. PMID:10655173

  17. Formation of Millisecond Pulsars with Heavy White Dwarf Companions: Extreme Mass Transfer on Subthermal Timescales.

    PubMed

    Tauris; van Den Heuvel EP; Savonije

    2000-02-20

    We have performed detailed numerical calculations of the nonconservative evolution of close X-ray binary systems with intermediate-mass (2.0-6.0 M middle dot in circle) donor stars and a 1.3 M middle dot in circle accreting neutron star. We calculated the thermal response of the donor star to mass loss in order to determine its stability and follow the evolution of the mass transfer. Under the assumption of the "isotropic reemission model," we demonstrate that in many cases it is possible for the binary to prevent a spiral-in and survive a highly super-Eddington mass transfer phase (1star is not too deep. These systems thus provide a new formation channel for binary millisecond pulsars with heavy CO white dwarfs and relatively short orbital periods (3-50 days). However, we conclude that to produce a binary pulsar with a O-Ne-Mg white dwarf or Porb approximately 1 day (e.g., PSR B0655+64) the above scenario does not work, and a spiral-in phase is still considered the most plausible scenario for the formation of such a system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Probing dark matter crests with white dwarfs and IMBHs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Angular Momentum Transport in Double White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  1. M-dwarf binaries as tracers of star and brown dwarf formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marks, Michael; Janson, Markus; Kroupa, Pavel; Leigh, Nathan; Thies, Ingo

    2015-09-01

    The separation distribution for M-dwarf binaries in the AstraLux survey is narrower and peaking at smaller separations than the distribution for solar-type binaries. This is often interpreted to mean that M-dwarfs constitute a continuous transition from brown dwarfs (BDs) to stars. Here, a prediction for the M-dwarf separation distribution is presented, using a dynamical population synthesis (DPS) model in which `star-like' binaries with late-type primaries (≲1.5 M⊙) follow universal initial distribution functions and are dynamically processed in their birth embedded clusters. A separate `BD-like' population has both its own distribution functions for binaries and initial mass function (IMF), which overlaps in mass with the IMF for stars. Combining these two formation modes results in a peak on top of a wider separation distribution for late M-dwarfs consistent with the late AstraLux sample. The DPS separation distribution for early M-dwarfs shows no such peak and is in agreement with the M-dwarfs in Multiples (MinMS) data. We note that the latter survey is potentially in tension with the early AstraLux data. Concluding, the AstraLux and MinMS data are unable to unambiguously distinguish whether or not BDs are a continuous extension of the stellar IMF. Future observational efforts are needed to fully answer this interesting question. The DPS model predicts that binaries outside the sensitivity range of the AstraLux survey remain to be detected. For application to future data, we present a means to observationally measure the overlap of the putative BD-like branch and the stellar branch. We discuss the meaning of universal star formation and distribution functions.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Radio pulsar death lines to SGRs/AXPs and white dwarfs pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, M.; Coelho, J. G.

    2015-12-17

    Recently, an alternative model based on white dwarfs pulsars has been proposed to explain a class of pulsars known as Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGR) and Anomalus X-Ray Pulsars (AXP) [1], usually named as magnetars. In this model, the magnetized white dwarfs can have surface magnetic field B ∼ 10{sup 7} − 10{sup 10} G and rotate very fast with angular frequencies Ω ∼ 1 rad/s, allowing them to produce large electromagnetic (EM) potentials and generate electron-positron pairs. These EM potentials are comparable with the ones of neutron star pulsars with strong magnetic fields and even larger. In this study we consider two possible processes associated with the particle acceleration, both of them are common used to explain radio emission in neutron star pulsars: in the first process the pair production happens near to the star polar caps, i.e. inside of the light cylinder where magnetic field lines are closed; in the second one the creation of pair happens in the outer magnetosphere, i.e. far away of the star surface where magnetic field lines are open [2]. The analysis of the possibility of radio emission were done for 23 SGRs/AXPs of the McGill Online Magnetar Catalog [3] that contains the current information available on these sources. The results of this work show that the model where the particles production occur in the outer magnetosphere emission “o2” is the process compatible with the astronomical observations of absence of radio emission for almost all SGRs/AXPs when these sources are understood as white dwarf pulsars. Our work is a first attempted to find an explanation for the puzzle why for almost all the SGRs/AXPs was expected radio emission, but it was observed in only four of them. These four sources, as it was suggested recently [4], seem to belong to an high magnetic field neutron star pulsar category, different from all the others SGRs/AXPs that our work indicate to belong to a new class of white dwarf pulsars, very fast and magnetized.

