WorldWideScience

Sample records for accreting white dwarfs

  1. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    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

  2. Dissecting accretion and outflows in accreting white dwarf binaries

    de Martino, D; Balman, S; Bernardini, F; Bianchini, A; Bode, M; Bonnet-Bidaud, J -M; Falanga, M; Greiner, J; Groot, P; Hernanz, M; Israel, G; Jose, J; Motch, C; Mouchet, M; Norton, A J; Nucita, A; Orio, M; Osborne, J; Ramsay, G; Rodriguez-Gil, P; Scaringi, S; Schwope, A; Traulsen, I; Tamburini, F

    2015-01-01

    This is a White Paper in support of the mission concept of the Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT), proposed as a medium-sized ESA mission. We discuss the potential of LOFT for the study of accreting white dwarfs. For a summary, we refer to the paper.

  3. Accretion on to Magnetic White Dwarfs

    Wickramasinghe Dayal

    2014-01-01

    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 for blobby accretion in the generally lower field and disced IPs.

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

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

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

    Nomoto, Ken' ichi

    1986-01-01

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

  6. Seismology of Rapidly Rotating Accreting White Dwarfs

    Townsley, Dean M; Bildsten, Lars

    2016-01-01

    A number of White Dwarfs (WDs) in cataclysmic binaries have shown brightness variations consistent with non-radial oscillations as observed in isolated WDs. A few objects have been well-characterized with photometric campaigns in the hopes of gleaning information about the mass, spin, and possibly internal structural characteristics. The novel aspect of this work is the possiblity to measure or constrain the interior structure and spin rate of WDs which have spent gigayears accreting material from their companion, undergoing thousands of nova outbursts in the process. In addition, variations in the surface temperature affect the site of mode driving, and provide unique and challenging tests for mode driving theories previously applied to isolated WD's. Having undergone long-term accretion, these WDs are expected to have been spun up. Spin periods in the range 60-100 seconds have been measured by other means for two objects, GW Lib and V455 And. Compared to typical mode frequencies, the spin frequency may be s...

  7. Active states and structure transformations in accreting white dwarfs

    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.

  8. Oxygen neutronization in accreting white dwarfs

    Bravo Guil, Eduardo; Isern Vilaboy, Jordi; Labay, Javier; Canal Masgoret, Ramon

    1983-01-01

    Solid carbon-oxygen white dwarf cores have been shown to be likely initial configurations for collapse to neutron star densities. Solidification seems to entail carbon/oxygen separation, with oxygen settling at the star's center and carbon being confined to more external, lower-density layers. Electron captures on 16O are then the triggering mechanism for collapse. The authors elucidate the outcome of the complete reaction network started by those captures and derive simple expressions for ac...

  9. An analytical model of accretion onto white dwarfs

    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.

  10. Progenitors of the Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs

    Kwiatkowski, Damian

    2015-01-01

    Recent calculations of accretion-induced collapse of an oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf into a neutron star [Piro & Thompson 2014] allow for a potentially detectable transient electromagnetic signal. Motivated by these results, I present theoretical rates and physical properties of binary stars that can produce accretion-induced collapse. The rates are presented for various types of host galaxies (e.g. old ellipticals versus spirals) and are differentiated by the donor star type (e.g. large giant star versus compact helium-rich donor). Results presented in this thesis may help to guide near-future electromagnetic transient search campaigns to find likely candidates for accretion-induced collapse events. My predictions are based on binary evolution calculations that include the most recent updates on mass accretion and secular mass growth of white dwarfs. I find that the most likely systems that undergo accretion-induced collapse consist of an ONeMg white dwarf with a Hertzsprung gap star or a red giant ...

  11. Turbulent Mixing on Helium-Accreting White Dwarfs

    Piro, Anthony L

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. GW Librae: A unique laboratory for pulsations in an accreting white dwarf

    Toloza, O; 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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 May~2013, we obtained new HST/COS ultraviolet observations that displayed unexpected behaviour: besides showing variability at ~275s, which is close to the post-outburst pulsations detected with HST in 2010 and 2011, the white dwarf exhi...

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

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Effects of rotation on the helium burning shell source in accreting white dwarfs

    Yoon, S.-C.; Langer, N.; Scheithauer, S.

    2004-01-01

    We investigate the effects of rotation on the behavior of the helium burning shell source in accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, in the context of the single degenerate Chandrasekhar mass progenitor scenario for Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We model the evolution of helium accreting white dwarfs of initially 1 Msun, assuming four different constant accretion rates (2, 3, 5 and 10 times10^{-7} Msun/yr). In a one-dimensional approximation, we compute the mass accretion and subsequent nuclear ...

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

    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.

  17. Stochastic accretion of planetesimals onto white dwarfs: constraints on the mass distribution of accreted material from atmospheric pollution

    Wyatt, M C; Pringle, J E; Bonsor, A

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores how the stochastic accretion of planetesimals onto white dwarfs would be manifested in observations of their atmospheric pollution. Archival observations of pollution levels for unbiased samples of DA and non-DA white dwarfs are used to derive the distribution of accretion rates, confirming that rates become systematically lower as sinking time is decreased, with no discernable dependence on cooling age. The accretion rates expected from planetesimals that are all the same mass (ie, a mono-mass distribution) are explored both analytically and using a Monte Carlo model, quantifying how measured accretion rates inevitably depend on sinking time, since different sinking times probe different times since the last accretion event. However, that dependence is so dramatic that a mono-mass distribution can be excluded. Consideration of accretion from a broad distribution of planetesimal masses uncovers an important conceptual difference: accretion is continuous (rather than stochastic) for planete...

  18. Evaporation and Accretion of Extrasolar Comets Following White Dwarf Kicks

    Stone, Nicholas; Loeb, Abraham

    2014-01-01

    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 a debris disk temporarily visible around newborn white dwarfs; examples of such disks may already have been seen in the Helix Nebula, and around several other young WDs. Future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope will distinguish this hypothesis from alternatives such as a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt analogue. If interpreted as indeed being cometary in origin, the observation that >15% of young WDs possess such disks provides indirect evidence that low mass gas giants (thought necessary to produce an Oort cloud) are common in the out...

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

    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.

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

    Busschaert, C; Michaut, C; Bonnet-Bidaud, J -M; Mouchet, M

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic cataclysmic variables are close binary systems containing a strongly magnetized white dwarf that accretes matter coming from an M-dwarf companion. High-energy radiation coming from those objects is emitted from the accretion column close to the white dwarf photosphere at the impact region. Its properties depend on the characteristics of the white dwarf and an accurate accretion column model allows the properties of the binary system to be inferred, such as the white dwarf mass, its magnetic field, and the accretion rate. We study the temporal and spectral behaviour of the accretion region and use the tools we developed to accurately connect the simulation results to the X-ray and optical astronomical observations. The radiation hydrodynamics code Hades was adapted to simulate this specific accretion phenomena. Classical approaches were used to model the radiative losses of the two main radiative processes: bremsstrahlung and cyclotron. The oscillation frequencies and amplitudes in the X-ray and optic...

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Helium accreting CO white dwarfs with rotation: helium novae instead of double detonation

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

    2004-01-01

    We present evolutionary models of helium accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarfs in which we include the effects of the spin-up of the accreting star induced by angular momentum accretion, rotationally induced chemical mixing and rotational energy dissipation. Initial masses of 0.6 Msun and 0.8 Msun and constant accretion rates of a few times 10^{-8} Msun/yr of helium rich matter have been considered, which is typical for the sub-Chandrasekhar mass progenitor scenario for Type Ia supernovae. It ...

  3. Accretion of a Terrestrial-Like Minor Planet by a White Dwarf

    Melis, Carl; Dufour, P; Zuckerman, B; Burgasser, Adam J; Bergeron, P; Bochanski, J; Simcoe, R

    2011-01-01

    We present optical and infrared characterization of the polluted DAZ white dwarf GALEX J193156.8+011745. Imaging and spectroscopy from the ultraviolet to the thermal infrared indicates that the white dwarf hosts excess infrared emission consistent with the presence of an orbiting dusty debris disk. In addition to the five elements previously identified, our optical echelle spectroscopy reveals chromium and manganese and enables restrictive upper limits on several other elements. Synthesis of all detections and upper limits suggests that the white dwarf has accreted a differentiated parent body. We compare the inferred bulk elemental composition of the accreted parent body to expectations for the bulk composition of an Earth-like planet stripped of its crust and mantle and find relatively good agreement. At least two processes could be important in shaping the final bulk elemental composition of rocky bodies during the late phases of stellar evolution: irradiation and interaction with the dense stellar wind.

  4. Evolution of accreting white dwarfs; some of them continue to grow

    Newsham, G; Timmes, F

    2013-01-01

    Novae are cataclysmic variable binary systems in which a white dwarf primary is accreting material from a low mass companion. The importance of this accretion takes on added significance if the WD can increase its mass to reach the Chandrasekhar limit thus exploding as a Type Ia supernova. In this study we accrete material of Solar composition onto carbon-oxygen white dwarfs of 0.70, 1.00 and 1.35 Msun with accretion rates from 1.6e-10 to 1.6e-6 Msun per yr. We have utilized the MESA stellar evolution code for our modeling and evolve them for many nova cycles or, in some cases, evolution to a red giant stage. Differing behaviors occur as a function of both the WD mass and the accretion rate. For the lower WD masses, the models undergo recurrent hydrogen flashes at low accretion rates; for higher accretion rates, steady-burning of hydrogen occurs and eventually gives way to recurrent hydrogen flashes. At the highest accretion rates, these models go through a steady-burning phase but eventually transition into ...

  5. Scars of Intense Accretion Episodes at Metal-Rich White Dwarfs

    Farihi, J; Wyatt, M A; Girven, J; Pringle, J E; King, A R

    2012-01-01

    A re-evaluation of time-averaged accretion rates at DBZ-type white dwarfs points to historical, time-averaged rates significantly higher than the currently observed episodes at their DAZ counterparts. The difference between the ongoing, instantaneous accretion rates witnessed at DAZ white dwarfs, which often exceed 1e8 g/s, and those inferred over the past 1e5-1e6 yr for the DBZ stars can be a few orders of magnitude, and therefore must result from high-rate episodes of tens to hundreds of years so they remain undetected to date. This paper explores the likelihood that such brief, intense accretion episodes of gas-phase material can account for existing data. For reasonable assumptions about the circumstellar gas, accretion rates approaching or exceeding 1e15 g/s are possible, similar to rates observed in quiescent cataclysmic variables, and potentially detectable with future x-ray missions or wide-field monitoring facilities. Gaseous debris that is prone to such rapid accretion may be abundant immediately fo...

  6. Flickering of accreting white dwarfs: the remarkable amplitude - flux relation and disc viscocity

    Zamanov, R K; Latev, G; Sokoloski, J L; Stoyanov, K A; Genkov, V; Tsvetkova, S V; Tomov, T; Antov, A; Bode, M F

    2015-01-01

    We analyze optical photometric data of short term variability (flickering) of accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables (KR Aur, MV Lyr, V794 Aql, TT Ari, V425 Cas), recurrent novae (RS Oph and T CrB) and jet-ejecting symbiotic stars (CH Cyg and MWC 560). We find that the amplitude-flux relationship is visible over four orders of magnitude, in the range of fluxes from $10^{29}$ to $10^{33}$ erg s$^{-1}$ \\AA$^{-1}$, as a "statistically perfect" correlation with correlation coefficient 0.96 and p-value $ \\sim 10^{-28}$. In the above range, the amplitude of variability for any of our 9 objects is proportional to the flux level with (almost) one and the same factor of proportionality for all 9 accreting white dwarfs with $\\Delta F = 0.36 (\\pm 0.05) F_{av}$, $\\sigma_{rms} = 0.086(\\pm 0.011) F_{av}$, and $\\sigma_{rms} / \\Delta F = 0.24 \\pm 0.02$. Over all, our results indicate that the viscosity in the accretion discs is practically the same for all 9 objects in our sample, in the mass accretion rate range $2...

  7. Flickering of accreting white dwarfs: the remarkable amplitude-flux relation and disc viscosity

    Zamanov, R. K.; Boeva, S.; Latev, G.; Sokoloski, J. L.; Stoyanov, K. A.; Genkov, V.; Tsvetkova, S. V.; Tomov, T.; Antov, A.; Bode, M. F.

    2016-03-01

    We analyse optical photometric data of short term variability (flickering) of accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables (KR Aur, MV Lyr, V794 Aql, TT Ari, V425 Cas), recurrent novae (RS Oph and T CrB) and jet-ejecting symbiotic stars (CH Cyg and MWC 560). We find that the amplitude-flux relationship is visible over four orders of magnitude, in the range of fluxes from 1029 to 1033 erg s-1 Å-1, as a `statistically perfect correlation with correlation coefficient 0.96 and p-value ˜10-28. In the above range, the amplitude of variability for any of our 9 objects is proportional to the flux level with (almost) one and the same factor of proportionality for all nine accreting white dwarfs with ΔF = 0.36(±0.05)Fav, σrms = 0.086(±0.011)Fav, and σrms/ΔF = 0.24 ± 0.02. Overall, our results indicate that the viscosity in the accretion discs is practically the same for all nine objects in our sample, in the mass accretion rate range 2 × 10-11 - 2 × 10-7 M⊙ yr-1.

  8. Effects of a new triple-$\\alpha$ reaction rate on the helium ignition of accreting white dwarfs

    Saruwatari, Motoaki; Hashimoto, Masa-aki

    2010-01-01

    Effects of a new triple-alpha reaction rate on the ignition of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs accreting helium in a binary systems have been investigated. The ignition points determine the properties of a thermonuclear explosion of a Type Ia supernova. We examine the cases of different accretion rates of helium and different initial masses of the white dwarf, which was studied in detail by Nomoto. We find that for all cases from slow to intermediate accretion rates, nuclear burnings are ignited a...

  9. Eclipse mapping of the accreting magnetic white dwarf in DP Leonis with HST

    Stockman, H. S.; Schmidt, Gary D.; Liebert, James; Holberg, J. B.

    1994-01-01

    We present time-resolved ultraviolet spectrophotometry of the AM Her system DP Leo (E1114+182), obtained with the Faint Object Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in 1991 October. During this period, the binary was in a low-activity state. Complementary optical spectrophotometry and spectopolarimetry were obtained in 1991 October and December, as well as in 1992 April when the object had entered a high-accretion state. The HST spectrophotometry reveals two UV-emitting components-a hot 'spot' (T approximately 50,000 K, very approximately) near the magnetic pole into which most material is accreted, and the white dwarf photosphere (T approximately 16,000 K), which dominates when the spot is not in view. Both components appear as rapid and gradual components in the ingress and egress of secondary eclipse, the latter indicating a normal white dwarf radius of 0.8 x 10(exp 9) cm. The fractional area of the spot (f approximately 0.006) implied by the eclipse data is consistent with the observed UV flux and a minimum distance of 380 pc is similar to those found in other AM Her systems. The nearly identical eclipse light curves from the HST and earlier optical observations imply that the UV-emitting reprocessing area is not more extended than the cyclotron source of optical radiation in the accretion funnel. The timing of the onset of the bright phase indicated that the spot leads the secondary in orbital azimuth by approximately 3 deg.

  10. Accretion-induced variability links young stellar objects, white dwarfs, and black holes.

    Scaringi, Simone; Maccarone, Thomas J; Körding, Elmar; Knigge, Christian; Vaughan, Simon; Marsh, Thomas R; Aranzana, Ester; Dhillon, Vikram S; Barros, Susana C C

    2015-10-01

    The central engines of disc-accreting stellar-mass black holes appear to be scaled down versions of the supermassive black holes that power active galactic nuclei. However, if the physics of accretion is universal, it should also be possible to extend this scaling to other types of accreting systems, irrespective of accretor mass, size, or type. We examine new observations, obtained with Kepler/K2 and ULTRACAM, regarding accreting white dwarfs and young stellar objects. Every object in the sample displays the same linear correlation between the brightness of the source and its amplitude of variability (rms-flux relation) and obeys the same quantitative scaling relation as stellar-mass black holes and active galactic nuclei. We also show that the most important parameter in this scaling relation is the physical size of the accreting object. This establishes the universality of accretion physics from proto-stars still in the star-forming process to the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. PMID:26601307

  11. Accretion-induced variability links young stellar objects, white dwarfs, and black holes

    Scaringi, S; Koerding, E; Knigge, C; Vaughan, S; Marsh, T R; Aranzana, E; Dhillon, V; Barros, S C C

    2015-01-01

    The central engines of disc-accreting stellar-mass black holes appear to be scaled down versions of the supermassive black holes that power active galactic nuclei. However, if the physics of accretion is universal, it should also be possible to extend this scaling to other types of accreting systems, irrespective of accretor mass, size, or type. We examine new observations, obtained with Kepler/K2 and ULTRACAM, regarding accreting white dwarfs and young stellar objects. Every object in the sample displays the same linear correlation between the brightness of the source and its amplitude of variability (rms-flux relation) and obeys the same quantitative scaling relation as stellar-mass black holes and active galactic nuclei. We also show that the most important parameter in this scaling relation is the physical size of the accreting object. This establishes the universality of accretion physics from proto-stars still in the star-forming process to the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies.

  12. The White Dwarf Mass and the Accretion Rate of Recurrent Novae: An X-ray Perspective

    Mukai, Koji; Sokoloski, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Thomas; Luna, Gerardo J. M.

    2011-01-01

    We present recent results of quiescent X-ray observations of recurrent novae (RNe) and related objects. Several RNe are luminous hard X-ray sources in quiescence, consistent with accretion onto a near Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. Detection of similar hard X-ray emissions in old novae and other cataclysmic variables may lead to identification of additional RN candidates. On the other hand, other RNe are found to be comparatively hard X-ray faint. We present several scenarios that may explain this dichotomy, which should be explored further.

  13. What Can the Accretion Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs Really Explain?

    Fryer, C L; Herant, M; Colgate, S A

    1999-01-01

    The accretion induced collapse (AIC) of a white dwarf into a neutron star has been invoked to explain gamma-ray bursts, Type Ia supernovae, and a number of problematic neutron star populations and specific binary systems. The ejecta from this collapse has also been claimed as a source of r-process nucleosynthesis. So far, most AIC studies have focussed on determining the event rates from binary evolution models and less attention has been directed toward understanding the collapse itself. However, the collapse of a white dwarf into a neutron star is followed by the ejection of rare neutron-rich isotopes. The observed abundance of these chemical elements may set a more reliable limit on the rate at which AICs have taken place over the history of the galaxy. In this paper, we present a thorough study of the collapse of a massive white dwarf in 1- and 2-dimensions and determine the amount and composition of the ejected material. We discuss the importance of the input physics (equation of state, neutrino transpor...

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

    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.

  15. Axisymmetric general relativistic simulations of the accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs

    Abdikamalov, E. B.; Ott, C. D.; Rezzolla, L.; Dessart, L.; Dimmelmeier, H.; Marek, A.; Janka, H.-T.

    2010-02-01

    The accretion-induced collapse (AIC) of a white dwarf may lead to the formation of a protoneutron star and a collapse-driven supernova explosion. This process represents a path alternative to thermonuclear disruption of accreting white dwarfs in type Ia supernovae. In the AIC scenario, the supernova explosion energy is expected to be small and the resulting transient short-lived, making it hard to detect by electromagnetic means alone. Neutrino and gravitational-wave (GW) observations may provide crucial information necessary to reveal a potential AIC. Motivated by the need for systematic predictions of the GW signature of AIC, we present results from an extensive set of general-relativistic AIC simulations using a microphysical finite-temperature equation of state and an approximate treatment of deleptonization during collapse. Investigating a set of 114 progenitor models in axisymmetric rotational equilibrium, with a wide range of rotational configurations, temperatures and central densities, and resulting white dwarf masses, we extend previous Newtonian studies and find that the GW signal has a generic shape akin to what is known as a “type III” signal in the literature. Despite this reduction to a single type of waveform, we show that the emitted GWs carry information that can be used to constrain the progenitor and the postbounce rotation. We discuss the detectability of the emitted GWs, showing that the signal-to-noise ratio for current or next-generation interferometer detectors could be high enough to detect such events in our Galaxy. Furthermore, we contrast the GW signals of AIC and rotating massive star iron core collapse and find that they can be distinguished, but only if the distance to the source is known and a detailed reconstruction of the GW time series from detector data is possible. Some of our AIC models form massive quasi-Keplerian accretion disks after bounce. The disk mass is very sensitive to progenitor mass and angular momentum

  16. Angular momentum exchange in white dwarf binaries accreting through direct impact

    We examine the exchange of angular momentum between the component spins and the orbit in semi-detached double white dwarf binaries undergoing mass transfer through direct impact of the transfer stream. We approximate the stream as a series of discrete massive particles ejected in the ballistic limit at the inner Lagrangian point of the donor toward the accretor. This work improves upon similar earlier studies in a number of ways. First, we self-consistently calculate the total angular momentum of the orbit at all times. This includes changes in the orbital angular momentum during the ballistic trajectory of the ejected mass, as well as changes during the ejection/accretion due to the radial component of the particle's velocity. Second, we calculate the particle's ballistic trajectory for each system, which allows us to determine the precise position and velocity of the particle upon accretion. We can then include specific information about the radius of the accretor as well as the angle of impact. Finally, we ensure that the total angular momentum is conserved, which requires the donor star spin to vary self-consistently. With these improvements, we calculate the angular momentum change of the orbit and each binary component across the entire parameter space of direct impact double white dwarf binary systems. We find a significant decrease in the amount of angular momentum removed from the orbit during mass transfer, as well as cases where this process increases the angular momentum of the orbit at the expense of the spin angular momentum of the donor. We conclude that, unlike earlier claims in the literature, mass transfer through direct impact need not destabilize the binary and that the quantity and sign of the orbital angular momentum transfer depends on the binary properties, particularly the masses of the double white dwarf binary component stars. This stabilization may significantly impact the population synthesis calculations of the expected

  17. Accretion and diffusion in the DAZ white dwarf GALEX J1931+0117

    Vennes, Stephane; Nemeth, Peter

    2010-01-01

    We present an analysis of high-dispersion and high signal-to-noise ratio spectra of the DAZ white dwarf GALEX J1931+0117. The spectra obtained with the VLT-Kueyen/UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph show several well-resolved Si II spectral lines enabling a study of pressure effects on line profiles. We observed large Stark shifts in silicon lines in agreement with laboratory measurements. A model atmosphere analysis shows that the magnesium, silicon and iron abundances exceed solar abundances, while the oxygen and calcium abundances are below solar. Also, we compared the observed line profiles to synthetic spectra computed with variable accretion rates and vertical abundance distributions assuming diffusion steady-state. The inferred accretion rates vary from dM/dt=2x10^6 for calcium to 2x10^9 g/s for oxygen and indicate that the accretion flow is dominated by oxygen, silicon and iron while being deficient in carbon, magnesium and calcium. The lack of radial velocity variations between two measurement epochs sugg...

  18. Population synthesis of accreting white dwarfs: II. X-ray and UV emission

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Yungelson, L R; Gilfanov, M; Han, Zhanwen

    2015-01-01

    Accreting white dwarfs (WDs) with non-degenerate companions are expected to emit in soft X-rays and the UV, if accreted H-rich material burns stably. They are an important component of the unresolved emission of elliptical galaxies, and their combined ionizing luminosity may significantly influence the optical line emission from warm ISM. In an earlier paper we modeled populations of accreting WDs, first generating WD with main-sequence, Hertzsprung gap and red giant companions with the population synthesis code \\textsc{BSE}, and then following their evolution with a grid of evolutionary tracks computed with \\textsc{MESA}. Now we use these results to estimate the soft X-ray (0.3-0.7keV), H- and He II-ionizing luminosities of nuclear burning WDs and the number of super-soft X-ray sources for galaxies with different star formation histories. For the starburst case, these quantities peak at $\\sim 1$ Gyr and decline by $\\sim 1-3$ orders of magnitude by the age of 10 Gyr. For stellar ages of $\\sim$~10 Gyr, predict...

  19. Magnetically-driven explosions of rapidly-rotating white dwarfs following Accretion-Induced Collapse

    Dessart, Luc; Livne, Eli; Ott, Christian

    2007-01-01

    We present 2D multi-group flux-limited diffusion magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations of the Accretion-Induced Collapse (AIC) of a rapidly-rotating white dwarf. We focus on the dynamical role of MHD processes after the formation of a millisecond-period protoneutron star. We find that including magnetic fields and stresses can lead to a powerful explosion with an energy of a few Bethe, rather than a weak one of at most 0.1 Bethe, with an associated ejecta mass of ~0.1Msun, instead of a few 0.001Msun. The core is spun down by ~30% within 500ms after bounce, and the rotational energy extracted from the core is channeled into magnetic energy that generates a strong magnetically-driven wind, rather than a weak neutrino-driven wind. Baryon loading of the ejecta, while this wind prevails, precludes it from becoming relativistic. This suggests that a GRB is not expected to emerge from such AICs during the early protoneutron star phase, except in the unlikely event that the massive white dwarf has sufficient mass to...

  20. The Stability of Double White Dwarf Binaries Undergoing Direct Impact Accretion

    Motl, P M; Tohline, J E; De Souza, M C R; Motl, Patrick M.; Frank, Juhan; Tohline, Joel E.; Souza, Mario C. R. D'

    2007-01-01

    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 initially 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, in our baseline simulation 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 ...

  1. The post-outburst pulsations of the accreting white dwarf in the cataclysmic variable GW Librae

    Chote, P

    2016-01-01

    We present new time-series photometry of the accreting pulsating white dwarf system GW Librae obtained in 2012 and 2013 at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory in New Zealand. Our 2012 data show the return of a $\\sim$19 minute periodicity that was previously detected in 2008. This pulsation mode was a dominant feature of our quality May 2012 data set, which consisted of six contiguous nights; a detailed analysis indicated a degree of frequency variability. We show by comparison with the previously identified pulsation modes that this periodicity is best explained as a new mode, and that the quasi-stability of the periods appears to be a general feature of the pulsations in these systems. We also find a previously unreported 3-hour modulation period, which we believe to be related to the known two and four hour periods of so far unknown origin.

  2. Relation between the X-ray and Optical Luminosities in Binary Systems with Accreting Nonmagnetic White Dwarfs

    Revnivtsev, M G; Suleimanov, V F

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the relation between the optical (g-band) and X-ray (0.5-10 keV) luminosities of accreting nonmagnetic white dwarfs. According to the present-day counts of the populations of star systems in our Galaxy, these systems have the highest space density among the close binary systems with white dwarfs. We show that the dependence of the optical luminosity of accreting white dwarfs on their X-ray luminosity forms a fairly narrow one-parameter curve. The typical half-width of this curve does not exceed 0.2-0.3 dex in optical and X-ray luminosities, which is essentially consistent with the amplitude of the aperiodic flux variability for these objects. At X-ray luminosities Lx~1e32 erg/sec or lower, the optical g-band luminosity of the accretion flow is shown to be related to its X-ray luminosity by a factor ~2-3. At even lower X-ray luminosities (Lx~1e30 erg/sec), the contribution from the photosphere of the white dwarf begins to dominate in the optical spectrum of the binary system and its optical brig...

  3. The Stability of Double White Dwarf Binaries Undergoing Direct-Impact Accretion

    Motl, Patrick M.; Frank, Juhan; Tohline, Joel E.; D'Souza, Mario C. R.

    2007-12-01

    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 initially synchronously rotating, semidetached equilibrium binary is evolved hydrodynamically, with the gravitational potential being computed through the solution of Poisson's equation. Upon initiating deep contact in our baseline simulation, the mass transfer rate grows by more than an order of magnitude over approximately 10 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 that 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, effectively, qcrit has evolved to approximately 2/3. Despite the absence of a fully developed disk, tidal interactions appear to be effective in returning excess spin angular momentum to the orbit.

  4. Runaway accretion of metals from compact debris disks onto white dwarfs

    Rafikov, Roman R

    2011-01-01

    It was recently proposed that metal-rich white dwarfs (WDs) accrete their metals from compact debris disks found to exist around more than a dozen of them. At the same time, elemental abundances measured in atmospheres of some WDs imply vigorous metal accretion at rates up to $10^{11}$ g/s, far in excess of what can be supplied solely by Poynting-Robertson drag acting on such debris disks. To explain this observation we propose a model, in which rapid transport of metals from the disk onto the WD naturally results from interaction between this particulate disk and spatially coexisting disk of metallic gas. The latter is fed by evaporation of debris particles at the sublimation radius located at several tens of WD radii. Because of pressure support gaseous disk orbits WD slower than particulate disk. Resultant azimuthal drift between them at speed ~1 m/s causes aerodynamic drag on the disk of solids and drives inward migration of its constituent particles. Upon reaching the sublimation radius particles evapora...

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

    Brooks, Jared; Schwab, Josiah; Paxton, Bill

    2016-01-01

    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 Type Ia supernovae scenarios. We study binaries with helium stars of mass $1.25 M_\\odot\\le M_{\\rm{He}} \\le 1.8 M_\\odot$, which have lost their hydrogen rich envelopes in an earlier common envelope event and now orbit with periods ($P_{\\rm orb}$) of several hours with non-rotating $0.84$ and $1.0 M_\\odot$ C/O WDs. The helium stars fill their Roche lobes (RLs) after exhaustion of central helium and donate helium on their thermal timescales (${\\sim}10^5$yr). 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 ($M_{\\rm Ch}$) 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 explo...

  6. The Accretion of Solar Material onto White Dwarfs: No Mixing with Core Material Implies that the Mass of the White Dwarf is Increasing

    Starrfield, Sumner

    2015-01-01

    Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) are close binary star systems with one component an accreting white dwarf (WD) and the other a larger cooler star that fills its Roche Lobe. One consequence of the WDs accreting material, is the possibility that they are growing in mass and will eventually reach the Chandrasekhar Limit. This evolution could result in a Supernova Ia (SN Ia) explosion and is designated the Single Degenerate Progenitor (SD) scenario. One problem with the single degenerate scenario is that it is generally assumed that the accreting material mixes with WD core material at some time during the accretion phase of evolution and, since the typical WD has a carbon-oxygen (CO) core, the mixing results in large amounts of carbon and oxygen being brought up into the accreted layers. The presence of enriched carbon causes enhanced nuclear fusion and a Classical Nova (CN)explosion. Thus, the WD in a Classical Nova system is decreasing in mass and cannot be a SN Ia progenitor. In new calculations reported here, th...

  7. Population synthesis of accreting white dwarfs - II. X-ray and UV emission

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Woods, T. E.; Yungelson, L. R.; Gilfanov, M.; Han, Zhanwen

    2015-11-01

    Accreting white dwarfs (WDs) with non-degenerate companions are expected to emit in soft X-rays and the UV, if accreted H-rich material burns stably. They are an important component of the unresolved emission of elliptical galaxies, and their combined ionizing luminosity may significantly influence the optical line emission from warm interstellar medium (ISM). In an earlier paper, we modelled populations of accreting WDs, first generating WD with main-sequence, Hertzsprung gap and red giant companions with the population synthesis code BSE, and then following their evolution with a grid of evolutionary tracks computed with MESA. Now we use these results to estimate the soft X-ray (0.3-0.7 keV), H- and He II-ionizing luminosities of nuclear burning WDs and the number of supersoft X-ray sources for galaxies with different star formation histories. For the starburst case, these quantities peak at ˜1 Gyr and decline by ˜1-3 orders of magnitude by the age of 10 Gyr. For stellar ages of ˜10 Gyr, predictions of our model are consistent with soft X-ray luminosities observed by Chandra in nearby elliptical galaxies and He II 4686 Å/H β line ratio measured in stacked Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra of retired galaxies, the latter characterizing the strength and hardness of the UV radiation field. However, the soft X-ray luminosity and He II 4686 Å/H β ratio are significantly overpredicted for stellar ages of ≲4-8 Gyr. We discuss various possibilities to resolve this discrepancy and tentatively conclude that it may be resolved by a modification of the typically used criteria of dynamically unstable mass-loss for giant stars.

  8. Formation of millisecond pulsars with CO white dwarf companions - II. Accretion, spin-up, true ages and comparison to MSPs with He white dwarf companions

    Tauris, Thomas M; Kramer, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are mainly characterised by their spin periods, B-fields and masses - quantities which are largely affected by previous interactions with a companion star in a binary system. In this paper, we investigate the formation mechanism of MSPs by considering the pulsar recycling process in both intermediate-mass X-ray binaries (IMXBs) and low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). The IMXBs mainly lead to the formation of binary MSPs with a massive carbon-oxygen (CO) or an oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf (ONeMg WD) companion, whereas the LMXBs form recycled pulsars with a helium white dwarf (He WD) companion. We discuss the accretion physics leading to the spin-up line in the PPdot-diagram and demonstrate that such a line cannot be uniquely defined. We derive a simple expression for the amount of accreted mass needed for any given pulsar to achieve its equilibrium spin and apply this to explain the observed differences of the spin distributions of recycled pulsars with different types of companion...

  9. The accretion of solar material onto white dwarfs: No mixing with core material implies that the mass of the white dwarf is increasing

    Sumner Starrfield

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Cataclysmic Variables (CVs are close binary star systems with one component a white dwarf (WD and the other a larger cooler star that fills its Roche Lobe. The cooler star is losing mass through the inner Lagrangian point of the binary and some unknown fraction of this material is accreted by the WD. One consequence of the WDs accreting material, is the possibility that they are growing in mass and will eventually reach the Chandrasekhar Limit. This evolution could result in a Supernova Ia (SN Ia explosion and is designated the Single Degenerate Progenitor (SD scenario. This paper is concerned with the SD scenario for SN Ia progenitors. One problem with the single degenerate scenario is that it is generally assumed that the accreting material mixes with WD core material at some time during the accretion phase of evolution and, since the typical WD has a carbon-oxygen CO core, the mixing results in large amounts of carbon and oxygen being brought up into the accreted layers. The presence of enriched carbon causes enhanced nuclear fusion and a Classical Nova explosion. Both observations and theoretical studies of these explosions imply that more mass is ejected than is accreted. Thus, the WD in a Classical Nova system is losing mass and cannot be a SN Ia progenitor. However, the composition in the nuclear burning region is important and, in new calculations reported here, the consequences to the WD of no mixing of accreted material with core material have been investigated so that the material involved in the explosion has only a Solar composition. WDs with a large range in initial masses and mass accretion rates have been evolved. I find that once sufficient material has been accreted, nuclear burning occurs in all evolutionary sequences and continues until a thermonuclear runaway (TNR occurs and the WD either ejects a small amount of material or its radius grows to about 1012 cm and the evolution is ended. In all cases where mass ejection occurs

  10. The accretion of solar material onto white dwarfs: No mixing with core material implies that the mass of the white dwarf is increasing

    Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) are close binary star systems with one component a white dwarf (WD) and the other a larger cooler star that fills its Roche Lobe. The cooler star is losing mass through the inner Lagrangian point of the binary and some unknown fraction of this material is accreted by the WD. One consequence of the WDs accreting material, is the possibility that they are growing in mass and will eventually reach the Chandrasekhar Limit. This evolution could result in a Supernova Ia (SN Ia) explosion and is designated the Single Degenerate Progenitor (SD) scenario. This paper is concerned with the SD scenario for SN Ia progenitors. One problem with the single degenerate scenario is that it is generally assumed that the accreting material mixes with WD core material at some time during the accretion phase of evolution and, since the typical WD has a carbon-oxygen CO core, the mixing results in large amounts of carbon and oxygen being brought up into the accreted layers. The presence of enriched carbon causes enhanced nuclear fusion and a Classical Nova explosion. Both observations and theoretical studies of these explosions imply that more mass is ejected than is accreted. Thus, the WD in a Classical Nova system is losing mass and cannot be a SN Ia progenitor. However, the composition in the nuclear burning region is important and, in new calculations reported here, the consequences to the WD of no mixing of accreted material with core material have been investigated so that the material involved in the explosion has only a Solar composition. WDs with a large range in initial masses and mass accretion rates have been evolved. I find that once sufficient material has been accreted, nuclear burning occurs in all evolutionary sequences and continues until a thermonuclear runaway (TNR) occurs and the WD either ejects a small amount of material or its radius grows to about 1012 cm and the evolution is ended. In all cases where mass ejection occurs, the mass of

  11. An Accreting White Dwarf near the Chandrasekhar Limit in the Andromeda Galaxy

    Tang, Sumin; Bildsten, Lars; Wolf, William M.; Li, K. L.; Kong, Albert K. H.; Cao, Yi; Cenko, S. Bradley; De Cia, Annalisa; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Laher, Russ R.; Masci, Frank; Nugent, Peter E.; Perley, Daniel A.; Prince, Thomas A.; Surace, Jason

    2014-01-01

    The iPTF (Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory) detection of the most recent outburst of the recurrent nova system RX J0045.4+4154 in the Andromeda Galaxy has enabled the unprecedented study of a massive (mass is greater than 1.3 solar masses) accreting white dwarf (WD). We detected this nova as part of the near daily iPTF monitoring of M31 to a depth of R (red band-pass filter) approximately equal to magnitude 21 and triggered optical photometry, spectroscopy and soft X-ray monitoring of the outburst. Peaking at an absolute magnitude of MR (red, mid-infrared band-pass filter) equals magnitude -6.6, and with a decay time of 1 magnitude per day, it is a faint and very fast nova. It shows optical emission lines of He/N and expansion velocities of 1900 to 2600 kilometers per second 1-4 days after the optical peak. The Swift monitoring of the X-ray evolution revealed a supersoft source (SSS) with kT (energy: Boltzmann constant times temperature) (sub eff (effective)) approximately equal to 90-110 electronvolts that appeared within 5 days after the optical peak, and lasted only 12 days. Most remarkably, this is not the first event from this system, rather it is a recurrent nova with a time between outbursts of approximately 1 year, the shortest known. Recurrent X-ray emission from this binary was detected by ROSAT in 1992 and 1993, and the source was well characterized as a mass greater than 1.3 solar masses WD SSS. Based on the observed recurrence time between different outbursts, the duration and effective temperature of the SS phase, MESA models of accreting WDs allow us to constrain the accretion rate to mass greater than 1.7x10 (sup -7) solar masses per year and WD mass greater than 1.30 solar masses. If the WD keeps 30 percent of the accreted material, it will take less than a million years to reach core densities high enough for carbon ignition (if made of C/O) or electron capture (if made of O/Ne) to end the binary evolution.

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

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

    2016-01-01

    Brown dwarfs and giant planets orbiting close to a host star are subjected to significant irradiation that can modify the properties of their atmospheres. In order to test the atmospheric models that are used to describe these systems, it is necessary to obtain accurate observational estimates of their physical properties (masses, radii, temperatures, albedos). Interacting compact binary systems provide a natural laboratory for studying strongly irradiated sub-stellar objects. As the mass-losing secondary in these systems makes a critical, but poorly understood transition from the stellar to the sub-stellar regime, it is also strongly irradiated by the compact accretor. In fact, the internal and external energy fluxes are both expected to be comparable in these objects, providing access to an unexplored irradiation regime. However, the atmospheric properties of such donors have so far remained largely unknown. Here, we report the direct spectroscopic detection and characterisation of an irradiated sub-stellar...

  13. An Accreting White Dwarf near the Chandrasekhar Limit in the Andromeda Galaxy

    Tang, Sumin; Wolf, William M; Li, K L; Kong, Albert K H; Cao, Yi; Cenko, S Bradley; De Cia, Annalisa; Kasliwal, Mansi M; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Nugent, Peter E; Perley, Daniel A; Prince, Thomas A; Surace, Jason

    2014-01-01

    The iPTF detection of the most recent outburst of the recurrent nova system RX J0045.4+4154 in the Andromeda Galaxy has enabled the unprecedented study of a massive (M>1.3 $M_\\odot$) accreting white dwarf (WD). We detected this nova as part of the near daily iPTF monitoring of M31 to a depth of R$\\approx$21 and triggered optical photometry, spectroscopy and soft X-ray monitoring of the outburst. Peaking at an absolute magnitude of M_R$\\approx$-6.6 mag, and with a decay time of 1 mag per day, it is a faint and very fast novae. It shows optical emission lines of He/N and expansion velocities of 1900 to 2600 km/s 1-4 days after the optical peak. The Swift monitoring of the X-ray evolution revealed a supersoft source (SSS) with $kT_{eff}$ $\\approx$ 90-110 eV that appeared within 5 days after the optical peak, and lasted only 12 days. Most remarkably, this is not the first event from this system, rather it is a recurrent nova with a time between outbursts of approximately 1 year, the shortest known. Recurrent X-ra...

