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Sample records for white dwarf g191-b2b

  1. Stellar laboratories. VI. New Mo IV - VII oscillator strengths and the molybdenum abundance in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289

    CERN Document Server

    Rauch, T; Hoyer, D; Werner, K; Demleitner, M; Kruk, J W

    2015-01-01

    For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise (S/N) spectra of hot stars, state-of-the-art non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres are mandatory. These are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that is used for their calculation. To identify molybdenum lines in the ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE0503-289 and to determine their photospheric Mo abundances, newly calculated Mo IV - VII oscillator strengths are used. We identified twelve Mo V and nine Mo VI lines in the UV spectrum of RE0503-289 and measured a photospheric Mo abundance of 1.2 - 3.0 x 10**-4 (mass fraction, 22500 - 56400 times the solar abundance). In addition, from the As V and Sn IV resonance lines, we measured mass fractions of arsenic (0.5 - 1.3 x 10**-5, about 300 - 1200 times solar) and tin (1.3 - 3.2 x 10**-4, about 14300 35200 times solar). For G191-B2B, upper limits were determined for the abundances of Mo (5.3 x 10*...

  2. Stellar Laboratories II. New Zn Iv and Zn v Oscillator Strengths and Their Validation in the Hot White Dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, T.; Werner, K.; Quinet, P.; Kruk, J. W.

    2014-01-01

    Context. For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise (SN) spectra of hot stars, state-of-the-art non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres are mandatory. These are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that is used for their calculation. In a recent analysis of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of the DA-type white dwarf G191B2B,21 Zn iv lines were newly identified. Because of the lack of Zn iv data, transition probabilities of the isoelectronic Ge vi were adapted for a first, coarse determination of the photospheric Zn abundance.Aims. Reliable Zn iv and Zn v oscillator strengths are used to improve the Zn abundance determination and to identify more Zn lines in the spectra of G191B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE 0503289. Methods. We performed new calculations of Zn iv and Zn v oscillator strengths to consider their radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions in detail in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of the Zn iv v spectrum exhibited in high-resolution and high-SN UV observations of G191B2B and RE 0503289. Results. In the UV spectrum of G191B2B, we identify 31 Zn iv and 16 Zn v lines. Most of these are identified for the first time in any star. We can reproduce well almost all of them at log Zn 5.52 0.2 (mass fraction, about 1.7 times solar). In particular, the Zn iv Zn v ionization equilibrium, which is a very sensitive Teff indicator, is well reproduced with the previously determined Teff 60 000 2000 K and log g 7.60 0.05. In the spectrum of RE 0503289, we identified 128 Zn v lines for the first time and determined log Zn 3.57 0.2 (155 times solar). Conclusions. Reliable measurements and calculations of atomic data are a pre-requisite for stellar-atmosphere modeling. Observed Zn iv and Zn v line profiles in two white dwarf (G191B2B and RE 0503289) ultraviolet spectra were well reproduced with our newly calculated oscillator strengths. This allowed us to determine the

  3. Stellar laboratories II. New Zn IV and Zn V oscillator strengths and their validation in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289

    CERN Document Server

    Rauch, T; Quinet, P; Kruk, J W

    2014-01-01

    For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise spectra of hot stars, state-of-the-art non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model-atmospheres are mandatory. These are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that is used for their calculation. In a recent analysis of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B, 21 Zn IV lines were newly identified. Because of the lack of Zn IV data, transition probabilities of the isoelectronic Ge VI were adapted for a first, coarse determination of the photospheric Zn abundance. We performed new calculations of Zn IV and Zn V oscillator strengths to consider their radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions in detail in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of the Zn IV - V spectrum exhibited in high-resolution and high-S/N UV observations of G191-B2B and RE0503-289. In the UV spectrum of G191-B2B, we identify 31 Zn IV and 16 Zn V lines. Most of these are identified for the first time in an...

  4. Stellar Laboratories: 3. New Ba 5, Ba 6, and Ba 7 Oscillator Strengths and the Barium Abundance in the Hot White Dwarfs G191-B2B and RE 0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, T.; Werner, K.; Quinet, P.; Kruk, Jeffrey Walter