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

    PubMed Central

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Testing Common Envelopes on Double White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  6. White dwarf binaries and the gravitational wave foreground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benacquista, Matthew

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdonald, James; Vennes, Stephane

    1991-01-01

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

  10. Chemical stratification in white dwarf atmospheres and envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koester, D.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Blaut, Arkadiusz; Babak, Stanislav; Krolak, Andrzej

    2010-03-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. The New DAB White Dwarf PG 1603+432 and the DAO/DAB Phenomenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vennes, Stéphane; Dupuis, Jean; Chayer, Pierre

    2004-08-01

    The far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectrum of the DA white dwarf PG 1603+432 obtained with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer reveals the presence of helium and carbon in the atmosphere of the star. Our analysis of the FUV continuum and spectral lines, in particular the He II λ1085 and C III λ1175 line profiles, indicates Teff=35,075 K, logg=7.96, He/H=0.01, and C/H=1.4×10-7 we expect high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectroscopy to reveal weak He I λλ4471, 5876 spectral lines. Based on the line-profile analysis, helium appears to be homogeneously distributed in the atmosphere, but the absence of optical helium lines in past observations suggests a lower helium abundance in the optical photosphere relative to the deeper FUV photosphere or a time-variable abundance. PG 1603+432 is only the third DAB white dwarf found to populate the so-called DB gap (30,000-45,000 K), after GD 50 and HS 0209+0832, but this population does not appear to be an extension of the DAO white dwarf sequence toward lower temperatures.

  14. Solar Abundances of Rock Forming Elements, Extreme Oxygen and Hydrogen in a Young Polluted White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.; Koester, D.; Zuckerman, B.; Vican, L.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Smith, N.; Walth, G.; Breedt, E.

    2016-09-01

    The Teff = 20 800 K white dwarf WD 1536+520 is shown to have broadly solar abundances of the major rock forming elements O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, and Fe, together with a strong relative depletion in the volatile elements C and S. In addition to the highest metal abundances observed to date, including log (O/He) =-3.4, the helium-dominated atmosphere has an exceptional hydrogen abundance at log (H/He) =-1.7. Within the uncertainties, the metal-to-metal ratios are consistent with the accretion of an H2O-rich and rocky parent body, an interpretation supported by the anomalously high trace hydrogen. The mixed atmosphere yields unusually short diffusion timescales for a helium atmosphere white dwarf, of no more than a few hundred yr, and equivalent to those in a much cooler, hydrogen-rich star. The overall heavy element abundances of the disrupted parent body deviate modestly from a bulk Earth pattern, and suggest the deposition of some core-like material. The total inferred accretion rate is 4.2 × 109 g s-1, and at least 4 times higher than any white dwarf with a comparable diffusion timescale. Notably, when accretion is exhausted in this system, both metals and hydrogen will become undetectable within roughly 300 Myr, thus supporting a scenario where the trace hydrogen is related to the ongoing accretion of planetary debris.

  15. Accreting white dwarf models for type 1 supernovae. 1: Presupernova evolution and triggering mechanisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nomoto, K.

    1981-01-01

    As a plausible explosion model for a Type I supernova, the evolution of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs accreting helium in binary systems was investigated from the onset of accretion up to the point at which a thermonuclear explosion occurs. The relationship between the conditions in the binary system and the triggering mechanism for the supernova explosion is discussed, especially for the cases with relatively slow accretion rate. It is found that the growth of a helium zone on the carbon-oxygen core leads to a supernova explosion which is triggered either by the off-center helium detonation for slow and intermediate accretion rates or by the carbon deflagration for slow and rapid accretion rates. Both helium detonation and carbon deflagration are possible for the case of slow accretion, since in this case the initial mass of the white dwarf is an important parameter for determining the mode of ignition. Finally, various modes of building up the helium zone on the white dwarf, namely, direct transfer of helium from the companion star and the various types and strength of the hydrogen shell flashes are discussed in some detail.