  14. Radio Observations as a Tool to Investigate Shocks and Asymmetries in Accreting White Dwarf Binaries

    Weston, Jennifer H. S.

    2016-07-01

    This dissertation uses radio observations with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to investigate the mechanisms that power and shape accreting white dwarfs (WD) and their ejecta. We test the predictions of both simple spherical and steady-state radio emission models by examining nova V1723 Aql, nova V5589 Sgr, symbiotic CH Cyg, and two small surveys of symbiotic binaries. First, we highlight classical nova V1723 Aql with three years of radio observations alongside optical and X-ray observations. We use these observations to show that multiple outflows from the system collided to create early non-thermal shocks with a brightness temperature of ≥106 K. While the late-time radio light curve is roughly consistent an expanding thermal shell of mass 2x10-4 M⊙ solar masses, resolved images of V1723 Aql show elongated material that apparently rotates its major axis over the course of 15 months, much like what is seen in gamma-ray producing nova V959 Mon, suggesting similar structures in the two systems. Next, we examine nova V5589 Sgr, where we find that the early radio emission is dominated by a shock-powered non-thermal flare that produces strong (kTx > 33 keV) X-rays. We additionally find roughly 10-5 M⊙ solar masses of thermal bremsstrahlung emitting material, all at a distance of ~4 kpc. The similarities in the evolution of both V1723 Aql and V5589 Sgr to that of nova V959 Mon suggest that these systems may all have dense equatorial tori shaping faster flows at their poles. Turning our focus to symbiotic binaries, we first use our radio observations of CH Cyg to link the ejection of a collimated jet to a change of state in the accretion disk. We additionally estimate the amount of mass ejected during this period (10-7 M⊙ masses), and improve measurements of the period of jet precession (P=12013 ± 74 days). We then use our survey of eleven accretion-driven symbiotic systems to determine that the radio brightness of a symbiotic system could potentially

  15. Super-Eddington wind scenario for the progenitors of type Ia supernovae: Accreting He-rich matter onto white dwarfs

    Wang, Bo; Ma, Xin; Liu, Dongdong; Cui, Xiao; Han, Zhanwen

    2015-01-01

    Supernovae of type Ia (SNe Ia) are believed to be thermonuclear explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (CO WDs). However, the mass accretion process onto CO WDs is still not completely understood. In this paper, we study the accretion of He-rich matter onto CO WDs and explore a scenario in which a strong wind forms on the surface of the WD if the total luminosity exceeds the Eddington limit. Using a stellar evolution code called modules for experiments in stellar astrophysics (MESA), we simulated the He accretion process onto CO WDs for WDs with masses of 0.6-1.35Msun and various accretion rates of 10^{-8}-10^{-5}Msun/yr. If the contribution of the total luminosity is included when determining the Eddington accretion rate, then a super-Eddington wind could be triggered at relatively lower accretion rates than those of previous studies based on steady-state models. The super-Eddington wind can prevent the WDs with high accretion rates from evolving into red-giant-like He stars. We found that the contribution...

  16. On the Effect of Explosive Thermonuclear Burning on the Accreted Envelopes of White Dwarfs in Cataclysmic Variables

    Sion, Edward M

    2014-01-01

    The detection of heavy elements at suprasolar abundances in the atmospheres of some accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables, 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 cataclysmic variables contain donor secondaries that have been contaminated by repeated novae ejecta 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 ystems that underwent thermal timescale mass transfer. Implications for the progenitors of CVs are discussed.

  17. The Stability of Double White Dwarf Binaries Undergoing Direct Impact Accretion

    Motl, Patrick M; Frank, Juhan; Tohline, Joel E; D'Souza, Mario C. R.

    2007-01-01

    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 initially 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 in our baseline simulation, the mass transfer rate grows by more th...

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

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

    1987-01-01

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

  19. ENIGMATIC RECURRENT PULSATIONAL VARIABILITY OF THE ACCRETING WHITE DWARF EQ LYN (SDSS J074531.92+453829.6)

    Mukadam, Anjum S.; Szkody, Paula [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1580 (United States); Townsley, D. M.; Brockett, T. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 (United States); Gaensicke, B. T.; Parsons, S. [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Southworth, J. [Astrophysics Group, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG (United Kingdom); Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Harrold, S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78759 (United States); Tovmassian, G.; Zharikov, S. [Observatorio Astronomico Nacional SPM, Instituto de Astronomia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ensenada, BC (Mexico); Drake, A. J. [Department of Astronomy and the Center for Advanced Computing Research, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91225 (United States); Henden, A. [American Association of Variable Star Observers, 25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Rodriguez-Gil, P. [Departamento de Astrofisica, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, E-38204 Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain); Sion, E. M. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States); Zola, S.; Szymanski, T. [Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, ul. Orla 171, PL-30-244 Krakow (Poland); Pavlenko, E. [Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Crimea 98409 (Ukraine); and others

    2013-09-15

    Photometric observations of the cataclysmic variable EQ Lyn (SDSS J074531.92+453829.6), acquired from 2005 October to 2006 January, revealed high-amplitude variability in the range 1166-1290 s. This accreting white dwarf underwent an outburst in 2006 October, during which its brightness increased by at least five magnitudes, and it started exhibiting superhumps in its light curve. Upon cooling to quiescence, the superhumps disappeared and it displayed the same periods in 2010 February as prior to the outburst within the uncertainties of a couple of seconds. This behavior suggests that the observed variability is likely due to nonradial pulsations in the white dwarf star, whose core structure has not been significantly affected by the outburst. The enigmatic observations begin with an absence of pulsational variability during a multi-site campaign conducted in 2011 January-February without any evidence of a new outburst; the light curve is instead dominated by superhumps with periods in the range of 83-87 minutes. Ultraviolet Hubble Space Telescope time-series spectroscopy acquired in 2011 March reveals an effective temperature of 15,400 K, placing EQ Lyn within the broad instability strip of 10,500-16,000 K for accreting pulsators. The ultraviolet light curve with 90% flux from the white dwarf shows no evidence of any pulsations. Optical photometry acquired during 2011 and Spring 2012 continues to reflect the presence of superhumps and an absence of pulsations. Subsequent observations acquired in 2012 December and 2013 January finally indicate the disappearance of superhumps and the return of pulsational variability with similar periods as previous data. However, our most recent data from 2013 March to May reveal superhumps yet again with no sign of pulsations. We speculate that this enigmatic post-outburst behavior of the frequent disappearance of pulsational variability in EQ Lyn is caused either by heating the white dwarf beyond the instability strip due to an

  20. Singing and dancing white dwarfs

    Accreting white dwarfs have recently been shown to exhibit non-radial pulsations similar to their non-interacting counterparts. This allows us to probe the interior of the accreting white dwarf using seismology, and may be the only way to determine masses for non-eclipsing cataclysmic variables. Improving our understanding of accreting white dwarfs will have implications for models of supernovae Type Ia. Pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables are also useful in establishing the effects of accretion on pulsations. A search for nonradial pulsations among suitable candidates has led to the discovery of twelve such systems known to date. With the goal of establishing an instability strip (or strips) for these pulsating accretors, we acquired HST ultra-violet time-series spectroscopy of six pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables in 2007 and 2008. This approach enables us to measure the effective temperature of the white dwarf using the co-added spectrum, and to simultaneously characterize the pulsations. We also intended to constrain the pulsation mode identification by comparing the ultra-violet amplitudes to those from near-simultaneous ground-based photometry. Our preliminary results indicate a broad instability strip in the temperature range of 10500-15400 K.

  1. Singing and dancing white dwarfs

    Mukadam, Anjum S; Szkody, Paula [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Gaensicke, Boris T [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Nitta, Atsuko, E-mail: anjum@astro.washington.ed [Gemini Observatory, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2009-06-01

    Accreting white dwarfs have recently been shown to exhibit non-radial pulsations similar to their non-interacting counterparts. This allows us to probe the interior of the accreting white dwarf using seismology, and may be the only way to determine masses for non-eclipsing cataclysmic variables. Improving our understanding of accreting white dwarfs will have implications for models of supernovae Type Ia. Pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables are also useful in establishing the effects of accretion on pulsations. A search for nonradial pulsations among suitable candidates has led to the discovery of twelve such systems known to date. With the goal of establishing an instability strip (or strips) for these pulsating accretors, we acquired HST ultra-violet time-series spectroscopy of six pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables in 2007 and 2008. This approach enables us to measure the effective temperature of the white dwarf using the co-added spectrum, and to simultaneously characterize the pulsations. We also intended to constrain the pulsation mode identification by comparing the ultra-violet amplitudes to those from near-simultaneous ground-based photometry. Our preliminary results indicate a broad instability strip in the temperature range of 10500-15400 K.

  2. Formation of Binary Millisecond Pulsars by Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs under Wind-Driven Evolution

    Ablimit, Iminhaji

    2014-01-01

    Accretion-induced collapse of massive white dwarfs (WDs) has been proposed to be an important channel to form binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Recent investigations on thermal timescale mass transfer in WD binaries demonstrate that the resultant MSPs are likely to have relatively wide orbit periods ($\\gtrsim 10$ days). Here we calculate the evolution of WD binaries taking into account the excited wind from the companion star induced by X-ray irradiation of the accreting WD, which may drive rapid mass transfer even when the companion star is less massive than the WD. This scenario can naturally explain the formation of the strong-field neutron star in the low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1822$-$37. After AIC the mass transfer resumes when the companion star refills its Roche lobe, and the neutron star is recycled due to mass accretion. A large fraction of the binaries will evolve to become binary MSPs with a He WD companion, with the orbital periods distributed between $\\gtrsim 0.1$ day and $\\lesssim 30$ days, while...

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

    Khruzina, T; Kjurkchieva, D; 10.1051/0004-6361/201220385

    2013-01-01

    We present new photometric and spectral observations of the newly discovered nova-like eclipsing star 2MASS J01074282+4845188. To obtain a light curve solution we used 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. 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. The high mass accr...

  4. Simulations of Double White Dwarf Mergers

    Motl, Patick; Staff, Jan; Marcello, Dominic; Clayton, Geoffrey; Frank, Juhan

    2016-03-01

    We present numerical simulations of double white dwarf mergers initiated by mass transfer instability. In particular, we are interested in the possible connection between such double degenerate mergers and the peculiar irregular variable R Corona Borealis stars. For the merger of a Carbon-Oxygen white dwarf with a Helium white dwarf, the degree to which Carbon from the accreting star is dredged up plays a crucial role in the appearance of the rejuvenated, merged object. We explore the amount of dredge up in the accreting star and its influence in stellar evolution models initialized from the merged object resulting from dynamical evolutions.

  5. White Dwarfs Cosmological and Galactic Probes

    Sion, Edward M; Vennes, Stéphane

    2005-01-01

    The emphasis on white dwarf stars and cosmology arises from the most recent advances in cosmological and galactic structure research in which white dwarf stars are playing a very prominent role. Examples are Type Ia supernovae (i.e. white dwarf supernovae), the origin and evolution of the universe, the age of the galactic disk, cosmochronology using white dwarfs in globular clusters and galactic clusters, and the physics of accretion onto compact (very dense) stars. As an assisting guide to the reader, we have included, by invitation, comprehensive review articles in each of the four major areas of the book, white dwarf supernovae, cosmology, accretion physics and galactic structure. The reviews include introductory material that they build upon. The book is suitable and most useful to advanced undergraduates, graduate students and scientific professionals (e.g. astronomers, astrophysicists, cosmologists, physicists).

  6. White Dwarf Stars

    Kawaler, Steven; Dahlstrom, Michael

    2000-12-01

    A white dwarf is a very dense star: The earth-sized remains of a Sun-like star that has burned all of its nuclear fuel. Although it's unable to carry out the workaday activities of a living star, a white dwarf is still an interesting object to astronomers. For one thing, white dwarfs experience "starquakes"—gentle pulsations that allow astronomers to deduce certain physical qualities of the star, such as its mass, rate of rotation, its structure and the strength of its magnetic field. The authors have been studying the starquakes with a global network of instruments, collectively called the Whole Earth Telescope, which provide around-the-clock observations of a white dwarf's seismic activity. Kawaler and Dahlstrom discuss what we know about white dwarfs and their significance for questions concerning the age of our Galaxy and the composition of dark matter.

  7. Detection of Weak Circumstellar Gas around the DAZ White Dwarf WD 1124-293: Evidence for the Accretion of Multiple Asteroids

    Debes, J H; Faedi, F; Shkolnik, E L; Lopez-Morales, M; Weinberger, A J; Slesnick, C; West, R G

    2012-01-01

    Single metal polluted white dwarfs with no dusty disks are believed to be actively accreting metals from a circumstellar disk of gas caused by the destruction of asteroids perturbed by planetary systems. We report, for the first time, the detection of circumstellar Ca~II gas in absorption around the DAZ WD~1124-293, which lacks an infrared excess. We constrain the gas to $>$7 $R_{\\rm WD}$ and $$ R$_{\\rm \\oplus}$ using the WASP survey. The presence of gas in orbit around WD~1124-293 implies that most DAZs could harbor planetary systems. Since 25-30\\% of white dwarfs show metal line absorption, the dynamical process for perturbing small bodies must be robust.

  8. White dwarf-red dwarf binaries in the Galaxy

    Besselaar, E.J.M. van den

    2007-01-01

    This PhD thesis shows several studies on white dwarf - red dwarf binaries. White dwarfs are the end products of most stars and red dwarfs are normal hydrogen burning low-mass stars. White dwarf - red dwarf binaries are both blue (white dwarf) and red (red dwarf). Together with the fact that they are

  9. Measuring M dwarf Winds with DAZ White Dwarfs

    Debes, J H

    2006-01-01

    Hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs with metal lines, so-called DAZs, show evidence for ongoing accretion of material onto their surfaces. Some DAZs are known to have unresolved M dwarf companions, which could account for the observed accretion through a stellar wind. I combine observed Ca abundances of the DAZs with information on the orbital separation of their M dwarf companions to infer the mass loss rate of the M dwarfs. I find that for three of the six known DAZs with M dwarf companions, a stellar wind can plausibly explain the observed accretion on the white dwarfs assuming Bondi-Hoyle accretion of solar abundance stellar winds on the order of 10$^{-14}-10^{-16}\\Msun$ yr$^{-1}$. The rest of the sample have companions with orbits $\\gtorder$ 1~AU, and require companion mass loss rates of $> 10^{-11}\\Msun$ yr$^{-1}$. I conclude that there must be an alternative explanation for accretion of material onto DAZs with widely separated companions. The inferred winds for two of the close binaries are orders of magn...

  10. White dwarf pulsations

    The DA white dwarfs are those which show only the Stark-broadened lines of hydrogen in their spectra. They comprise about 80% of the total white dwarf population. A subset of the DA dwarfs, the ZZ Ceti stars, form a highly homogeneous class of nonradially pulsating variable stars. In this paper we shall review the observations from which both the physical properties of the stars and the characteristics of the pulsations have been derived. Data obtained since the last review of these variables (Robinson 1979) is stressed, as these data are forcing a somewhat revised understanding of the ZZ Ceti stars and their relationship to investigations of white dwarfs and to pulsating variable stars, in general. (orig.)

  11. White dwarf planets

    Bonsor Amy; Veras Dimitri; Villaver Eva; Mustill Alexander J.; Wyatt Mark C.

    2013-01-01

    The recognition that planets may survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and the prospects for finding them around White Dwarfs, are growing. We discuss two aspects governing planetary survival through stellar evolution to the White Dwarf stage. First we discuss the case of a single planet, and its survival under the effects of stellar mass loss, radius expansion, and tidal orbital decay as the star evolves along the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We show that, for stars initially of 1 − 5 M⊙...

  12. Inward Propagation of Nuclear-Burning Shells in Merging C-O and He White Dwarfs

    Saio, H; Nomoto, K.

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the consequences of merging double white dwarf systems by calculating evolutionary models of accreting white dwarfs. We have considered two cases; a massive C-O white dwarf of ~1M_sun accreting C-O mixture, and a low mass white dwarf with an initial mass of 0.4M_sun accreting matter composed mostly of helium. The accretion rate of the C-O white dwarf is assumed to be 1x10^{-5}M_sun/y. After carbon burning is ignited at $M_r\\sim1.04M_\\odot$, the flame propagates inward due...

  13. Time dependent models of accretion disks with nuclear burning following the tidal disruption of a white dwarf by a neutron star

    Margalit, Ben

    2016-01-01

    We construct time-dependent one-dimensional (vertically averaged) models of accretion disks produced by the tidal disruption of a white dwarf (WD) by a binary neutron star (NS) companion. Nuclear reactions in the disk midplane burn the WD matter to increasingly heavier elements at sequentially smaller radii, releasing substantial energy which can impact the disk dynamics. A model for disk outflows is employed, by which cooling from the outflow balances other sources of heating (viscous, nuclear) in regulating the Bernoulli parameter of the midplane to a fixed value $\\lesssim 0$. We perform a comprehensive parameter study of the compositional yields and velocity distributions of the disk outflows for WDs of different initial compositions. For C/O WDs, the radial composition profile of the disk evolves self-similarly in a quasi-steady-state manner, and is remarkably robust to model parameters. The nucleosynthesis in helium WD disks does not exhibit this behavior, which instead depends sensitively on factors con...

  14. WHITE DWARF/M DWARF BINARIES AS SINGLE DEGENERATE PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

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

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

    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.

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

    Metzger, Brian D

    2011-01-01

    We construct one dimensional steady-state models of accretion disks produced by the tidal disruption of a white dwarf (WD) by a neutron star (NS) or stellar mass black hole (BH). At radii r 50-80 per cent of the total WD mass is unbound. The ejecta composition is predominantly O, C, Si, Mg, Ne, Fe, and S [He, C, Si, S, Ar, and Fe], in the case of C-O [He] WDs, respectively, along with a small quantity ~1e-3-1e-2 Msun of radioactive Ni56 and, potentially, a trace amount of H. We use our results to evaluate possible EM counterparts of WD-NS/BH mergers, including optical transients powered by the radioactive decay of Ni56 and radio transients powered by the interaction of the ejecta with the interstellar medium. We address whether recently discovered subluminous Type I supernovae result from WD-NS/BH mergers. Our results also have implications for accretion following the core collapse of massive stars in collapsar models for gamma-ray bursts.

  17. The white dwarf luminosity function

    García-Berro, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for $\\sim 10$ 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...

  18. Stark Broadening and White Dwarfs

    Dimitrijevic, Milan S; Simic, Zoran; Sahal-Brechot, Sylvie

    2012-01-01

    White dwarf and pre-white dwarf atmospheres are one of the best examples for the application of Stark broadening research results in astrophysics, due to plasma conditions very favorable for this line broadening mechanism. For example in hot hydrogen-deficient (pre-) white dwarf stars Teff = 75 000 K - 180 000 K and log g = 5.5-8 [cgs]. Even for much cooler DA and DB white dwarfs with typical effective temperatures of 10 000 K - 20 000 K, Stark broadening is usually the dominant broadening mechanism. In this review, Stark broadening in white dwarf spectra is considered and the attention is drawn to the STARK-B database (http://stark-b.obspm.fr/), containing Stark broadening parameters needed for white dwarf spectra analysis and synthesis, as well as to the new search facilities which will provide the collective effort to develop Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Center (VAMDC - http://vamdc.org/).

  19. Solidification of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs

    Schatzman, E.

    1982-01-01

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

  20. Magnetized White Dwarfs

    Terrero, D Alvear; Martínez, A Pérez

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis is to obtain more realistic equations of state to describe the matter forming magnetized white dwarfs, and use them to solve its structure equations. The equations of state are determined by considering the weak magnetic field approximation $Bwhite dwarfs. Also, we consider the energy and pressure correction due to the Coulomb interaction of the electron gas with the ions located in a crystal lattice. Moreover, spherically symmetric Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff structure equations are solved independently for the perpendicular and parallel pressures, confirming the necessity of using axisymmetric structure equations, more adequate to describe the anisotropic system. Therefore, we study the solutions in cylindrical coordinates. In this case, the mass per longitude unit is obtained instead of the total mass of the whit...

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

    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.

  2. Asteroseismology of white dwarf stars

    Córsico, A H

    2014-01-01

    Most of low- and intermediate-mass stars that populate the Universe will end their lives as white dwarf stars. These ancient stellar remnants have encrypted inside a precious record of the evolutionary history of the progenitor stars, providing a wealth of information about the evolution of stars, star formation, and the age of a variety of stellar populations, such as our Galaxy and open and globular clusters. While some information like surface chemical composition, temperature and gravity of white dwarfs can be inferred from spectroscopy, the internal structure of these compact stars can be unveiled only by means of asteroseismology, an approach based on the comparison between the observed pulsation periods of variable stars and the periods of appropriate theoretical models. In this communication, we first briefly describe the physical properties of white dwarf stars and the various families of pulsating white dwarfs known up to the present day, and then we present two recent analysis carried out by the La...

  3. White Dwarf Planets from GAIA

    Silvotti, Roberto; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Lattanzi, Mario

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the potential of high-precision astrometry with GAIA for detection of giant planetary companions to nearby white dwarfs. If one considers that, to date, no confirmed planets around single white dwarfs are known, the results from GAIA will be crucial to study the late-stage evolution of planetary systems and to verify the possibility that 2nd-generation planets are formed.

  4. Magnetic white dwarfs with debris discs

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

    2013-01-01

    It has long been accepted that a possible mechanism for explaining the existence of magnetic white dwarfs is the merger of a binary white dwarf system, as there are viable mechanisms for producing sustainable magnetic fields within the merger product. However, the lack of rapid rotators in the magnetic white dwarf population has been always considered a problematic issue of this scenario. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations show that in mergers in which the two white dwarfs have different masses a disc around the central compact object is formed. If the central object is magnetized it can interact with the disc through its magnetosphere. The torque applied by the disc changes the spin of the star, whereas the transferred angular momentum from the star to the disc determines the properties of the disc. In this work we build a model for the disc evolution under the effect of magnetic accretion, and for the angular momentum evolution of the star, which can be compared with the observations. Our model pre...

  5. Luminosity function of white dwarfs

    Trigonometric parallaxes, optical colors, and spectrophotometry are used to derive an empirical luminosity function for cool white dwarfs using the 1/V(max) method. To facilitate comparison with theoretical cooling curves, relations for cool white dwarfs are estimated for T(eff) versus M(V) and for M(V) versus M(bol). The results show that a downturn occurs in the distribution of cool degenerate stars near log luminosity equals about -4.4. The indicated local space density of observed degenerate dwarfs is 0.003 stars/pc exp 3, which corresponds to about 1 percent of the dynamical mass density in the solar neighborhood. 107 references

  6. Quasi-periodic oscillations in accreting magnetic white dwarfs I. Observational constraints in X-ray and optical

    Bonnet-Bidaud, J M; Busschaert, C; Falize, E; Michaut, C

    2015-01-01

    Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are observed in the optical flux of some polars with typical periods of 1 to 3 s but none have been observed yet in X-rays where a significant part of the accreting energy is released. QPOs are expected and predicted from shock oscillations. Most of the polars have been observed by the XMM-Newton satellite. We made use of the homogeneous set of observations of the polars by XMM-Newton to search for the presence of QPOs in the (0.5-10 keV) energy range and to set significant upper limits for the brightest X-ray polars. We extracted high time-resolution X-ray light curves by taking advantage of the 0.07 sec resolution of the EPIC-PN camera. Among the 65 polars observed with XMM-Newton from 1998 to 2012, a sample of 24 sources was selected on the basis of their counting rate in the PN instrument to secure significant limits. We searched for QPOs using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) methods and defined limits of detection using statistical tools. Among the sample surveyed, none sh...

  7. A Disintegrating Minor Planet Transiting a White Dwarf

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

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated suggesting that the photospheres of many white dwarfs are polluted by the remnants of small rocky bodies leftover from the progenitors' planetary systems. The evidence for this scenario is typically indirect and circumstantial. We report observations of a disintegrating minor planet transiting a polluted white dwarf. The transits are 5 minutes long, up to 40% deep, have an asymmetric profile and highly variable transit depths. This system provides strong corroborating evidence for the planet accretion model for white dwarf pollution and lets us watch the destruction of a solar system in real time.

  8. Disintegrating Planetary Bodies Around a White Dwarf

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Magnetic white dwarfs with debris discs

    Külebi, Baybars; Ekşi, K. Yavuz; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo; Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    It has long been accepted that a possible mechanism for explaining the existence of magnetic white dwarfs is the merger of a binary white dwarf system, as there are viable mechanisms for producing sustainable magnetic fields within the merger product. However, the lack of rapid rotators in the magnetic white dwarf population has been always considered a problematic issue of this scenario. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations show that in mergers in which the two white dwarfs have diffe...

  10. Double White Dwarf Mergers with CASTRO

    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.

  11. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane–Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of <λ>≳84.818 MeV4, with a standard deviation σ≃82.021 MeV4, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others

  12. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    Garcia-Aspeitia, Miguel A. [Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Mexico (Mexico); Unidad Academica de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas (Mexico)

    2015-11-15

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane-Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of left angle λ right angle >or similar 84.818 MeV{sup 4}, with a standard deviation σ ≅ 82.021 MeV{sup 4}, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others. (orig.)

  13. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    García-Aspeitia, Miguel A., E-mail: aspeitia@fisica.uaz.edu.mx [Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Av, Insurgentes Sur 1582, Colonia Crédito Constructor, Del. Benito Juárez, C.P. 03940, Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Unidad Académica de Física, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Calzada Solidaridad esquina con Paseo a la Bufa S/N, C.P. 98060, Zacatecas (Mexico)

    2015-11-06

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane–Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of <λ>≳84.818 MeV{sup 4}, with a standard deviation σ≃82.021 MeV{sup 4}, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others.

  14. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    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.

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

    Schwab, Josiah

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Magnetars and White Dwarf Pulsars

    Lobato, Ronaldo V; Coelho, Jaziel G

    2016-01-01

    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 $B\\gtrsim10^{14}$ G, and for that reason are known as Magnetars. However, in the last years some SGRs/AXPs with low surface magnetic fields $B\\sim(10^{12}-10^{13})$ 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 white dwarfs pulsars has been proposed to explain this special class of pulsars. In this model, AXPs and SGRs as dense and magnetized white dwarfs can have surface magnetic field $B\\sim 10^{7}-10^{10}$ G and rotate very fast with frequencies $\\Omega\\sim 1$ rad/s, consistent with the observed rotation periods $P\\sim (2-12)$ s.

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

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

  18. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

    Vanderburg, Andrew; 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

    2015-01-01

    White dwarfs are the end state of most stars, including the Sun, after they exhaust their nuclear fuel. Between 1/4 and 1/2 of white dwarfs have elements heavier than helium in their atmospheres, even though these elements should rapidly settle into the stellar interiors unless they are occasionally replenished. The abundance ratios of heavy elements in white dwarf atmospheres are similar to rocky bodies in the Solar system. This and the existence of warm dusty debris disks around about 4% of white dwarfs suggest that rocky debris from white dwarf progenitors' planetary systems occasionally pollute the stars' atmospheres. The total accreted mass can be comparable to that of large asteroids in the solar system. However, the process of disrupting planetary material has not yet been observed. Here, we report observations of a white dwarf being transited by at least one and likely multiple disintegrating planetesimals with periods ranging from 4.5 hours to 4.9 hours. The strongest transit signals occur every 4.5 ...

  19. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    Koester, Detlev; Farihi, Jay

    2014-01-01

    (Abridged) We present the results of the first unbiased survey for metal pollution among H-atmosphere (DA) white dwarfs with cooling ages of 20-200 Myr and 17000K 0.8 Msun is found to be currently accreting, which suggests a large fraction are double-degenerate mergers, and the merger discs do not commonly reform large planetesimals or otherwise pollute the remnant. We reconfirm our previous finding that two white dwarf Hyads are currently accreting rocky debris. At least 27%, and possibly up to ~50%, of all white dwarfs with cooling ages 20-200 Myr are accreting planetary debris. At Teff > 23000K, the luminosity of white dwarfs is likely sufficient to vaporize circumstellar dust, and hence no stars with strong metal-pollution are found. However, planetesimal disruption events should occur in this cooling age and Teff range as well, and likely result in short phases of high mass transfer rates. It appears that the formation of rocky planetary material is common around 2-3 Msun late B- and A-type stars.

  20. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    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

  1. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Magnetic white dwarfs with debris disks

    Külebi, Baybars; Ekşi, K. Yavuz; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo; Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique

    2012-01-01

    It has long been accepted that a possible mechanism for explaining the existence of magnetic white dwarfs is the merger of a binary white dwarf system, as there are viable mechanisms for producing sustainable magnetism within the merger product. However, the lack of rapid rotators in the magnetic white dwarf population has been always considered a problematic issue of this scenario. In order to explain this discrepancy we build a model in which the interaction between the magnetosphere of the...

  3. The space distribution of DA white dwarfs

    We present a determination of the scaleheight and luminosity function of DA white dwarfs based on a new sample of 41 faint (B0=275±50 pc. Assuming such a scaleheight, the local luminosity function derived for the AAT sample shows good agreement with that obtained previously for the Palomar Green DA white dwarf sample, particularly in the overall normalization of the luminosity function. We derive a value for the local space density of DA white dwarfs with Mv3. (author)

  4. Merging White Dwarfs and Thermonuclear Supernovae

    van Kerkwijk, Marten H.

    2012-01-01

    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 our suggestion that these supernovae instead resul...

  5. Rare White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres

    Dufour, P.; Liebert, James; Fontaine, G.; Behara, N.

    2007-01-01

    White dwarfs represent the endpoint of stellar evolution for stars with initial masses between approximately 0.07 msun and 8-10 msun, where msun 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 ~80 per cent of known white dwarfs, by an additional hydrogen layer. All white dwarfs...

  6. Time dependent white dwarf radiative shocks

    We study the oscillatory instability of white dwarf radiative accretion shocks discovered by Langer, Chanmugam, and Shaviv. We extend previous works by examining spherical shocks dominated by: (1) bremsstrahlung and Compton cooling; and (2) bremsstrahlung and Compton cooling when the effects of electron thermal conduction are not negligible. The results of our calculations allow us to delineate stability regimes as a function of the dwarf mass, M/sub d/, and the accretion rate, M0. We parameterize M0 in terms of the optical depth to electron scattering through the preshock flow, tau/sub es/. In the Compton cooling and bremsstrahlung case, the shocks are unstable to low order oscillation modes if M/sub d/ less than or equal to (0.7 +- 0.1) M/sub solar/ for tau/sub es/ = 14, and if M/sub d/ less than or equal to (0.9 +- 0.1) M/sub solar/ for tau/sub es/ = 1. When electron thermal conduction is added, low order oscillation modes are unstable only if M/sub d/ less than or equal to (0.3 +- 0.1) M/sub sun mass/. The unstable modes have approximate oscillation periods of 1.1 tau/sub br/ and 0.63 tau/sub br/, where tau/sub br/ is the bremsstrahlung cooling time scale of the postshock plasma. Our results can be scaled to magnetically funneled accretion flows as long as cyclotron emission contributes less than about 10% of the postshock cooling. 14 refs., 1 fig

  7. New mass limit of white dwarfs

    Das, Upasana

    2013-01-01

    Is the Chandrasekhar mass limit for white dwarfs (WDs) set in stone? Not anymore -- recent observations of over-luminous, peculiar type Ia supernovae can be explained if significantly super-Chandrasekhar WDs exist as their progenitors, thus barring them to be used as cosmic distance indicators. However, there is no estimate of a mass limit for these super-Chandrasekhar WD candidates yet. Can they be arbitrarily large? In fact, the answer is no! We arrive at this revelation by exploiting the flux freezing theorem in observed, accreting, magnetized WDs, which brings in Landau quantization of the underlying electron degenerate gas. This essay presents the calculations which pave the way for the ultimate (significantly super-Chandrasekhar) mass limit of WDs, heralding a paradigm shift 80 years after Chandrasekhar's discovery.

  8. Liberating exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    Payne, Matthew J; Holman, Matthew J; Gaensicke, Boris T

    2016-01-01

    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 10^6 years. The short sinking timescale for the pollutants indicate 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 among planets in WD systems easily triggers moon ejection. Repeated close encounters within tenths of a 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 ...

  9. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    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

  10. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    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.

  11. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2015-01-01

    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 set-up to test such deviations from Newtonian gravitational physics inside the stars. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter $\\Upsilon$ characterizing the deviations from 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 $\\Upsilon$ than the red and brown dwarfs.

  12. Disks and Planets Around Massive White Dwarfs

    Livio, M.; Pringle, J. E.; Wood, K.

    2005-01-01

    We predict the existence of dusty disks and possibly CO planets around massive white dwarfs. We show that the thermal emission from these disks should be detectable in the infrared. The planets may also be detectable either by direct IR imaging, spectroscopy, or using the pulsations of the white dwarfs.

  13. Population synthesis for symbiotic stars with white dwarf accretors

    Lu, G; Han, Z; Lu, Guoliang; Yungelson, Lev; Han, Zhanwen

    2006-01-01

    We have carried out a detailed study of symbiotic stars with white dwarf accretors by means of a population synthesis code. We estimate the total number of symbiotic stars with white dwarf accretors in the Galaxy as 1,200 - 15,000. This range is compatible with observational estimates. Two crucial physical parameters that define the birthrate and number of symbiotic stars are the efficiency of accretion by white dwarfs (which greatly depends on the separation of components after common envelope stage and stellar wind velocity) and the mass of the hydrogen layer which the white dwarf can accumulate prior to the hydrogen ignition. The theoretical estimate of the Galactic occurrence rate of symbiotic novae ranges from about 1.3 to about 13.5 per year out of which weak symbiotic novae comprise about 0.5 to 6.0 per year, depending on the model assumptions. We simulate the distributions of symbiotic stars over orbital periods, masses of components, mass-loss rates of cool components, mass-accretion rates of hot com...

  14. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    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

  15. Observational properties of magnetic white dwarfs

    Ferrario, Lilia

    2016-01-01

    There are no known examples of magnetic white dwarfs with fields larger than about 3MG paired with a non-degenerate companion in detached binary systems. The suggestion is that highly magnetic, isolated white dwarfs may originate from stars that coalesce during common envelope evolution while those stars that emerge from a common envelope on a close orbit may evolve into double degenerate systems consisting of two white dwarfs, one or both magnetic. The presence of planets or planetary debris around white dwarfs is also a new and exciting area of research that may give us important clues on the formation of first and second generation planetary systems, since these place unique signatures in the spectra of white dwarfs.

  16. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    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.

  17. Models for Type I supernovae - Partially incinerated white dwarfs

    Sutherland, P. G.; Wheeler, J. C.

    1984-05-01

    White dwarf models are calculated for the explosions and light curves of Type I supernovae using full hydrodynamics and radiative diffusion. Comparison is made to recent observations. The models are based on the instantaneous thermonuclear burning of part or all of a degenerate carbon/oxygen/helium core. The Rayleigh-Taylor instability at the points of density/composition discontinuity is explored. The effects of radioactive decay of 56Ni and 56Co are incorporated by means of an absorption treatment of γ-rays. It is concluded that despite the qualitative appeal of the picture in which binary mass accretion raises a carbon-oxygen white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar limit, the demand to produce supernovae of the observed characteristics is not easily reconciled quantitatively with current calculations of hydrogen accretion.

  18. Dyson Spheres around White Dwarfs

    Semiz, İbrahim

    2015-01-01

    A Dyson Sphere is a hypothetical structure that an advanced civilization might build around a star to intercept all of the star's light for its energy needs. One usually thinks of it as a spherical shell about one astronomical unit (AU) in radius, and surrounding a more or less Sun-like star; and might be detectable as an infrared point source. We point out that Dyson Spheres could also be built around white dwarfs. This type would avoid the need for artificial gravity technology, in contrast to the AU-scale Dyson Spheres. In fact, we show that parameters can be found to build Dyson Spheres suitable --temperature- and gravity-wise-- for human habitation. This type would be much harder to detect.

  19. Metal Abundances in Hot DO White Dwarfs

    Werner, K; Ringat, E; Kruk, J W

    2012-01-01

    The relatively high abundance of carbon in the hot DO white dwarf RE0503-289 indicates that it is a descendant of a PG1159 star. This is corroborated by the recent detection of the extremely high abundances of trans-Fe elements which stem from s-process nucleosynthesis in the precursor AGB star, dredged up by a late He-shell flash and possibly amplified by radiative levitation. On the other hand, the hottest known DO white dwarf, KPD0005+5106, cannot have evolved from a PG1159 star but represents a distinct He-rich evolutionary sequence that possibly originates from a binary white dwarf merger.

  20. Magnetic white dwarfs with debris disks

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

    2012-01-01

    It has long been accepted that a possible mechanism for explaining the existence of magnetic white dwarfs is the merger of a binary white dwarf system, as there are viable mechanisms for producing sustainable magnetism within the merger product. However, the lack of rapid rotators in the magnetic white dwarf population has been always considered a problematic issue of this scenario. In order to explain this discrepancy we build a model in which the interaction between the magnetosphere of the star and the disk induces angular momentum transfer. Our model predicts that the magnetospheric interaction of magnetic white dwarfs with their disks results in a significant spin down, and we show that the observed rotation period of REJ 0317-853, which is suggested to be a product of a double degenerate merger, can be reproduced.

  1. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    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

  2. Merging White Dwarfs and Thermonuclear Supernovae

    van Kerkwijk, Marten H

    2012-01-01

    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 our 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.

  3. Pulsating White Dwarf Stars and Precision Asteroseismology

    Winget, D E

    2008-01-01

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

  4. The Physics of crystallizing white dwarfs

    Isern, J.; Mochkovitch, R.; García--Berro, E.; Hernanz, Margarita

    1997-01-01

    White dwarfs can be used as galactic chronometers and, therefore, provide important information about galactic evolution if good theoretical models of their cooling are available. Consequently, it is natural to wonder if all the sources or sinks of energy are correctly taken into account. One of these sources is partial differentiation of the chemical components of the white dwarf upon crystallization. In this paper we use a new formalism to show that if there is a redistribution of the eleme...

  5. A radio pulsing white dwarf binary star

    Marsh, T R; 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

    2016-01-01

    White dwarfs are compact stars, similar in size to Earth but ~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 delta-Scuti star, a common variety of periodic variable star. Our observations reveal instead a 3.56 hr period close binary, pulsing in brightness on a period of 1.97 min. The pulses are so intense that AR Sco's optical flux can increase by a factor of four within 30 s, and they are detectable a...

  6. On the properties of discs around accreting brown dwarfs

    Mayne, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    We present a grid of models of accreting brown dwarf systems with circumstellar discs. The calculations involve a self-consistent solution of both vertical hydrostatic and radiative equilibrium along with a sophisticated treatment of dust sublimation. We have simulated observations of the spectral energy distributions and several broadband photometric systems. Analysis of the disc structures and simulated observations reveal a natural dichotomy in accretion rates, with \\logmdot $>-$9 and $\\leq -$9 classed as extreme and typical accretors respectively. Derivation of ages and masses from our simulated photometry using isochrones is demonstrated to be unreliable even for typical accretors. Although current brown dwarf disc candidate selection criteria have been shown to be largely reliable when applied to our model grid we suggest improved selection criteria in several colour indices. We show that as accretion rates increase brown dwarf disc systems are less likely to be correctly identified. This suggests that,...

  7. Massive Double White Dwarfs and the AM CVn Birthrate

    Kilic, Mukremin; Heinke, Craig O; Gianninas, A; Benni, P; Agueros, M A

    2016-01-01

    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 to 1.39 Msun. 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 disk 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 r...

  8. Gravitational Interactions of White Dwarf Double Stars

    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.