    2014-01-01

    Context. For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise (S/N) spectra of hot stars, state-of-the-art non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres are mandatory. These are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that is used for their calculation. Aims. Reliable Ba 5-7 oscillator strengths are used to identify Ba lines in the spectra of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE 0503-289 and to determine their photospheric Ba abundances. Methods. We newly calculated Ba v-vii oscillator strengths to consider their radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions in detail in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of Ba lines exhibited in high-resolution and high-S/N UV observations of G191-B2B and RE 0503-289. Results. For the first time, we identified highly ionized Ba in the spectra of hot white dwarfs. We detected Ba vi and Ba vii lines in the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spectrum of RE 0503-289. The Ba vi/Ba vii ionization equilibrium is well reproduced with the previously determined effective temperature of 70 000 K and surface gravity of log g=7.5. The Ba abundance is 3.5 +/- 0.5 × 10(exp-4) (mass fraction, about 23 000 times the solar value). In the FUSE spectrum of G191-B2B, we identified the strongest Ba vii line (at 993.41 Å) only, and determined a Ba abundance of 4.0 +/- 0.5 × 10(exp-6) (about 265 times solar). Conclusions. Reliable measurements and calculations of atomic data are a pre-requisite for stellar-atmosphere modeling. Observed Ba vi-vii line profiles in two white dwarfs' (G191-B2B and RE 0503-289) far-ultraviolet spectra were well reproduced with our newly calculated oscillator strengths. This allowed to determine the photospheric Ba abundance of these two stars precisely.

  5. Stellar laboratories III. New Ba V, Ba VI, and Ba VII oscillator strengths and the barium abundance in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289

    CERN Document Server

    Rauch, T; Quinet, P; Kruk, J W

    2014-01-01

    For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise (S/N) spectra of hot stars, state-of-the-art non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres are mandatory. These are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that is used for their calculation. Reliable Ba V - VII oscillator strengths are used to identify Ba lines in the spectra of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE0503-289 and to determine their photospheric Ba abundances. We newly calculated Ba V - VII oscillator strengths to consider their radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions in detail in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of Ba lines exhibited in high-resolution and high-S/N UV observations of G191-B2B and RE0503-289. For the first time, we identified highly ionized Ba in the spectra of hot white dwarfs. We detected Ba VI and Ba VII lines in the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spectrum of RE0503-289. The Ba VI / Ba VII ionization equil...

  6. Stellar laboratories IV. New Ga IV, Ga V, and Ga VI oscillator strengths and the gallium abundance in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289

    CERN Document Server

    Rauch, T; Quinet, P; Kruk, J W

    2015-01-01

    For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise (S/N) spectra of hot stars, advanced non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres are mandatory. These atmospheres are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that are used to calculate them. Reliable Ga IV - VI oscillator strengths are used to identify Ga lines in the spectra of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE0503-289 and to determine their photospheric Ga abundances. We newly calculated Ga IV - VI oscillator strengths to consider their radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions in detail in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for analyzing of Ga lines exhibited in high-resolution and high-S/N UV observations of G191-B2B and RE0503-289. We unambiguously detected 20 isolated and 6 blended (with lines of other species) Ga V lines in the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spectrum of RE0503-289. The identification of Ga IV and Ga VI lines is uncertain because th...

  7. The virtual observatory service TheoSSA: Establishing a database of synthetic stellar flux standards. I. NLTE spectral analysis of the DA-type white dwarf G 191-B2B

    CERN Document Server

    Rauch, T; Kruk, J W; Werner, K

    2013-01-01

    H-rich, DA-type white dwarfs are particularly suited as primary standard stars for flux calibration. State-of-the-art NLTE models consider opacities of species up to trans-iron elements and provide reliable synthetic stellar-atmosphere spectra to compare with observation. We establish a database of theoretical spectra of stellar flux standards that are easily accessible via a web interface. In the framework of the Virtual Observatory, the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory developed the registered service TheoSSA. It provides easy access to stellar spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and is intended to ingest SEDs calculated by any model-atmosphere code. In case of the DA white dwarf G 191-B2B, we demonstrate that the model reproduces not only its overall continuum shape but also the numerous metal lines exhibited in its ultraviolet spectrum. TheoSSA is in operation and contains presently a variety of SEDs for DA white dwarfs. It will be extended in the near future and can host SEDs of all primary and ...

  8. The Virtual Observatory Service TheoSSA: Establishing a Database of Synthetic Stellar Flux Standards I. NLTE Spectral Analysis of the DA-Type White Dwarf G191-B2B *,**,***,****

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, T.; Werner, K.; Bohlin, R.; Kruk, J. W.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrogen-rich, DA-type white dwarfs are particularly suited as primary standard stars for flux calibration. State-of-the-art NLTE models consider opacities of species up to trans-iron elements and provide reliable synthetic stellar-atmosphere spectra to compare with observations. Aims. We will establish a database of theoretical spectra of stellar flux standards that are easily accessible via a web interface. Methods. In the framework of the Virtual Observatory, the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory developed the registered service TheoSSA. It provides easy access to stellar spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and is intended to ingest SEDs calculated by any model-atmosphere code. In case of the DA white dwarf G191-B2B, we demonstrate that the model reproduces not only its overall continuum shape but also the numerous metal lines exhibited in its ultraviolet spectrum. Results. TheoSSA is in operation and contains presently a variety of SEDs for DA-type white dwarfs. It will be extended in the near future and can host SEDs of all primary and secondary flux standards. The spectral analysis of G191-B2B has shown that our hydrostatic models reproduce the observations best at Teff =60 000 +/- 2000K and log g=7.60 +/- 0.05.We newly identified Fe vi, Ni vi, and Zn iv lines. For the first time, we determined the photospheric zinc abundance with a logarithmic mass fraction of -4.89 (7.5 × solar). The abundances of He (upper limit), C, N, O, Al, Si, O, P, S, Fe, Ni, Ge, and Sn were precisely determined. Upper abundance limits of about 10% solar were derived for Ti, Cr, Mn, and Co. Conclusions. The TheoSSA database of theoretical SEDs of stellar flux standards guarantees that the flux calibration of all astronomical data and cross-calibration between different instruments can be based on the same models and SEDs calculated with different model-atmosphere codes and are easy to compare.