  16. OBSERVATIONS AND ORBITAL ANALYSIS OF THE GIANT WHITE DWARF BINARY SYSTEM HR 5692

    SciTech Connect

    Stefanik, Robert P.; Torres, Guillermo; Latham, David W.; Landsman, Wayne; Craig, Nathaniel; Murrett, James

    2011-05-15

    We report spectroscopic observations of the red giant star HR 5692, previously known to be a binary system both from other spectroscopic work and from deviations in the astrometric motion detected by the Hipparcos satellite. Earlier International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) observations had shown the presence of a hot white dwarf companion to the giant primary. We have combined our radial velocity observations with other existing measurements and with the Hipparcos intermediate astrometric data to determine a complete astrometric-spectroscopic orbital solution, providing the inclination angle for the first time. We also determine an improved parallax for the system of 10.12 {+-} 0.67 mas. We derive the physical properties of the primary, and with an estimate of its mass from stellar evolution models (1.84 {+-} 0.40 M{sub sun}), we infer the mass of the white dwarf companion to be M{sub WD} = 0.59 {+-} 0.12 M{sub sun}. An analysis of an IUE white dwarf spectrum, using our parallax, yields T{sub eff} = 30, 400 {+-} 780 K, log g = 8.25 {+-} 0.15, and a mass M{sub WD} = 0.79 {+-} 0.09 M{sub sun}, in marginal agreement with the dynamical mass.

  17. Metal Accretion onto White Dwarfs. I. The Approximate Approach Based on Estimates of Diffusion Timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Dufour, P.; Tremblay, P.-E.

    2015-06-01

    The accretion-diffusion picture is the model par excellence for describing the presence of planetary debris polluting the atmospheres of relatively cool white dwarfs. Some important insights into the process may be derived using an approximate approach which combines static stellar models with estimates of diffusion timescales at the base of the outer convection zone or, in its absence, at the photosphere. Until recently, and to our knowledge, values of diffusion timescales in white dwarfs have all been obtained on the basis of the same physics as that developed initially by Paquette et al., including their diffusion coefficients and thermal diffusion coefficients. In view of the recent exciting discoveries of a plethora of metals (including some never seen before) polluting the atmospheres of an increasing number of cool white dwarfs, we felt that a new look at the estimates of settling timescales would be worthwhile. We thus provide improved estimates of diffusion timescales for all 27 elements from Li to Cu in the periodic table in a wide range of the surface gravity-effective temperature domain and for both DA and non-DA stars.

  18. New white dwarfs for the stellar initial mass-final mass relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, Paul D.; Baxter, Richard

    2010-11-01

    We present the preliminary results of a survey of the open clusters NGC3532 and NGC2287 for new white dwarf members which can help improve understanding of the form of the upper end of the stellar initial mass-final mass relation. We identify four objects with cooling times, distances and proper motions consistent with membership of these clusters. We find that despite a range in age of ~100 Myrs the masses of the four heaviest white dwarfs in NGC3532 span the narrow mass interval MWD~0.9-1.0Msolar suggesting that the initial mass-final mass relation is relatively flatter over 4.5Msolar<~Minit<~6.5Msolar than at immediately lower masses. Additionally, we have unearthed WD J0646-203 which is possibly the most massive cluster white dwarf identified to date. With MWD~1.1Msolar it seems likely to be composed of ONe and has a cooling time consistent with it having evolved from a single star.