  9. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    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

  10. The Potential of White Dwarf Cosmochronology

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

    2001-04-01

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

  11. Mystery of a Dimming White Dwarf

    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

  12. Enigmas from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR7 Kleinman White Dwarf Catalog

    Liebert, James; Wickramasinghe, Dayal; Smith, Paul

    2015-01-01

    We report results from a continuation of our searches for high field magnetic white dwarfs paired in a detached binary with non degenerate companions. We made use of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR7 catalog of Kleinman et al. (2013) with 19,712 spectroscopically-identified white dwarfs. These include 1,735 white dwarf plus M dwarf detached pairs (almost 10\\% of the Kleinman at al.'s list). No new pairs were found, although we did recover the polar (AM~Herculis system) ST\\,LMi in a low state of accretion. With the larger sample the original situation reported ten years ago remains intact now at a much higher level of statistical significance: in the selected SDSS sample, high field magnetic white dwarfs are not found in an apparently-detached pairing with an M dwarf, unless they are a magnetic CV in a low state of accretion. This finding strengthens the case that the fields in the isolated high field magnetic white dwarfs are generated by stellar mergers but also raises questions on the nature of the progenito...

  13. Magnetic White Dwarf Stars in the SDSS

    Kepler, S O; Jordan, Stefan; Kleinman, Scot J; Kulebi, Baybars; Koester, Detlev; Peçanha, Viviane; Castanheira, Bárbara G; Nitta, Atsuko; Costa, José Eduardo da Silveira; Winget, Don Earl; Kanaan, Antonio; Fraga, Luciano

    2012-01-01

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

  14. White dwarf atmospheres and circumstellar environments

    Hoard, Donald W

    2012-01-01

    Written by selected astronomers at the forefront of their fields, this timely and novel book compiles the latest results from research on white dwarf stars, complementing existing literature by focusing on fascinating new developments in our understanding of the atmospheric and circumstellar environments of these stellar remnants. Complete with a thorough refresher on the observational characteristics and physical basis for white dwarf classification, this is a must-have resource for researchers interested in the late stages of stellar evolution, circumstellar dust and nebulae, and the future

  15. Cool White Dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Kilic, M; Harris, H C; Liebert, J; Von Hippel, T; Williams, K A; Metcalfe, T S; Winget, D E; Levine, S E; Kilic, Mukremin; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Harris, Hugh C.; Liebert, James; Hippel, Ted von; Williams, Kurtis A.; Metcalfe, Travis S.; Levine, Stephen E.

    2005-01-01

    A reduced proper motion diagram utilizing Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometry and astrometry and USNO-B plate astrometry is used to separate cool white dwarf candidates from metal-weak, high-velocity main sequence Population II stars (subdwarfs) in the SDSS Data Release 2 imaging area. Follow-up spectroscopy using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, the MMT, and the McDonald 2.7m Telescope is used to demonstrate that the white dwarf and subdwarf loci separate cleanly in the reduced proper motion diagram, and that the contamination by subdwarfs is small near the cool white dwarf locus. This enables large statistically complete samples of white dwarfs, particularly the poorly understood cool white dwarfs, to be created from the SDSS imaging survey, with important implications for white dwarf luminosity function studies. SDSS photometry for our sample of cool white dwarfs is compared to current white dwarf models.

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

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

  17. On The Evolution of Magnetic White Dwarfs

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

    2015-01-01

    We present the first radiation magnetohydrodynamics simulations of the atmosphere of white dwarf stars. We demonstrate that convective energy transfer is seriously impeded by magnetic fields when the plasma-beta 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 then 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 (Teff) reaches a value of around 5500 K. In this regime, the standard convective sequences start to deviate from the ones without convection owing to the convective cou...

  18. SOAR + SMARTS Southern White Dwarf Survey

    Subasavage, John P.; Lepine, S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Kashyap, Rahul; Fisher, Robert [Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02740 (United States); García-Berro, Enrique; Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela [Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades, 5, E-08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Ji, Suoqing [Department of Physics, Broida Hall, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106–9530 (United States); Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo [School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom)

    2015-02-10

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

  20. Spiral Disk Instability Can Drive Thermonuclear Explosions in Binary White Dwarf Mergers

    Kashyap, Rahul; García-Berro, Enrique; Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela; Ji, Suoqing; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Radiative Levitation in Hot White Dwarfs

    Chayer, P.; Fontaine, G.; Wesemael, F.

    1994-12-01

    We present the results of detailed calculations of radiative levitation in hot white dwarfs using the extensive and homogeneous atomic data given in TOPBASE. Radiative accelerations and equilibrium abundances have been computed for C, N, O, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ar, Ca, and Fe on grids of pure hydrogen and pure helium stellar envelope models. The DA model grid has log g = 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, and 8.5, and spans the range of effective temperature 100,000 >= Teff >= 20,000 K in steps of 2,500 K. The DO/DB grid is similar but extends to Teff = 130,000 K. We discuss at some length the input physics used in order to provide a good physical understanding of radiative levitation under white dwarf conditions. We also discuss the depth dependence and the morphology of the reservoirs of levitating elements created by an equilibrium between the radiative acceleration and the local effective gravity in various stellar envelopes. The important role played in the morphology of the reservoirs by dominant ionization states in closed-shell electronic configurations is emphasized. Our central results are presented in the form of figures showing the behavior of the expected photospheric abundance of each element as a function of effective temperature and surface gravity. While only a handful of abundances are available from the few analyses of observations that have been carried out, we are nevertheless able to infer through a detailed comparison that equilibrium radiative levitation theory fails to explain the observed abundance patterns of heavy elements in hot white dwarfs. At least one other mechanism must be competing with radiative levitation and gravitational settling in the atmospheres/envelopes of hot white dwarfs. Finally, we indicate promising avenues for further progress in spectral evolution theory for white dwarfs. This work has been supported by NASA contract NAS5-30180.

  2. On the Origin of Metals in Some Hot White Dwarf Photospheres

    Burleigh, M R; Farihi, J; Bannister, N P; Dickinson, N; Steele, P R; Dobbie, P D; Faedi, F; Gänsicke, B T

    2011-01-01

    We have searched for evidence for dust and gas disks at a sample of hot DA white dwarfs 20 000K < Teff < 50 000K, without success. Although their atmospheres are polluted with heavy elements, we cannot yet convincingly and conclusively show that any of these objects is accreting metals from surrounding material derived from disrupted minor planets in an old solar system.

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

    Parsons, S G; Schreiber, M R; Gansicke, B T; Zorotovic, M; Ren, J J

    2016-01-01

    The number of 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 ...

  4. Infrared accretion disc mapping of the dwarf nova V2051 Ophiuchi in outburst and in quiescence

    Wojcikiewicz, E.; Baptista, R.

    2014-10-01

    Dwarf novae are compact binaries where a late-type star (the secondary) fills its Roche lobe and transfers matter to a companion white dwarf (the primary) via an accretion disc. They show outbursts which recur on timescales of weeks to years, where the accretion disc brightens by factors 20 to 100 either due to a thermal-viscous instability in the disc (DI model) or to a burst of enhanced mass-transfer from the secondary (MTI model). We report time-series of fast photometry of the dwarf nova V2051 Oph in the J and H bands, obtained with the CAMIV at the 1.6 m telescope of Observatório Pico dos Dias/Brazil, during the decline of an outburst in 2005 June, and in 2008 when the object was in quiescence. We modeled the ellipsoidal variations caused by the secondary to infer its contribution to the J and H fluxes, and fitted stellar atmosphere models to find a photometric parallatic distance of d = (111± 14)pc. Front-back brightness asymmetries in J and H-band eclipse maps along the decline from the 2005 outburst suggest that the accretion disc had a non-negligible opening angle which decreased as the disc cooled down. The time evolution of the disc radial temperature distribution along the outburst decline shows a cooling wave which accelerates as is travels inwards - in contradiction to a basic prediction from the DI model.

  5. Lessons for Asteroseismology from White Dwarf Stars

    Travis S. Metcalfe

    2005-06-01

    The interpretation of pulsation data for sun-like stars is currently facing challenges quite similar to those faced by white dwarf modelers ten years ago. The observational requirements for uninterrupted long-term monitoring are beginning to be satisfied by successful multi-site campaigns and dedicated satellite missions. But exploration of the most important physical parameters in theoretical models has been fairly limited, making it difficult to establish a detailed best-fit model for a particular set of oscillation frequencies. I review the past development and the current state of white dwarf asteroseismology, with an emphasis on what this can tell us about the road to success for asteroseismology of other types of stars.

  6. The SDSS White Dwarf - M Star Library

    Heller, René; Østensen, Roy H

    2011-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), originally targeted at quasi-stellar objects, has provided us with a wealth of astronomical byproducts through the last decade. Since then, the number of white dwarfs (WDs) with physically bound main-sequence star companions (mostly dM stars) has increased radically, allowing for fundamentally new insights into stellar physics. Different methods for the retrieval and follow-up analysis of SDSS WD-dM binaries have been applied in the literature, leading to a rising number of WD-dM catalogs. Here we present a detailed literature search, coupled with our own hunting for SDSS WD-dMs by color selection, the outcome being named the "SDSS White Dwarf - M Star Library". We also explain improvements of our automated spectral analysis method.

  7. The Field White Dwarf Mass Distribution

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

    2016-01-01

    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 disk 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). Never...

  8. Limits on Planets Around White Dwarf Stars

    Mullally, F; Degennaro, Steven; Jeffery, Elizabeth; Thompson, S E; Chandler, Dean

    2008-01-01

    We present limits on planetary companions to pulsating white dwarf stars. A subset of these stars exhibit extreme stability in the period and phase of some of their pulsation modes; a planet can be detected around such a star by searching for periodic variations in the arrival time of these pulsations. We present limits on companions greater than a few Jupiter masses around a sample of 15 white dwarf stars as part of an on-going survey. One star shows a variation in arrival time consistent with a 2 M_J planet in a 4.5 year orbit. We discuss other possible explanations for the observed signal and conclude that a planet is the most plausible explanation based on the data available.

  9. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    Dan, Marius; Guillochon, James; Brüggen, Marcus; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Rosswog, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs (WDs) has for many years not been considered as the favoured model for the progenitor system of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). But recent years have seen a change of opinion as a number of studies, both observational and theoretical, have concluded that they should contribute significantly to the observed type Ia supernova rate. In this paper, we study the ignition and propagation of detonation through post-merger remnants and we follow the resulting nucleosynthes...

  10. White dwarf cosmochronology in the solar neighborhood

    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 initial/M ☉ ≲ 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.

  11. Detonations in white dwarf dynamical interactions

    Aznar-Siguán, Gabriela; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo; José, Jordi; Isern, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    In old, dense stellar systems collisions of white dwarfs are a rather frequent phenomenon. Here we present the results of a comprehensive set of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations of close encounters of white dwarfs aimed to explore the outcome of the interaction and the nature of the final remnants for different initial conditions. Depending on the initial conditions and the white dwarf masses, three different outcomes are possible. Specifically, the outcome of the interaction can be either a direct or a lateral collision or the interaction can result in the formation of an eccentric binary system. In those cases in which a collision occurs, the infalling material is compressed and heated such that the physical conditions for a detonation may be reached during the most violent phases of the merger. While we find that detonations occur in a significant number of our simulations, in some of them the temperature increase in the shocked region rapidly lifts degeneracy, leading to the quenching of the bu...

  12. Unlocking the secrets of white dwarf stars

    Van Horn, Hugh M

    2015-01-01

    White dwarfs, each containing about as much mass as our Sun but packed into a volume about the size of Earth, are the endpoints of evolution for most stars. Thousands of these faint objects have now been discovered, though only a century ago only three were known. They are among the most common stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, and they have become important tools in understanding the universe. Yet a century ago only three white dwarfs were known.   The existence of these stars completely baffled the scientists of the day, and solving the mysteries of these strange objects required revolutionary advances in science and technology, including the development of quantum physics, the construction and utilization of large telescopes, the invention of the digital computer, and the ability to make astronomical observations from space.   This book tells the story of the growth in our understanding of white dwarf stars, set within the context of the relevant scientific and technological advances. Part popular science, ...

  13. The 25 Parsec Local White Dwarf Population

    Oswalt, J B Holberg T D; McCook, G P

    2016-01-01

    We have extended our detailed survey of the local white dwarf population from 20 pc 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% complete (the corresponding 20 pc sample is now 86\\% complete). The space density of white dwarfs is unchanged at 4.8 \\pm 0.5 x 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\\% vs 26\\%). 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. Eleven such systems were found within the 20 pc volume vs, only one add...

  14. Discovery of a peculiar DQ white dwarf

    Carollo, D; Spagna, A; Smart, R L; Lattanzi, M G; McLean, B J; Pinfield, D J

    2002-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new carbon rich white dwarf that was identified during a proper motion survey for cool white dwarfs based on photographic material used for the construction of the Guide Star Catalog II. Its large proper motion (0.48 arcsec/yr) and faint apparent magnitude (V = 18.7) suggest a nearby object of low luminosity. A low-resolution spectrum taken with the William Herschel Telescope clearly shows strong C2 Deslandres-d'Azambuja and Swan bands, which identify the star as a DQ white dwarf. The strength of the Deslandres-d'Azambuja bands and the depression of the continuum in the Swan-band region are signs of enhanced carbon abundance for the given Teff. Comparison of our spectrophotometric data to published synthetic spectra suggests 6000 K < Teff < 8000 K although further analysis with specialized synthetic models appear necessary to derive both Teff and chemical composition. Finally, the range of spatial velocity estimated for this object makes it a likely member of the halo or thi...

  15. The Hyades Cluster: Identification of a Planetary System and Escaping White Dwarfs

    Zuckerman, B.; Xu, S.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.

    2013-06-01

    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.

  16. The WFCAM transit survey and cool white dwarfs

    Pinfield D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We present results from our search for cool white dwarfs in the WTS (WFCAM Transit Survey. Repeat observations starting in 2007 allowed to produce deep stacked images in J and measure proper motions. We combine this with deep optical imaging to select cool white dwarf candidates (Teff < 5000 K. About 27 cool white dwarf candidates with proper motions above 0.10 arcsec/yr were identified in one of the fields representing 1/8th of the survey area. Follow-up spectroscopy with the 10.2 m GTC telescope at La Palma confirmed the white dwarf status for all observed candidates. On-going work is being carried out to increase the sample of cool white dwarfs that will allow a more comprehensive study of the thick disk/halo white dwarf population.

  17. Spectroscopic and photometric studies of white dwarfs in the Hyades

    Tremblay, P -E; Röser, S; Jordan, S; Ludwig, H -G; Goldman, B

    2012-01-01

    The Hyades cluster is known to harbour ten so-called classical white dwarf members. Numerous studies through the years have predicted that more than twice this amount of degenerate stars should be associated with the cluster. Using the PPMXL catalog of proper motions and positions, a recent study proposed 17 new white dwarf candidates. We review the membership of these candidates by using published spectroscopic and photometric observations, as well as by simulating the contamination from field white dwarfs. In addition to the ten classical Hyades white dwarfs, we find six white dwarfs that may be of Hyades origin and three more objects that have an uncertain membership status due to their unknown or imprecise atmospheric parameters. Among those, two to three are expected as field stars contamination. Accurate radial velocity measurements will confirm or reject the candidates. One consequence is that the longstanding problem that no white dwarf older than ~340 Myr appears to be associated with the cluster rem...

  18. Supernova SN 2011fe from an exploding carbon–oxygen white dwarf star

    Nugent, Peter E.; S. R. Kulkarni; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Ofek, Eran O.

    2011-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae have been used empirically as ‘standard candles’ to demonstrate the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe even though fundamental details, such as the nature of their progenitor systems and how the stars explode, remain a mystery. There is consensus that a white dwarf star explodes after accreting matter in a binary system, but the secondary body could be anything from a main-sequence star to a red giant, or even another white dwarf. This uncertainty stems from the ...

  19. White Dwarf based evaluation of the GALEX absolute calibration

    Camarota, L; Holberg, J. B.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes a revised photometric calibration of the \\emph{Galaxy Evolution Explorer} magnitudes, based on measurements of DA white dwarfs. The photometric magnitudes of white dwarfs measured by \\emph{GALEX} are compared to predicted magnitudes based on independent spectroscopic data (108 stars) and alternately to \\emph{IUE} UV fluxes of the white dwarfs (218 stars). The results demonstrate a significant non-linear correlation and small offset between archived \\emph{GALEX} fluxes and...

  20. Physical conditions inside white dwarfs and type I supernovae

    This paper discusses the role of the physical conditions inside a collapsing white dwarf, close to the instability limit, and considers briefly the present uncertainties concerning the exact physical conditions in a white dwarf. It is concluded that according to the chemical composition and even for fast cooling and solidification of a carbon-oxygen mixture, a solid white dwarf can collapse, following electron capture on oxygen. (Auth.)

  1. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

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

    2012-01-01

    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 (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 orde...

  2. Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores

    Bravo, E; Gutiérrez, J L; Doherty, C L

    2016-01-01

    Recently, it has been found that off-centre 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. 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 non-degenerate companion at rates leading to a supernova explosion. We have computed the hydrodynamical phase of the explosion of Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs harboring hybrid cores, assuming that the explosion starts at the center, either as a detonation (as may be expected in some degenerate merging scenarios) or as a deflagration (that afterwards transitions into a delayed detonation). We assume these hybrid cores are made of a central CO volume, of mass M(CO), surrounded by an ONe shell. We show that, in case of a pure detonation, a medium-sized CO-rich region, M(CO)<0.4 Msun, results in the ejection of a small fraction of the mantle while leaving a ...

  3. Planetary engulfment as a trigger for white dwarf pollution

    Petrovich, Cristobal

    2016-01-01

    The presence of a planetary system can shield a planetesimal disk from the secular gravitational perturbations due to distant outer massive objects (planets or stellar companions). As the host star evolves off the main sequence to become a white dwarf, these planets can be engulfed, triggering secular instabilities and leading to the tidal disruptions of small rocky bodies. These disrupted bodies can feed the white dwarfs with rocky material and possibly explain the high-metallicity material in their atmospheres. We illustrate how this mechanism can operate when the gravitational perturbations are due to the Kozai-Lidov mechanism from a stellar binary companion. We show that this mechanism can explain the observed levels of accretion if: (1) the planetary engulfment happens fast compared to the secular timescale, which is generally the case for wide binaries ($>100$ AU) and planetary engulfment during the Asymptotic Giant Branch; (2) the planetesimal disk has a total mass of $\\sim10^{-4}-10^{-2}M_\\oplus$. We ...

  4. LOW MASS STELLAR AND SUBSTELLAR COMPANIONSHIP AMONG NEARBY WHITE DWARFS

    M. Radiszcz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This work is a systematic, deep search for stellar and substellar objects orbiting nearby white dwarfs (WDs. The scienti c interest spans testing speci c predictions of common envelope evolutionary phase models, as well as providing constraints to planetary system evolution in advanced stages of its parent star (Livio & Soker 1984; Willes & Wu 2005. Additionally, we seek to explore the hypothesis about the origin of metal lines in hydrogen WDs, produced by the accretion of tidal disturbed asteroidal or cometary material. This could be linked to the presence of a undetected substellar object that perturbed the orbits of these asteroids or comets (Debes & Sigurdsson 2002. Here, we show preliminary results of this project.

  5. Dynamical Tides in Compact White Dwarf Binaries: Influence of Rotation

    Fuller, Jim

    2014-01-01

    Tidal interactions play an important role in the evolution and ultimate fate of compact white dwarf (WD) binaries. Not only do tides affect the pre-merger state (such as temperature and rotation rate) of the WDs, but they may also determine which systems merge and which undergo stable mass transfer. In this paper, we attempt to quantify the effects of rotation on tidal angular momentum transport in binary stars, with specific calculations applied to WD stellar models. We incorporate the effect of rotation using the traditional approximation, in which the dynamically excited gravity waves within the WDs are transformed into gravito-inertial Hough waves. The Coriolis force has only a minor effect on prograde gravity waves, and previous results predicting the tidal spin-up and heating of inspiraling WDs are not significantly modified. However, rotation strongly alters retrograde gravity waves and inertial waves, with important consequences for the tidal spin-down of accreting WDs. We identify new dynamical tidal...

  6. Atmospheric studies of C2 white dwarfs

    Swanson, S.R.

    1989-01-01

    Model atmosphere and line formation calculations for the delta nu = + 1 Swan bands of the C2 molecule are presented for seven white dwarfs and are compared to high resolution optical spectra. Limits on the C-12 to C-13 ratio are computed for highly pressure broadened lines and are used to analyze the observed spectra for any sign of absorption by the (C-12)(C-13) molecule. The metal abundances in cool white dwarf atmospheres and the usefulness of the determination of the C-12 to C-13 ratio are discussed. The line center shift and the pressure broadening are used to determine a value for the van der Waals interaction constant, C6. This is done using a detailed line modelling program which explicitly includes approximately 2000 rotational transition lines within the vibrational bands, in conjunction with atmospheric models calculated by the LUCIFER atmosphere modelling program. The isotopic shift of the vibrational and rotational lines is also included in the model to compare the detectability of various C-12 to C-13 ratios. The line models fit the observed spectra with varying degrees of accuracy. One star, WD0548-001, shows an unusually small pressure shift and broadening for the high pressures that the atmospheric model predicts. The results show that only in the hottest stars with the least pressure broadened lines in this study can the isotopic effect be seen. With the data available, the best limit on the C-12 to C-13 ratio is a minimum of 40 for WD0856 + 331. The models show that even for very high signal to noise data, the isotopic shift in the Swan bands in very cool white dwarfs would be difficult to separate from the pressure broadening effects. It is shown that the isotopic ratio is high enough to rule out the possibility that the carbon is a relic from previous CNO burning.

  7. Atmospheric studies of C2 white dwarfs

    Model atmosphere and line formation calculations for the delta nu = + 1 Swan bands of the C2 molecule are presented for seven white dwarfs and are compared to high resolution optical spectra. Limits on the C-12 to C-13 ratio are computed for highly pressure broadened lines and are used to analyze the observed spectra for any sign of absorption by the (C-12)(C-13) molecule. The metal abundances in cool white dwarf atmospheres and the usefulness of the determination of the C-12 to C-13 ratio are discussed. The line center shift and the pressure broadening are used to determine a value for the van der Waals interaction constant, C6. This is done using a detailed line modelling program which explicitly includes approximately 2000 rotational transition lines within the vibrational bands, in conjunction with atmospheric models calculated by the LUCIFER atmosphere modelling program. The isotopic shift of the vibrational and rotational lines is also included in the model to compare the detectability of various C-12 to C-13 ratios. The line models fit the observed spectra with varying degrees of accuracy. One star, WD0548-001, shows an unusually small pressure shift and broadening for the high pressures that the atmospheric model predicts. The results show that only in the hottest stars with the least pressure broadened lines in this study can the isotopic effect be seen. With the data available, the best limit on the C-12 to C-13 ratio is a minimum of 40 for WD0856 + 331. The models show that even for very high signal to noise data, the isotopic shift in the Swan bands in very cool white dwarfs would be difficult to separate from the pressure broadening effects. It is shown that the isotopic ratio is high enough to rule out the possibility that the carbon is a relic from previous CNO burning

  8. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    Onofrio, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    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.

  9. Single and multiple detonations in white dwarfs

    García Senz, Domingo; Bravo Guil, Eduardo; Woosley, S.

    1999-01-01

    A currently favored model for Type Ia supernovae consists of a carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarf ( 0.6–1.0 M), surrounded by a thick layer of helium ( 0.2–0.3 M), which explodes as a consequence of successive detonations in the helium layer and the CO core. Previous studies, carried out in one and two dimensions, have shown that this model is capable of providing light curves and late-time spectra in agreement with observations, though the peak light spectrum may be problematic. These same studi...

  10. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    Onofrio, Roberto [Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia " Galileo Galilei," Università di Padova, Via Marzolo 8, I-35131 Padova (Italy); Wegner, Gary A., E-mail: onofrior@gmail.com, E-mail: gary.a.wegner@dartmouth.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States)

    2014-08-20

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

  11. Strengthening the Case for Asteroidal Accrection: Evidence for Subtle and Diverse Disks at White Dwarfs

    Farihi, J; Lee, J -E; Zuckerman, B

    2010-01-01

    Spitzer Space Telescope IRAC 3-8 micron and AKARI IRC 2-4 micron photometry are reported for ten 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 Rsol) rings of circumstellar dust. A likely 7.9 micron 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.

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

    Raddi, R; Koester, D; Farihi, J; Hermes, J J; Scaringi, S; Breedt, E; Girven, J

    2015-01-01

    The cool white dwarf SDSS J124231.07+522626.6 exhibits photospheric absorption lines of 8 distinct heavy elements in medium resolution optical spectra, notably including oxygen. The Teff = 13000 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 1.2e+24 g, similar to the mass of Ceres. The time-averaged accretion rate is 2e+10 g/s, 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 c...

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

    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

  14. Freak waves in white dwarfs and magnetars

    Sabry, R. [Theoretical Physics Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Damietta University, New Damietta 34517 (Egypt); Department of Physics, College of Science and Humanitarian Studies, Salman bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj (Saudi Arabia); International Centre for Advanced Studies in Physical Sciences, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Ruhr University Bochum, D-44780 Bochum (Germany); Moslem, W. M. [International Centre for Advanced Studies in Physical Sciences, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Ruhr University Bochum, D-44780 Bochum (Germany); Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Port Said University, Port Said (Egypt); Centre for Theoretical Physics, The British University in Egypt (BUE), El-Shorouk City, Cairo (Egypt); Shukla, P. K. [International Centre for Advanced Studies in Physical Sciences, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Ruhr University Bochum, D-44780 Bochum (Germany); Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Center for Energy Research, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093 (United States)

    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}.

  15. Remnant evolution after a carbon-oxygen white dwarf merger

    S.C. Yoon; P. Podsiadlowski; S. Rosswog

    2007-01-01

    We systematically explore the evolution of the merger of two carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs. The dynamical evolution of a 0.9Msolar + 0.6Msolar CO white dwarf merger is followed by a 3D smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulation. The calculation uses a state-of-the-art e

  16. Radio emissions from terrestrial planets around white dwarfs

    Willes, A. J.; Wu, K.

    2005-03-01

    Terrestrial planets in close orbits around magnetic white dwarf stars are potential electron-cyclotron maser sources, by analogy to planetary radio emissions generated from the electrodynamic interaction between Jupiter and the Galilean moons. We present predictions of radio flux densities and the number of detectable white-dwarf/terrestrial-planet systems, and discuss a scenario for their formation.

  17. A wide binary trigger for white dwarf pollution

    Bonsor, Amy

    2015-01-01

    Metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres is likely 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 onto 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 percent of an observed sample of white dwarfs with wide binary compan...

  18. Pure hydrogen atmosphere for very cool white dwarfs

    Saumon, D S

    1999-01-01

    Microlensing events observed in the line of sight toward the LMC indicate that a significant fraction of the mass of the dark halo of the Galaxy is probably composed of white dwarfs. In addition, white dwarf sequences have now be observed in the HR diagrams of several globular clusters. Because of the unavailability of white dwarf atmospheres for Teff < 4000K, cooling time scales for white dwarfs older than ~ 10 Gyr are very uncertain. Moreover, the identification of a MACHO white dwarf population by direct observation depends on a knowledge of the colors and bolometric corrections of very-cool white dwarfs. In this paper we present the first detailed model atmospheres and spectra of very cool hydrogen white dwarfs for Teff < 4000K. We include the latest description of the opacities of hydrogen and significantly, we introduce a non-ideal equation of state in the atmosphere calculation. We find that due to strong absorption from H_2 in the infrared, very old white dwarfs are brightest in the V, R, and I ...

  19. Constraining white dwarf structure and neutrino physics in 47 Tucanae

    Goldsbury, Ryan; Richer, Harvey; Kalirai, Jason; Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    We present a robust statistical analysis of the white dwarf cooling sequence in 47 Tucanae. We combine HST 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 (MCMC) 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 $(q_\\mathrm{H}=3.2\\e{-5})$ and we can strongly rule out thin layers $(q_\\mathrm{H}=10^{-6})$. 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.

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

    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.

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

    Malamud, Uri

    2016-01-01

    Most observations of polluted white dwarf atmospheres are consistent with accretion of water depleted planetary material. Among tens of known cases, merely two cases involve accretion of objects that contain a considerable mass fraction of water. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relative scarcity of these detections. Based on a new and highly detailed model, we evaluate the retention of water inside icy minor planets during the high luminosity stellar evolution that follows the main sequence. Our model fully considers the thermal, physical, and chemical evolution of icy bodies, following their internal differentiation as well as water depletion, from the moment of their birth and through all stellar evolution phases preceding the formation of the white dwarf. We also account for different initial compositions and formation times. Our results show that previous studies have either underestimated or overestimated water retention. We also reaffirm that water can survive in a variety of circumstanc...

  2. Tidal disruption of white dwarfs by intermediate mass black holes

    Bode T.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Modeling ultra-close encounters between a white dwarf and a spinning, intermediate mass black hole requires a full general relativistic treatment of gravity. This paper summarizes results from such a study. Our results show that the disruption process and prompt accretion of the debris strongly depend on the magnitude and orientation of the black hole spin. On the other hand, the late-time accretion onto the black hole follows the same decay, Ṁ ∝  t−5/3, estimated from Newtonian gravity disruption studies. The spectrum of the fallback material peaks in the soft X-rays and sustains Eddington luminosity for 1–3 yrs after the disruption. The orientation of the black hole spin has also a profound effect on how the outflowing debris obscures the central region. The disruption produces a burst of gravitational radiation with characteristic frequencies of ∼3.2 Hz and strain amplitudes of ∼10−18 for galactic intermediate mass black holes.

  3. Hubble Space Telescope observations of white dwarfs in detached binaries

    I describe three programs of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of white dwarfs (WDs) in detached binaries. (1) I summarize the HST UV spectroscopy of the Hyades eclipsing binary V471 Tauri, containing a dK main-sequence star and a hot WD. By phasing time-resolved STIS spectra on the 9.25-min rotation period of the WD, we have shown that there are two opposite spots on the WD where there is magnetic accretion from the K star's wind. (2) Several programs of direct imaging and FGS astrometry are yielding high-precision visual orbits and dynamical masses, including the famous systems of Sirius and Procyon, as well as three fainter binaries in which both components are DC WDs. (3) Finally I discuss the bizarre nucleus of the low-surface-brightness planetary nebula EGB 6. The central star is associated with a compact emission-line nebula, which HST imaging shows is associated with a resolved dM companion. Why there should be a compact nebula around the cool star is puzzling; we speculate that it could be an accretion disk of material captured from the outflow that produced the surrounding faint PN. In a recent development, Spitzer has detected a 24 μm excess from EGB 6, indicating a dust component at a temperature of ∼260 K; the location of this dust relative to the hot and cool stars and the compact nebula remains uncertain at present.

  4. White dwarf pollution by planets in stellar binaries

    Hamers, Adrian S

    2016-01-01

    Approximately $0.2 \\pm 0.2$ of white dwarfs (WDs) show signs of pollution by metals, which is likely due to the accretion of tidally disrupted planetary material. Models invoking planet-planet interactions after WD formation generally cannot explain pollution at cooling times of several Gyr. We consider a scenario in which a planet is perturbed by Lidov-Kozai oscillations induced by a binary companion and exacerbated by stellar mass loss, explaining pollution at long cooling times. Our computed accretion rates are consistent with observations assuming planetary masses between $\\sim 0.01$ and $1\\,M_\\mathrm{Mars}$, although nongravitational effects may already be important for masses $\\lesssim 0.3 \\, M_\\mathrm{Mars}$. The fraction of polluted WDs in our simulations, $\\sim 0.05$, is consistent with observations of WDs with intermediate cooling times between $\\sim 0.1$ and 1 Gyr. For cooling times $\\lesssim 0.1$ Gyr and $\\gtrsim 1$ Gyr, our scenario cannot explain the high observed pollution fractions of up to 0....

  5. Supernovae from direct collisions of white dwarfs and the role of helium shell ignition

    Papish, Oded; Perets, Hagai B.

    2015-01-01

    Models for supernovae (SNe) arising from thermonuclear explosions of white dwarfs (WDs) have been extensively studied over the last few decades, mostly focusing on the single degenerate (accretion of material of a WD) and double degenerate (WD-WD merger) scenarios. In recent years it was suggested that WD-WD direct collisions provide an additional channel for such explosions. Here we extend the studies of such explosions, and explore the role of Helium-shells in affecting the thermonuclear ex...

  6. The Effects of Curvature and Expansion on Helium Detonations on White Dwarf Surfaces

    Moore, Kevin; Townsley, Dean; Bildsten, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Accreted helium layers on white dwarfs have been highlighted for many decades as a possible site for a detonation triggered by a thermonuclear runaway. In this paper, 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 C12 and O16. Detonations in these thin helium layers have speeds slower than the Chapman-Jouget (CJ) speed from complete helium burning, ...

  7. TIDAL NOVAE IN COMPACT BINARY WHITE DWARFS

    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 105-106 years.

  8. Complexity and white-dwarf structure

    From the low-mass non-relativistic case to the extreme relativistic limit, the density profile of a white dwarf is used to evaluate the CLMC complexity measure [R. Lopez-Ruiz, H.L. Mancini, X. Calbet, Phys. Lett. A 209 (1995) 321]. Similarly to the recently reported atomic case where, by averaging shell effects, complexity grows with the atomic number [C.P. Panos, K.Ch. Chatzisavvas, Ch.C. Moustakidis, E.G. Kyrkou, Phys. Lett. A 363 (2007) 78; A. Borgoo, F. De Proft, P. Geerlings, K.D. Sen, Chem. Phys. Lett. 444 (2007) 186; J. Sanudo, R. Lopez-Ruiz, Int. Rev. Phys. 2 (2008) 223], here complexity grows as a function of the star mass reaching a maximum finite value in the Chandrasekhar limit

  9. Future Observations of White Dwarfs from Space

    Barstow, M. A.; Casewell, S. L.

    2015-06-01

    We outline two possible future space missions suitable for the study of white dwarfs. These lie at the extreme ends of the spectrum of such opportunities in terms of cost and timescale. The SIRIUS extreme ultraviolet spectrograph will be proposed for the ESA/Chinese Academy of Sciences small, ≍ 50M Euro, mission. If selected it will fly in 2021. ATLAST is planned to be a very large UVOIR space observatory to provide a true replacement for the capabilities of HST. If it goes ahead, it will be a several billion-dollar project and will not fly before 2030. The paper provides further details on the technical capabilities of these space telescopes.

  10. Observational Constraints on the Origin of Metals in Cool DA-type White Dwarfs

    Chary, R R; Becklin, E E

    1998-01-01

    We present ISOCAM 7 micron and 15 micron observations of 12 nearby white dwarfs, 6 of which have been found to have metals such as Ca, Mg and Fe in their photospheres. Our purpose was to search for an excess of infrared emission above the stellar photospheres. We find that none of the white dwarfs other than G29-38 shows a detectable infrared excess and this places strong constraints on the existence of a dusty disk around these stars. We conclude that ongoing accretion of the interstellar medium seems an unlikely explanation for the existence of metals in the photospheres of cool hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs. The excess associated with G29-38 is 3.8+/-1.0 mJy and 2.9+/-0.6 mJy at 7 micron and 15 micron respectively. The broadband spectrum of this star strengthens the hypothesis that the infrared excess arises from a disk of particulate matter surrounding the white dwarf rather than from a cool brown dwarf companion.

  11. Radiative Levitation of Silicon in the Atmospheres of Two Hyades DA White Dwarfs

    Chayer, P.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of silicon at the surface of the two Hyades DA white dwarfs WD 0421+162 and WD 0431+126 requires mechanisms that counteract the effects of the downward diffusion. Radiative levitation calculations indicate that the silicon abundance observed in WD 0431+126 corresponds to the abundance supported by radiative levitation. Detailed time-dependent diffusion calculations that take into account radiative levitation and accretion indicate that accretion with rates of dM/dt(Si) < 1.00E4 g...

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

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

    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 w...

  14. Isochrones and Luminosity Functions for Old White Dwarfs

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

    1999-01-01

    Using a new grid of models of cooling white dwarfs, we calculate isochrones and luminosity functions in the Johnson-Kron/Cousins and HST filter sets for systems containing old white dwarfs. These new models incorporate a non-grey atmosphere which 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 of all ages using white dwarfs. As a practical application we demonstrate the use of these results by deriving the white dwarf cooling age of the old Galact...

  15. A very Low-Luminosity, very cool DC White Dwarf

    Harris, H; Vrba, F J; Henden, A A; Liebert, J; Schmidt, G; Reid, N; Harris, Hugh; Dahn, Conard; Vrba, Frederick; Henden, Arne; Liebert, James; Schmidt, Gary; Reid, Neill

    1999-01-01

    The star LHS 3250 is found to be a white dwarf at a distance of 30 pc. Its absolute magnitudes (M_V = 15.72; M_bol = 16.2) put it among the least-luminous white dwarfs known. Its optical spectrum shows no features, indicating it has a DC classification, and it shows no detectable polarization, indicating it does not have a very strong magnetic field. However, its broadband colors show it to have a unique spectral energy distribution, and it stands out from all other stars in BVI and other broadband photometric surveys. We discuss these properties, and conclude that LHS 3250 must be an extremely cool white dwarf with strong collision-induced absorption at red-infrared wavelengths from molecular hydrogen, in accord with models for very cool white dwarf atmospheres. If so, it is the first such star known, and the first star to provide observational evidence supporting these models. It suggests that other very cool white dwarfs, both halo white dwarfs and the oldest disk white dwarfs, also may have colors affecte...

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

    Wheeler, J Craig

    2012-01-01

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) have gotten increasingly tight. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the limits on the companions of SNIa in SNR 0509-67.5 and SN1572 are M dwarfs. M dwarfs have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNIa: they have small but finite magnetic fields, and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SNIa progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide an adequate rate of explosions. 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...

  17. Angular Momentum Transport in Double White Dwarf Binaries

    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.

  18. PULSATIONAL MAPPING OF CALCIUM ACROSS THE SURFACE OF A WHITE DWARF

    We constrain the distribution of calcium across the surface of the white dwarf star G29-38 by combining time-series spectroscopy from Gemini-North with global time-series photometry from the Whole Earth Telescope. G29-38 is actively accreting metals from a known debris disk. Since the metals sink significantly faster than they mix across the surface, any inhomogeneity in the accretion process will appear as an inhomogeneity of the metals on the surface of the star. We measure the flux amplitudes and the calcium equivalent width amplitudes for two large pulsations excited on G29-38 in 2008. The ratio of these amplitudes best fits a model for polar accretion of calcium and rules out equatorial accretion.

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

    Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2001-01-01

    The discovery of a population of high proper motion white dwarfs by Oppenheimer et al (2001) has caused a lot of speculation as to the origin of these stars. I show that the age distribution of the white dwarfs offers a kind of sanity check in these discussions. In particular, this population appears to have a similar age distribution to those in the standard, thin disk white dwarf population. This is not what is expected for either the halo or thick disk, which are thought to be old populati...

  20. Searching for the white dwarf in WZ sagitae

    Far ultraviolet spectra of WZ Sge from July 1979 through November 1981 were studied to search for the spectroscopic signature of the white dwarf primary. The ultraviolet fluxes continued to decline throughout this period. The observed energy distribution in Nov 1981 can be matched by a DA-type white dwarf with an effective temperature of 145000K and an apparent visual magnitude of 14.7. Even so, questions still remain about wether the white dwarf actually has been seen in this system

  1. Induced Compression of White Dwarfs by Angular Momentum Loss

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Ruffini, Remo; Zhami, Bakytzhan

    2016-01-01

    We investigate isolated sub- and super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs which lose angular momentum through magnetic dipole braking. We construct constant rest mass sequences by fulfilling all stability criteria of rotating configurations and show how the main structure of white dwarfs such as the central density, mean radius and angular velocity change with time. We explicitly demonstrate that all isolated white dwarfs regardless of their masses, by angular momentum loss, shrink and increase their central density. We also analyze the effects of the structure parameters on the evolution timescale both in the case of constant magnetic field and constant magnetic flux.

  2. Mass-radius relations of white dwarfs at finite temperatures

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Ruffini, Remo; Zhami, Bakytzhan; Kalymova, Zhanerke; Balgimbekov, Galymdin

    2016-01-01

    We construct mass-radius relations of white dwarfs taking into account the effects of rotation and finite temperatures. We compare and contrast the theoretical mass-radius relations with observational data.

  3. Circumstellar debris and pollution at white dwarf stars

    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.

  4. Outbursts in two new cool pulsating DA white dwarfs

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

    2016-01-01

    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 d, 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 d with amplitudes up to 9%. We establish that only the coolest pulsating white dwarfs within a small temperature range near the cool, red edge of the DAV instability strip exhibit these outbursts.

  5. General Relativistic White Dwarfs and Their Astrophysical Implications

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Ruffini, Remo; Siutsou, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    We consider applications of general relativistic uniformly-rotating white dwarfs to several astrophysical phenomena related to the spin-up and the spin-down epochs and to delayed type Ia supernova explosions of super-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs, where we estimate the "spinning down" lifetime due to magnetic-dipole braking. In addition, we describe the physical properties of Soft Gamma Repeaters and Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars as massive rapidly-rotating highly-magnetized white dwarfs. Particularly we consider one of the so-called low-magnetic-field magnetars SGR 0418+5729 as a massive rapidly-rotating highly-magnetized white dwarf and give bounds for the mass, radius, moment of inertia, and magnetic field by requiring the general relativistic uniformly-rotating configurations to be stable.

  6. Circumstellar Debris and Pollution at White Dwarf Stars

    Farihi, J

    2016-01-01

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

  7. A EUTECTIC IN CARBON-OXYGEN WHITE DWARFS ?

    Stevenson, D.

    1980-01-01

    When the interior of a white dwarf begins to freeze, the coexisting solid and liquid phases will have different compositions in general. Two models for the carbon-oxygen phase diagram are described. In the more realistic model, a pronounced eutetic is predicted and the solid phase is either pure carbon or pure oxygen. The model predicts that a white dwarf begins to freeze later in its evolution and then cools more slowly.

  8. Dark halo baryons not in ancient halo white dwarfs

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

    2004-01-01

    accepted in Astronomy and Astrophysics (19-05-2004) Having ruled out the possibility that stellar objects are the main contributor of the dark matter embedding galaxies, microlensing experiments cannot exclude the hypothesis that a significant fraction of the Milky Way dark halo might be made of MACHOs with masses in the range $0.5-0.8 \\msun$. Ancient white dwarfs are generally considered the most plausible candidates for such MACHOs. We report the results of a search for such white dwarfs...

  9. Most Double Degenerate Low Mass White Dwarf Binaries Merge

    Brown, Warren R; Kenyon, Scott J; Gianninas, A

    2016-01-01

    We estimate the merger rate of double degenerate binaries containing extremely low mass (ELM) <0.3 Msun white dwarfs in the Galaxy. Such white dwarfs are detectable for timescales of 0.1 Gyr -- 1 Gyr in the ELM Survey; the binaries they reside in have gravitational wave merger times of 0.001 Gyr -- 100 Gyr. To explain the observed distribution requires that most ELM white dwarf binary progenitors detach from the common envelope phase with <1 hr orbital periods. We calculate the local space density of ELM white dwarf binaries and estimate a merger rate of 3e-3/yr over the entire disk of the Milky Way; the merger rate in the halo is 10 times smaller. The ELM white dwarf binary merger rate exceeds by a factor of 40 the formation rate of stable mass transfer AM CVn binaries, marginally exceeds the rate of underluminous supernovae, and is identical to the formation rate of R CrB stars. On this basis, we conclude that ELM white dwarf binaries can be the progenitors of all observed AM CVn and possibly underlum...

  10. A double white dwarf with a paradoxical origin?

    Bours, M C P; Gaensicke, B T; Tauris, T M; Istrate, A G; Badenes, C; Dhillon, V S; Gal-Yam, A; Hermes, J J; Kengkriangkrai, S; Kilic, M; Koester, D; Mullally, F; Prasert, N; Steeghs, D; Thompson, S E; Thorstensen, J R

    2015-01-01

    We present Hubble Space Telescope UV spectra of the 4.6 h period double white dwarf SDSS J125733.63+542850.5. Combined with Sloan Digital Sky Survey optical data, these reveal that the massive white dwarf (secondary) has an effective temperature T2 = 13030 +/- 70 +/- 150 K and a surface gravity log g2 = 8.73 +/- 0.05 +/- 0.05 (statistical and systematic uncertainties respectively), leading to a mass of M2 = 1.06 Msun. The temperature of the extremely low-mass white dwarf (primary) is substantially lower at T1 = 6400 +/- 37 +/- 50 K, while its surface gravity is poorly constrained by the data. The relative flux contribution of the two white dwarfs across the spectrum provides a radius ratio of R1/R2 = 4.2, which, together with evolutionary models, allows us to calculate the cooling ages. The secondary massive white dwarf has a cooling age of about 1 Gyr, while that of the primary low-mass white dwarf is likely to be much longer, possibly larger than 5 Gyrs, depending on its mass and the strength of chemical di...

  11. The White Dwarfs within 25 Parsecs of the Sun: Kinematics and Spectroscopic Subtypes

    Sion, E M; Oswalt, T D; McCook, G P; Wasatonic, R; Myszka, J

    2014-01-01

    We present the fractional distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, range and distribution of surface temperatures, and kinematical properties of the white dwarfs within 25pc of the sun. There is no convincing evidence of halo white dwarfs in the total 25 pc sample of 224 white dwarfs. There is also little to suggest the presence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 25 parsecs. It appears that the entire 25 pc sample likely belong to the thin disk. We also find no significant kinematic differences with respect to spectroscopic subtypes. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 25 pc sample is 1.8, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. We compare this ratio with the results of other studies. We find that at least 11% of the white dwarfs within 25 parsecs of the sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that likely originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this inter...

  12. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    Dan, Marius; Brüggen, Marcus; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Rosswog, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs (WDs) has for many years not been considered as the favoured model for the progenitor system of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). But recent years have seen a change of opinion as a number of studies, both observational and theoretical, have concluded that they should contribute significantly to the observed type Ia supernova rate. In this paper, we study the ignition and propagation of detonation through post-merger remnants and we follow the resulting nucleosynthesis up to the point where a homologous expansion is reached. In our study we cover the entire range of WD masses and compositions. For the emergence of a detonation we study several setups, guided by both merger remnants from our own simulations and by results taken from the literature. We carefully compare the nucleosynthetic yields of successful explosions with SN Ia observations. Only three of our models are consistent with all the imposed constraints and potentially lead to a standard type Ia event. The first one, a $0...

  13. TWO NEW TIDALLY DISTORTED WHITE DWARFS

    We identify two new tidally distorted white dwarfs (WDs), SDSS J174140.49+652638.7 and J211921.96–001825.8 (hereafter J1741 and J2119). Both stars are extremely low mass (ELM, ≤ 0.2 M☉) WDs in short-period, detached binary systems. High-speed photometric observations obtained at the McDonald Observatory reveal ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming in both systems; J1741, with a minimum companion mass of 1.1 M☉, has one of the strongest Doppler beaming signals ever observed in a binary system (0.59% ± 0.06% amplitude). We use the observed ellipsoidal variations to constrain the radius of each WD. For J1741, the star's radius must exceed 0.074 R☉. For J2119, the radius exceeds 0.10 R☉. These indirect radius measurements are comparable to the radius measurements for the bloated WD companions to A-stars found by the Kepler spacecraft, and they constitute some of the largest radii inferred for any WD. Surprisingly, J1741 also appears to show a 0.23% ± 0.06% reflection effect, and we discuss possible sources for this excess heating. Both J1741 and J2119 are strong gravitational wave sources, and the time-of-minimum of the ellipsoidal variations can be used to detect the orbital period decay. This may be possible on a timescale of a decade or less.

  14. Two New Tidally Distorted White Dwarfs

    Hermes, J J; Brown, Warren R; Montgomery, M H; Winget, D E

    2012-01-01

    We identify two new tidally distorted white dwarfs (WDs), SDSS J174140.49+652638.7 and J211921.96-001825.8 (hereafter J1741 and J2119). Both stars are extremely low mass (ELM, < 0.2 Msun) WDs in short-period, detached binary systems. High-speed photometric observations obtained at the McDonald Observatory reveal ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming in both systems; J1741, with a minimum companion mass of 1.1 Msun, has one of the strongest Doppler beaming signals ever observed in a binary system (0.59 \\pm 0.06% amplitude). We use the observed ellipsoidal variations to constrain the radius of each WD. For J1741, the star's radius must exceed 0.074 Rsun. For J2119, the radius exceeds 0.10 Rsun. These indirect radius measurements are comparable to the radius measurements for the bloated WD companions to A-stars found by the Kepler spacecraft, and they constitute some of the largest radii inferred for any WD. Surprisingly, J1741 also appears to show a 0.23 \\pm 0.06% reflection effect, and we discuss possi...

  15. Spin and Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    Kissin, Yevgeni

    2015-01-01

    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. We find that the downward pumping of angular momentum in the convective envelope can, by itself, trigger dynamo action near the core-envelope boundary in an isolated intermediate-mass star. A solar-mass star must receive additional angular momentum following its rotational braking on the main sequence, either by a merger with a planet, or by tidal interaction in a stellar binary. Several arguments point to the outer core as the source for a magnetic field in the WD remnant: i) the outer third of a ~0.55$M_\\odot$ WD is processed during the shell burning phases of the progenitor; ii) 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 iii) intense radiation flux at the core boundary facilitates magnetic buoyancy within a rela...

  16. Magnetically powered outbursts from white dwarf mergers

    Beloborodov, Andrei M

    2013-01-01

    Merger of a white dwarf binary creates a differentially rotating object which is expected to generate strong magnetic fields. Kinetic energy stored in differential rotation is partially dissipated in the magnetically dominated corona, which forms a hot variable outflow with ejection velocity comparable to $10^9$ cm s$^{-1}$. The outflow should carry significant mass and energy for hours to days, creating an expanding fireball with the following features. (i) The fireball is initially opaque and its internal energy is dominated by the trapped thermal radiation. The stored heat is partially converted to kinetic energy of the flow (through adiabatic cooling) and partially radiated away. (ii) Internal shocks develop in the fireball and increase its radiative output. (iii) A significant fraction of the emitted energy is in the optical band. As a result, a bright optical transient with luminosity $L\\sim 10^{41}-10^{42}$ erg s$^{-1}$ and a characteristic peak duration comparable to 1 day may be expected from the mer...

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. The Discovery of the Most Metal-Rich White Dwarf: Composition of a Tidally Disrupted Extrasolar Dwarf Planet

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

    2010-01-01

    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 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 S/N 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 si...

  19. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

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

    2015-01-01

    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 min 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 ecli...

  20. Collapsed White Dwarfs as Gamma-Ray Burst Sources

    de Paolis, F.; Ingrosso, G.; Qadir, A.

    1995-09-01

    It has been suggested by Usov (1992) that accreting white dwarfs, collapsing to neutron stars may be the sources of the gamma-ray bursts observed at cosmological distances, provided they rotate very fast and have enormously high magnetic fields. In this model the burst's durationτ is given by the ratio of pulsar kinetic energy and magneticdipole luminosity, so that in order to account for the shortest (τ ˜ 0.1 s) bursts, the pulsars must rotate very fast (with periodP ˜ 0.5 ms) and have magnetic fields of 1016 - 1017 G. Though the high pulsar frequency was anticipated (Qadir and Rafique, 1986) and has been shown to be plausible (Abramowicz, 1990), the extremely high magnetic fields seem anomalous as observed neutron stars have fields below ˜ 1013 G. The problem with Usov's proposal is reduced by incorporating the relativistic corrections for fast rotating magnetic dipoles (Belinskyet al., 1994) or magnetic stars (De Paolis and Qadir, 1994). These corrections substantially enhance the radiation efficiency due to the existence of a magnetic synchrotron effect so that the magnetic field required for the explanation of the shortest gamma-ray bursts is strongly reduced. As such the model becomes much more plausible.

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

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

    2011-01-01

    We use a combination of X-shooter spectroscopy, ULTRACAM high-speed photometry and SOFI near-infrared photometry to measure the masses and radii of both components of the eclipsing post common envelope binaries SDSS J1212-0123 and GK Vir. For both systems we measure the gravitational redshift of the white dwarf and combine it with light curve model fits to determine the inclinations, masses and radii. For SDSS J1212-0123 we find a white dwarf mass and radius of 0.439 +/- 0.002 Msun and 0.0168 +/- 0.0003 Rsun, and a secondary star mass and radius of 0.273 +/- 0.002 Msun and 0.306 +/- 0.007 Rsun. For GK Vir we find a white dwarf mass and radius of 0.564 +/- 0.014 Msun and 0.0170 +/- 0.0004 Rsun, and a secondary star mass and radius of 0.116 +/- 0.003 Msun and 0.155 +/- 0.003 Rsun. The mass and radius of the white dwarf in GK Vir are consistent with evolutionary models for a 50,000K carbon-oxygen core white dwarf. Although the mass and radius of the white dwarf in SDSS J1212-0123 are consistent with carbon-oxyge...

  2. New White Dwarf Stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo; Kleinman, Scot J; Romero, Alejandra Daniela; Nitta, Atsuko; Eisenstein, Daniel J; Costa, José Eduardo da Silveira; Külebi, Baybars; Jordan, Stefan; Dufour, Patrick; Giommi, Paolo; Rebassa-Mansergas, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of 9 088 new spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs and subdwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10. We obtain Teff, log g and mass for hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) and helium atmosphere white dwarf stars (DBs), and estimate the calcium/helium abundances for the white dwarf stars with metallic lines (DZs) and carbon/helium for carbon dominated spectra DQs. We found 1 central star of a planetary nebula, 2 new oxygen spectra on helium atmosphere white dwarfs, 71 DQs, 42 hot DO/PG1159s, 171 white dwarf+main sequence star binaries, 206 magnetic DAHs, 327 continuum dominated DCs, 397 metal polluted white dwarfs, 450 helium dominated white dwarfs, 647 subdwarfs and 6887 new hydrogen dominated white dwarf stars.

  3. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    Dan, M.; Guillochon, J.; Brüggen, M.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E.; Rosswog, S.

    2015-12-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs (WDs) has for many years not been considered as the favoured model for the progenitor system of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). But recent years have seen a change of opinion as a number of studies, both observational and theoretical, have concluded that they should contribute significantly to the observed SN Ia rate. In this paper, we study the ignition and propagation of detonation through post-merger remnants and we follow the resulting nucleosynthesis up to the point where a homologous expansion is reached. In our study we cover the entire range of WD masses and compositions. For the emergence of a detonation we study three different setups. The first two are guided by the merger remnants from our earlier simulations, while for the third one the ignitions were set by placing hotspots with properties determined by spatially resolved calculations taken from the literature. There are some caveats to our approach which we investigate. We carefully compare the nucleosynthetic yields of successful explosions with SN Ia observations. Only three of our models are consistent with all the imposed constraints and potentially lead to a standard Type Ia event. The first one, a 0.45 M⊙ helium (He) + 0.9 M⊙ carbon-oxygen (CO) WD system produces a sub-luminous, SN 1991bg-like event while the other two, a 0.45 M⊙ He+1.1 M⊙ oxygen-neon WD system and a 1.05 + 1.05 M⊙ system with two CO WDs, are good candidates for common SNe Ia.

  4. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

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

    2015-01-01

    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 Msun. 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 gamma-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 Teff5 Gyr. Thin Hydrogen envelopes are required for these white dwarfs to cool to the observed temperatures, and we sugges...

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

    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.

  6. Discovery of kilogauss magnetic fields in three DA white dwarfs

    Aznar Cuadrado, R; Napiwotzki, R; Schmid, H M; Solanki, S K; Mathys, G

    2004-01-01

    We have detected longitudinal magnetic fields between 2 and 4 kG in three (WD 0446$-$790, WD 1105$-$048, WD 2359$-$434) out of a sample of 12 normal DA white dwarfs by using optical spectropolarimetry done with the VLT Antu 8 m telescope equipped with FORS1. With the exception of 40 Eri B (4 kG) these are the first positive detections of magnetic fields in white dwarfs below 30 kG. Although suspected, it was not clear whether a significant fraction of white dwarfs contain magnetic fields at this level. These fields may be explained as fossil relics from magnetic fields in the main-sequence progenitors considerably enhanced by magnetic flux conservation during the shrinkage of the core. A detection rate of 25 % (3/12) may indicate now for the first time that a substantial fraction of white dwarfs have a weak magnetic field. This result, if confirmed by future observations, would form a cornerstone for our understanding on the evolution of stellar magnetic fields. Keywords: stars: white dwarfs - stars: magnetic...

  7. Signs of a faint disc population at polluted white dwarfs

    Bergfors, Carolina; Dufour, Patrick; Rocchetto, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Observations of atmospheric metals and dust discs around white dwarfs provide important clues to the fate of terrestrial planetary systems around intermediate mass stars. We present Spitzer IRAC observations of 15 metal polluted white dwarfs to investigate the occurrence and physical properties of circumstellar dust created by the disruption of planetary bodies. We find subtle infrared excess emission consistent with warm dust around KUV 15519+1730 and HS 2132+0941, and weaker excess around the DZ white dwarf G245-58, which, if real, makes it the coolest white dwarf known to exhibit a 3.6 micron excess and the first DZ star with a bright disc. All together our data corroborate a picture where 1) discs at metal-enriched white dwarfs are commonplace and most escape detection in the infrared (possibly as narrow rings), 2) the discs are long lived, having lifetimes on the order of 10^6 yr or longer, and 3) the frequency of bright, infrared detectable discs decreases with age, on a timescale of roughly 500 Myr, su...

  8. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    Adamczak, J; Rauch, T; Schuh, S; Drake, J J; Kruk, J W

    2012-01-01

    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 (LB 1919) and the other is a non-DA of spectral type PG1159 (PG 1520+525). The spectra of both stars are analyzed, together with an archival Chandra spectrum of another DA white dwarf (GD 246). 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 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. (abridged)

  9. Ageing in old degenerates: asteroseismology of white dwarf stars

    Recent results on the use of pulsations in white dwarf stars as seismic probes of their structure are reviewed. The evolution of stars to the white dwarf stage is first described, followed by a discussion of their structure as expected from the theory of stellar evolution. A summary of the salient points of stellar pulsation theory is given and then compared with observations of pulsating white dwarfs: the pulsations are non-radial 'g-mode' pulsations and occur in all white dwarfs as they cool through the temperature ranges defining each of the four 'instability strips' on the white dwarf cooling curve. The presence of only some of the possible pulsation modes in any given star suggest that a filter mechanism to select these modes is at work, possibly the chemical stratification of the star. The pulsation periods can be measured very accurately so that period changes, due to evolutionary cooling, can be detected over relatively short intervals (2 - 30 years). The detection of such period changes can be used to place interesting limits on the age of the Galaxy and ultimately the age of the Universe. 17 refs., 10 figs., 2 tabs

  10. Pulsations powered by hydrogen shell burning in white dwarfs

    Camisassa, María E; Althaus, Leandro G; Shibahashi, Hiromoto

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. We construct white-dwarf sequences from low-metallicity progenitors by means of full evolutionary calculations, and analyze their pulsation stability for the models in the range of effective temperatures $T_{\\rm eff} \\sim 15\\,000\\,-\\, 8\\,000$ K. We demonstrate that, for white dwarf models with masses $M_{\\star} \\lesssim 0.71\\,\\rm M_{\\sun}$ and effective temperatures $8\\,500 \\lesssim T_{\\rm eff} \\lesssim 11\\,600$ K that evolved...

  11. Quiescent nuclear burning in low-metallicity white dwarfs

    Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; Garcia-Berro, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    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 $0.53\\, M_{\\sun}$ to $0.83\\, M_{\\sun}$. 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 ...

  12. A DEEPLY ECLIPSING DETACHED DOUBLE HELIUM WHITE DWARF BINARY

    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 Hα absorption line cores. These measurements, combined with the light curve information, yield white dwarf masses of M1 = 0.283 ± 0.064 Msun and M2 = 0.274 ± 0.034 Msun, 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.

  13. Searching for benchmark systems containing ultra-cool dwarfs and white dwarfs

    Pinfield D.J.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We have used the 2MASS all-sky survey and WISE to look for ultracool dwarfs that are part of multiple systems containing main sequence stars. We cross-matched L dwarf candidates from the surveys with Hipparcos and Gliese stars, finding two new systems. We consider the binary fraction for L dwarfs and main sequence stars, and further assess possible unresolved multiplicity within the full companion sample. This analysis shows that some of the L dwarfs in this sample might actually be unresolved binaries themselves. We have also identified a sample of common proper motion systems in which a main sequence star has a white dwarf as wide companion. These systems can help explore key issues in star evolution theory, as the initial-final mass relationship of white dwarfs, or the chromospheric activity-age relationship for stars still in the main sequence. Spectroscopy for 50 white dwarf candidates, selected from the SuperCOSMOS Science Archive, was obtained. We have also observed 6 of the main sequence star companions, and have estimated their effective temperatures, rotational and microturbulent velocities and metallicities.

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

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1980-01-01

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

  15. The atmospheric parameters of nearby white dwarfs revisited

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

    2010-11-01

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

  16. Double Detonation of Sub-Chandrasekhar White Dwarfs and Subluminous Type Ia Supernovae

    Sivaram, C; Arun, Kenath

    2010-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae are thought to result from thermonuclear explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarf stars. This model generally explains the observed properties with certain exceptions, like sub-luminous supernovae. Here we discuss the possibility of sub-Chandrasekhar WDs detonating due to the build up of a layer of helium on the C-O WD by accreting from a helium rich companion star to explain observed deviations such as subluminous type Ia. We also detail some of the energetics involved that...

  17. Magnetic White Dwarf Stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Jordan, Stefan; Kleinman, Scot J.; Kulebi, Baybars; Koester, Detlev; Peçanha, Viviane; Castanheira, Bárbara G.; Nitta, Atsuko; Costa, José Eduardo da Silveira; Winget, Don Earl; Kanaan, Antonio; Fraga, Luciano

    2012-01-01

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

  18. White dwarfs: composition, mass budget and galactic evolution

    Recent results on the composition of white dwarf atmospheres, both hydrogen-rich (DA) and hydrogen-poor (non-DA) are summarized. DA atmospheres seem to be helium- and metal-poor by factors of at least 10 and 100, non-DA atmospheres are extremely helium-rich (He/H > 104) and metal-poor, but have variable carbon content. Whereas the interior composition must be that of the products of helium burning, little is known about the composition of the nondegenerate envelope. Consideration of stellar evolution and white dwarf formation via the Planetary Nebula stage gives restraints on composition and mass fraction of the outer envelopes. (orig./BJ)

  19. Search For Oxygen in Cool DQ White Dwarf Atmospheres

    Kilic, M.; Winget, D. E.; von Hippel, T.; Lester, D. F.; Saumon, D

    2002-01-01

    We report new infrared spectroscopic observations of cool DQ white dwarfs by using Coolspec on the 2.7m Harlan-Smith Telescope. DQs have helium-rich atmospheres with traces of molecular carbon thought to be the result of convective dredge-up from their C/O interiors. Recent model calculations predict that oxygen should also be present in DQ atmospheres in detectable amounts. Our synthetic spectra calculations for He-rich white dwarfs with traces of C and O indicate that CO should be easily de...

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

    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.

  1. A Very Low-Luminosity, Very Cool, DC White Dwarf

    Harris, Hugh; Dahn, Conard; Vrba, Frederick; Henden, Arne; Liebert, James; Schmidt, Gary; Reid, Neill

    1999-01-01

    The star LHS 3250 is found to be a white dwarf at a distance of 30 pc. Its absolute magnitudes (M_V = 15.72; M_bol = 16.2) put it among the least-luminous white dwarfs known. Its optical spectrum shows no features, indicating it has a DC classification, and it shows no detectable polarization, indicating it does not have a very strong magnetic field. However, its broadband colors show it to have a unique spectral energy distribution, and it stands out from all other stars in BVI and other bro...

  2. GRMHD formulation of highly super-Chandrasekhar rotating magnetised white dwarfs: Stable configurations of non-spherical white dwarfs

    Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar

    2015-01-01

    Here we extend the exploration of significantly super-Chandrasekhar magnetised white dwarfs by numerically computing axisymmetric stationary equilibria of differentially rotating magnetised polytropic compact stars in general relativity (GR), within the ideal magnetohydrodynamic regime. We use a general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) framework that describes rotating and magnetised 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 $10^{14}$ Gauss and differential rotation with surface time periods of about 1-10 seconds. We no...

  3. An independent test of the photometric selection of white dwarf candidates using LAMOST DR3

    Gentile Fusillo, N. P.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Liu, X.-W.; Ren, J. J.; Koester, D.; Zhan, Y.; Hou, Y.; Wang, Y.; Yang, M.

    2015-09-01

    In previous work by Gentile Fusillo et al., we developed a selection method for white dwarf candidates which makes use of photometry, colours and proper motions to calculate a probability of being a white dwarf (PWD). The application of our method to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 10 resulted in ≃66 000 photometrically selected objects with a derived PWD, approximately ≃21 000 of which are high-confidence white dwarf candidates. Here, we present an independent test of our selection method based on a sample of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs from the Large Sky Area Multi-Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey. We do this by cross-matching all our ≃66 000 SDSS photometric white dwarf candidates with the over 4 million spectra available in the third data release of LAMOST. This results in 1673 white dwarf candidates with no previous SDSS spectroscopy, but with available LAMOST spectra. Among these objects, we identify 309 genuine white dwarfs. We find that our PWD can efficiently discriminate between confirmed LAMOST white dwarfs and contaminants. Our white dwarf candidate selection method can be applied to any multiband photometric survey and in this work we conclusively confirm its reliability in selecting white dwarfs without recourse to spectroscopy. We also discuss the spectroscopic completeness of white dwarfs in LAMOST, as well as deriving effective temperatures, surface gravities and masses for the hydrogen-rich atmosphere white dwarfs in the newly identified LAMOST sample.

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

    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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Werner, Klaus; Rauch, Thomas; Ringat, Ellen [Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Kepler Center for Astro and Particle Physics, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany); Kruk, Jeffrey W. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2012-07-01

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

  7. Lithium production in the merging of white dwarf stars

    Longland, Richard; José, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique; Althaus, Leandro G

    2012-01-01

    The origin of R Coronae Borealis stars has been elusive for over 200 years. Currently, two theories for their formation have been presented. These are the Final Flash scenario, in which a dying asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star throws off its atmosphere to reveal the hydrogen poor, heavily processed material underneath, and the double degenerate scenario, in which two white dwarfs merge to produce a new star with renewed vigour. Some theories predict that the temperatures reached during the latter scenario would destroy any lithium originally present in the white dwarfs. The observed lithium content of some R Coronae Borealis stars, therefore, is often interpreted as an indication that the Final Flash scenario best describes their formation. In this paper, it is shown that lithium production can, indeed, occur in the merging of a helium white dwarf with a carbon-oxygen white dwarf if their chemical composition, particularly that of 3He, is fully considered. The production mechanism is described in detail, an...

  8. Global properties of the white dwarf pulsar AR Scorpii

    Franzon, B

    2016-01-01

    In view of the new recent observation and measurement of the fast-rotating and highly-magnetized white dwarf AR Sco \\cite{Marsh:2016uhc}, we determine bounds for its radius, magnetic fields, moment of inertia and gravitational wave (GW) emission by using observations of the luminosity, as well the rotation frequency $\

  9. Magnetic White Dwarfs from the SDSS. The First Data Release

    Schmidt, G D

    2003-01-01

    Beyond its goals related to the extragalactic universe, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is an effective tool for identifying stellar objects with unusual spectral energy distributions. Here we report on the 53 new magnetic white dwarfs discovered during the first two years of the survey, including 38 whose data are made public in the 1500 square-degree First Data Release. Discoveries span the magnitude range 16.3 3 MG and g > 15. The new objects nearly double the total number of known magnetic white dwarfs, and include examples with polar field strengths B > 500 MG as well as several with exotic atmospheric compositions. The improved sample statistics and uniformity indicate that the distribution of magnetic white dwarfs has a broad peak in the range ~5-30 MG and a tail extending to nearly 10^9 G. Degenerates with polar fields B > 50 MG are consistent with being descendents of magnetic Ap/Bp main-sequence stars, but low- and moderate-field magnetic white dwarfs appear to imply another origin. Yet-undetec...

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

    Torres, S

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. We use a state-of-the-art population synthesis code based on Monte Carlo techniques, that 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. 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 ...

  11. The brightest pure-H ultracool white dwarf

    Catalan, S; Pinfield, D J; Smith, L C; Zhang, Z H; Napiwotzki, R; Marocco, F; Day-Jones, A C; Gomes, J; Forde, K P; Lucas, P W; Jones, H R A

    2012-01-01

    We report the identification of LSR J0745+2627 in the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (LAS) as a cool white dwarf with kinematics and age compatible with the thick-disk/halo population. LSR J0745+2627 has a high proper motion (890 mas/yr) and a high reduced proper motion value in the J band (H_J=21.87). We show how the infrared-reduced proper motion diagram is useful for selecting a sample of cool white dwarfs with low contamination. LSR J0745+2627 is also detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). We have spectroscopically confirmed this object as a cool white dwarf using X-Shooter on the Very Large Telescope. A detailed analysis of its spectral energy distribution reveals that its atmosphere is compatible with a pure-H composition model with an effective temperature of 3880+-90 K. This object is the brightest pure-H ultracool white dwarf (Teff<4000 K) ever identified. We have constrained the dis...

  12. Chandra Grating Spectroscopy of Three Hot White Dwarfs

    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

  13. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    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. Sirius B - A still mysterious white dwarf

    Wesemael, F.; Fontaine, G.

    1982-02-01

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

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

    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 ☉) 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 ☉) and surface gravity (log (g) = 6.32-6.38; radii are 0.0423-0.0433 R ☉) 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) × 10–5. Finally, we use multicolor data to constrain the secondary's effective temperature (7600 ± 120 K) and cooling age (1.6-1.7 Gyr).

  16. Searching for white dwarfs candidates in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data

    zyty, Mirosław Nale\\; Ciechanowska, Anna; Madej, Jerzy

    2008-01-01

    Large amount of observational spectroscopic data are recently available from different observational projects, like Sloan Digital Sky Survey. It's become more urgent to identify white dwarfs stars based on data itself i.e. without modelling white dwarf atmospheres. In particular, existing methods of white dwarfs identification presented in Kleinman et al. (2004) and in Eisenstein et al. (2006) did not allow to find all the white dwarfs in examined data. We intend to test various criteria of searching for white dwarf candidates, based on photometric and spectral features.

  17. Dynamical Tides in Compact White Dwarf Binaries: Helium Core White Dwarfs, Tidal Heating, and Observational Signatures

    Fuller, Jim

    2012-01-01

    Tidal dissipation in compact white dwarf (WD) binary systems significantly influences the physical conditions (such as surface temperature and rotation rate) of the WDs prior to mass transfer or merger. In these systems, the dominant tidal effects involve the excitation of gravity waves and their dissipation in the outer envelope of the star. We calculate the amplitude of tidally excited gravity waves in low-mass (0.3M_\\odot) helium-core (He) WDs as a function of the tidal forcing frequency \\omega. Like carbon-oxygen (CO) WDs studied in our previous paper, we find that the dimensionless tidal torque F(\\omega) (inversely proportional to the effective tidal quality factor) has an erratic dependence on \\omega. On average, F(\\omega) scales approximately as \\omega^6, and is several orders of magnitude smaller for He WDs than for CO WDs. We find that tidal torques can begin to synchronize the WD rotation when the orbital period is less than about a hour, although a nearly constant asynchronization is maintained eve...

  18. Rocky Extrasolar Planetary Compositions Derived from Externally-Polluted White Dwarfs

    Klein, B; Koester, D; Zuckerman, B

    2011-01-01

    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 ~10^22 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 ~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 littl...

  19. The polluted atmosphere of the white dwarf NLTT 25792 and the diversity of circumstellar environments

    Vennes, S

    2013-01-01

    We present an analysis of X-Shooter spectra of the polluted, hydrogen-rich white dwarf NLTT 25792. The spectra show strong lines of calcium (Ca H&K, near-infrared calcium triplet, and Ca I 4226 and numerous lines of iron along with magnesium and aluminum lines from which we draw the abundance pattern. Moreover, the photospheric Ca H&K lines are possibly blended with a circumstellar component shifted by -20 km/s relative to the photosphere. A comparison with a sample of four white dwarfs with similar parameters show considerable variations in their abundance patterns, particularly in the calcium to magnesium abundance ratio that varies by a factor of five within this sample. The observed variations, even after accounting for diffusion effects, imply similar variations in the putative accretion source. Also, we find that silicon and sodium are significantly underabundant in the atmosphere of NLTT 25792, a fact that may offer some clues on the nature of the accretion source.

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

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stéphane

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Convective Undershoot Mixing in Nova Outbursts - the Dependence on the Composition of the Underlying White Dwarf

    Glasner, Ami S; Truran, James W

    2011-01-01

    We present here, for the first time, a 2D study of the undershoot convective mechanism in nova outbursts for a wide range of possible compositions of the layer underlying the accreted envelope. Previous surveys studied the mechanism only for solar matter accreted on top of a carbon oxygen white dwarf. Mixing with carbon was found to be crucial for the process since it dramatically enhanced the burning rates. According to observations and stellar evolution theory, in classical and recurrent novae the outermost underlying layer of the white dwarf can also be composed of ONe or pure Helium. In all the cases we examined we found significant amounts of mixing. We present the details of the burning rates and the convective flow for each underlying layer and discuss its significance for the long term debate as to the exact mechanism responsible for the enrichment of novae ejecta. Our results show that the undershoot convective dredge up model predict mixing amounts that can be consistent with observations in all the...

  2. Extreme abundance ratios in the polluted atmosphere of the cool white dwarf NLTT19868

    Kawka, Adela

    2016-01-01

    We present an analysis of intermediate-dispersion spectra and photometric data of the newly identified cool, polluted white dwarf NLTT19868. The spectra obtained with X-shooter on the Very Large Telescope (VLT)-Melipal show strong lines of calcium, and several lines of magnesium, aluminium and iron. We use these spectra and the optical-to-near infrared spectral energy distribution to constrain the atmospheric parameters of NLTT19868. Our analysis shows that NLTT19868 is iron poor with respect to aluminium and calcium. A comparison with other cool, polluted white dwarfs shows that the Fe to Ca abundance ratio (Fe/Ca) varies by up to approximately two orders of magnitudes over a narrow temperature range with NLTT19868 at one extremum in the Fe/Ca ratio and, in contrast, NLTT888 at the other extremum. The sample shows evidence of extreme diversity in the composition of the accreted material: In the case of NLTT888, the inferred composition of the accreted matter is akin to iron-rich planetary core composition, w...

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

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

    2016-01-01

    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 4.2e9 g/s, and at least 4 t...

  4. A THIRD HOT WHITE DWARF COMPANION DETECTED BY KEPLER

    We have found a system listed in the Kepler Binary Catalog (Porb = 3.273 days) that we have determined is comprised of a low-mass, thermally bloated, hot white dwarf orbiting an A star of about 2.3 Msun. In this work, we designate the object, KIC 10657664, simply as 'KHWD3' (Kepler Hot White Dwarf 3). We use the transit depth of ∼0.66%, the eclipse depth of ∼1.9%, and regular smooth periodic variations at the orbital frequency and twice the orbital frequency to analyze the system parameters. The smooth periodic variations are identified with the classical ellipsoidal light variation (ELV) and illumination (ILL) effects, and the newly utilized Doppler boosting (DB) effect. Given the measured values of R/a and inclination angle of the binary, both the ELV and DB effects are mostly sensitive to the mass ratio, q = M2/M1, of the binary. The two effects yield values of q which are somewhat inconsistent-presumably due to unidentified systematic effects-but which nonetheless provide a quite useful set of possibilities for the mass of the white dwarf (either 0.26 ± 0.04 Msun or 0.37 ± 0.08 Msun). All of the other system parameters are determined fairly robustly. In particular, we show that the white dwarf has a radius of 0.15 ± 0.01 Rsun, which is extremely bloated over the radius it would have as a fully degenerate object, and an effective temperature Teff≅14,500 K. Binary evolution scenarios and models for this system are discussed. We suggest that the progenitor binary was comprised of a primary of mass ∼2.2 Msun (the progenitor of the current hot white dwarf) and a secondary of mass ∼1.4 Msun (the progenitor of the current A star in the system). We compare this new system with three other white dwarfs in binaries that likely were formed via stable Roche-lobe overflow (KOI-74, KOI-81, and the inner Regulus binary).

  5. THE ACCRETION OF DWARF GALAXIES AND THEIR GLOBULAR CLUSTER SYSTEMS

    The question of where the low-metallicity globular clusters in early-type galaxies came from has profound implications for the formation of those galaxies. Our work supports the idea that the metal-poor globular cluster systems of giant early-type galaxies formed in dwarf galaxies that have been subsumed by the giants. To support this hypothesis, two linear relations, one involving globular cluster metallicity versus host galaxy luminosity and one involving metallicity versus velocity dispersion were studied. Tentatively, these relations show that the bright ellipticals do not obey the same trend as the dwarfs, suggesting that the low-metallicity globular clusters did not form within their parent bright ellipticals.

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

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

    2005-02-01

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

  7. X-RAY AND INFRARED OBSERVATIONS OF TWO EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    With XMM-Newton and the Spitzer Space Telescope, we obtain upper bounds to the X-ray fluxes from G29-38 and GD 362, and the 70 μm flux from G29-38. These data provide indirect evidence that G29-38 is accreting from a tidally disrupted asteroid: it is neither accreting large amounts of hydrogen and helium nor is its surrounding dusty disk being replenished from a reservoir of cold grains experiencing Poynting-Robertson drag. The upper bound to the X-ray flux from GD 362 is consistent with the estimated rate of mass accretion required to explain its pollution by elements heavier than helium. GD 362 also possesses 0.01 M + of hydrogen, an anomalously large amount for a white dwarf with a helium-dominated atmosphere. One possibility is that before the current disk was formed, this hydrogen was accreted either from ∼100 Ceres-like asteroids or one large object. An alternative scenario which simultaneously explains all of GD 362's distinctive properties is that we are witnessing the consequences of the tidal destruction of a single parent body that had internal water and was at least as massive as Callisto and probably as massive as Mars.

  8. X-ray and Infrared Observations of Two Externally-Polluted White Dwarfs

    Jura, M; Farihi, J; Zuckerman, B

    2009-01-01

    With XMM-Newton and the Spitzer Space Telescope, we obtain upper bounds to the X-ray fluxes from G29-38 and GD 362, and the 70 micron flux from G29-38. These data provide indirect evidence that G29-38 is accreting from a tidally-disrupted asteroid: it is neither accreting large amounts of hydrogen and helium nor is its surrounding dusty disk being replenished from a reservoir of cold grains experiencing Poynting-Robertson drag. The upper bound to the X-ray flux from GD 362 is consistent with the estimated rate of mass accretion required to explain its pollution by elements heavier than helium. GD 362 also possesses 0.01 of an Earth's mass of hydrogen, an anomalously large amount for a white dwarf with a helium-dominated atmosphere. One possibility is that before the current disk was formed, this hydrogen was accreted from either about 100 Ceres-like asteroids or one large object. An alternative scenario which simultaneously explains all of GD 362's distinctive properties is that we are witnessing the conseque...

  9. Quantum gases and white dwarfs with quantum gravity

    Moussa, Mohamed

    2014-11-01

    This paper addresses the effect of a generalized uncertainty principle produced by different approaches of quantum gravity within the Planck scale on statistical and thermodynamical properties of ideal fermion and boson gases. The partition function and some thermodynamical properties are investigated. The Bose-Einstein condensation and the ground state properties of fermion gases are also considered. The target approach is extended to a white dwarf as an application. The modified mass-radius relation is calculated. A decrease in the pressure of degenerate fermions due to the presence of quantum gravity leads to a contraction in the star radius. It is also found that the gravity background does not result in any change in white dwarf stability.