  19. New Insights on Pulsating White Dwarfs from 3D Radiation-Hydrodynamical Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Fontaine, Gilles; Ludwig, Hans-Günter

    2015-08-01

    We have recently computed a grid of 3D radiation-hydrodynamical simulations for the atmosphere of 70 pure-hydrogen DA white dwarfs in the range 7.0 < log g < 9.0. This includes the full ZZ Ceti instability strip where DA white dwarfs are pulsating, by far the most common type of degenerate pulsators. We have significantly improved the theoretical framework to study these objects by removing the free parameters of 1D convection, which were previously a major modeling hurdle. We will compare our new models with the observed sample of ZZ Ceti stars and highlight the improved derived properties of these objects. In particular, the new spectroscopically determined 3D atmospheric parameters allow for an improved definition of instability strip edges. We have also made new predictions for the size of convection zones, which significantly impact the position where the pulsations are driven, and the region of the HR diagram where white dwarfs are expected to pulsate. Finally, we will present new results from non-adiabatic pulsation calculations.

  20. Whole Earth Telescope observations of V471 Tauri - The nature of the white dwarf variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clemens, J. C.; Nather, R. E.; Winget, D. E.; Robinson, E. L.; Wood, M. A.; Claver, C. F.; Provencal, J.; Kleinman, S. J.; Bradley, P. A.; Frueh, M. L.

    1992-01-01

    Time-series photometric observations of the binary star V471 Tauri were conducted using the Whole Earth Telescope observing network. The purpose was to determine the mechanism responsible for causing the 555 and 277 s periodic luminosity variations exhibited by the white dwarf in this binary. Previous observers have proposed that either g-mode pulsations or rotation of an accreting magnetic white dwarf could cause the variations, but were unable to decide which was the correct model. The present observations have answered this question. Learning the cause of the white dwarf variations has been possible because of the discovery of a periodic signal at 562 s in the Johnson U-band flux of the binary. By identifying this signal as reprocessed radiation and using its phase to infer the phase of the shorter wavelength radiation which produces it, made it possible to compare the phase of the 555 s U-band variations to the phase of the X-ray variations. It was found that U-band maximum coincides with X-ray minimum. From this result it was concluded that the magnetic rotator model accurately describes the variations observed, but that models involving g-mode pulsations do not.

  1. A study of white dwarf radiative accretion shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashed, Hussain Yousef

    1992-01-01

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

  2. Star Formation History of the Fornax Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Pino, A.; Aparicio, A.; Gallart, C.; Hidalgo, S.

    2011-07-01

    We present color-magnitude diagrams (CMD) reaching the oldest main sequence turn offs for three fields in the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy, obtained with FORS1 at the VLT. One of them is situated at the center of the galaxy while the other two are located at a distance of 10' form the center. We determine the full star formation history (SFH) of the central field, extending to the first star formation events.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-11-01

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

  4. Creating and measuring white dwarf photospheres in a terrestrial laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcon, Ross Edward

    2014-08-01

    As the ultimate fate of nearly all stars, including our Sun, white dwarfs (WDs) hold rich and informative histories in their observable light. To determine a fundamental parameter of WDs, mass, we perform the first measurement of the average gravitational redshift of an ensemble of WDs. We find a larger mean mass than that determined from the primary and expansive technique known as the spectroscopic method. The potential inaccuracy of this method has broad astrophysical implications, including for our understanding of Type 1a supernova progenitors and for constraining the age of the Universe. This motivates us to investigate the WD atmosphere models used with the spectroscopic method, particularly the input theoretical line profiles, by developing a new experimental platform to create plasmas at WD photospheric conditions (Te~1 eV, ne~1017 cm-3). Instead of observing WD spectra to infer the plasma conditions at the surface of the star, we set the conditions and measure the emergent spectra in the laboratory. X-rays from a z-pinch dynamic hohlraum generated at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories irradiate a gas cell to initiate formation of a large (120x20x10 mm or 24 cm3) plasma. We observe multiple Balmer lines from our plasma in emission and in absorption simultaneously along relatively long (~120 mm) lines of sight perpendicular to the heating radiation. Using a large, radiation-driven plasma aides us to achieve homogeneity along our observed lines of sight. With time-resolved spectroscopy we measure lines at a range of electron densities that spans an order of magnitude, and we do this within one pulsed power shot experiment. Observing our plasma in absorption not only provides the signal-to-noise to measure relative line shapes, it allows us to measure relative line strengths because the lines share the same lower level population. This constrains the theoretical reduction factors used to describe ionization po