  10. On the origin of high-field magnetic white dwarfs

    García-Berro, E; Lorén-Aguilar, P; Aznar-Siguán, G; Camacho, J; Külebi, B; Isern, J; Althaus, L G; Córsico, A H

    2012-01-01

    High-field magnetic white dwarfs have been long suspected to be the result of stellar mergers. However, the nature of the coalescing stars and the precise mechanism that produces the magnetic field are still unknown. Here we show that the hot, convective, differentially rotating corona present in the outer layers of the remnant of the merger of two degenerate cores is able to produce magnetic fields of the required strength that do not decay for long timescales. We also show, using an state-of-the-art Monte Carlo simulator, that the expected number of high-field magnetic white dwarfs produced in this way is consistent with that found in the solar neighborhood.

  11. Spitzer Surveys of IR Excesses of White Dwarfs

    Chu, Y -H; Bilíkovà, J; Riddle, A; Su, K Y -L

    2010-01-01

    IR excesses of white dwarfs (WDs) can be used to diagnose the presence of low-mass companions, planets, and circumstellar dust. Using different combinations of wavelengths and WD temperatures, circumstellar dust at different radial distances can be surveyed. The Spitzer Space Telescope has been used to search for IR excesses of white dwarfs. Two types of circumstellar dust disks have been found: (1) small disks around cool WDs with Teff 100,000 K. The small dust disks are within the Roche limit, and are commonly accepted to have originated from tidally crushed asteroids. The large dust disks, at tens of AU from the central WDs, have been suggested to be produced by increased collisions among Kuiper Belt-like objects. In this paper, we discuss Spitzer IRAC surveys of small dust disks around cool WDs, a MIPS survey of large dust disks around hot WDs, and an archival Spitzer survey of IR excesses of WDs.

  12. Spitzer Surveys of Infrared Excesses of White Dwarfs

    Chu, Y -H; Bilíkovà, J; Riddle, A; Su, K Y -L

    2010-01-01

    IR excesses of white dwarfs (WDs) can be used to diagnose the presence of low-mass companions, planets, and circumstellar dust. Using different combinations of wavelengths and WD temperatures, circumstellar dust at different radial distances can be surveyed. The Spitzer Space Telescope has been used to search for IR excesses of white dwarfs. Two types of circumstellar dust disks have been found: (1) small disks around cool WDs with T_eff 100,000 K. The small dust disks are within the Roche limit, and are commonly accepted to have originated from tidally crushed asteroids. The large dust disks, at tens of AU from the central WDs, have been suggested to be produced by increased collisions among Kuiper Belt-like objects. In this paper, we discuss Spitzer IRAC surveys of small dust disks around cool WDs, a MIPS survey of large dust disks around hot WDs, and an archival Spitzer survey of IR excesses of WDs.

  13. Mock LISA Data Challenge for the galactic white dwarf binaries

    Błaut, Arkadiusz; Królak, Andrzej

    2009-01-01

    We present data analysis methods used in detection and the 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 50 mln. Galactic binaries were added to the simulated Gaussian instrumental noise. 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.

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

    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 6x107 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.

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

    Błaut, Arkadiusz; Babak, Stanislav; Królak, Andrzej

    2010-03-01

    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 6×107 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.

  16. Quantum gases and white dwarfs with quantum gravity

    This paper addresses the effect of a generalized uncertainty principle produced by different approaches of quantum gravity within the Planck scale on statistical and thermodynamical properties of ideal fermion and boson gases. The partition function and some thermodynamical properties are investigated. The Bose–Einstein condensation and the ground state properties of fermion gases are also considered. The target approach is extended to a white dwarf as an application. The modified mass-radius relation is calculated. A decrease in the pressure of degenerate fermions due to the presence of quantum gravity leads to a contraction in the star radius. It is also found that the gravity background does not result in any change in white dwarf stability. (paper)

  17. Sinking of Ne-22 in Liquid White Dwarf Interiors

    Deloye, Christopher J.; Bildsten, Lars

    2002-01-01

    We assess the impact of the trace element Ne-22 on the cooling and seismology of a liquid C/O white dwarf (WD). Due to this element's neutron excess, it sinks towards the interior as the liquid WD cools. The gravitational energy released slows the WD's cooling by 0.5-1.6 Gyr. In addition the Ne-22 abundance gradient changes the periods of the high radial order g-modes at the 1% level.

  18. S. Chandrasekhar: White Dwarfs, $H^-$ ion,.., Black holes, Gravitational waves

    Gupta, Patrick Das

    2011-01-01

    This is a concise review, addressed to undergraduate students, of S. Chandrasekhar's oeuvre in astrophysics, ranging from his early studies on white dwarfs using relativistic quantum statistics to topics as diverse as dynamical friction, negative hydrogen ion, fluid dynamical instabilities, black holes and gravitational waves. The exposition is based on simple physical explanations in the context of observational astronomy. Black holes and their role as central engines of active, compact, hig...

  19. The double-layered chemical structure in DB white dwarfs

    Althaus, L.G.; Corsico, A. H.

    2004-01-01

    We study the structure and evolution of white dwarf stars with helium-rich atmospheres (DB) in a self-consistent way with the predictions of time-dependent element diffusion. Our treatment of diffusion includes gravitational settling and chemical and thermal diffusion. OPAL radiative opacities for arbitrary metallicity and carbon-and oxygen-rich compositions are employed. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of the diffusion-modeled double-layered chemical structure. This structure, which is c...

  20. The cool magnetic DAZ white dwarf NLTT 10480

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 532, August (2011), A7/1-A7/8. ISSN 0004-6361 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA300030908; GA AV ČR IAA301630901; GA ČR GAP209/10/0967; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06014 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : white dwarfs * individual star NLTT 10480 Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 4.587, year: 2011

  1. Theoretical White Dwarf Spectra via the Internet: Quality Control

    Ringat, E.; Reindl, N.

    2013-01-01

    The first decade of the Virtual Observatory (VO) built up services and tools for data conservation, handling, processing, analysis, etc. A new challenge in the immensely growing VO in operation is continuous quality control at different authority levels. Here we shed light on various aspects of theoretical white dwarf spectra that are provided via the registered TheoSSA VO service. We present benchmark tests that enable the VO user to judge their quality.

  2. Stellar archaeology with Gaia: the Galactic white dwarf population

    Gaensicke, Boris; Barstow, Martin; Bono, Giuseppe; Burleigh, Matt; Casewell, Sarah; Dhillon, Vik; Farihi, Jay; Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Geier, Stephan; Gentile-Fusillo, Nicola; Hermes, JJ; Hollands, Mark; Istrate, Alina; Jordan, Stefan; Knigge, Christian; Manser, Christopher; Marsh, Tom; Nelemans, Gijs; Pala, Anna; Raddi, Roberto; Tauris, Thomas; Toloza, Odette; Veras, Dimitri; Werner, Klaus; Wilson, David

    2015-01-01

    Gaia will identify several 1e5 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.

  3. Mock LISA data challenge for the galactic white dwarf binaries

    Błaut, A.; Babak, S; Królak, A.

    2009-01-01

    We present data analysis methods used in detection and the 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 50 mln. Galactic binaries were added to the simulated Gaussian instrumental noise. Majority of the signals at low frequencies are not resolved individually. The confusion between the signals is strongly reduced at fr...

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

    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.

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

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo; Romero, Alejandra Daniela; Reindl, Nicole; Kleinman, Scot J; Eisenstein, Daniel J; Valois, A Dean M; Amaral, Larissa A

    2015-01-01

    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 ultra-compact 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, correc...

  6. A subtle IR excess associated with a young White Dwarf in the Edinburgh-Cape Blue Object Survey

    Dennihy, E; Dunlap, B H; Dufour, P; Teske, Johanna K; Clemens, J C

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of a subtle infrared excess associated with the young white dwarf EC\\,05365--4749 at 3.35 and 4.6\\,$\\mu$m. Follow-up spectroscopic observations are consistent with a hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf of effective temperature 22\\,800\\,K and log [\\emph{g} (\\,cm\\,s$^{-2}$) ] = 8.19. High resolution spectroscopy reveals atmospheric metal pollution with logarithmic abundances of [Mg/H] = --5.36 and [Ca/H] = --5.75, confirming the white dwarf is actively accreting from a metal-rich source with an intriguing abundance pattern. We find that the infrared excess is well modeled by a flat, opaque debris disk, though disk parameters are not well constrained by the small number of infrared excess points. We further demonstrate that relaxing the assumption of a circular dusty debris disk to include elliptical disks expands the widths of acceptable disks, adding an alternative interpretation to the subtle infrared excesses commonly observed around young white dwarfs.

  7. High-energy emission of fast rotating white dwarfs

    Ikhsanov, N R

    2005-01-01

    The process of energy release in the magnetosphere of a fast rotating, magnetized white dwarf can be explained in terms of the canonical spin-powered pulsar model. Applying this model to the white dwarf companion of the low mass close binary AE Aquarii leads us to the following conclusions. First, the system acts as an accelerator of charged particles whose energy is limited to E_p < 3 TeV and which are ejected from the magnetosphere of the primary with the rate L_kin < 10^{32} erg/s. Due to the curvature radiation of the accelerated primary electrons the system should appear as a source of soft gamma-rays (~ 100 keV) with the luminosity < 3x10^{27} erg/s. The TeV emission of the system is dominated by the inverse Compton scattering of optical photons on the ultrarelativistic electrons. The optical photons are mainly contributed by the normal companion and the stream of material flowing through the magnetosphere of the white dwarf. The luminosity of the TeV source depends on the state of the system (...

  8. Atypical Thermonuclear Supernovae from Tidally Crushed White Dwarfs

    Rosswog, S; Hix, W R

    2007-01-01

    Suggestive evidence has accumulated that intermediate mass black holes (IMBH) exist in some globular clusters. As stars diffuse in the cluster, some will inevitable wander sufficiently close to the hole that they suffer tidal disruption. An attractive feature of the IMBH hypothesis is its potential to disrupt not only solar-type stars but also compact white dwarf stars. Attention is given to the fate of white dwarfs that approach the hole close enough to be disrupted and compressed to such extent that explosive nuclear burning may be triggered. Precise modeling of the dynamics of the encounter coupled with a nuclear network allow for a realistic determination of the explosive energy release, and it is argued that ignition is a natural outcome for white dwarfs of all varieties passing well within the tidal radius. Although event rates are estimated to be significantly less than the rate of normal Type Ia supernovae, such encounters may be frequent enough in globular clusters harboring an IMBH to warrant a sear...

  9. The double-layered chemical structure in DB white dwarfs

    Althaus, L G

    2004-01-01

    We study the structure and evolution of white dwarf stars with helium-rich atmospheres (DB) in a self-consistent way with the predictions of time-dependent element diffusion. Our treatment of diffusion includes gravitational settling and chemical and thermal diffusion. OPAL radiative opacities for arbitrary metallicity and carbon-and oxygen-rich compositions are employed. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of the diffusion-modeled double-layered chemical structure. This structure, which is characterized by a pure helium envelope atop an intermediate remnant shell rich in helium, carbon and oxygen, is expected for pulsating DB white dwarfs, assuming that they are descendants of hydrogen-deficient PG1159 post-AGB stars. We find that, depending on the stellar mass, if DB white dwarf progenitors are formed with a helium content smaller than \\approx 10^-3 M_*, a single-layered configuration is expected to emerge during the DB pulsation instability strip. We also explore the consequences of diffusively evolving ch...

  10. Dark halo baryons not in ancient halo white dwarfs

    Creze, M; Robin, A C; Reylé, C; McCracken, H J; Cuillandre, J C; Lefèvre, O; Mellier, Y

    2004-01-01

    Having ruled out the possibility that stellar objects be the main contributor of the dark matter embedding galaxies, microlensing experiments cannot exclude the hypothesis that a significant fraction of the Milky Way dark halo might be made of MACHOs with masses in the range $0.5-0.8 \\msun$. Ancient white dwarfs are generally considered the most plausible candidates for such MACHOs. We report the results of a search for such white dwarfs in a proper motion survey covering a 0.16 sqd field at three epochs at high galactic latitude, and 0.938 sqd at two epochs at intermediate galactic latitude (VIRMOS survey), using the CFH telescope. Both surveys are complete to I = 23, with detection efficiency fading to 0 at I = 24.2. Proper motion data are suitable to separate unambiguously halo white dwarfs identified by belonging to a non rotating system. No candidates were found within the colour-magnitude-proper motion volume where such objects can be safely discriminated from any standard population as well as from pos...

  11. Describing SGRs/AXPs as fast and magnetized white dwarfs

    Malheiro, M

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decade, observational evidence has mounted that SGRs/AXPs belong to a particular class of pulsars. Furthermore, fast and very magnetic white dwarfs have been observed, and recently two SGRs with low magnetic fields $B\\sim(10^{12}-10^{13})$ G, namely SGR 0418+5729 and Swift J1822.3-1606 were discovered with a period of $P\\sim9.08$ s and $P\\sim8.44$ s, respectively. These new discoveries opens the question of the nature of SGRs/AXPs, emerging alternative scenarios, in particular the white dwarf (WD) pulsar model. These astronomical observations have based an alternative description of the SGRs/AXPs expressed on rotating highly magnetized and very massive WDs. In this new description, several observational properties are easy understood and well explained as a consequence of the large radius of a massive white dwarf that manifests a new scale of mass density, moment of inertia, rotational energy, and magnetic dipole moment in comparison with the case of neutron stars. In this contribution, we will ...

  12. The age-metallicity dependence for white dwarfs

    Romero, A D; Kepler, S O

    2015-01-01

    We present a theoretical study on the metallicity dependence of the initial$-$to$-$final mass relation and its influence on white dwarf age determinations. We compute a grid of evolutionary sequences from the main sequence to $\\sim 3\\, 000$ K on the white dwarf cooling curve, passing through all intermediate stages. During the thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch no third dredge-up episodes are considered and thus the photospheric C/O ratio is below unity for sequences with metallicities larger than $Z=0.0001$. We consider initial metallicities from $Z=0.0001$ to $Z=0.04$, accounting for stellar populations in the galactic disk and halo, with initial masses below $\\sim 3M_{\\odot}$. We found a clear dependence of the shape of the initial$-$to$-$final mass relation with the progenitor metallicity, where metal rich progenitors result in less massive white dwarf remnants, due to an enhancement of the mass loss rates associated to high metallicity values. By comparing our theoretical computations with semi em...

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

    Koester, Detlev; Gänsicke, Boris T

    2014-01-01

    Atmospheric parameters for hot DB (helium atmosphere) white dwarfs near effective temperatures of 25000K are extremely difficult to determine from optical spectroscopy. 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 - detected by Dufour et al. (2007), with spectra 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 white dwarfs of spectral classes DB and hot DQ. High resolution UV spectra of five DBs are studied with model atmospheres. We determine stellar parameters and abundances or upper limits of C and Si....

  14. THE SPECTRAL TYPES OF WHITE DWARFS IN MESSIER 4

    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 10-3. The spectral types of the ∼100 white dwarfs previously identified in open clusters indicate that DB formation is strongly suppressed in that environment. Furthermore, all the ∼10 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.

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

    Desidera, S; Lugaro, M

    2015-01-01

    Abundance studies of solar-type stars revealed a small fraction of objects with extreme depletion of beryllium. We investigate the possible link between the beryllium depletion and the presence of companions. 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. 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. 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...

  16. COOL WHITE DWARFS IDENTIFIED IN THE SECOND DATA RELEASE OF THE UKIRT INFRARED DEEP SKY SURVEY

    We have paired the second data release of the Large Area Survey of the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey with the fifth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to identify 10 cool white dwarf candidates, from their photometry and astrometry. Of these 10, one was previously known to be a very cool white dwarf. We have obtained optical spectroscopy for seven of the candidates using the GMOS-N spectrograph on Gemini North, and have confirmed all seven as white dwarfs. Our photometry and astrometry indicate that the remaining two objects are also white dwarfs. The model analysis of the photometry and available spectroscopy shows that the seven confirmed new white dwarfs, and the two new likely white dwarfs, have effective temperatures in the range of T eff = 5400-6600 K. Our analysis of the previously known white dwarf confirms that it is cool, with T eff = 3800 K. The cooling age for this dwarf is 8.7 Gyr, while that for the nine ∼ 6000 K white dwarfs is 1.8-3.6 Gyr. We are unable to determine the masses of the white dwarfs from the existing data, and therefore we cannot constrain the total ages of the white dwarfs. The large cooling age for the coolest white dwarf in the sample, combined with its low estimated tangential velocity, suggests that it is an old member of the thin disk, or a member of the thick disk of the Galaxy, with an age of 10-11 Gyr. The warmer white dwarfs appear to have velocities typical of the thick disk or even halo; these may be very old remnants of low-mass stars, or they may be relatively young thin-disk objects with unusually high space motion.

  17. Self-consistent evolution of accreting low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    Baraffe, I; Vorobyov, E I; Chabrier, G

    2016-01-01

    We present self-consistent calculations coupling numerical hydrodynamics simulations of collapsing pre-stellar cores and stellar evolution models of accreting objects. We analyse the main impact of consistent accretion history on the evolution and lithium depletion of young low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. These consistent models confirm the generation of a luminosity spread in Herzsprung-Russell diagrams at ages $\\sim$ 1-10 Myr. They also confirm that early accretion can produce objects with abnormal Li depletion, as found in a previous study that was based on arbitrary accretion rates. The results strengthen that objects with anomalously high level of Li depletion in young clusters should be extremely rare. We also find that early phases of burst accretion can produce coeval models of similar mass with a range of different Li surface abundances, and in particular with Li-excess compared to the predictions of non-accreting counterparts. This result is due to a subtle competition between the effect of burst a...

  18. The evolution of helium white dwarfs: III. On the ages of millisecond pulsar systems

    Schoenberner, D.; Driebe, T.; Bloecker, T.

    2000-01-01

    We employed recently computed evolutionary white-dwarf models with helium cores, supplemented by heavier models with carbon-oxygen cores, in order to investigate the ages of millisecond pulsar systems based on the cooling properties of the compact companions. Contrary to the behaviour of more massive white dwarfs, the evolutionary speed of low-mass white-dwarf models is substantially slowed down by ongoing hydrogen burning. By comparing the cooling ages of these models with the spin-down ages...

  19. White Dwarfs Near Black Holes: A New Paradigm for Type I Supernovae

    Wilson, J.R.; Mathews, G. J.

    2003-01-01

    We present calculations indicating the possibility of a new class of Type I supernovae. In this new paradigm relativistic terms enhance the self gravity of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf as it passes or orbits near a black hole. This relativistic compression can cause the central density to exceed the threshold for pycnonuclear reactions so that athermonuclear runaway ensues. We consider three possible environments: 1) white dwarfs orbiting a low-mass black hole; 2) white dwarfs encountering a m...

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

    Kepler, S.O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo; Kleinman, Scot J.; Romero, Alejandra Daniela; Nitta, Atsuko; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Costa, José Eduardo da Silveira; Külebi, Baybars; Jordan, Stefan; Dufour, Patrick; Giommi, Paolo; Rebassa-Mansergas, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of 9 089 new spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs and subdwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10. We obtain Teff, log g and mass for hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) and helium atmosphere white dwarf stars (DBs), and estimate the calcium/helium abundances for the white dwarf stars with metallic lines (DZs) and carbon/helium for carbon dominated spectra DQs. We found 1 central star of a planetary nebula, 2 new oxygen spectra on helium atmos...

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

    Kepler, S.O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo; Romero, Alejandra Daniela; Reindl, Nicole; Kleinman, Scot J.; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Valois, A. Dean M.; Amaral, Larissa A.

    2015-01-01

    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 ultra-compact helium binary (AM...

  2. The violent white dwarf merger scenario for the progenitors of type Ia supernovae

    Liu, Dongdong; Podsiadlowski, Philipp; Han, Zhanwen

    2016-01-01

    Recent observations suggest that some type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) originate from the merging of two carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (CO WDs). Meanwhile, recent hydrodynamical simulations have indicated that the accretion-induced collapse may be avoided under certain conditions when double WDs merge violently. However, the properties of SNe Ia from this violent merger scenario are highly dependent on a particular mass-accretion stage, the so-called WD + He subgiant channel, during which the primary WD is able to increase its mass by accreting He-rich material from a He subgiant before the systems evolves into a double WD system. In this article, we aim to study this particular evolutionary stage systematically and give the properties of violent WD mergers. By employing the Eggleton stellar evolution code, we followed a large number of binary calculations and obtained the regions in parameter space for producing violent mergers based on the WD + He subgiant channel. According to these simulations, we found that the ...

  3. A Model of White Dwarf Pulsar AR Scorpii

    Geng, Jin-Jun; Huang, Yong-Feng

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2010-05-20

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

    We present a series of systematic abundance measurements for 89 hydrogen atmosphere (DA-type) white dwarfs with temperatures spanning 16000-77000K 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 IUE and HST data, by a factor three. Using heavy element blanketed non-LTE stellar atmosphere calculations, we have addressed the heavy element abundance patterns making completely objective measurements of abundance values and their error ranges using a \\c{hi}2 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 b...

  6. A SUBSTELLAR COMPANION TO THE WHITE DWARF-RED DWARF ECLIPSING BINARY NN Ser

    NN Ser is a short-period (P = 3.12 hr) close binary containing a very hot white dwarf primary with a mass of 0.535 Msun and a fully convective secondary with a mass of 0.111 Msun. The changes in the orbital period of the eclipsing binary were analyzed based on our five newly determined eclipse times together with those compiled from the literature. A small-amplitude (0fd00031) cyclic period variation with a period of 7.56 years was discovered to be superimposed on a possible long-term decrease. The periodic change was plausibly explained as the light-travel time effect via the presence of a tertiary companion. The mass of the tertiary companion is determined to be M3sin i' = 0.0107(±0.0017) Msun when a total mass of 0.646 Msun for NN Ser is adopted. For orbital inclinations i' ≥ 49.056, the mass of the tertiary component was calculated to be M 3 ≤ 0.014 Msun; thus it would be an extrasolar planet. The third body is orbiting the white dwarf-red dwarf eclipsing binary at a distance shorter than 3.29 AU. Since the observed decrease rate of the orbital period is about two orders larger than that caused by gravitational radiation, it can be plausibly interpreted by magnetic braking of the fully convective component, which is driving this binary to evolve into a normal cataclysmic variable.

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

    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.

  8. Constraints on the Origins of Magnetic White Dwarfs

    Külebi, Baybars

    2010-01-01

    The central theme of this work is the most frequent final stage of the evolution of magnetic stars, the Magnetic White Dwarfs (MWDs). Improved statistical investigations coming from new surveys and very precise observations of unique MWDs  offer the possibility to test various hypotheses on the evolution of these objects.  In the first part of our work we identify hydrogen-rich MWDs  (DAHs) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and investigate the population statistics of all known DAHs in t...

  9. On the angular momentum evolution of merged white dwarfs

    Gourgouliatos, KN

    2006-01-01

    We study the angular momentum evolution of binaries containing two white dwarfs (WDs) which merge and become cool helium-rich supergiants. Our object is to compare predicted rotation velocities with observations of highly evolved stars believed to have formed from such a merger, which include the R CrB and extreme He stars. The principal case study involves a short-period binary containing a 0.6-M⊙ carbon–oxygen (CO) WD, and a 0.3-M⊙ He WD. The initial condition for the angular momentum distr...

  10. A Search for Pulsations in Helium White Dwarfs

    Steinfadt, Justin D. R.; Bildsten, Lars; Kaplan, David L; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Howell, Steve B; Marsh, T. R.; Ofek, Eran O.; Shporer, Avi

    2012-01-01

    The recent plethora of sky surveys, especially the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, have discovered many low-mass (M < 0.45 Msun) white dwarfs that should have cores made of nearly pure helium. These WDs come in two varieties; those with masses 0.2 < M < 0.45 Msun and H envelopes so thin that they rapidly cool, and those with M < 0.2 Msun (often called extremely low mass, ELM, WDs) that have thick enough H envelopes to sustain 10^9 years of H burning. In both cases, these WDs evolve through the ZZ C...

  11. Axion Emission from Red Giants and White Dwarfs

    Altherr, Tanguy; Gaztelurrutia, T R

    1994-01-01

    Using thermal field theory methods, we recalculate axion emission from dense plasmas. We study in particular the Primakoff and the bremsstrahlung processes. The Primakoff rate is significantly suppressed at high densities, when the electrons become relativistic. However, the bound on the axion-photon coupling, $G<10^{-10}$ GeV, is unaffected, as it is constrained by the evolution of HB stars, which have low densities. In contradistinction, the same relativistic effects enhance the bremsstrahlung processes. From the red giants and white dwarfs evolution, we obtain a conservative bound on the axion-electron coupling, $g_{ae} < 2\\times 10^{-13}$.

  12. Accretion-ejection connection in the young brown dwarf candidate ISO-Cha1 217

    Whelan, E T; Bacciotti, F; Nisini, B; Bonito, R; Antoniucci, S; Stelzer, B; Biazzo, K; D'Elia, V; Ray, T P

    2014-01-01

    As the number of observed brown dwarf outflows is growing it is important to investigate how these outflows compare to the well studied jets from young stellar objects. A key point of comparison is the relationship between outflow and accretion activity and in particular the ratio between the mass outflow and accretion rates ($\\dot{M}_{out}$/$\\dot{M}_{acc}$). The brown dwarf candidate ISO-ChaI 217 was discovered by our group, as part of a spectro-astrometric study of brown dwarfs, to be driving an asymmetric outflow with the blue-shifted lobe having a position angle of $\\sim$ 20$^{\\circ}$. The aim here is to further investigate the properties of ISO-ChaI 217, the morphology and kinematics of its outflow, and to better constrain ($\\dot{M}_{out}$/$\\dot{M}_{acc}$). The outflow is spatially resolved in the $[SII]\\lambda \\lambda 6716,6731$ lines and is detected out to $\\sim$ 1\\farcs6 in the blue-shifted lobe and ~ 1" in the red-shifted lobe. The asymmetry between the two lobes is confirmed although the velocity as...

  13. Far-ultravoilet and optical spectrscopy of the detached white dwarf-M binary RE J1629+780

    Sion, Edward M.; Holberg, Jay B.; Barstow, Martin A.; Kidder, Kenneth M.

    1995-01-01

    We present optical and far-ultraviolet observations, including IUE high- and low-dispersion spectroscopy, of the (DA2+dM4-5) close binary, RE J1629+780, a very bright ROSAT EUV source. The optical data reveal emission reversals in the cores of the Balmer lines, which vary in strength but reveal no evidence of wavelength shifts reflecting orbital motion, suggesting that the red dwarf and the white dwarf are widely separated. Thus it is unlikely that irradiation plays a dominant role in the activity of the red dwarf. One dramatic increase in the intensity of the H-beta emission strength in the course of one hour indicates that the observed intensity variations are most likely related to flare activity on the red dwarf. Our analysis of Balmer and Lyman alpha features yield T(sub eff) = 42,500 +/- 1300 K and log g = 7.6 +/- 0.3 for the DA2 white dwarf, which is consistent with the overall 900 to 3200 A energy distribution derived from Voyager and IUE low-dispersion spectra. Our analysis of three IUE echelle spectra reveal numerous lines of interstellar origin. Using a total of 13 interstellar matter (ISM) features we find a mean radial velocity of -13.57 +/- 1.66 km/s for the interstellar features. However, we found no evidence of trace metal absorbers levitated or accreted in the white-dwarf photosphere nor any evidence of circumstellar or wind features. We estimate a lower limit hydrogen layer mass of 2.1 x 10(exp -15) solar mass for a stratified atmosphere based upon the nondetection of He II (1640). Tighter constraints on the helium abundance and the hydrogen layer mass, from EUV and X-ray data, are presented for both homogeneous and stratified atmospheric configurations.

  14. Gravitational wave radiation from a double white dwarf system inside our galaxy: a potential method for seeking strange dwarfs

    Zhan-Kui Lü; Shi-Wei Wu; Zhi-Cheng Zeng

    2009-01-01

    Like the investigation of double white dwarf (DWD) systems, strange dwarf (SD) - white dwarf (WD) system evolution in Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)'s absolute amplitude-frequency diagram is investigated. Since there is a strange quark core inside an SD, SDs' radii are significantly smaller than the value predicted by the standard WD model, which may strongly affect the gravitational wave (GW) signal in the mass-transferring phases of binary systems. We study how an SD-WD binary evolves across LISA's absolute amplitude-frequency diagram. In principle, we provide an executable way to detect SDs in the Galaxy's DWD systems by radically new windows offered by GW detectors.

  15. The Eating Habits of Milky Way-mass Halos: Destroyed Dwarf Satellites and the Metallicity Distribution of Accreted Stars

    Deason, Alis J.; Mao, Yao-Yuan; Wechsler, Risa H.

    2016-04-01

    We study the mass spectrum of destroyed dwarfs that contribute to the accreted stellar mass of Milky Way (MW)-mass (Mvir ∼ 1012.1 M⊙) halos using a suite of 45 zoom-in dissipationless simulations. Empirical models are employed to relate (peak) subhalo mass to dwarf stellar mass, and we use constraints from z = 0 observations and hydrodynamical simulations to estimate the metallicity distribution of the accreted stellar material. The dominant contributors to the accreted stellar mass are relatively massive dwarfs with Mstar ∼ 108–1010M⊙. Halos with more quiescent accretion histories tend to have lower mass progenitors (108–109 M⊙), and lower overall accreted stellar masses. Ultra-faint mass (Mstar 108 M⊙ can contribute a considerable fraction (∼20%–60%) of metal-poor stars if their metallicity distributions have significant metal-poor tails. Finally, we find that the generic assumption of a quiescent assembly history for the MW halo seems to be in tension with the mass spectrum of its surviving dwarfs. We suggest that the MW could be a “transient fossil” a quiescent halo with a recent accretion event(s) that disguises the preceding formation history of the halo.

  16. X-Shooting EF Eridani: further evidence for a massive white dwarf and a sub-stellar secondary

    Schwope, A. D.; Christensen, L.

    2010-01-01

    High resolution spectral observations of the polar EF Eridani obtained in a low state with X-Shooter revealed narrow emission lines from the irradiated secondary. The lines were most prominent in the near-IR Ca2-triplet, the more intensive Halpha line had additional emission likely originating from an accretion stream. The lines with a radial velocity amplitude, K2' = 385 +- 4 kmps, serve as tracer of the otherwise unseen companion. The mass function implies a massive white dwarf with Mwd > 0...

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

    Saumon, D; Kowalski, P M

    2014-01-01

    The atmospheres of very cool, hydrogen-rich white dwarfs (Teff <6000 K) are challenging to models 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 alpha line of atomic H by collisions primarily with H2. For the purpose of validating this model more rigorously, we acquired Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectra of 8 very cool white dwarfs (5 DA and 3 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 micron) with a large grid of model atmospheres and synthetic spectra. We f...

  18. White Dwarfs for Calibrating the Dark Energy Survey

    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.

  19. Improved synthetic spectra of helium-core white dwarf stars

    Rohrmann, R D; Althaus, L G; Benvenuto, O G

    2002-01-01

    We examine the emergent fluxes from helium-core white dwarfs following their evolution from the end of pre-white dwarf stages down to advanced cooling stages. For this purpose, we include a detailed treatment of the physics of the atmosphere, particularly an improved representation of the state of the gas by taking into account non-ideal effects according to the so-called occupation probability formalism. The present calculations also incorporate hydrogen line opacity from Lyman, Balmer and Paschen series, pseudo-continuum absorptions and new updated induced-dipole absorption from H$_2$-H$_2$, H$_2$-He and H-He pairs. We find that the non-ideal effects and line absorption alter the appearance of the stellar spectrum and have a significant influence upon the photometric colours in the UBVRI-JHKL system. This occurs specially for hot models $T_{\\rm eff}\\ga 8000$ due to line and pseudo-continuum opacities, and for cool models $T_{\\rm eff}\\la 4000$ where the perturbation of atoms and molecules by neighbour partic...

  20. Are There Unstable Planetary Systems Around White Dwarfs?

    Debes, J H; Debes, John H.; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2002-01-01

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

  1. Studying planetary debris disks around isolated, hot white dwarfs

    Brinkworth, Carolyn; Gaensicke, Boris; Marsh, Tom; Hoard, Donald; Girven, Jonathan

    2010-06-01

    While more than 440 extrasolar planets orbiting main sequence stars have been discovered, the destiny of planetary systems through the late stages of the evolution of their host stars is very uncertain. We identified metal-rich (CaII and MgII emission) gas disks around 5 relatively young, hot white dwarfs, three of which were the subject of a previous Spitzer program in Cycle-5. The Cycle-5 data revealed a large, dusty extension to the gaseous debris disks, likely originating with the tidal breakup of an asteroid left over from an ancient planetary system. Our recent intensive studies of the three original systems have now turned up variability in the line profiles of the gaseous disks, suggesting the exciting possibility that we are witnessing the real-time dynamical evolution of planetary debris around these white dwarfs. We propose to extend this study to two newly-discovered, cooler members of this small sample of objects, to determine whether dust and gas can also coexist around cooler stars. Since these stars should be too cool to produce the observed CaII emission, we suspect that there is additional mechanical heating in these systems, caused by the recent impacts of asteroids. If so, CaII emission would likely be the signature of the youngest, freshest debris disks around these stars.

  2. An Ultramassive 1.28 M$_\\odot$ White Dwarf in NGC 2099

    Cummings, Jeffrey D; Tremblay, P -E; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Bergeron, P

    2016-01-01

    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$^{+0.05}_{-0.08}$ M$_\\odot$) and two intermediate-mass (0.70 and 0.75 M$_\\odot$) 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, $\\sim$2 mag fainter than the other two remnants. The spectrum of this star has lower quality, so the derived stellar properties (e.g., T$_{\\rm eff}$, log g) have uncertainties that are several times higher than the brighter counterparts. We measure these uncertainties and est...

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Hoard, D W; 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....

  6. The White Dwarf Population in NGC 1039 (M34) and the White Dwarf Initial-Final Mass Relation

    Rubin, Kate H R; Bolte, M; Koester, Detlev

    2008-01-01

    We present the first detailed photometric and spectroscopic study of the white dwarfs (WDs) in the field of the ~225 Myr old (log tau_cl = 8.35) open cluster NGC 1039 (M34) as part of the ongoing Lick-Arizona White Dwarf Survey. Using wide-field UBV imaging, we photometrically select 44 WD candidates in this field. We spectroscopically identify 19 of these objects as WDs; 17 are hydrogen-atmosphere DA WDs, one is a helium-atmosphere DB WD, and one is a cool DC WD that exhibits no detectable absorption lines. We find an effective temperature (T_eff) and surface gravity (log g) for each DA WD by fitting Balmer-line profiles from model atmospheres to the observed spectra. WD evolutionary models are then invoked to derive masses and cooling times for each DA WD. Of the 17 DAs, five are at the approximate distance modulus of the cluster. Another WD with a distance modulus 0.45 mag brighter than that of the cluster could be a double-degenerate binary cluster member, but is more likely to be a field WD. We place the...

  7. How the merger of two white dwarfs depends on their mass ratio: orbital stability and detonations at contact

    Dan, Marius; Guillochon, James; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    Despite their unique astrophysical relevance, the outcome of white dwarf binary mergers has so far only been studied for a very restricted number of systems. Here we present the results of a survey with more than two hundred simulations systematically scanning the white dwarf binary parameter space. We consider white dwarf masses ranging from 0.2 to 1.2 $M_\\odot$ and account for their different chemical compositions. We find excellent agreement with the orbital evolution predicted by mass transfer stability analysis. Much of our effort in this paper is dedicated to determining which binary systems are prone to a thermonuclear explosion just prior to merger or at surface contact. We find that a large fraction of He-accreting binary systems explode: all dynamically unstable systems with accretor masses below 1.1 $M_\\odot$ and donor masses above $\\sim$ 0.4 $M_\\odot$ are found to trigger a helium detonation at surface contact. A substantial fraction of these systems could explode at earlier times via detonations ...

  8. Helium Shell Detonations on Low Mass White Dwarfs as a Possible Explanation for SN 2005E

    Waldman, Roni; Livne, Eli; Perets, Hagai; Glasner, Ami; Mazzali, Paolo; Truran, James W; Gal-Yam, Avishay

    2010-01-01

    Recently several type Ib supernovae (SNe; with the prototypical SN 2005E) have been shown to have atypical properties. These SNe are faint (absolute peak magnitude of ~ -15) and fast SNe that show unique composition. They are inferred to have low ejecta mass (a few tenths of a solar mass) and to be highly enriched in calcium, but poor in silicon elements and nickel. These SNe were therefore suggested to belong to a new class of calcium-rich faint SNe explosions. Their properties were proposed to be the result of helium detonations that may occur on helium accreting white dwarfs. In this paper we theoretically study the scenario of helium detonations, and focus on the results of detonations in accreted helium layers on low mass carbon-oxygen (CO) cores. We present new results from one dimensional simulations of such explosions, including their light curves and spectra. We find that when the density of the helium layer is low enough the helium detonation produces large amounts of intermediate elements, such as ...

  9. Hydrogen delivery onto white dwarfs from remnant exo-Oort cloud comets

    Veras, Dimitri; Shannon, Andrew; Gänsicke, Boris T.

    2014-12-01

    The origin of trace hydrogen in white dwarfs (WDs) with He-dominated atmospheres is a long-standing problem, one that cannot satisfactorily be explained by the historically favoured hypothesis of accretion from the interstellar medium. Here we explore the possibility that the gradual accretion of exo-Oort cloud comets, which are a rich source of H, contributes to the apparent increase of trace H with WD cooling age. We determine how often remnant exo-Oort clouds, freshly excited from post-main-sequence stellar mass loss, dynamically inject comets inside the WD's Roche radius. We improve upon previous studies by considering a representative range of single WD masses (0.52-1.00 M⊙) and incorporating different cloud architectures, giant branch stellar mass loss, stellar flybys, Galactic tides and a realistic escape ellipsoid in self-consistent numerical simulations that integrate beyond 8 Gyr ages of WD cooling. We find that ˜10-5 of the material in an exo-Oort cloud is typically amassed on to the WD, and that the H deposits accumulate even as the cloud dissipates. This accumulation may account for the relatively large amount of trace H, 1022-1025 g, that is determined frequently among WDs with cooling ages ≥1 Gyr. Our results also reaffirm the notion that exo-Oort cloud comets are not the primary agents of the metal budgets observed in polluted WD atmospheres.

  10. Timing of a Young Mildly Recycled Pulsar with a Massive White Dwarf Companion

    Lazarus, P; Knispel, B; Freire, P C C; Deneva, J S; Kaspi, V M; Allen, B; Bogdanov, S; Chatterjee, S; Stairs, I H; Zhu, W W

    2013-01-01

    We report on timing observations of the recently discovered binary pulsar PSR J1952+2630 using the Arecibo Observatory. The mildly recycled 20.7-ms pulsar is in a 9.4-hr orbit with a massive, M_WD > 0.93 M_sun, white dwarf (WD) companion. We present, for the first time, a phase-coherent timing solution, with precise spin, astrometric, and Keplerian orbital parameters. This shows that the characteristic age of PSR J1952+2630 is 77 Myr, younger by one order of magnitude than any other recycled pulsar-massive WD system. We derive an upper limit on the true age of the system of 50 Myr. We investigate the formation of PSR J1952+2630 using detailed modelling of the mass-transfer process from a naked helium star on to the neutron star following a common-envelope phase (Case BB Roche-lobe overflow). From our modelling of the progenitor system, we constrain the accretion efficiency of the neutron star, which suggests a value between 100 and 300% of the Eddington accretion limit. We present numerical models of the chem...

  11. Hydrogen delivery onto white dwarfs from remnant exo-Oort cloud comets

    Veras, Dimitri; Gaensicke, Boris T

    2014-01-01

    The origin of trace hydrogen in white dwarfs (WDs) with He-dominated atmospheres is a long-standing problem, one that cannot satisfactorily be explained by the historically-favoured hypothesis of accretion from the interstellar medium. Here we explore the possibility that the gradual accretion of exo-Oort cloud comets, which are a rich source of H, contributes to the apparent increase of trace H with WD cooling age. We determine how often remnant exo-Oort clouds, freshly excited from post-main-sequence stellar mass loss, dynamically inject comets inside the WD's Roche radius. We improve upon previous studies by considering a representative range of single WD masses (0.52-1.00 Solar masses) and incorporating different cloud architectures, giant branch stellar mass loss, stellar flybys, Galactic tides and a realistic escape ellipsoid in self-consistent numerical simulations that integrate beyond 8 Gyr ages of WD cooling. We find that about 10^{-5} of the material in an exo-Oort cloud is typically amassed onto t...

  12. Eccentric Planets and Stellar Evolution as a Cause of Polluted White Dwarfs

    Frewen, Shane F N

    2014-01-01

    A significant fraction of white dwarfs (WDs) are observed to be polluted with metals despite high surface gravities and short settling times. The current theoretical model for this pollution is accretion of rocky bodies delivered to the WD through perturbations by orbiting planets. Using N-body simulations, we examine the possibility of a single planet as the source of pollution. We determine the stability of test particles on circular orbits in systems with a single planet located at 4 au for a range of masses and eccentricities, comparing the fractions that are ejected and accreted. In particular, we compare the instabilities that develop before and after the star loses mass to form a WD, a process which causes orbiting bodies to migrate outward. We determine that a planet must be eccentric (e > 0.02) to deliver significant (> 0.5 per cent) amounts of material to the host and that the amount increases with the planetary eccentricity. This result is robust with respect to the initial eccentricities of the pa...

  13. Calcium-Rich Gap Transients: Tidal Detonations of White Dwarfs?

    Sell, P H; Kotak, R; Knigge, C; Sand, D J

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesize that at least some of the recently discovered class of calcium-rich gap transients are tidal detonation events of white dwarfs (WDs) by black holes (BHs) or possibly neutron stars. We show that the properties of the calcium-rich gap transients agree well with the predictions of the tidal detonation model. Under the predictions of this model, we use a follow-up X-ray observation of one of these transients, SN 2012hn, to place weak upper limits on the detonator mass of this system that include all intermediate-mass BHs (IMBHs). As these transients are preferentially in the stellar haloes of galaxies, we discuss the possibility that these transients are tidal detonations of WDs caused by random flyby encounters with IMBHs in dwarf galaxies or globular clusters. This possibility has been already suggested in the literature but without connection to the calcium-rich gap transients. In order for the random flyby cross-section to be high enough, these events would have to be occurring inside these den...

  14. An actively accreting massive black hole in the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10.

    Reines, Amy E; Sivakoff, Gregory R; Johnson, Kelsey E; Brogan, Crystal L

    2011-02-01

    Supermassive black holes are now thought to lie at the heart of every giant galaxy with a spheroidal component, including our own Milky Way. The birth and growth of the first 'seed' black holes in the earlier Universe, however, is observationally unconstrained and we are only beginning to piece together a scenario for their subsequent evolution. Here we report that the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10 (refs 5 and 6) contains a compact radio source at the dynamical centre of the galaxy that is spatially coincident with a hard X-ray source. From these observations, we conclude that Henize 2-10 harbours an actively accreting central black hole with a mass of approximately one million solar masses. This nearby dwarf galaxy, simultaneously hosting a massive black hole and an extreme burst of star formation, is analogous in many ways to galaxies in the infant Universe during the early stages of black-hole growth and galaxy mass assembly. Our results confirm that nearby star-forming dwarf galaxies can indeed form massive black holes, and that by implication so can their primordial counterparts. Moreover, the lack of a substantial spheroidal component in Henize 2-10 indicates that supermassive black-hole growth may precede the build-up of galaxy spheroids. PMID:21217688

  15. SEISMOLOGY OF A MASSIVE PULSATING HYDROGEN ATMOSPHERE WHITE DWARF

    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* = 0.88 ± 0.02 M☉ and Teff = 12, 100 ± 140 K. These values are consistent with those derived from the optical spectra and photometric colors.

  16. On the possible observational signatures of white dwarf dynamical interactions

    Aznar-Siguán, G; Magnien, M; Lorén-Aguilar, P

    2014-01-01

    We compute the possible observational signatures of white dwarf dynamical interactions in dense stellar environments. Specifically, we compute the emission of gravitational waves, and we compare it with the sensitivity curves of planned space-borne gravitational wave detectors. We also compute the light curves for those interactions in which a detonation occurs, and one of the stars is destroyed, as well as the corresponding neutrino luminosities. We find that for the three possible outcomes of these interactions - which are the formation of an eccentric binary system, a lateral collision in which several mass transfer episodes occur, and a direct one in which just a single mass transfer episode takes place - only those in which an eccentric binary are formed are likely to be detected by the planned gravitational wave mission eLISA, while more sensitive detectors would be able to detect the signals emitted in lateral collisions. On the other hand, the light curves (and the thermal neutrino emission) of these ...

  17. Detectability of substellar companions around white dwarfs with Gaia

    Silvotti, Roberto; Lattanzi, Mario; Morbidelli, Roberto

    2014-01-01

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

  18. A multiple burst accretion Model to describe the metallicity distributions and mass-metallicity relation for Local Dwarf Galaxies

    Hartwick, F D A

    2015-01-01

    A one parameter model to describe the individual metallicity distributions and mass-metallicity relation for dwarf galaxies is presented. This multiple-burst model is based on an accretion scenario, accomodates the observational constraint between $\\overline{z}$ and $\\sigma_{z}^{2}$ recently established by Leaman (2012), and predicts a slope consistent with the mass-metallicity relation of Kirby et al (2013) who showed that the local group dwarf spheroidal and dwarf irregular galaxies lie on the same relation. One interpretation of the model is that it describes star formation occuring either in gas rich mergers or at the intersection of colliding gas streams.

  19. A search for white dwarfs in the Galactic plane: the field and the open cluster population

    Raddi, R; Gaensicke, B T; Hermes, J J; Napiwotzki, R; Koester, D; Tremblay, P -E; Barentsen, G; Farnhill, J H; Mohr-Smith, M; Drew, J E; Groot, P J; Guzman-Ramirez, L; Parker, Q A; Steeghs, D; Zijlstra, A

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the prospects for systematic searches of white dwarfs at low Galactic latitudes, using the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) H$\\alpha$ Photometric Survey of the Galactic plane and Bulge (VPHAS+). We targeted 17 white dwarf candidates along sightlines of known open clusters, aiming to identify potential cluster members. We confirmed all the 17 white dwarf candidates from blue/optical spectroscopy, and we suggest five of them to be likely cluster members. We estimated progenitor ages and masses for the candidate cluster members, and compared our findings to those for other cluster white dwarfs. A white dwarf in NGC 3532 is the most massive known cluster member (1.13 M$_{\\odot}$), likely with an oxygen-neon core, for which we estimate an $8.8_{-4.3}^{+1.2}$ M$_{\\odot}$ progenitor, close to the mass-divide between white dwarf and neutron star progenitors. A cluster member in Ruprecht 131 is a magnetic white dwarf, whose progenitor mass exceeded 2-3 M$_{\\odot}$. We stress that wider searches, and improved...

  20. A Second Case of Outbursts in a Pulsating White Dwarf Observed by Kepler

    Hermes, J. J.; Montgomery, M. H.; Bell, Keaton J.; Chote, P.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Kawaler, Steven D.; Clemens, J. C.; Dunlap, Bart H.; Winget, D. E.; Armstrong, D. J.

    2015-09-01

    We present observations of a new phenomenon in pulsating white dwarf stars: large-amplitude outbursts at timescales much longer than the pulsation periods. The cool ({T}{eff} = 11,060 K), hydrogen-atmosphere pulsating white dwarf PG 1149+057 was observed nearly continuously for more than 78.8 day by the extended Kepler mission in K2 Campaign 1. The target showed 10 outburst events, recurring roughly every 8 day and lasting roughly 15 hr, with maximum flux excursions up to 45% in the Kepler bandpass. We demonstrate that the outbursts affect the pulsations and therefore must come from the white dwarf. Additionally, we argue that these events are not magnetic reconnection flares, and are most likely connected to the stellar pulsations and the relatively deep surface convection zone. PG 1149+057 is now the second cool pulsating white dwarf to show this outburst phenomenon, after the first variable white dwarf observed in the Kepler mission, KIC 4552982. Both stars have the same effective temperature, within the uncertainties, and are among the coolest known pulsating white dwarfs of typical mass. These outbursts provide fresh observational insight into the red edge of the DAV instability strip and the eventual cessation of pulsations in cool white dwarfs.

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

    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).

  2. The fraction of DA white dwarfs with kilo-Gauss magnetic fields

    Jordan, S; Napiwotzki, R; Schmid, H M; Solanki, S K

    2006-01-01

    Current estimates for white dwarfs with fields in excess of 1MG are about 10%; according to our first high-precision circular-polarimetric study of 12 bright white dwarfs with the VLT (Aznar Cuadrado et al. 2004) this number increases up to about 25% in the kG regime. With our new sample of 10 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 (LTT7987) 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 the current estimations for highly magnetic white dwarfs (>1MG).

  3. On the incidence of weak magnetic fields in DA white dwarfs

    Landstreet, J D; Valyavin, G G; Fossati, L; Jordan, S; Monin, D; Wade, G

    2012-01-01

    Context: About 10% of white dwarfs have magnetic fields with strength in the range between about 10^5 and 3x10^8 G. It is not known whether the remaining white dwarfs are not magnetic, or if they have a magnetic field too weak to be detected with the techniques adopted in the large surveys. Aims. We describe the results of the first survey specifically devised to clarify the detection frequency of kG-level magnetic fields in cool DA white dwarfs. Methods: Using the FORS1 instrument of the ESO VLT, we have obtained Balmer line circular spectropolarimetric measurements of a small sample of cool (DA6 - DA8) white dwarfs. Using FORS and UVES archive data, we have also revised numerous white dwarf field measurements previously published in the literature. Results: We have discovered an apparently constant longitudinal magnetic field of \\sim9.5 kG in the DA6 white dwarf WD2105-820. This star is the first weak-field white dwarf that has been observed sufficiently to roughly determine the characteristics of its field...

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

    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 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.

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

    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 ∼0.005 to 0.02 AU for white dwarfs with masses from 0.4 to 0.9 Msun, temperatures less than ∼104 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.

  6. An independent test of the photometric selection of white dwarf candidates using LAMOST DR3

    Fusillo, N P Gentile; Gänsicke, B T; Liu, X -W; Ren, J J; Koester, D; Zhan, Y; Hou, Y; Wang, Y; Yang, M

    2015-01-01

    In Gentile Fusillo et al. (2015) we developed a selection method for white dwarf candidates which makes use of photometry, colours and proper motions to calculate a probability of being a white dwarf (Pwd). The application of our method to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 10 resulted in nearly 66,000 photometrically selected objects with a derived Pwd, approximately 21000 of which are high confidence white dwarf candidates. Here we present an independent test of our selection method based on a sample of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs from the LAMOST (Large Sky Area Multi-Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope) survey. We do this by cross matching all our $\\sim$66,000 SDSS photometric white dwarf candidates with the over 4 million spectra available in the third data release of LAMOST. This results in 1673 white dwarf candidates with no previous SDSS spectroscopy, but with available LAMOST spectra. Among these objects we identify 309 genuine white dwarfs. We find that our Pwd can efficiently di...

  7. Double white dwarf mergers and elemental surface abundances in extreme helium and R Coronae Borealis stars

    Jeffery, C. Simon; Karakas, Amanda I.; Saio, Hideyuki

    2011-01-01

    The surface abundances of extreme helium (EHe) and R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars are discussed in terms of the merger of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf with a helium white dwarf. The model is expressed as a linear mixture of the individual layers of both constituent white dwarfs, taking account of the specific evolution of each star. In developing this recipe from previous versions, particular attention has been given to the inter-shell abundances of the asymptotic giant branch star which evolv...

  8. Nucleosynthesis during the merger of white dwarfs and the origin of R Coronae Borealis stars

    Longland, Richard Leigh; Lorén Aguilar, Pablo; José Pont, Jordi; García-Berro Montilla, Enrique; Althaus, Leandro Gabriel; Isern Vilaboy, Jordi

    2011-01-01

    Many hydrogen deficient stars are characterised by surface abundance patterns that are hard to reconcile with conventional stellar evolution. Instead, it has been suggested that they may represent the result of a merger episode between a helium and a carbon-oxygen white dwarf. In this Letter, we present a nucleosynthesis study of the merger of a 0.4 M_sol helium white dwarf with a 0.8 M_sol carbon-oxygen white dwarf, by coupling the thermodynamic history of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics par...

  9. Limits on the neutrino magnetic dipole moment from the luminosity function of hot white dwarfs

    Bertolami, Marcelo Miguel Miller

    2014-01-01

    Recent determinations of the white dwarf luminosity function (WDLF) from very large surveys have extended our knowledge of the WDLF to very high luminosities. This, together with the availability of new full evolutionary white dwarf models that are reliable at high luminosities, have opened the possibility of testing particle emission in the core of very hot white dwarfs, where neutrino processes are dominant. We use the available WDLFs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey to constrain the value of the neutrino magnetic dipole moment ($\\mu_\

  10. DB white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data release 10 and 12

    Koester, D.; Kepler, S. O.

    2015-11-01

    Aims: White dwarfs with helium-dominated atmospheres (spectral types DO, DB) comprise approximately 20% of all white dwarfs. There are fewer studies than of their hydrogen-rich counterparts (DA) and thus several questions remain open. Among these are the total masses and the origin of the hydrogen traces observed in a large number and the nature of the deficit of DBs in the range from 30 000-45 000 K. We use the largest-ever sample (by a factor of 10) provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to study these questions. Methods: The photometric and spectroscopic data of 1107 helium-rich objects from the SDSS are analyzed using theoretical model atmospheres. Along with the effective temperature and surface gravity, we also determine hydrogen and calcium abundances or upper limits for all objects. The atmosphere models are extended with envelope calculations to determine the extent of the helium convection zones and thus the total amount of hydrogen and calcium present. Results: When accounting for problems in determining surface gravities at low Teff , we find an average mass for helium-dominated white dwarfs of 0.606 ± 0.004 M⊙, which is very similar to the latest determinations for DAs. There are 32% of the sample with detected hydrogen, but this increases to 75% if only the objects with the highest signal-to-noise ratios are considered. In addition, 10-12% show traces of calcium, which must come from an external source. The interstellar medium (ISM) is ruled out by the fact that all polluted objects show a Ca/H ratio that is much larger than solar. We also present arguments that demonstrate that the hydrogen is very likely not accreted from the ISM but is the result of convective mixing of a residual thin hydrogen layer with the developing helium convection zone. It is very important to carefully consider the bias from observational selection effects when drawing these conclusions. Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http

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

    Córsico, A H; Serenelli, A M; Kepler, S O; Jeffery, C S; Corti, M A

    2016-01-01

    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. We present a detailed nonadiabatic pulsation study of such stars, employing full evolutionary sequences of low-mass He-core pre-white dwarf models. We have considered models in which element diffusion is accounted for and also models in which it is neglected. We confirm and explore in detail a new instability strip in the domain of low gravities and low effective temperatures of the $T_{\\rm eff}-\\log g$ diagram, where low-mass pre-white dwarfs are currently found. The destabilized modes are radial and nonradial $p$ and $g$ modes excited by the $\\kappa-\\gamma$ 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...

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

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ∼8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M☉ white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

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

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail: l.fossati@open.ac.uk, E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk, E-mail: M.R.Patel@open.ac.uk, E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk, E-mail: sba@arm.ac.uk, E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de, E-mail: denis.shulyak@gmail.com, E-mail: msterzik@eso.org [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)

    2012-09-20

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

  14. A Second Stellar Color Locus: a Bridge from White Dwarfs to M stars

    Smolcic, V; Knapp, G R; Lupton, R H; Pavlovski, K; Ilijic, S; Schlegel, D J; Smith, J A; McGehee, P M; Silvestri, N M; Hawley, S L; Rockosi, C M; Gunn, J E; Strauss, M A; Fan, X; Eisenstein, D J; Harris, H

    2004-01-01

    We report the discovery of a locus of stars in the SDSS g-r vs. u-g color-color diagram that connects the colors of white dwarfs and M dwarfs. While its contrast with respect to the main stellar locus is only ~1:2300, this previously unrecognized feature includes 863 stars from the SDSS Data Release 1. The position and shape of the feature are in good agreement with predictions of a simple binary star model that consists of a white dwarf and an M dwarf, with the components' luminosity ratio controlling the position along this binary system locus. SDSS DR1 spectra for 47 of these objects strongly support this model. The absolute magnitude--color distribution inferred for the white dwarf component is in good agreement with the models of Bergeron et al. (1995).

  15. The Eating Habits of Milky Way Mass Halos: Destroyed Dwarf Satellites and the Metallicity Distribution of Accreted Stars

    Deason, Alis J; Wechsler, Risa H

    2016-01-01

    We study the mass spectrum of destroyed dwarfs that contribute to the accreted stellar mass of Milky Way (MW) mass M_vir ~ 10^12.1 M_sun) halos using a suite of 45 zoom-in, dissipationless simulations. Empirical models are employed to relate (peak) subhalo mass to dwarf stellar mass, and we use constraints from z=0 observations and hydrodynamical simulations to estimate the metallicity distribution of the accreted stellar material. The dominant contributors to the accreted stellar mass are relatively massive dwarfs with M_star ~ 10^8-10^10 M_sun. Halos with more quiescent accretion histories tend to have lower mass progenitors (10^8-10^9 M_sun), and lower overall accreted stellar masses. Ultra-faint mass (M_star 10^8 M_sun can contribute a considerable fraction (~20-60 %) of metal-poor stars if their metallicity distributions have significant metal-poor tails. Finally, we find that the generic assumption of a quiescent assembly history for the MW halo seems to be in tension with the mass spectrum of its surv...

  16. WhiteDwarf.org - Establishing a permanent endowment for the Whole Earth Telescope

    Metcalfe, T S

    2002-01-01

    White Dwarf Research Corporation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and public education on topics relevant to white dwarf stars. It was founded in 1999 in Austin, Texas to help fulfill the need for an alternative research center where scarce funding dollars could be used more efficiently, and to provide a direct link between astronomers who study white dwarf stars and the general public. Due to its administrative simplicity, WDRC can facilitate the funding of multi-institutional and international collaborations, provide seamless grant portability, minimize overhead rates, and actively seek non-governmental funding sources. I describe the motivation for, and current status of, one of the long-term goals of WDRC: to establish a permanent endowment for the operation of the Whole Earth Telescope. I pay particular attention to fund-raising efforts through the website at http://WhiteDwarf.org/donate/

  17. The polluted atmospheres of cool white dwarfs and the magnetic field connection

    Kawka, A

    2014-01-01

    We present an analysis of X-Shooter spectra of the polluted hydrogen-rich white dwarfs (DAZ) NLTT 888 and NLTT 53908. The spectra of NLTT 53908 show strong, Zeeman-split calcium lines (CaII H&K and Ca I $\\lambda 4226$) and the star appears to be a close relative of the polluted magnetic white dwarf (DAZH) NLTT 10480, while the spectra of NLTT 888 show narrow lines of calcium and iron. A comparison of the DAZ NLTT 888 and the DAZH NLTT 53908 with other class members illustrates the diversity of environment and formation circumstances surrounding these objects. In particular, we find that the incidence of magnetism in old, polluted white dwarfs significantly exceeds that found in the general white dwarf population which suggests an hypothetical link between a crowded planetary system and magnetic field generation.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Testing Fundamental Particle Physics with the Galactic White Dwarf Luminosity Function

    Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; Althaus, Leandro G; Isern, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    Recent determinations of the white dwarf luminosity function (WDLF) from very large surveys have extended our knowledge of the WDLF to very high luminosities. It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to test the possible properties and existence of fundamental weakly interacting subelectronvolt particles. This, together with the availability of new full evolutionary white dwarf models that are reliable at high luminosities, have opened the possibility of testing particle emission in the core of very hot white dwarfs. We use the available WDLFs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey to constrain the values of the neutrino magnetic dipole moment ($\\mu_\

  20. Testing Fundamental Particle Physics with the Galactic White Dwarf Luminosity Function

    Miller Bertolami, M. M.; Melendez, B. E.; Althaus, L. G.; Isern, J.

    2015-06-01

    Recent determinations of the white dwarf luminosity function (WDLF) from very large surveys have extended our knowledge of the WDLF to very high luminosities. It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to test the possible properties and existence of fundamental weakly interacting subelectronvolt particles. This, together with the availability of new full evolutionary white dwarf models that are reliable at high luminosities, have opened the possibility of testing particle emission in the core of very hot white dwarfs. We use the available WDLFs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey to constrain the values of the neutrino magnetic dipole moment (μν) and the axion-electron coupling constant (gae) of DFSZ-axions.

  1. A search for radio pulsars around low-mass white dwarfs

    Van Leeuwen, J; Meyer, S; Stairs, I; Leeuwen, Joeri van; Ferdman, Robert D.; Meyer, Sol; Stairs, Ingrid

    2006-01-01

    Low-mass white dwarfs can either be produced in low-mass X-ray binaries by stable mass transfer to a neutron star, or in a common-envelope phase with a heavier white dwarf companion. We have searched 8 low-mass white dwarf candidates recently identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey for radio pulsations from pulsar companions, using the Green Bank Telescope at 340MHz. We have found no pulsations down to flux densities of 0.6-0.8 mJy/kpc^2 and conclude that a given low-mass helium-core white dwarf has a probability of < 0.18+-0.05 of being in a binary with a radio pulsar.

  2. The White Dwarf Population in the 2QZ and Sloan Surveys

    Vennes, S.; Kawka, Adela; Croom, S.M.; Boyle, B.J.; Smith, R.J.; Shanks, T.; Outram, P.; Miller, L.; Loaring, N.

    Dordrecht : Springer, 2005 - (Sion, E.), s. 49-60 ISBN 1-4020-3693-0 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : white dwarf * stellar population Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  3. The Future Evolution of White Dwarf Stars Through Baryon Decay and Time Varying Gravitational Constant

    Ketchum, Jacob A.; Adams, Fred C.

    2008-01-01

    Motivated by the possibility that the fundamental ``constants'' of nature could vary with time, this paper considers the long term evolution of white dwarf stars under the combined action of proton decay and variations in the gravitational constant. White dwarfs are thus used as a theoretical laboratory to study the effects of possible time variations, especially their implications for the future history of the universe. More specifically, we consider the gravitational constant $G$ to vary ac...

  4. On the point mass approximation to calculate the gravitational wave signal from white dwarf binaries

    Broek, D. van den; Nelemans, G. A.; Dan, M; Rosswog, S.

    2012-01-01

    Double white dwarf binaries in the Galaxy dominate the gravitational wave sky and would be detectable for an instrument such as LISA. Most studies have calculated the expected gravitational wave signal under the assumption that the binary white dwarf system can be represented by two point masses in orbit. We discuss the accuracy of this approximation for real astrophysical systems. For non-relativistic binaries in circular orbit the gravitational wave signal can easily be calculated. We show ...

  5. Evolutionary calculations of carbon dredge-up in helium envelope white dwarfs

    Macdonald, James; Hernanz, Margarita; José, Jordi

    1998-01-01

    We investigate the evolution of cooling helium atmosphere white dwarfs using a full evolutionary code, specifically developed for following the effects of element diffusion and gravitational settling on white dwarf cooling. The major difference between this work and previous work is that we use more recent opacity data from the OPAL project. Since, in general, these opacities are higher than those available ten years ago, at a given effective temperature, convection zones go deeper than in mo...

  6. White dwarf mergers and the origin of R coronae borealis stars

    Lorén Aguilar, Pablo; Longland, Richard Leigh; José Pont, Jordi; García-Berro Montilla, Enrique; Althaus, Leandro Gabriel; Isern-fontanet, J.

    2012-01-01

    We present a nucleosynthesis study of the merger of a 0.4 solar masses helium white dwarf with a 0.8 solar masses carbon-oxygen white dwarf, coupling the thermodynamic history of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics particles with a post-processing code. The resulting chemical abundance pattern, particularly for oxygen and fluorine, is in qualitative agreement with the observed abundances in R Coronae Borealis stars.

  7. Refining our knowledge of the white dwarf mass-radius relation

    Barstow, M. A.; Bond, H.E.; Burleigh, M. R.; Casewell, S. L.; Farihi, J.; Holberg, J. B.; Hubeny, I.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of a white dwarf in a resolved binary system, such as Sirius, provides an opportunity to combine dynamical information about the masses, from astrometry and spectroscopy, with a gravitational red-shift measurement and spectrophotometry of the white dwarf atmosphere to provide a test of theoretical mass-radius relations of unprecedented accuracy. We demonstrated this with the first Balmer line spectrum of Sirius B to be obtained free of contamination from the primary, with STIS on...

  8. Satellite accretion in action: a tidally disrupting dwarf spheroidal around the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 253

    Romanowsky, Aaron J; Martin, Nicolas F; Morales, Gustavo; Jennings, Zachary G; GaBany, R Jay; Brodie, Jean P; Grebel, Eva K; Schedler, Johannes; Sidonio, Michael

    2015-01-01

    We report the discovery of NGC 253-dw2, a dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy candidate undergoing tidal disruption around a nearby spiral galaxy, NGC 253 in the Sculptor group: the first such event identified beyond the Local Group. The dwarf was found using small-aperture amateur telescopes, and followed up with Suprime-Cam on the 8 m Subaru Telescope in order to resolve its brightest stars. Using g- and R_c-band photometry, we detect a red giant branch consistent with an old, metal-poor stellar population at a distance of ~ 3.5 Mpc. From the distribution of likely member stars, we infer a highly elongated shape with a semi-major axis half-light radius of (2 +/- 0.4) kpc. Star counts also yield a luminosity estimate of ~ 2x10^6 L_Sun,V (M_V ~ -10.7). The morphological properties of NGC 253-dw2 mark it as distinct from normal dSphs and imply ongoing disruption at a projected distance of ~ 50 kpc from the main galaxy. Our observations support the hierarchical paradigm wherein massive galaxies continously accrete l...

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

    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.

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

  13. Type Ia supernovae from exploding oxygen-neon white dwarfs

    Marquardt, Kai S; Ruiter, Ashley J; Seitenzahl, Ivo R; Ohlmann, Sebastian T; Kromer, Markus; Pakmor, Ruediger; Roepke, Friedrich K

    2015-01-01

    The progenitor problem of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is still unsolved. Most of these events are thought to be explosions of carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs (WDs), but for many of the explosion scenarios, particularly those involving the externally triggered detonation of a sub-Chandrasekhar mass WD (sub-M Ch WD), there is also a possibility of having an oxygen-neon (ONe) WD as progenitor. We simulate detonations of ONe WDs and calculate synthetic observables from these models. The results are compared with detonations in CO WDs of similar mass and observational data of SNe Ia. We perform hydrodynamic explosion simulations of detonations in initially hydrostatic ONe WDs for a range of masses below the Chandrasekhar mass (M Ch), followed by detailed nucleosynthetic postprocessing with a 384-isotope nuclear reaction network. The results are used to calculate synthetic spectra and light curves, which are then compared with observations of SNe Ia. We also perform binary evolution calculations to determine the nu...

  14. SEISMOLOGY OF A MASSIVE PULSATING HYDROGEN ATMOSPHERE WHITE DWARF

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Pecanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S. [Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Fraga, Luciano [Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile); Hermes, J. J.; Winget, D. E.; Castanheira, Barbara [Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712-1083 (United States); Corsico, A. H.; Romero, A. D.; Althaus, Leandro [Facultad de Ciencias Astronomicas y Geofisicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina); Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A. [Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Center, 670 North A' ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Koester, D. [Institut fuer Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universitaet Kiel, D-24098 Kiel (Germany); Kuelebi, Baybars [Institut de Ciencies de L' Espai, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelon and Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, c/Gran Capita 2-4, Edif. Nexus 104, E-08034 Barcelona (Spain); Jordan, Stefan [Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, ZAH, Moenchhofstr. 12-14, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Kanaan, Antonio, E-mail: kepler@if.ufrgs.br [Departamento de Fisica, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, SC (Brazil)

    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.

  15. COSMOLOGICAL FAST RADIO BURSTS FROM BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    Recently, Thornton et al. reported the detection of four fast radio bursts (FRBs). The dispersion measures indicate that the sources of these FRBs are at cosmological distance. Given the large full sky event rate ∼104 sky–1 day–1, the FRBs are a promising target for multi-messenger astronomy. Here we propose double degenerate, binary white-dwarf (WD) mergers as the source of FRBs, which are produced by coherent emission from the polar region of a rapidly rotating, magnetized massive WD formed after the merger. The basic characteristics of the FRBs, such as the energetics, emission duration and event rate, can be consistently explained in this scenario. As a result, we predict that some FRBs can accompany type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) or X-ray debris disks. Simultaneous detection could test our scenario and probe the progenitors of SNe Ia, and moreover would provide a novel constraint on the cosmological parameters. We strongly encourage future SN and X-ray surveys that follow up FRBs

  16. Death by Dynamics: Planetoid-Induced Explosions on White Dwarfs

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Guillochon, James; Steiner, James F

    2015-01-01

    At intervals as short as ten thousand years, each white dwarf (WD) passes within a solar radius of a planetoid, i.e., a comet, asteroid, or planet. Gravitational tidal forces tear the planetoid apart; its metal-rich debris falls onto the WD, enriching the atmosphere. A third of WDs exhibit atmospheric "pollution". For roughly every hundred planetoid disruptions, a planetoid collides with a WD. We simulate a small number of collisions, in which "death-by-dynamics" refers to the fate of the planetoid. We also compute the energies and likely durations of a broad sample of collision events, and identify detection strategies at optical and X-ray wavelengths. Collisions with the most massive planetoids can be detected in external galaxies. Some may trigger nuclear burning. If one in $\\sim 10^7-10^8$ of WD-planetoid collisions creates the conditions needed for a Type Ia supernova (SN~Ia), "death-by-dynamics" would also refer to the fate of the WD, and could provide a novel channel for the production of SN~Ia. We con...

  17. Probing dark matter crests with white dwarfs and IMBHs

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Schödel, Rainer; Davidson, Emily; Cuadra, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    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, the most promising region where to look for such effects, makes it impossible to detect the potential associated luminosity of the DM-burning WDs. However, in smaller stellar systems which are close enough to us and not heavily extincted, such as $\\omega-$Cen, we may be able to detect DM-burning WDs. We investigate the prospects of detection of DM-burning WDs in a stellar cluster harbouring an IMBH, which leads to higher densities of DM at the centre as compared with clusters without one. We calculate the capture rate of WIMPs by a WD around an IMBH and estimate the luminosity that a WD would emit depending on its distance to the center of the cluster. Direct-summation $N-$body simulations o...

  18. A DOUBLE WHITE-DWARF COOLING SEQUENCE IN ω CENTAURI

    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 ω 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 ∼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 (∼0.55 M☉ CO-core DA objects), while the red WDCS hosts the end products of the He-rich population (∼0.46 M☉ objects, and ∼10% CO-core and ∼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.

  19. A Spectroscopic Analysis of White Dwarfs in the Kiso Survey

    Limoges, M -M

    2010-01-01

    We present a spectroscopic analysis of white dwarfs found in the Kiso survey. Spectroscopic observations at high signal-to-noise ratio have been obtained for all DA and DB stars in the Kiso Schmidt ultraviolet excess survey (KUV stars). These observations led to the reclassification of several KUV objects, including the discovery of three unresolved DA+DB double degenerate binaries. The atmospheric parameters (Teff and log g) are obtained from detailed model atmosphere fits to optical spectroscopic data. The mass distribution of our sample is characterized by a mean value of 0.606 Msun and a dispersion of 0.135 Msun for DA stars, and 0.758 Msun and a dispersion of 0.192 Msun for DB stars. Absolute visual magnitudes obtained from our spectroscopic fits allow us to derive an improved luminosity function for the DA and DB stars identified in the Kiso survey. Our luminosity function is found to be significantly different from earlier estimates based on empirical photometric calibrations of Mv for the same sample....

  20. Linear tides in inspiraling white dwarf binaries: resonance locks

    Burkart, Joshua; Arras, Phil; Weinberg, Nevin N

    2012-01-01

    We calculate the tidal response of helium and carbon/oxygen (C/O) white dwarf (WD) binaries inspiraling due to gravitational wave emission. We show that resonance locks, previously considered in binaries with an early-type star, occur universally in WD binaries. In a resonance lock, the orbital and spin frequencies evolve in lockstep, so that the tidal forcing frequency is approximately constant and a particular normal mode remains resonant, producing efficient tidal dissipation and nearly synchronous rotation. Resonance locks in WDs can occur not only with global standing modes, but even when damping is so efficient that the resonant tidal response is a traveling wave. We derive simple analytic formulas for the tidal quality factor Q and tidal heating rate during a g-mode resonance lock, and verify our results numerically. We find that Q ~ 3 * 10^6 for orbital periods ~ 1 - 2 hr in C/O WDs, and Q ~ 3 * 10^8 for P_orb ~ 3 - 10 hr in helium WDs. Typically tidal heating occurs sufficiently close to the surface ...

  1. The structure and fate of white dwarf merger remnants

    Dan, M; Brueggen, M; Podsiadlowski, P

    2013-01-01

    We present a large parameter study where we investigate the structure of white dwarf (WD) merger remnants after the dynamical phase. A wide range of WD masses and compositions are explored and we also probe the effect of different initial conditions. We investigated the degree of mixing between the WDs, the conditions for detonations as well as the amount of gas ejected. We find that systems with lower mass ratios have more total angular momentum and as a result more mass is flung out in a tidal tail. Nuclear burning can affect the amount of mass ejected. Many WD binaries that contain a helium-rich WD achieve the conditions to trigger a detonation. In contrast, for carbon-oxygen transferring systems only the most massive mergers with a total mass above ~2.1 solar masses detonate. Even systems with lower mass may detonate long after the merger if the remnant remains above the Chandrasekhar mass and carbon is ignited at the centre. Finally, our findings are discussed in the context of several possible observed ...

  2. A Third Hot White Dwarf Companion Detected by Kepler

    Carter, Joshua A; Fabrycky, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    We have found a system listed in the Kepler Binary Catalog (3.273 day period; Prsa et al. 2010) that we have determined is comprised of a low-mass, thermally-bloated, hot white dwarf orbiting an A star of about 2.3 solar masses. In this work we designate the object, KIC 10657664, simply as KHWD3. We use the transit depth of ~0.66%, the eclipse depth of ~1.9%, and regular smooth periodic variations at the orbital frequency and twice the orbital frequency to analyze the system parameters. The smooth periodic variations are identified with the classical ellipsoidal light variation and illumination effects, and the newly utilized Doppler boosting effect. Given the measured values of R/a and inclination angle of the binary, both the ELV and DB effects are mostly sensitive to the mass ratio, q = M_2/M_1, of the binary. The two effects yield values of q which are somewhat inconsistent - presumably due to unidentified systematic effects - but which nonetheless provide a quite useful set of possibilities for the mass ...

  3. High-Energy Neutrino Emission from White Dwarf Mergers

    Xiao, Di; Murase, Kohta; Dai, Zi-gao

    2016-01-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs is expected to result in a central fast rotating core surrounded by a debris disk, in which magnetorotational instabilities give rise to a hot magnetized corona and a magnetized outflow. The dissipation of magnetic energy via reconnection could lead to the acceleration of cosmic-rays in the expanding material, which would result in high energy neutrinos. We discuss the possibility of using these neutrino signals as probes of the outflow dynamics, magnetic energy dissipation rate and cosmic-ray acceleration efficiency. Importantly, the accompanying high-energy gamma-rays are absorbed within these sources because of the large optical depth, so these neutrino sources can be regarded as hidden cosmic-ray accelerators that are consistent with the non-detection of gamma-rays with Fermi-LAT. While the cosmic-ray generation rate is highly uncertain, if it reaches $\\sim10^{45}\\,\\rm erg\\,Mpc^{-3}\\,yr^{-1}$, the diffuse neutrino flux could contribute a substantial fraction of the IceCube o...

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

    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

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

    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.

  6. Supernovae from direct collisions of white dwarfs and the role of helium shell ignition

    Papish, Oded

    2015-01-01

    Models for supernovae (SNe) arising from thermonuclear explosions of white dwarfs (WDs) have been extensively studied over the last few decades, mostly focusing on the single degenerate (accretion of material of a WD) and double degenerate (WD-WD merger) scenarios. In recent years it was suggested that WD-WD direct collisions provide an additional channel for such explosions. Here we extend the studies of such explosions, and explore the role of Helium-shells in affecting the thermonuclear explosions. We study both the impact of low-mass helium ($\\sim0.01$ M$_{\\odot})$ shells, as well as high mass shells ($\\ge0.1$ M$_{\\odot}$). We find that detonation of the massive helium layers precede the detonation of the WD Carbon-Oxygen (CO) bulk during the collision and can change the explosive evolution and outcomes for the cases of high mass He-shells. In particular, the He-shell detonation propagates on the WD surface and inefficiently burns material prior to the CO detonation that later follows in the central parts...

  7. A Neutron Star–White Dwarf Binary Model for Repeating Fast Radio Burst 121102

    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.

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

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

    2016-01-01

    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 b...

  9. The spin periods and magnetic moments of white dwarfs in magnetic cataclysmic variables

    Norton, A; Somerscales, R V

    2004-01-01

    We have used a model of magnetic accretion to investigate the rotational equilibria of magnetic cataclysmic variables (mCVs). The results of our numerical simulations demonstrate that there is a range of parameter space in the P_spin / P_orb versus mu_1 plane at which rotational equilibrium occurs. This has allowed us to calculate the theoretical histogram describing the distribution of magnetic CVs as a function of P_spin / P_orb. We show that this agrees with the observed distribution assuming that the number of systems as a function of white dwarf magnetic moment is distributed approximately according to N(mu_1) d mu_1 proportional to 1/mu_1 d mu_1. The rotational equilibria also allow us to infer approximate values for the magnetic moments of all known intermediate polars. We predict that intermediate polars with mu_1 > 5 x 10^33 G cm^3 and P_orb > 3h will evolve into polars, whilst those with mu_1 3h will either evolve into low field strength polars which are (presumably) unobservable, and possibly EUV ...

  10. Prompt emission from tidal disruptions of white dwarfs by intermediate mass black holes

    Laguna P.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We present a qualitative picture of prompt emission from tidal disruptions of white dwarfs (WD by intermediate mass black holes (IMBH. The smaller size of an IMBH compared to a supermassive black hole and a smaller tidal radius of a WD disruption lead to a very fast event with high peak luminosity. Magnetic field is generated in situ following the tidal disruption, which leads to effective accretion. Since large-scale magnetic field is also produced, geometrically thick super-Eddington inflow leads to a relativistic jet. The dense jet possesses a photosphere, which emits quasi-thermal radiation in soft X-rays. The source can be classified as a long low-luminosity gamma-ray burst (ll-GRB. Tidal compression of a WD causes nuclear ignition, which is observable as an accompanying supernova. We suggest that GRB060218 and SN2006aj is such a pair of ll-GRB and supernova. We argue that in a flux-limited sample the disruptions of WDs by IMBHs are more frequent then the disruptions of other stars by IMBHs.

  11. THE EFFECTS OF CURVATURE AND EXPANSION ON HELIUM DETONATIONS ON WHITE DWARF SURFACES

    Accreted helium layers on white dwarfs have been highlighted for many decades as a possible site for a detonation triggered by a thermonuclear runaway. In this paper, 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 12C and 16O. Detonations in these thin helium layers have speeds slower than the Chapman-Jouget (CJ) speed from complete helium burning, vCJ = 1.5 × 109 cm s–1. 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 56Ni. We also find a new set of solutions that can propagate in even thinner helium layers when 16O is present at a minimum mass fraction of ≈0.07. Driven by energy release from α captures on 16O and subsequent elements, these slow detonations only create ashes up to 28Si in the outer detonated He shell. We close by discussing how the unbound helium burning ashes may create faint and fast 'Ia' supernovae as well as events with virtually no radioactivity, and speculate on how the slower helium detonation velocities impact the off-center ignition of a carbon detonation that could cause a Type Ia supernova in the double detonation scenario

  12. On the formation of eccentric millisecond pulsars with helium white-dwarf companions

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white-dwarfs (WD) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire and Tauris (2014) recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally-delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. This scenario predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities -- in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (10^4-10^5 yrs disk can result to eccentricities of e ~ 0.01-0.15 for orbital per...

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

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

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

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-01

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

  15. THE BIRTH RATE OF SNe Ia FROM HYBRID CONe WHITE DWARFS

    Considering the uncertainties of the C-burning rate (CBR) and the treatment of convective boundaries, Chen et al. found that there is a regime where it is possible to form hybrid CONe white dwarfs (WDs), i.e., ONe WDs with carbon-rich cores. As these hybrid WDs can be as massive as 1.30 M ☉, not much mass needs to be accreted for these objects to reach the Chandrasekhar limit and to explode as Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We have investigated their contribution to the overall SN Ia birth rate and found that such SNe Ia tend to be relatively young with typical time delays between 0.1 and 1 Gyr, where some may be as young as 30 Myr. SNe Ia from hybrid CONe WDs may contribute several percent to all SNe Ia, depending on the common-envelope ejection efficiency and the CBR. We suggest that these SNe Ia may produce part of the 2002cx-like SN Ia class

  16. Maximum mass ratio of am CVn-type binary systems and maximum white dwarf mass in ultra-compact x-ray binaries (addendum - Serb. Astron. J. No. 183 (2011, 63

    Arbutina B.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We recalculated the maximum white dwarf mass in ultra-compact X-ray binaries obtained in an earlier paper (Arbutina 2011, by taking the effects of super-Eddington accretion rate on the stability of mass transfer into account. It is found that, although the value formally remains the same (under the assumed approximations, for white dwarf masses M2 >~0.1MCh mass ratios are extremely low, implying that the result for Mmax is likely to have little if any practical relevance.

  17. Using Close White Dwarf + M Dwarf Stellar Pairs to Constrain the Flare Rates in Close Stellar Binaries

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

    2016-01-01

    We present a study of the statistical flare rates of M dwarfs (dMs) with close white dwarf (WD) companions (WD+dM; typical separations < 1 au). Our previous analysis demonstrated that dMs with close WD companions are more magnetically active than their field counterparts. One likely implication of having a close binary companion is increased stellar rotation through disk-disruption, tidal effects, and/or angular momentum exchange; increased stellar rotation has long been associated with an in...

  18. Probing dark matter crests with white dwarfs and IMBHs

    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.

  19. Structure and Evolution of a Common Envelope in Simulations of Mass Transfer in Double White Dwarf Binaries

    Motl, Patrick M.

    2009-01-01

    We present evolutions of mass transfer in double white dwarf binaries with several different initial mass ratios. The systems have all been evolved in two limiting cases. In the polytropic evolutions, we in essence assume that the irreversible gain in entropy at the accretion shock is radiated away. In the second regime, the fluid is treated as an ideal gas and retains all of the thermal energy gained at the accretion shock. The later case is obviously more favorable to forming a common envelope about both the donor and accretor. In reality, at least some of the energy can escape and thus the ideal gas case will probably over-emphasize the tendency to form a common envelope. The simulations evolve an ideal fluid with an Eulerian hydrodynamics code. We simultaneously solve Poisson's equation for the gravitational potential. In this poster, we report on the thermal structure of the accreted material and also on the potentially interesting loss of mass and angular momentum from the binary system.

  20. The critical mass ratio of double white dwarf binaries for violent merger-induced Type Ia supernova explosions

    Sato, Yushi; Tanikawa, Ataru; Nomoto, Ken'ichi; Maeda, Keiichi; Hachisu, Izumi

    2016-01-01

    Mergers of carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs (WDs) are considered as one of the potential progenitors of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Recent hydrodynamical simulations showed that the less massive (secondary) WD violently accretes onto the more massive (primary) one, carbon detonation occurs, the detonation wave propagates through the primary, and the primary finally explodes as a sub-Chandrasekhar mass SN Ia. Such an explosion mechanism is called the violent merger scenario. Based on the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of merging CO WDs, we derived more stringent critical mass ratio (qcr) leading to the violent merger scenario than the previous results. We conclude that this difference mainly comes from the differences in the initial condition, synchronously spinning of WDs or not. Using our new results, we estimated the brightness distribution of SNe Ia in the violent merger scenario and compared it with previous studies. We found that our new qcr does not significantly affect the brightness...

  1. Crystal chemistry of three-component white dwarfs and neutron star crusts: phase stability, phase stratification, and physical properties

    Engstrom, T A; Crespi, V H

    2015-01-01

    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 before 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-gravit...

  2. X-Shooting EF Eridani: further evidence for a massive white dwarf and a sub-stellar secondary

    Schwope, A D

    2010-01-01

    High resolution spectral observations of the polar EF Eridani obtained in a low state with X-Shooter revealed narrow emission lines from the irradiated secondary. The lines were most prominent in the near-IR Ca2-triplet, the more intensive Halpha line had additional emission likely originating from an accretion stream. The lines with a radial velocity amplitude, K2' = 385 +- 4 kmps, serve as tracer of the otherwise unseen companion. The mass function implies a massive white dwarf with Mwd > 0.65 Msun at 3sigma confidence, and a short distance to the binary, d ~ 111 pc (<145pc at 3sigma confidence). The spectral energy distribution from the UV to the IR together with the high mass ratio gives further strong evidence of EF Eri being a post period-minimum object with M2 < 0.06 Msun

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

    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.

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

    Weisskopf, M C; Trimble, V; O'Dell, S L; Elsner, R F; Zavlin, V E; Kouveliotou, C; Weisskopf, Martin C.; Wu, Kinwah; Trimble, Virginia; Dell, Stephen L. O'; Elsner, Ronald F.; Zavlin, Vyacheslav E.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa

    2006-01-01

    We report observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory of the single, cool, magnetic white dwarf GD 356. For consistent comparison with other X-ray observations of single white dwarfs, we also re-analyzed archival ROSAT data for GD 356 (GJ 1205), G 99-47 (GR 290 = V1201 Ori), GD 90, G 195-19 (EG250 = GJ 339.1), and WD 2316+123 and archival Chandra data for LHS 1038 (GJ 1004) and GD 358 (V777 Her). Our Chandra observation detected no X rays from GD 356, setting the most restrictive upper limit to the X-ray luminosity from any cool white dwarf -- L_{X} < 6.0 x 10^{25} ergs/s, at 99.7% confidence, for a 1-keV thermal-bremsstrahlung spectrum. The corresponding limit to the electron density is n_{0} < 4.4 x 10^{11} cm^{-3}. Our re-analysis of the archival data confirmed the non-detections reported by the original investigators. We discuss the implications of our and prior observations on models for coronal emission from white dwarfs. For magnetic white dwarfs, we emphasize the more stringent constraints i...

  5. New UltraCool and Halo White Dwarf Candidates in SDSS Stripe 82

    Vidrih, S; Hewett, P C; Evans, N W; Gilmore, G; Hodgkin, S; Smith, M; Wyrzykowski, L; Belokurov, V; Fellhauer, M; Irwin, M J; McMahon, R G; Zucker, D; Munn, J A; Lin, H; Miknaitis, G; Harris, H C; Lupton, R H; Schneider, D P

    2007-01-01

    A 2.5 x 100 degree region along the celestial equator (Stripe 82) has been imaged repeatedly from 1998 to 2005 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. A new catalogue of ~4 million light-motion curves, together with over 200 derived statistical quantities, for objects in Stripe 82 brighter than r~21.5 has been constructed by combining these data by Bramich et al. (2007). This catalogue is at present the deepest catalogue of its kind. Extracting the ~130000 objects with highest signal-to-noise ratio proper motions, we build a reduced proper motion diagram to illustrate the scientific promise of the catalogue. In this diagram disk and halo subdwarfs are well-separated from the cool white dwarf sequence. Our sample of 1049 cool white dwarf candidates includes at least 8 and possibly 21 new ultracool DA type white dwarfs (T_eff < 4000K) and one new ultracool DB type white dwarf candidate identified from their SDSS optical and UKIDSS infrared photometry. At least 10 new halo white dwarfs are also identified from their...

  6. Discovery of Two New Thermally Bloated Low-Mass White Dwarfs Among the Kepler Binaries

    Rappaport, S; Levine, A; Sanchis-Ojeda, R; Gandolfi, D; Nowak, G; Palle, E; Prsa, A

    2015-01-01

    We report the discovery of two new low-mass, thermally bloated, hot white dwarfs among the Kepler sample of eclipsing binaries. These are KIC 9164561 and KIC 10727668 with orbital periods of 1.2670 and 2.3058 days, respectively. The current primary in both systems is an A star of about 2 Msun. This brings the number of similar binaries among the Kepler sample to six, and the two new systems have the shortest orbital periods among them. The white dwarf in KIC 9164561 has the largest thermal bloating, compared to its cold degenerate radius, of about a factor of 14. We utilize RV measurements of the A star in KIC 9164561 to determine the white dwarf mass rather accurately: 0.197 +/- 0.005 Msun. The mass of the white dwarf in KIC 10727668 is based on the Doppler boosting signal in the Kepler photometry, and is less accurately determined to be 0.266 +/- 0.035 Msun. Based on the inferred radii and effective temperatures of these two white dwarfs we are able to make an independent theoretical estimate of their masse...

  7. Additional Ultracool White Dwarfs Found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Harris, H C; Gyuk, G; Subba-Rao, M; Anderson, S F; Hall, P B; Munn, J A; Liebert, J; Knapp, G R; Bizyaev, D; Malanushenko, E; Malanushenko, V; Pan, K; Schneider, D P; Smith, J A

    2008-01-01

    We identify seven new ultracool white dwarfs discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The SDSS photometry, spectra, and proper motions are presented, and additional BVRI data are given for these and other previously discovered ultracool white dwarfs. The observed colors span a remarkably wide range, qualitatively similar to colors predicted by models for very cool white dwarfs. One of the new stars (SDSS J1251+44) exhibits strong collision-induced absorption (CIA) in its spectra, while the spectra and colors of the other six are consistent with mild CIA. Another of the new discoveries (SDSS J2239+00A) is part of a binary system -- its companion is also a cool white dwarf, and other data indicate that the companion exhibits an infrared flux deficiency, making this the first binary system composed of two CIA white dwarfs. A third discovery (SDSS J0310-00) has weak Balmer emission lines. The proper motions of all seven stars are consistent with membership in the disk or thick disk.

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

    Hall, Patrick B; Harris, Hugh C; Awal, Akshay; Leggett, S K; Kilic, Mukremin; Anderson, Scott F; Gates, Evalyn

    2008-01-01

    We report the discovery of a nearby, old, halo white dwarf candidate from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. SDSS J110217.48+411315.4 has a proper motion of 1.75 arcsec/year and redder optical colors than all other known featureless (type DC) white dwarfs. We present SDSS imaging and spectroscopy of this object, along with near-infrared photometry obtained at the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope. Fitting its photometry with up-to-date model atmospheres, we find that its overall spectral energy distribution is fit reasonably well with a pure hydrogen composition and T_eff~3800 K (assuming log g=8). That temperature and gravity would place this white dwarf at 35 pc from the Sun with a tangential velocity of 290 km/s and space velocities consistent with halo membership; furthermore, its combined main sequence and white dwarf cooling age would be ~11 Gyr. However, if this object is a massive white dwarf, it could be a younger object with a thick disk origin. Whatever its origin, the optical colors of this object are...

  9. The Pulsar-White Dwarf-Planet System in Messier 4: Improved Astrometry

    Richer, H B; Fahlman, G G; Huber, M; Richer, Harvey B.; Ibata, Rodrigo; Fahlman, Gregory G.; Huber, Mark

    2003-01-01

    A young and undermassive white dwarf has been identified as the possible companion to the millisecond pulsar PSR B1620-26 in Messier 4. This association is important as it then helps constrain the mass of the third body in the system to be of order a few times that of Jupiter. The presence of this planet in M4 has critical implications for planetary formation mechanisms in metal-poor environments such as globular clusters and the early Universe. The identification of the white dwarf is purely via the agreement in position between it and the pulsar and was limited by the accuracy of the pointing of HST which is +/-0.7 arcsec. We have redetermined the position of the white dwarf using ground-based data tied to USNOB-1.0 and find that the pulsar and white dwarf are now coincident to within 0.12 +/- 0.13 arcsec further strengthening the case for association between the two. We have also attempted to improve the proper motion measurement of the white dwarf by a maximum likelihood analysis of the stellar positions ...

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

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

    2016-01-01

    We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 57 faint ($g= 19-22$) high proper motion white dwarfs identified through repeat imaging of $\\approx3100$ 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 $T_{\\rm eff} 120$ km $s^{-1}$) and UVW velocities that are more consistent with the halo than the Galactic disc. For typical $0.6 M_{\\odot}$ 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 di...

  11. A second case of outbursts in a pulsating white dwarf observed by Kepler

    Hermes, J J; Bell, Keaton J; Chote, P; Gaensicke, B T; Kawaler, Steven D; Clemens, J C; Dunlap, B H; Winget, D E; Armstrong, D J

    2015-01-01

    We present observations of a new phenomenon in pulsating white dwarf stars: large-amplitude outbursts at timescales much longer than the pulsation periods. The cool (Teff = 11,010 K), hydrogen-atmosphere pulsating white dwarf PG 1149+057 was observed nearly continuously for more than 78.8 d by the extended Kepler mission in K2 Campaign 1. The target showed 10 outburst events, recurring roughly every 8 d and lasting roughly 15 hr, with maximum flux excursions up to 45% in the Kepler bandpass. We demonstrate that the outbursts affect the pulsations and therefore must come from the white dwarf. Additionally, we argue that these events are not magnetic reconnection flares, and are most likely connected to the stellar pulsations and the relatively deep surface convection zone. PG 1149+057 is now the second cool pulsating white dwarf to show this outburst phenomenon, after the first variable white dwarf observed in the Kepler mission, KIC 4552982. Both stars have the same effective temperature, within the uncertain...

  12. Onset of oligarchic growth and implication for accretion histories of dwarf planets

    Morishima, Ryuji

    2016-01-01

    We investigate planetary accretion that starts from equal-mass planetesimals using an analytic theory and numerical simulations. We particularly focus on how the planetary mass $M_{\\rm oli}$ at the onset of oligarchic growth depends on the initial mass $m_0$ of a planetesimal. Oligarchic growth commences when the velocity dispersion relative to the Hill velocity of the protoplanet takes its minimum. We find that if $m_0$ is small enough, this normalized velocity dispersion becomes as low as unity during the intermediate stage between the runaway and oligarchic growth stages. In this case, $M_{\\rm oli}$ is independent of $m_0$. If $m_0$ is large, on the other hand, oligarchic growth commences directly after runaway growth, and $M_{\\rm oli} \\propto m_0^{3/7}$. The planetary mass $M_{\\rm oli}$ for the solid surface density of the Minimum Mass Solar Nebula is close to the masses of the dwarf planets in a reasonable range of $m_0$. This indicates that they are likely to be the largest remnant planetesimals that fa...

  13. White-dwarf + main-sequence binaries identified from the ninth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Li, Lifang; Zhang, Fenghui; Han, Quanwang; Kong, Xiaoyang; Gong, Xiaobo

    2014-12-01

    We have identified 227 new spectroscopic white-dwarf + main-sequence (WDMS) binaries from the ninth data release (DR9) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The SDSS spectra of the newly found WDMS binaries with a DA white dwarf and an M-dwarf are analysed based on a spectral decomposition/fitting method. We obtain the effective temperatures, surface gravities and masses of the white dwarf, together with the spectral types and metallicities of the secondary star. Two independent distance estimates are derived from the flux-scaling factors between the WDMS SDSS spectra and the white dwarf and M-dwarf model spectra. We find that about 25 per cent of the newly found WDMS binaries show a significant discrepancy between the two distance estimates. This might be caused by the effects of M-dwarf stellar activity or irradiation of the M-dwarf companions by the white dwarf. The stellar parameter distributions are used to investigate the global properties of the newly found WDMS binaries. We find that the WDMS binaries with a low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ≤ 4.0) usually have a massive DA white dwarf component with a higher surface gravity, and the metallicity is usually significantly different from solar. This suggests that the observational selection effects and the spectral S/N of the WDMS binaries have a significant influence on the determinations of these physical parameters of WDMS binaries.

  14. Theory of Disk Accretion onto Magnetic Stars

    Lai Dong

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Disk accretion onto magnetic stars occurs in a variety of systems, including accreting neutron stars (with both high and low magnetic fields, white dwarfs, and protostars. We review some of the key physical processes in magnetosphere-disk interaction, highlighting the theoretical uncertainties. We also discuss some applications to the observations of accreting neutron star and protostellar systems, as well as possible connections to protoplanetary disks and exoplanets.

  15. The role of HeH+ in cool helium rich white dwarfs

    Harris, G J; Miller, S; Tennyson, J

    2004-01-01

    HeH$^+$ is found to be the dominant positive ion over a wide range of temperatures and densities relevant to helium rich white dwarfs. The inclusion of HeH$^+$ in ionization equilibrium computations increases the abundance of free electrons by a significant factor. For temperatures below 8000 K, He$^-$ free-free absorption is increased by up to a factor of 5, by the inclusion of HeH$^+$. Illustrative model atmospheres and spectral energy distributions are computed, which show that HeH$^+$ has a strong effect upon the density and pressure structure of helium rich white dwarfs with teff < 8000 K. The inclusion of HeH$^+$ significantly reddens spectral energy distributions and broad band color indices for models with Teff < 5500 K. This has serious implications for existing model atmospheres, synthetic spectra and cooling curves for helium rich white dwarfs.

  16. The Future Evolution of White Dwarf Stars Through Baryon Decay and Time Varying Gravitational Constant

    Ketchum, Jacob A

    2008-01-01

    Motivated by the possibility that the fundamental ``constants'' of nature could vary with time, this paper considers the long term evolution of white dwarf stars under the combined action of proton decay and variations in the gravitational constant. White dwarfs are thus used as a theoretical laboratory to study the effects of possible time variations, especially their implications for the future history of the universe. More specifically, we consider the gravitational constant $G$ to vary according to the parametric relation $G = G_0 (1 + t/t_\\ast)^{-p}$, where the time scale $t_\\ast$ is the same order as the proton lifetime. We then study the long term fate and evolution of white dwarf stars. This treatment begins when proton decay dominates the stellar luminosity, and ends when the star becomes optically thin to its internal radiation.

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

    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.

  18. The Initiation and Propagation of Helium Detonations in White Dwarf Envelopes

    Shen, Ken J

    2014-01-01

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

  19. White-dwarf red-giant mergers, early-type R stars, J stars and lithium

    Zhang, Xianfei

    2013-01-01

    Early-type R stars and J stars are a special type of carbon star, having enhanced nitrogen ($\\rm [N/Fe]\\approx 0.5$), lithium, a low \\iso{12}{C}/\\iso{13}{C} ratio ($<15$) and no s-element enhancements. The merger of a helium white dwarf with a red giant is regarded to be a possible model for the origin of early-type R stars, but the details of nucleosynthesis are not clear. In this paper we investigate three possible channels for helium white-dwarf + red-giant mergers, and find that, amongst the three, only a high-mass helium white dwarf subducted into a low core-mass red giant can make an early-type R star. Nucleosynthesis of elements carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and lithium correspond well with the observations. Furthermore, we find that the J stars may represent a short and luminous stage in the evolution of an early-R star.

  20. Near-infrared spectroscopy of the very low mass companion to the hot DA white dwarf PG1234+482

    Steele, P R; Dobbie, P D; Barstow, M A

    2007-01-01

    We present a near-infrared spectrum of the hot ($T_{\\rm eff}$ $\\approx$ 55,000 K) DA white dwarf PG 1234+482. We confirm that a very low mass companion is responsible for the previously recognised infrared photometric excess. We compare spectra of M and L dwarfs, combined with an appropriate white dwarf model, to the data to constrain the spectral type of the secondary. We find that uncertainties in the 2MASS $HK$ photometry of the white dwarf prevent us from distinguishing whether the secondary is stellar or substellar, and assign a spectral type of L0$\\pm$1 (M9-L1).Therefore, this is the hottest and youngest ($\\approx 10^6$ yr) DA white dwarf with a possible brown dwarf companion.

  1. DOUBLE DEGENERATE MERGERS AS PROGENITORS OF HIGH-FIELD MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    High-field magnetic white dwarfs have been long suspected to be the result of stellar mergers. However, the nature of the coalescing stars and the precise mechanism that produces the magnetic field are still unknown. Here, we show that the hot, convective, differentially rotating corona present in the outer layers of the remnant of the merger of two degenerate cores can produce magnetic fields of the required strength that do not decay for long timescales. Using a state-of-the-art Monte Carlo simulator, we also show that the expected number of high-field magnetic white dwarfs produced in this way is consistent with that found in the solar neighborhood.

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

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2016-01-01

    We show that the soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) can be explained as recently proposed highly magnetized white dwarfs (B-WDs). The radius and magnetic field of B-WDs are perfectly adequate to explain energies in SGRs/AXPs as the rotationally powered energy. While the highly magnetized neutron stars require an extra, observationally not well established yet, source of energy, the magnetized white dwarfs, yet following Chandrasekhar's theory (C-WDs), exhibit large ultra-violet luminosity which is observationally constrained from a strict upper limit.

  3. The period structure and stability of the pulsating white dwarf L 19-2

    Observations made in 1983-85 confirm the earlier detection of a slight inequality in the splitting of the frequency triplet near 192s of the pulsating DA white dwarf L 19-2. If interpreted as second-order splitting of rotationally-perturbed non-radial g-mode pulsations, the measured value, 2.0 x 10-6 mHz, is in rough agreement with outdated theoretical calculations which should be repeated with more realistic white dwarf models. The new observations are also used to set an upper limit on the rate of period change of the 192s oscillation. (author)

  4. DOUBLE DEGENERATE MERGERS AS PROGENITORS OF HIGH-FIELD MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Loren-Aguilar, Pablo; Aznar-Siguan, Gabriela; Torres, Santiago; Camacho, Judit [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades, 5, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Althaus, Leandro G.; Corsico, Alejandro H. [Facultad de Ciencias Astronomicas y Geofisicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, (1900) La Plata (Argentina); Kuelebi, Baybars; Isern, Jordi, E-mail: garcia@fa.upc.edu [Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, c/Gran Capita 2-4, Edif. Nexus 104, 08034 Barcelona (Spain)

    2012-04-10

    High-field magnetic white dwarfs have been long suspected to be the result of stellar mergers. However, the nature of the coalescing stars and the precise mechanism that produces the magnetic field are still unknown. Here, we show that the hot, convective, differentially rotating corona present in the outer layers of the remnant of the merger of two degenerate cores can produce magnetic fields of the required strength that do not decay for long timescales. Using a state-of-the-art Monte Carlo simulator, we also show that the expected number of high-field magnetic white dwarfs produced in this way is consistent with that found in the solar neighborhood.

  5. Creating White Dwarf Photospheres in the Laboratory: Strategy for Astrophysics Applications

    Falcon, Ross E; Bailey, J E; Ellis, J L; Carlson, A L; Gomez, T A; Montgomery, M H; Winget, D E; Chen, E Y; Gomez, M R; Nash, T J; Pille, T M

    2012-01-01

    Astrophysics experiments by Falcon et al. to create white dwarf photospheres in the laboratory are currently underway. The experimental platform measures Balmer line profiles of a radiation-driven, pure hydrogen plasma in emission and in absorption for conditions at T_e ~ 1 eV, n_e ~ 10^17 cm^-3. These will be used to compare and test line broadening theories used in white dwarf atmosphere models. The flexibility of the platform allows us to expand the direction of our experiments using other compositions. We discuss future prospects such as exploring helium plasmas and carbon/oxygen plasmas relevant to the photospheres of DBs and hot DQs, respectively.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  8. WD0837+185:the formation and evolution of an extreme mass ratio white dwarf-brown dwarf binary in Praesepe

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

    2012-01-01

    There is a striking and unexplained dearth of brown dwarf companions in close orbits (< 3AU) 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 ~ 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 Msun (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 ~2 AU, with common envelope evolution reducing the s...

  9. The white dwarfs within 25 pc of the Sun: Kinematics and spectroscopic subtypes

    We present the fractional distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, range and distribution of surface temperatures, and kinematical properties of the white dwarfs (WDs) within 25 pc of the Sun. There is no convincing evidence of halo WDs in the total 25 pc sample of 224 WDs. There is also little to suggest the presence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 25 pc. It appears that the entire 25 pc sample likely belongs to the thin disk. We also find no significant kinematic differences with respect to spectroscopic subtypes. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 25 pc sample is 1.8, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection, which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. We compare this ratio with the results of other studies. We find that at least 11% of the WDs within 25 pc of the Sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that likely originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this interpretation is correct, then it suggests the possibility that a similar percentage have planets, asteroid-like bodies, or debris disks orbiting them. Our volume-limited sample reveals a pileup of DC WDs at the well-known cutoff in DQ WDs at T eff ∼ 6000 K. Mindful of small number statistics, we speculate on its possible evolutionary significance. We find that the incidence of magnetic WDs in the 25 pc sample is at least 8% in our volume-limited sample, dominated by cool WDs. We derive approximate formation rates of DB and DQ degenerates and present a preliminary test of the evolutionary scenario that all cooling DB stars become DQ WDs via helium convective dredge-up with the diffusion tail of carbon extending upward from their cores.

  10. Optical Identification of He White Dwarfs Orbiting Four Millisecond Pulsars in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

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

    2015-10-01

    We used ultra-deep UV observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope to search for optical companions to binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. We identified four new counterparts (to MSPs 47TucQ, 47TucS, 47TucT, and 47TucY) and confirmed those already known (to MSPs 47TucU and 47TucW). In the color-magnitude diagram, the detected companions are located in a region between the main sequence and the CO white dwarf (WD) cooling sequences, consistent with the cooling tracks of He WDs with masses between 0.15 M⊙ and 0.20 M⊙. For each identified companion, mass, cooling age, temperature, and pulsar mass (as a function of the inclination angle) have been derived and discussed. For 47TucU we also found that the past accretion history likely proceeded at a sub-Eddington rate. The companion to the redback 47TucW is confirmed to be a non-degenerate star, with properties particularly similar to those observed for black widow systems. Two stars have been identified within the 2σ astrometric uncertainty from the radio positions of 47TucH and 47TucI, but the available data prevent us from firmly assessing whether they are the true companions of these two MSPs. Based on observations collected with the NASA/ESA HST (Prop. 12950), obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

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

    Papish, Oded; Perets, Hagai Binyamin

    2016-05-01

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

  12. The white dwarfs within 25 pc of the Sun: Kinematics and spectroscopic subtypes

    Sion, Edward M.; McCook, George P.; Wasatonic, Richard; Myszka, Janine [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States); Holberg, J. B. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 75201 (United States); Oswalt, Terry D., E-mail: edward.sion@villanova.edu, E-mail: george.mccook@villanova.edu, E-mail: richard.wasatonic@villanova.edu, E-mail: janine.myszka@villanova.edu, E-mail: holberg@vega.lpl.arizona.edu, E-mail: toswalt@fit.edu [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 19085 (United States)

    2014-06-01

    We present the fractional distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, range and distribution of surface temperatures, and kinematical properties of the white dwarfs (WDs) within 25 pc of the Sun. There is no convincing evidence of halo WDs in the total 25 pc sample of 224 WDs. There is also little to suggest the presence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 25 pc. It appears that the entire 25 pc sample likely belongs to the thin disk. We also find no significant kinematic differences with respect to spectroscopic subtypes. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 25 pc sample is 1.8, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection, which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. We compare this ratio with the results of other studies. We find that at least 11% of the WDs within 25 pc of the Sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that likely originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this interpretation is correct, then it suggests the possibility that a similar percentage have planets, asteroid-like bodies, or debris disks orbiting them. Our volume-limited sample reveals a pileup of DC WDs at the well-known cutoff in DQ WDs at T {sub eff} ∼ 6000 K. Mindful of small number statistics, we speculate on its possible evolutionary significance. We find that the incidence of magnetic WDs in the 25 pc sample is at least 8% in our volume-limited sample, dominated by cool WDs. We derive approximate formation rates of DB and DQ degenerates and present a preliminary test of the evolutionary scenario that all cooling DB stars become DQ WDs via helium convective dredge-up with the diffusion tail of carbon extending upward from their cores.

  13. Final Evolution and Delayed Explosions of Spinning White Dwarfs in Single Degenerate Models for Type Ia Supernovae

    Benvenuto, Omar G; Kitamura, Hikaru; Hachisu, Izumi

    2015-01-01

    We study the occurrence of delayed SNe~Ia in the single degenerate (SD) scenario. We assume that a massive carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarf (WD) accretes matter coming from a companion star, making it to spin at the critical rate. We assume uniform rotation due to magnetic field coupling. The carbon ignition mass for non-rotating WDs is M_{ig}^{NR} \\approx 1.38 M_{\\odot}; while for the case of uniformly rotating WDs it is a few percent larger (M_{ig}^{R} \\approx 1.43 M_{\\odot}). When accretion rate decreases, the WD begins to lose angular momentum, shrinks, and spins up; however, it does not overflow its critical rotation rate, avoiding mass shedding. Thus, angular momentum losses can lead the CO WD interior to compression and carbon ignition, which would induce an SN~Ia. The delay, largely due to the angular momentum losses timescale, may be large enough to allow the companion star to evolve to a He WD, becoming undetectable at the moment of explosion. This scenario supports the occurrence of delayed SNe~Ia if...

  14. CHEMICAL ABUNDANCES IN THE EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARF GD 40: EVIDENCE OF A ROCKY EXTRASOLAR MINOR PLANET

    We present Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data with model atmosphere analysis of the helium-dominated polluted white dwarf GD 40, in which we measure atmospheric abundances relative to helium of nine elements: H, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, and Fe. Apart from hydrogen, whose association with the other contaminants is uncertain, this material most likely accreted from GD 40's circumstellar dust disk whose existence is demonstrated by excess infrared emission. The data are best explained by accretion of rocky planetary material, in which heavy elements are largely contained within oxides, derived from a tidally disrupted minor planet at least the mass of Juno, and probably as massive as Vesta. The relatively low hydrogen abundance sets an upper limit of 10% water by mass in the inferred parent body, and the relatively high abundances of refractory elements, Ca and Ti, may indicate high-temperature processing. While the overall constitution of the parent body is similar to the bulk Earth being over 85% by mass composed of oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron, we find n(Si)/n(Mg) = 0.30 ± 0.11, significantly smaller than the ratio near unity for the bulk Earth, chondrites, the Sun, and nearby stars. This result suggests that differentiation occurred within the parent body.

  15. Chemical Abundances in the Externally Polluted White Dwarf GD 40: Evidence of a Rocky Extrasolar Minor Planet

    Klein, B; Koester, D; Zuckerman, B; Melis, C

    2009-01-01

    We present Keck/HIRES data with model atmosphere analysis of the helium-dominated polluted white dwarf GD 40, in which we measure atmospheric abundances relative to helium of 9 elements: H, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, and Fe. Apart from hydrogen whose association with the other contaminants is uncertain, this material most likely accreted from GD 40's circumstellar dust disk whose existence is demonstrated by excess infrared emission. The data are best explained by accretion of rocky planetary material, in which heavy elements are largely contained within oxides, derived from a tidally disrupted minor planet at least the mass of Juno, and probably as massive as Vesta. The relatively low hydrogen abundance sets an upper limit of 10% water by mass in the inferred parent body, and the relatively high abundances of refractory elements, Ca and Ti, may indicate high-temperature processing. While the overall constitution of the parent body is similar to the bulk Earth being over 85% by mass composed of oxygen, magnes...

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

    Richer, Harvey B.; Goldsbury, Ryan; Heyl, Jeremy [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1 (Canada); Hurley, Jarrod [Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC 3122 (Australia); Dotter, Aaron [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Canberra (Australia); Kalirai, Jason S. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Woodley, Kristin A. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Fahlman, Gregory G. [National Research Council, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Victoria, BC, V9E 2E7 (Canada); Rich, R. Michael [Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Shara, Michael M., E-mail: richer@astro.ubc.ca, E-mail: rgoldsb@phas.ubc.ca, E-mail: heyl@phas.ubc.ca, E-mail: jhurley@swin.edu.au, E-mail: dotter@mso.anu.edu.au, E-mail: jkalirai@stsci.edu, E-mail: kwoodley@ucolick.org, E-mail: greg.fahlman@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca, E-mail: rmr@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: mshara@amnh.org [Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, New York, NY 10024 (United States)

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

    Battich, Tiara; Althaus, Leandro Gabriel; Bertolami, Marcelo Miguel Miller

    2016-01-01

    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 asses 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 pulsa...

  18. Ejection of globular cluster interstellar media through ionization by white dwarfs

    McDonald, Iain

    2014-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  1. Precise atmospheric parameters for the shortest-period binary white dwarfs: gravitational waves, metals, and pulsations

    We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 61 low-mass white dwarfs and provide precise atmospheric parameters, masses, and updated binary system parameters based on our new model atmosphere grids and the most recent evolutionary model calculations. For the first time, we measure systematic abundances of He, Ca, and Mg for metal-rich, extremely low mass white dwarfs and examine the distribution of these abundances as a function of effective temperature and mass. Based on our preliminary results, we discuss the possibility that shell flashes may be responsible for the presence of the observed He and metals. We compare stellar radii derived from our spectroscopic analysis to model-independent measurements and find good agreement except for white dwarfs with T eff ≲ 10,000 K. We also calculate the expected gravitational wave strain for each system and discuss their significance to the eLISA space-borne gravitational wave observatory. Finally, we provide an update on the instability strip of extremely low mass white dwarf pulsators.

  2. Four Numerical Approaches for Solving the Radiative Transfer Equation in Magnetized White-Dwarf Atmospheres

    Jordan, Stefan; Schmidt, Holger

    2003-01-01

    We compare four different methods to calculate radiative transfer through a magnetized stellar atmosphere, and apply them to the case of magnetic white dwarfs. All methods are numerically stable enough to allow determination of the magnetic field structure, but distinctions between faster, simplifying, methods, and elaborate, but more CPU-time consuming, methods, can be made.

  3. Panchromatic Calibration of Astronomical Observations with State-of-the-Art White Dwarf Model Atmospheres

    Rauch, T.

    2016-05-01

    Theoretical spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of white dwarfs provide a powerful tool for cross-calibration and sensitivity control of instruments from the far infrared to the X-ray energy range. Such SEDs can be calculated from fully metal-line blanketed NLTE model-atmospheres that are e.g. computed by the Tübingen NLTE Model-Atmosphere Package (TMAP) that has arrived at a high level of sophistication. TMAP was successfully employed for the reliable spectral analysis of many hot, compact post-AGB stars. High-quality stellar spectra obtained over a wide energy range establish a data base with a large number of spectral lines of many successive ions of different species. Their analysis allows to determine effective temperatures, surface gravities, and element abundances of individual (pre-)white dwarfs with very small error ranges. We present applications of TMAP SEDs for spectral analyses of hot, compact stars in the parameter range from (pre-) white dwarfs to neutron stars and demonstrate the improvement of flux calibration using white-dwarf SEDs that are e.g. available via registered services in the Virtual Observatory.

  4. The mass limit of white dwarfs with strong magnetic fields in general relativity

    Recently, U. Das and B. Mukhopadhyay proposed that the Chandrasekhar limit of a white dwarf could reach a new high level (2.58M⊙) if a superstrong magnetic field were considered (Das U and Mukhopadhyay B 2013 Phys. Rev. Lett. 110 071102), where the structure of the strongly magnetized white dwarf (SMWD) is calculated in the framework of Newtonian theory (NT). As the SMWD has a far smaller size, in contrast with the usual expectation, we found that there is an obvious general relativistic effect (GRE) in the SMWD. For example, for the SMWD with a one Landau level system, the super-Chandrasekhar mass limit in general relativity (GR) is approximately 16.5% lower than that in NT. More interestingly, the maximal mass of the white dwarf will be first increased when the magnetic field strength keeps on increasing and reaches the maximal value M = 2.48M⊙ with BD = 391.5. Then if we further increase the magnetic fields, surprisingly, the maximal mass of the white dwarf will decrease when one takes the GRE into account. (geophysics, astronomy, and astrophysics)

  5. The frequency and infrared brightness of circumstellar discs at white dwarfs

    Rocchetto, M; Gaensicke, B T; Bergfors, C

    2014-01-01

    White dwarfs whose atmospheres are polluted by terrestrial-like planetary debris have become a powerful and unique tool to study evolved planetary systems. This paper presents results for an unbiased Spitzer IRAC search for circumstellar dust orbiting a homogeneous and well-defined sample of 134 single white dwarfs. The stars were selected without regard to atmospheric metal content but were chosen to have 1) hydrogen rich atmospheres, 2) 17 000 K < T_eff < 25 000 K and correspondingly young post main-sequence ages of 15-270Myr, and 3) sufficient far-ultraviolet brightness for a corresponding Hubble Space Telescope COS Snapshot. Five white dwarfs were found to host an infrared bright dust disc, three previously known, and two reported here for the first time, yielding a nominal 3.7% of white dwarfs in this post-main sequence age range with detectable circumstellar dust. Remarkably, complementary HST observations indicate that a fraction of 27% show metals in their photosphere that can only be explained ...

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

    Córsico, A H; Althaus, L G; Hermes, J J

    2012-01-01

    We present here a detailed pulsational study applied to low-mass He-core white dwarfs, based on full evolutionary models representative of these objects. The background stellar models on which our pulsational analysis was carried out were derived by taking into account the complete evolutionary history of the progenitor stars, with special emphasis on the diffusion processes acting during the white dwarf cooling phase. We computed nonradial $g$-modes to assess the dependence of the pulsational properties of these objects with stellar parameters such as the stellar mass and the effective temperature, and also with element diffusion processes. We also performed a g- and p-mode pulsational stability analysis on our models and found well-defined blue edges of the instability domain, where these stars should start to exhibit pulsations. We found substantial differences in the seismic properties of white dwarfs with $M_* \\gtrsim 0.20 M_{\\odot}$ and the extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarfs ($M_* \\lesssim 0.20 M_{\\o...

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

    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.

  8. The Reanalysis of the ROSAT Data of GQ Mus (1983) Using White Dwarf Atmosphere Emission Models

    Balman, S

    2001-01-01

    The analyses of X-ray emission from classical novae during the outburst stage have shown that the soft X-ray emission below 1 keV, which is thought to originate from the photosphere of the white dwarf, is inconsistent with the simple blackbody model of emission. Thus, $ROSAT$ Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) archival data of the classical novae GQ Mus 1983 (GQ Mus) have been reanalyzed in order to understand the spectral development in the X-ray wavelengths during the outburst stage. The X-ray spectra are fitted with the hot white dwarf atmosphere emission models developed for the remnants of classical novae near the Eddington luminosity. The post-outburst X-ray spectra of the remnant white dwarf is examined in the context of evolution on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram using C-O enhanced atmosphere models. The data obtained in 1991 August (during the ROSAT All Sky Survey) indicate that the effective temperature is kT_e<54 eV (<6.2x10^5 K). The 1992 February data show that the white dwarf ...

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

    Belyaev, V. B.; Ricci, P.; Simkovic, F.; Adam, Jiří; Tater, Miloš; Truhlík, Emil

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 937, MAY (2015), s. 17-43. ISSN 0375-9474 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP203/11/0701; GA MŠk LG14004 Institutional support: RVO:61389005 Keywords : double charge exchange * degenerate Fermi gas * Stellar magnetic fields * white dwarfs Subject RIV: BE - Theoretical Physics Impact factor: 2.202, year: 2014

  10. The polluted atmospheres of cool white dwarfs and the magnetic field connection

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 439, č. 1 (2014), L90-L94. ISSN 0035-8711 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/12/0217; GA ČR GA13-14581S Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : white dwarfs * stars: abundances * stars: atmospheres Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 5.107, year: 2014

  11. A new magnetic white dwarf discovered during the Large Bright Quasar Survey

    A previously unknown magnetic white dwarf has been discovered as part of the Large, Bright Quasar Survey (Foltz et al., 1988). The absorption features are identified with transitions of hydrogen and are analyzed in the context of high-field Zeeman models to derive a polar dipole field strength of 24 x 10 to the 6th G at the stellar surface. 11 refs

  12. Discovery of a Bright, Extremely Low-Mass White Dwarf in a Close Double Degenerate System

    Vennes, S; Kawka, A; Nemeth, P; Skinner, J N; Pigulski, A; Steslicki, M; Kolaczkowski, Z; Srodka, P; 10.1088/2041-8205/737/1/L16

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of a bright (V ~ 13.7), extremely low-mass white dwarf in a close double degenerate system. We originally selected GALEX J171708.5+675712 for spectroscopic follow-up among a group of white dwarf candidates in an ultraviolet-optical reduced proper-motion diagram. The new white dwarf has a mass of 0.18 M_solar and is the primary component of a close double degenerate system (P=0.246137 d, K_1 = 288 km/s) comprising a fainter white dwarf secondary with M_2 ~ 0.9 M_solar. Light curves phased with the orbital ephemeris show evidence of relativistic beaming and weaker ellipsoidal variations. The light curves also reveal secondary eclipses (depth ~ 8 mmag) while the primary eclipses appear partially compensated by the secondary gravitational deflection and are below detection limits. Photospheric abundance measurements show a nearly solar composition of Si, Ca, and Fe (0.1-1 solar), while the normal kinematics suggest a relatively recent formation history. Close binary evolutionary scenarios ...

  13. Stellar evolution on the borderline of white dwarf and neutron star formation

    Poelarends, A.J.T.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is about the evolution of stars, specifically about the final fate of stars at the borderline between the formation of white dwarfs and neutron stars. It is well known that the mass and the metallicity are the two determining factors in stellar evolution, and for a given initial chemical

  14. RXJ0439.8-6809: the hottest pre-white dwarf, or the first double-degenerate supersoft X-ray source?

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2013-10-01

    The supersoft X-ray source RXJ0439.8-6809, identified with a faint {V=21.7} very blue star in the direction of the LMC is one of the most extreme stellar objects known. Current models require it to be either: {a} the hottest {Teff 300000K} and most massive known pre-white dwarf. In this case, it would allow a real-time observational test of stellar evolution theory, as it will evolve along the white dwarf cooling track by measurable amounts within a decade; or: {b} the first known double degenerate supersoft X-ray source, i.e. an interacting binary with a shell-burning accreting white dwarf and a degenerate donor star, which would make it a very good candidate for a type Ia supernova progenitor. Alas, despite major observational efforts, including an exploratory 1-orbit Cycle 7 HST low-resolution ultraviolet spectrum, it is so far not possible to distinguish between these two scenarii. We propose to invest a modest amount of HST/COS time to finally determine the true nature of RXJ0439.8-6809. Crucially, we will obtain the first high-resolution ultraviolet spectrum of this system to confirm the LMC membership of RXJ0439.8-6809 from the detection of interstellar absorption lines at the LMC systemic velocity. In addition, we will use this spectrum to obtain a second-epoch effective temperature measurement, which we will compare that from Cycle 7. The excellent flux calibration of HST will easily detect a change of a few 10000K, which is predicted for the evolution of a massive white dwarf over the fifteen-year baseline {Cycle 7 to 21}

  15. GRB060218 AS A TIDAL DISRUPTION OF A WHITE DWARF BY AN INTERMEDIATE-MASS BLACK HOLE

    Shcherbakov, Roman V.; Reynolds, Christopher S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Pe' er, Asaf [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Haas, Roland [Theoretical AstroPhysics Including Relativity, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bode, Tanja; Laguna, Pablo [Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)

    2013-06-01

    The highly unusual pair of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) GRB060218 and an associated supernova, SN2006aj, has puzzled theorists for years. A supernova shock breakout and a jet from a newborn stellar mass compact object have been proposed to explain this pair's multiwavelength signature. Alternatively, we propose that the source is naturally explained by another channel: the tidal disruption of a white dwarf (WD) by an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH). This tidal disruption is accompanied by a tidal pinching, which leads to the ignition of a WD and a supernova. Some debris falls back onto the IMBH, forms a disk, which quickly amplifies the magnetic field, and launches a jet. We successfully fit soft X-ray spectra with the Comptonized blackbody emission from a jet photosphere. The optical/UV emission is consistent with self-absorbed synchrotron emission from the expanding jet front. The temporal dependence of the accretion rate M-dot (t) in a tidal disruption provides a good fit to the soft X-ray light curve. The IMBH mass is found to be about 10{sup 4} M{sub Sun} in three independent estimates: (1) fitting the tidal disruption M-dot (t) to the soft X-ray light curve, (2) computing the jet base radius in a jet photospheric emission model, and (3) inferring the mass of the central black hole based on the host dwarf galaxy's stellar mass. The position of the supernova is consistent with the center of the host galaxy, while the low supernova ejecta mass is consistent with that of a WD. The high expected rate of tidal disruptions in dwarf galaxies is consistent with one source observed by the Swift satellite over several years at a distance of 150 Mpc measured for GRB060218. Encounters with WDs provide much fuel for the growth of IMBHs.

  16. Relativistic Feynman-Metropolis-Teller theory for white dwarfs in general relativity

    The recent formulation of the relativistic Thomas-Fermi model within the Feynman-Metropolis-Teller theory for compressed atoms is applied to the study of general relativistic white dwarf equilibrium configurations. The equation of state, which takes into account the β-equilibrium, the nuclear and the Coulomb interactions between the nuclei and the surrounding electrons, is obtained as a function of the compression by considering each atom constrained in a Wigner-Seitz cell. The contribution of quantum statistics, weak, nuclear, and electromagnetic interactions is obtained by the determination of the chemical potential of the Wigner-Seitz cell. The further contribution of the general relativistic equilibrium of white dwarf matter is expressed by the simple formula √(g00)μws=constant, which links the chemical potential of the Wigner-Seitz cell μws with the general relativistic gravitational potential g00 at each point of the configuration. The configuration outside each Wigner-Seitz cell is strictly neutral and therefore no global electric field is necessary to warranty the equilibrium of the white dwarf. These equations modify the ones used by Chandrasekhar by taking into due account the Coulomb interaction between the nuclei and the electrons as well as inverse β decay. They also generalize the work of Salpeter by considering a unified self-consistent approach to the Coulomb interaction in each Wigner-Seitz cell. The consequences on the numerical value of the Chandrasekhar-Landau mass limit as well as on the mass-radius relation of 4He, 12C, 16O and 56Fe white dwarfs are presented. All these effects should be taken into account in processes requiring a precision knowledge of the white dwarf parameters.

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

    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 ( ≈ 0.50Msun) and very low luminosities (say, Log(L/Lsun) < −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

  18. Another one grinds the dust: Variability of the planetary debris disc at the white dwarf SDSS J104341.53+085558.2

    Manser, Christopher J; Koester, Detlev; Marsh, Thomas R; Southworth, John

    2016-01-01

    We report nine years of optical spectroscopy of the metal-polluted white dwarf SDSS J104341.53+085558.2, which presents morphological variations of the line profiles of the 8600 \\AA\\ Ca II triplet emission from the gaseous component of its debris disc. Similar changes in the shape of the Ca II triplet have also been observed in two other systems that host a gaseous disc, and are likely related to the same mechanism. We report the Mg, Si, and Ca abundances of the debris detected in the photosphere of SDSS J1043+0855, place upper limits on O and Fe, and derive an accretion rate of (2.5 - 12)x$10^8$ g/s, consistent with those found in other systems with detected debris discs. The Mg/Si ratio and the upper limit on the Fe/Si ratio of the accreted material broadly agree with those found for the crust of the Earth. We also review the range of variability observed among white dwarfs with planetary debris discs.

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

    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.

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

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

    1986-11-01

    Schlosser and Bergmann (1985) presented evidence that in medieval times Sirius was a bright red star, rather than the present bluish-white star, from which they have suggested that Sirius B is a recently born white dwarf. However, their model poses severe evolutionary problems. The authors present the results of their attempts to detect possible planetary nebula ejecta toward Sirius, using data obtained by the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite. Based upon these results and in the light of recent advances in understanding white-dwarf evolution, the authors propose that Sirius B underwent a recent thermonuclear runaway event, triggered by a diffusion-induced CN reaction, to explain the historical behaviour of this star.

  1. HELIUM SHELL DETONATIONS ON LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS AS A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR SN 2005E

    Recently, several Type Ib supernovae (SNe; with the prototypical SN 2005E) have been shown to have atypical properties. These SNe are faint (absolute peak magnitude of ∼ - 15) and fast SNe that show unique composition. They are inferred to have low ejecta mass (a few tenths of a solar mass) and to be highly enriched in calcium, but poor in silicon elements and nickel. These SNe were therefore suggested to belong to a new class of calcium-rich faint SNe explosions. Their properties were proposed to be the result of helium detonations that may occur on helium accreting white dwarfs. In this paper, we theoretically study the scenario of helium detonations and focus on the results of detonations in accreted helium layers on low-mass carbon-oxygen (CO) cores. We present new results from one-dimensional simulations of such explosions, including their light curves and spectra. We find that when the density of the helium layer is low enough the helium detonation produces large amounts of intermediate elements, such as calcium and titanium, together with a large amount of unburnt helium. Alternatively, enough carbon enrichment of the accreted helium as a result of convective undershoot at the early stages of the runaway can avoid the production of iron group elements as the alpha particles are consumed avoiding iron production. Our results suggest that the properties of calcium-rich faint SNe could indeed be consistent with the helium-detonation scenario on small CO cores. Above a certain density (larger CO cores) the detonation leaves mainly 56Ni and unburnt helium, and the predicted spectrum will unlikely fit the unique features of this class of SNe. Finally, none of our studied models reproduces the bright, fast-evolving light curves of another type of peculiar SNe suggested to originate in helium detonations (SNe 1885A, 1939B, and 2002bj).

  2. Membership, binarity and accretion among very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs of the σ Orionis cluster

    Kenyon, M. J.; Jeffries, R. D.; Naylor, Tim; Oliveira, J. M.; Maxted, P. F. L.

    2005-01-01

    Intermediate-resolution (R~ 7000) spectroscopy is presented for 76 photometrically selected very low-mass (0.04 consistent with the cluster mean. Photometric selection alone therefore appears to be very effective in identifying cluster members in this mass range. Only six objects appear to be certain non-members; however, a substantial subset of 13 candidates have ambiguous or contradictory indications of membership and lack Li absorption. Together with an observed spread in the equivalent width of the Li absorption feature in the cooler stars of our sample, this indicates that there may be deficiencies in our understanding of the formation of this line in cool, low-gravity objects. Four candidate binary cluster members are identified. Consideration of sampling and radial velocity measurement precision leads us to conclude that either the fraction of very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in small separation (a < 1 au) binary systems is larger than in field M-dwarfs, or the distribution of separations is much less skewed towards large separations. This conclusion hinges critically on the correct identification of the small number of binary candidates, although it remains significant even when only the candidate members displaying Li absorption are considered. Broadened Hα emission, indicative of circum(sub)stellar accretion discs is found in five or six of the candidate cluster members, three of which probably have substellar masses. The fraction of accretors (10 +/- 5 per cent) is similar to that found in stars of higher mass in the σ Ori cluster using Hα emission as a diagnostic, but much lower than found for very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs of younger clusters. The time-scale for accretion rates to drop to <~10-11 Msolar yr-1 is hence less than the age of the σ Ori cluster (3-7 Myr) for most low-mass objects.

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

    Bours, M C P; Parsons, S G; Dhillon, V S; Ashley, R P; Bento, J P; Breedt, E; Butterley, T; Caceres, C; 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; Vuckovic, M; Wilson, R W

    2016-01-01

    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 yrs, 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 yrs, binaries with late spectral type (>M6), brown dwarf or white dwarf secondaries appear to show no orbital period variations. This is in agreement with t...

  4. Emission Line Variability of the Accreting Young Brown Dwarf 2MASSW J1207334-393254: From Hours to Years

    Stelzer, Beate; Jayawardhana, Ray

    2007-01-01

    We have obtained a series of high-resolution optical spectra for the brown dwarf 2MASSW J1207334-393254 (2M1207) using the ESO Very Large Telescope with the UVES spectrograph during two consecutive observing nights (time resolution of ~12 min) and the Magellan Clay telescope with the MIKE spectrograph. Combined with previously published results, these data allow us to investigate changes in the emission line spectrum of 2M1207 on timescales of hours to years. Most of the emission line profiles of 2M1207 are broad, in particular that of Halpha, indicating that the dominant fraction of the emission must be attributed to disk accretion rather than to magnetic activity. From the Halpha 10% width we deduce a relatively stable accretion rate between 10^(-10.1...-9.8) Msun/yr for two nights of consecutive observations. Therefore, either the accretion stream is nearly homogeneous over (sub-)stellar longitude or the system is seen face-on. Small but significant variations are evident throughout our near-continuous obs...

  5. New Close Binary Systems from the SDSS-I (Data Release Five) and the Search for Magnetic White Dwarfs in Cataclysmic Variable Progenitor Systems

    Silvestri, Nicole M; Hawley, Suzanne L; West, Andrew A; Schmidt, Gary D; Liebert, James; Szkody, Paula; Mannikko, Lee; Wolfe, Michael A; Barentine, J C; Brewington, Howard J; Harvanek, Michael; Krzesinski, Jurik; Long, Dan; Schneider, Donald P; Snedden, Stephanie A

    2007-01-01

    We present the latest catalog of more than 1200 spectroscopically-selected close binary systems observed with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey through Data Release Five. We use the catalog to search for magnetic white dwarfs in cataclysmic variable progenitor systems. Given that approximately 25% of cataclysmic variables contain a magnetic white dwarf, and that our large sample of close binary systems should contain many progenitors of cataclysmic variables, it is quite surprising that we find only two potential magnetic white dwarfs in this sample. The candidate magnetic white dwarfs, if confirmed, would possess relatively low magnetic field strengths (B_WD < 10 MG) that are similar to those of intermediate-Polars but are much less than the average field strength of the current Polar population. Additional observations of these systems are required to definitively cast the white dwarfs as magnetic. Even if these two systems prove to be the first evidence of detached magnetic white dwarf + M dwarf binaries, th...

  6. Optical linear polarization of 74 white dwarfs with the RoboPol polarimeter

    Żejmo, M; Krzeszowski, K; Reig, P; Blinov, D

    2016-01-01

    We present the first linear polarimetric survey of white dwarfs (WDs). Our sample consists of WDs of DA and DC spectral types in the SDSS r magnitude range from 13 to 17. We performed polarimetric observations with the RoboPol polarimeter attached to the 1.3-m telescope at the Skinakas Observatory. We have 74 WDs in our sample, of which almost all are low polarized WDs with polarization degree (PD) smaller than 1%, while only 2 have PD higher than 1%. There is an evidence that on average the isolated WDs of DC type have higher PD (with median PD of 0.78%) than the isolated DA type WDs (with median PD of 0.36%). On the other hand, the median PD of isolated DA type WDs is almost the same, i.e. 0.36% as the median PD of DA type white dwarfs in binary systems with red dwarfs (dM type), i.e. 0.33%. This shows, as expected, that there is no contribution to the PD from the companion if the WD companion is the red dwarf, which is the most common situation for WDs binary systems. We do not find differences in the pola...

  7. Derivation of the Stellar Formation History from White Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood

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

    2015-06-01

    The study of volume complete samples in the solar neighborhood is a powerful technique to learn about the stellar formation history and the initial mass function. We probe the local formation history from the volume complete sample of white dwarfs within 20 pc, where accurate cooling ages and masses have been determined. The observed initial-final mass relation and theoretical stellar isochrones are used to determine the initial stellar parameters of white dwarfs in the local sample. We correct for moderate biases that are necessary to transform our results to a global stellar formation rate, and compare to similar studies based on the properties of main-sequence and turnoff stars. Our results suggest an enhanced formation rate in the last 5 Gyr compared to the range 5 < Age (Gyr) < 10 for stars that are presently in the solar neighborhood.

  8. White Dwarf Mergers on Adaptive Meshes I. Methodology and Code Verification

    Katz, Max P; Calder, Alan C; Swesty, F Douglas; Almgren, Ann S; Zhang, Weiqun

    2015-01-01

    The Type Ia supernova progenitor problem is one of the most perplexing and exciting problems in astrophysics, requiring detailed numerical modeling to complement observations of these explosions. One possible progenitor that has merited recent theoretical attention is the white dwarf merger scenario, which has the potential to naturally explain many of the observed characteristics of Type Ia supernovae. To date there have been relatively few self-consistent simulations of merging white dwarf systems using mesh-based hydrodynamics. This is the first paper in a series describing simulations of these systems using a hydrodynamics code with adaptive mesh refinement. In this paper we describe our numerical methodology and discuss our implementation in the compressible hydrodynamics code CASTRO, which solves the Euler equations, and the Poisson equation for self-gravity, and couples the gravitational and rotation forces to the hydrodynamics. Standard techniques for coupling gravitation and rotation forces to the hy...

  9. Double degenerate mergers as progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs

    García--Berro, E; Aznar--Siguán, G; Torres, S; Camacho, J; Althaus, L G; Córsico, A H; Külebi, B; Isern, J

    2012-01-01

    High-field magnetic white dwarfs have been long suspected to be the result of stellar mergers. However, the nature of the coalescing stars and the precise mechanism that produces the magnetic field are still unknown. Here we show that the hot, convective, differentially rotating corona present in the outer layers of the remnant of the merger of two degenerate cores is able to produce magnetic fields of the required strength that do not decay for long timescales. We also show, using an state-of-the-art Monte Carlo simulator, that the expected number of high-field magnetic white dwarfs produced in this way is consistent with that found in the Solar neighborhood.

  10. Towards a Network of Faint DA White Dwarfs as High-Precision Spectrophotometric Standards

    Narayan, Gautham; Holberg, Jay B; Matheson, Thomas; Saha, Abhijit; Olszewski, Edward W; Claver, Jenna; Stubbs, Christopher W; Bohlin, Ralph C; Deustua, Susana; Rest, Armin

    2016-01-01

    We present 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. Spectra of these white dwarfs are analyzed to generate a non-local-thermodynamic-equilibrium (NLTE) model atmosphere normalized to HST 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 lessons learned and the resulting corrective actions applied to our program.

  11. CONSTRAINING THE SPIN-DOWN TIMESCALE OF THE WHITE DWARF PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    Meng, Xiangcun [School of Physics and Chemistry, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000 (China); Podsiadlowski, Philipp, E-mail: xiangcunmeng@hotmail.com [Department of Astronomy, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom)

    2013-12-01

    Justham and Di Stefano et al. proposed that the white dwarf progenitor of a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) may have to spin down before it can explode. As the white dwarf spin-down timescale is not well known theoretically, here we try to constrain it empirically (within the framework of this spin-down model) for progenitor systems that contain a giant donor and for which circumbinary material has been detected after the explosion: we obtain an upper limit of a few 10{sup 7}yr. Based on the study of Di Stefano and Kilic, this means that it is too early to rule out the existence of a surviving companion in SNR 0509–67.5.

  12. A possible solution to the Lyman/Balmer line problem in hot DA white dwarfs

    Preval, S P; Badnell, N R; Holberg, J B; Hubeny, I

    2014-01-01

    Arguably, the best method for determining the effective temperature ($T_{\\mathrm{eff}}$) and surface gravity (log $g$) of a DA white dwarf is by fitting the Hydrogen Lyman and Balmer absorption features. However, as has been shown for white dwarfs with $T_{\\mathrm{eff}}$>50,000K, the calculated value from the Lyman and Balmer lines are discrepant, which worsens with increasing temperature. Many different solutions have been suggested, ranging from the input physics used to calculate the models, to interstellar reddening. We will focus on the former, and consider three variables. The first is the atomic data used, namely the number of transitions included in line blanketing treatments and the photoionization cross sections. The second is the stark broadening treatment used to synthesise the Lyman and Balmer line profiles, namely the calculations performed by Lemke (1997) and Tremblay & Bergeron (2009). Finally, the third is the atmospheric content. The model grids are calculated with a pure H composition, ...

  13. Thermodynamic functions, freezing transition, and phase diagram of dense carbon-oxygen mixtures in white dwarfs

    Equations of state for dense carbon-oxygen (C-O) binary-ionic mixtures (BIM's) appropriate to the interiors of white dwarfs are investigated through Monte Carlo simulations, by solution of relevant integral equations and variational calculations in the density-functional formalism. It is thereby shown that the internal energies of the C-O BIM solids and fluids both obey precisely the linear mixing formulas. We then present an accurate calculation of the phase diagram associated with freezing transitions in such BIM materials, resulting in a novel prediction of an azeotropic diagram. Discontinuities of the mass density across the azeotropic phase boundaries are evaluated numerically for application to a study of white-dwarf evolution

  14. CONSTRAINING THE SPIN-DOWN TIMESCALE OF THE WHITE DWARF PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    Justham and Di Stefano et al. proposed that the white dwarf progenitor of a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) may have to spin down before it can explode. As the white dwarf spin-down timescale is not well known theoretically, here we try to constrain it empirically (within the framework of this spin-down model) for progenitor systems that contain a giant donor and for which circumbinary material has been detected after the explosion: we obtain an upper limit of a few 107yr. Based on the study of Di Stefano and Kilic, this means that it is too early to rule out the existence of a surviving companion in SNR 0509–67.5

  15. Effects of Fe/C phase separation on the ages of white dwarfs

    Xu, Z. W.; Van Horn, H. M.

    1992-01-01

    The energy release associated with the phase separation of Fe from C in a predominantly C white dwarf is calculated. The total gravitational-plus-internal energy differences between models of homogeneous compositions and those wth Fe-enriched cores are computed. In the unlikely case where the core is pure Fe, a substantial extension of the white dwarf cooling times is found, even with the small cosmic abundance of this element. For the more realistic core compositions that result if the Fe/C phase diagram is either of the spindle or of the azeotropic type, the energy release is still sufficient to prolong the cooling times by about 0.6 Gyr, comparable to that produced by C/O phase separation. Phase separation is found to produce an appreciable 'bump' in the luminosity function, although not one large enough to exceed the observational errors at low luminosities.

  16. Simulating the photometric study of pulsating white dwarf stars in the physics laboratory

    Chote, Paul

    2015-01-01

    We have designed a realistic simulation of astronomical observing using a relatively low-cost commercial CCD camera and a microcontroller-based circuit that drives LEDs inside a light-tight box with time-varying intensities. As part of a laboratory experiment, students can acquire sequences of images using the camera, and then perform data analysis using a language such as MATLAB or Python to: (a) extract the intensity of the imaged LEDs, (b) perform basic calibrations on the time-series data, and (c) convert their data into the frequency domain where they can then identify the frequency structure. The primary focus is on studying light curves produced by the pulsating white dwarf stars. The exercise provides an introduction to CCD observing, a framework for teaching concepts in numerical data analysis and Fourier techniques, and connections with the physics of white dwarf stars.

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

    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.

  18. A photospheric metal line profile analysis of hot DA white dwarfs with circumstellar material

    Dickinson, Nathan J; Welsh, Barry Y

    2012-01-01

    Some hot DA white dwarfs have circumstellar high ion absorption features in their spectra, in addition to those originating in the photosphere. In many cases, the line profiles of these absorbing components are unresolved. Given the importance of the atmospheric composition of white dwarfs to studies of stellar evolution, extra-solar planetary systems and the interstellar medium, we examine the effect of including circumstellar line profiles in the abundance estimates of photospheric metals in six DA stars. The photospheric C and Si abundances are reduced in five cases where the circumstellar contamination is strong, though the relative weakness of the circumstellar Si IV absorption introduces minimal contamination, resulting in a small change in abundance. The inability of previous, approximate models to reproduce the photospheric line profiles here demonstrates the need for a technique that accounts for the physical line profiles of both the circumstellar and photospheric lines when modelling these blended ...

  19. Stark Broadening of Carbon and Oxygen Lines in Hot DQ White Dwarf Stars: Recent Results and Applications

    Dufour, P.; Nessib, N. Ben; Sahal-Bréchot, S.; Dimitrijević, M. S.

    2011-01-01

    White dwarf stars are traditionally found to have surface compositions made primarily of hydrogen or helium. However, a new family has recently been uncovered, the so-called Hot DQ white dwarfs, which have surface compositions dominated by carbon and oxygen with little or no trace of hydrogen and helium (Dufour et al. 2007, 2008, 2010). Deriving precise atmospheric parameters for these objects (such as the effective temperature and the surface gravity) requires detailed modeling of spectral l...

  20. G29-38 and G38-29; Two new large-amplitude variable white dwarfs

    G28-38 and G38-29 are shown to be luminosity-variable white dwarfs whose characteristics are similar to those of HL Tau-76. Power spectrum analysis shows that the light curves of both stars have a complex low-frequency structure that is variable with time. It is suggested that many but not all of the features in the power spectra of these two stars could result from nonradial pulsations in a rotating white dwarf

  1. An accurate geometric distance to the compact binary SS Cygni vindicates accretion disc theory

    Miller-Jones, J C A; Knigge, C; Körding, E G; Templeton, M; Waagen, E O

    2013-01-01

    Dwarf novae are white dwarfs accreting matter from a nearby red dwarf companion. Their regular outbursts are explained by a thermal-viscous instability in the accretion disc, described by the disc instability model that has since been successfully extended to other accreting systems. However, the prototypical dwarf nova, SS Cygni, presents a major challenge to our understanding of accretion disc theory. At the distance of 159 +/- 12 pc measured by the Hubble Space Telescope, it is too luminous to be undergoing the observed regular outbursts. Using very long baseline interferometric radio observations, we report an accurate, model-independent distance to SS Cygni that places the source significantly closer at 114 +/- 2 pc. This reconciles the source behavior with our understanding of accretion disc theory in accreting compact objects.

  2. A new extremely low-mass white dwarf in the NLTT catalogue

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 506, č. 2 (2009), L25-L28. ISSN 0004-6361 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA300030908; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06014 Grant ostatní: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA301630901 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : white dwarfs Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 4.179, year: 2009

  3. Multi-Dimensional Double Detonation of Sub-Chandrasekhar Mass White Dwarfs

    Moll, Rainer; Woosley, Stanford E.

    2013-01-01

    Using 2D and 3D simulation, we study the "robustness" of the double detonation scenario for Type Ia supernovae, in which a detonation in the helium shell of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf induces a secondary detonation in the underlying core. We find that a helium detonation cannot easily descend into the core unless it commences (artificially) well above the hottest layer calculated for the helium shell in current presupernova models. Compressional waves induced by the sliding helium detonation...

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

    Mustill, Alexander J.; Villaver, Eva, E-mail: alex.mustill@uam.es [Departamento de Fisica Teorica, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid (Spain)

    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.

  5. VLT/X-shooter observations and the chemical composition of cool white dwarfs

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 538, February (2012), A13/1-A13/11. ISSN 0004-6361 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA300030908; GA AV ČR IAA301630901; GA ČR GAP209/10/0967; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06014 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : white dwarfs * atmospheres * abundance Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 5.084, year: 2012

  6. Significantly super-Chandrasekhar limiting mass white dwarfs as progenitors for peculiar over-luminous type Ia supernovae

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2015-01-01

    Since 2012, we have initiated developing systematically the simplistic to rigorous models to prove that highly super-Chandrasekhar, as well as highly sub-Chandrasekhar, limiting mass white dwarfs are possible to exist. We show that the mass of highly magnetized or modified Einstein's gravity induced white dwarfs could be significantly super-Chandrasekhar and such white dwarfs could altogether have a different mass-limit. On the other hand, type Ia supernovae (SNeIa), a key to unravel the evolutionary history of the universe, are believed to be triggered in white dwarfs having mass close to the Chandrasekhar-limit. However, observations of several peculiar, over- and under-luminous SNeIa argue for exploding masses widely different from this limit. We argue that explosions of super-Chandrasekhar limiting mass white dwarfs result in over-luminous SNeIa. We arrive at this revelation, first by considering simplistic, spherical, Newtonian white dwarfs with constant magnetic fields. Then we relax the Newtonian assum...

  7. AN IMPROVED SPECTROSCOPIC ANALYSIS OF DA WHITE DWARFS FROM THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY DATA RELEASE 4

    We present an improved spectroscopic and photometric analysis of hydrogen-line DA white dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 (SDSS DR4) based on model atmospheres that include improved Stark broadening profiles with non-ideal gas effects. We also perform a careful visual inspection of all spectroscopic fits with high signal-to-noise ratios (S/Ns > 12) and present improved atmospheric parameters (Teff and log g) for each white dwarf. Through a comparison of spectroscopic and photometric temperatures, we report the discovery of 35 DA+DB/DC double degenerate candidates and two helium-rich DA stars. We also determine that a cutoff at S/N = 15 optimizes the size and quality of the sample for computing the mean mass of DA white dwarfs, for which we report a value of 0.613 Msun. We compare our results to previous analyses of the SDSS DR4 and find a good agreement if we account for the shift produced by the improved Stark profiles. Finally, the properties of DA white dwarfs in the SDSS are weighed against those of the Villanova White Dwarf Catalog sample of Gianninas et al. We find systematically lower masses (by about 3% on average), a difference that we trace back to the data reduction procedure of the SDSS. We conclude that a better understanding of these differences will be important to determine the absolute temperature scale and mean mass of DA white dwarfs.

  8. A WHITE DWARF MERGER AS PROGENITOR OF THE ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSAR 4U 0142+61?

    Rueda, J. A.; Boshkayev, K.; Izzo, L.; Ruffini, R. [Dipartimento di Fisica and ICRA, Sapienza Universita di Roma, P.le Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome (Italy); Loren-Aguilar, P. [School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); Kuelebi, B. [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC), Facultat de Ciencies, Campus UAB, Torre C5-parell, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Aznar-Siguan, G.; Garcia-Berro, E., E-mail: jorge.rueda@icra.it, E-mail: enrique.garcia-berro@upc.edu [Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, c/Gran Capita 2-4, Edif. Nexus 104, E-08034 Barcelona (Spain)

    2013-08-01

    It has been recently proposed that massive, fast-rotating, highly magnetized white dwarfs could describe the observational properties of some of soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). Moreover, it has also been shown that high-field magnetic white dwarfs can be the outcome of white dwarf binary mergers. The products of these mergers consist of a hot central white dwarf surrounded by a rapidly rotating disk. Here we show that the merger of a double degenerate system can explain the characteristics of the peculiar AXP 4U 0142+61. This scenario accounts for the observed infrared excess. We also show that the observed properties of 4U 0142+6 are consistent with an approximately 1.2 M{sub Sun} white dwarf, remnant of the coalescence of an original system made of two white dwarfs of masses 0.6 M{sub Sun} and 1.0 M{sub Sun }. Finally, we infer a post-merging age {tau}{sub WD} Almost-Equal-To 64 kyr and a magnetic field B Almost-Equal-To 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} G. Evidence for such a magnetic field may come from the possible detection of the electron cyclotron absorption feature observed between the B and V bands at Almost-Equal-To 10{sup 15} Hz in the spectrum of 4U 0142+61.

  9. New evolutionary sequences for extremely low mass white dwarfs: Homogeneous mass and age determinations, and asteroseismic prospects

    Althaus, Leandro G; Córsico, Alejandro H

    2013-01-01

    We provide a fine and homogeneous grid of evolutionary sequences for He-core white dwarfs with masses 0.15-0.45 Msun, including the mass range for ELM white dwarfs (<0.20Msun). The grid is appropriate for mass and age determination, and to study their pulsational properties. White dwarf sequences have been computed by performing full evolutionary calculations that consider the main energy sources and processes of chemical abundance changes during white dwarf evolution. Initial models for the evolving white dwarfs have been obtained by computing the non-conservative evolution of a binary system consisting of a Msun ZAMS star and a 1.4 Msun neutron star for various initial orbital periods. To derive cooling ages and masses for He-core white dwarf we perform a least square fitting of the M(Teff, g) and Age(Teff, g) relations provided by our sequences by using a scheme that takes into account the time spent by models in different regions of the Teff-g plane. This is useful when multiple solutions for cooling a...

  10. A study of high proper-motion white dwarfs I. Spectropolarimetry of a cool hydrogen-rich sample

    Kawka, Adela

    2012-01-01

    We conducted a spectropolarimetic survey of 58 high proper-motion white dwarfs which achieved uncertainties of >2 kG in the Halpha line and >5 kG in the upper Balmer line series. The survey aimed at detecting low magnetic fields (< 100 kG) and helped identify the new magnetic white dwarfs NLTT 2219, with a longitudinal field B_l = -97 kG, and NLTT 10480 (B_l=-212 kG). Also, we report the possible identification of a very low-field white dwarf with B_l = -4.6 kG. The observations show that ~5% of white dwarfs harbour low fields (~10 to ~10^2 kG) and that increased survey sensitivity may help uncover several new magnetic white dwarfs with fields below ~1 kG. A series of observations of the high field white dwarf NLTT 12758 revealed changes in polarity occurring within an hour possibly associated to an inclined, fast rotating dipole. Also, the relative strength of the pi and sigma components in NLTT 12758 possibly revealed the effect of a field concentration ("spot"), or, most likely, the presence of a non-ma...

  11. The spectrum of the recycled PSR J0437-4715 and its white dwarf companion

    Durant, M; Pavlov, G G; Kowalski, P M; Posselt, B; van Kerkwijk, M H; Kaplan, D L

    2011-01-01

    We present extensive spectral and photometric observations of the recycled pulsar/white-dwarf binary containing PSR J0437-4715, which we analyzed together with archival X-ray and gamma-ray data, to obtain the complete mid-infrared to gamma-ray spectrum. We first fit each part of the spectrum separately, and then the whole multi-wavelength spectrum. We find that the optical-infrared part of the spectrum is well fit by a cool white dwarf atmosphere model with pure hydrogen composition. The model atmosphere (Teff = 3950pm150K, log g=6.98pm0.15, R_WD=(1.9pm0.2)e9 cm) fits our spectral data remarkably well for the known mass and distance (M=0.25pm0.02Msun, d=156.3pm1.3pc), yielding the white dwarf age (tau=6.0pm0.5Gyr). In the UV, we find a spectral shape consistent with thermal emission from the bulk of the neutron star surface, with surface temperature between 1.25e5 and 3.5e5K. The temperature of the thermal spectrum suggests that some heating mechanism operates throughout the life of the neutron star. The temp...

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

    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.

  13. Properties of the Eclipsing Double-White Dwarf Binary NLTT 11748

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

    2013-01-01

    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 (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 Msun) and surface gravity (log(g)=6.32-6.38; radii are 0.0423-0.0433 Rsun) constraints do not agree with previous spectroscopic determinations. We use precise eclipse timing to detect the Romer delay at 7 sigma significance, providing an additional weak constraint on the masses and limiting the eccentricity to e*cos(omega)= -4e-5 +/- 5e-5. Finally, we use multi-color data to constrain the secondary's effective te...

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

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

    2012-01-01

    A leading formation scenario for R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars invokes the merger of degenerate He and CO white dwarfs (WD) in a binary. The observed ratio of 16O/18O for RCB stars is in the range of 0.3-20 much smaller than the solar value of ~500. In this paper, we investigate whether such a low ratio can be obtained in simulations of the merger of a CO and a He white dwarf. We present the results of five 3-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the merger of a double white dwarf system where the total mass is 0.9 Mdot and the initial mass ratio (q) varies between 0.5 and 0.99. We identify in simulations with $q\\lesssim0.7$ a feature around the merged stars where the temperatures and densities are suitable for forming 18O. However, more 16O is being dredged-up from the C- and O-rich accretor during the merger than the amount of 18O that is produced. Therefore, on a dynamical time scale over which our hydrodynamics simulation runs, a 16O/18O ratio of ~2000 in the "best" case is found. If the conditions fou...

  15. Discovery of photospheric argon in very hot central stars of planetary nebulae and white dwarfs

    Werner, K; Kruk, J W

    2007-01-01

    We report the first discovery of argon in hot evolved stars and white dwarfs. We have identified the ArVII 1063.55A line in some of the hottest known (Teff=95000-110000 K) central stars of planetary nebulae and (pre-) white dwarfs of various spectral type. We determine the argon abundance and compare it to theoretical predictions from stellar evolution theory as well as from diffusion calculations. We analyze high-resolution spectra taken with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. We use non-LTE line-blanketed model atmospheres and perform line-formation calculations to compute synthetic argon line profiles. We find a solar argon abundance in the H-rich central star NGC1360 and in the H-deficient PG1159 star PG1424+535. This confirms stellar evolution modeling that predicts that the argon abundance remains almost unaffected by nucleosynthesis. For the DAO-type central star NGC7293 and the hot DA white dwarfs PG0948+534 and REJ1738+669 we find argon abundances that are up to three orders of magnitude sma...

  16. The Spectral Energy Distributions of White Dwarfs in 47 Tucanae: The Distance to the Cluster

    Woodley, Kristin A; Kalirai, Jason; Richer, Harvey; Tremblay, Pier-Emmanuel; Anderson, Jay; Bergeron, Pier; Dotter, Aaron; Esteves, Lisa; Fahlman, Greg; Hansen, Brad; Heyl, Jeremy; Hurley, Jarrod; Rich, R Michael; Shara, Michael; Stetson, Peter

    2011-01-01

    We present a new distance determination to the Galactic globular cluster 47 Tucanae by fitting the spectral energy distributions of its white dwarfs to pure hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf models. Our photometric dataset is obtained from a 121 orbit Hubble Space Telescope program using the Wide Field Camera 3 UVIS/IR channels, capturing F390W, F606W, F110W, and F160W images. These images cover more than 60 square arcmins and extend over a radial range of 5-13.7 arcmin (6.5-17.9 pc) within the globular cluster. Using a likelihood analysis, we obtain a best fitting unreddened distance modulus of (m - M)o=13.36+/-0.02+/-0.06 corresponding to a distance of 4.70+/-0.04+/-0.13 kpc, where the first error is random and the second is systematic. We also search the white dwarf photometry for infrared excess in the F160W filter, indicative of debris disks or low mass companions, and find no convincing cases within our sample.

  17. Asymmetry and the Nucleosynthetic Signature of Nearly Edge-lit Detonation in White Dwarf Cores

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

    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.

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

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2016-01-01

    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, ...

  19. A comparative analysis of the observed white dwarf cooling sequence from globular clusters

    Campos, Fabíola; Romero, A D; Kepler, S O; Ourique, G; Costa, J E S; Bonatto, C J; Winget, D E; Montgomery, M H; Pacheco, T A; Bedin, L R

    2015-01-01

    We report our study of features at the observed red end of the white dwarf cooling sequences for three Galactic globular clusters: NGC\\,6397, 47\\,Tucanae and M\\,4. We use deep colour-magnitude diagrams constructed from archival Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) to systematically investigate the blue turn at faint magnitudes and the age determinations for each cluster. We find that the age difference between NGC\\,6397 and 47\\,Tuc is 1.98$^{+0.44}_{-0.26}$\\,Gyr, consistent with the picture that metal-rich halo clusters were formed later than metal-poor halo clusters. We self-consistently include the effect of metallicity on the progenitor age and the initial-to-final mass relation. In contrast with previous investigations that invoked a single white dwarf mass for each cluster, the data shows a spread of white dwarf masses that better reproduce the shape and location of the blue turn. This effect alone, however, does not completely reproduce the observational data - the blue turn retains some mystery. In this contex...

  20. Variability in Hot Carbon-Dominated Atmosphere (hot DQ) White Dwarfs: Rapid Rotation?

    Williams, Kurtis A; Winget, D E; Falcon, Ross E; Bierwagon, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Hot white dwarfs with carbon-dominated atmospheres (hot DQs) are a cryptic class of white dwarfs. In addition to their deficiency of hydrogen and helium, most of these stars are highly magnetic, and a large fraction vary in luminosity. This variability has been ascribed to nonradial pulsations, but increasing data call this explanation into question. We present studies of short-term variability in seven hot DQ white dwarfs. Three (SDSS J1426+5752, SDSS J2200-0741, and SDSS J2348-0942) were known to be variable. Their photometric modulations are coherent over at least two years, and we find no evidence for variability at frequencies that are not harmonics. We present the first time-series photometry for three additional hot DQs (SDSS J0236-0734, SDSS J1402+3818, and SDSS J1615+4543); none are observed to vary, but the signal-to-noise is low. Finally, we present high speed photometry for SDSS J0005-1002, known to exhibit a 2.1 d photometric variation; we do not observe any short-term variability. Monoperiodicit...