  9. The virtual observatory service TheoSSA: Establishing a database of synthetic stellar flux standards. I. NLTE spectral analysis of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, T.; Werner, K.; Bohlin, R.; Kruk, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    Context. Hydrogen-rich, DA-type white dwarfs are particularly suited as primary standard stars for flux calibration. State-of-the-art NLTE models consider opacities of species up to trans-iron elements and provide reliable synthetic stellar-atmosphere spectra to compare with observations. Aims: We will establish a database of theoretical spectra of stellar flux standards that are easily accessible via a web interface. Methods: In the framework of the Virtual Observatory, the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory developed the registered service TheoSSA. It provides easy access to stellar spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and is intended to ingest SEDs calculated by any model-atmosphere code. In case of the DA white dwarf G191-B2B, we demonstrate that the model reproduces not only its overall continuum shape but also the numerous metal lines exhibited in its ultraviolet spectrum. Results: TheoSSA is in operation and contains presently a variety of SEDs for DA-type white dwarfs. It will be extended in the near future and can host SEDs of all primary and secondary flux standards. The spectral analysis of G191-B2B has shown that our hydrostatic models reproduce the observations best at and log g = 7.60 ± 0.05. We newly identified Fe vi, Ni vi, and Zn iv lines. For the first time, we determined the photospheric zinc abundance with a logarithmic mass fraction of -4.89 (7.5 × solar). The abundances of He (upper limit), C, N, O, Al, Si, O, P, S, Fe, Ni, Ge, and Sn were precisely determined. Upper abundance limits of about 10% solar were derived for Ti, Cr, Mn, and Co. Conclusions: The TheoSSA database of theoretical SEDs of stellar flux standards guarantees that the flux calibration of all astronomical data and cross-calibration between different instruments can be based on the same models and SEDs calculated with different model-atmosphere codes and are easy to compare. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope

  10. Evidence for the stratification of Fe in the photosphere of G191-B2B

    CERN Document Server

    Barstow, M A; Holberg, J B

    1999-01-01

    The presence of heavy elements in the atmospheres of the hottest H-rich DA white dwarfs has been the subject of considerable interest. While theoretical calculations can demonstrate that radiative forces, counteracting the effects of gravitational settling, can explain the detections of individual species, the predicted abundances do not accord well with observation. However, accurate abundance measurements can only be based on a thorough understanding of the physical structure of the white dwarf photospheres, which has proved elusive. Recently, the availability of new non-LTE model atmospheres with improved atomic data has allowed self-consistent analysis of the EUV, far UV and optical spectra of the prototypical object G191$-$B2B. Even so, the predicted and observed stellar fluxes remain in serious disagreement at the shortest wavelengths (below $\\approx 190$Å), while the inferred abundances remain largely unaltered. We show here that the complete spectrum of G191$-$B2B can be explained by a model atmosphe...

  11. Towards a standardised line list for G191-B2B, and other DA type objects

    CERN Document Server

    Preval, Simon P; Holberg, Jay B; Dickinson, N J

    2012-01-01

    We present a comprehensive analysis of the far UV spectrum of G191-B2B over the range of 900-1700{\\AA} using co-added data from the FUSE and STIS archives. While previous identifications made by Holberg et al. (2003) are reaffirmed in this work, it is found that many previously unidentified lines can now be attributed to Fe, Ni, and a few lighter metals. Future work includes extending this detailed analysis to a wider range of DA objects, in the expectation that a more complete analysis of their atmospheres can be realised.

  12. The D/H Ratio in Interstellar Gas Towards G191-B2B

    CERN Document Server

    Sahu, M S; Bruhweiler, F C; Gull, T R; Bowers, C A; Lindler, D; Feggans, K; Barstow, M A; Hubeny, I; Holberg, J B

    1999-01-01

    We reinvestigate the question of spatial variation of the local D/H abundance, using both archival GHRS spectra, and new echelle spectra of G191-B2B obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) aboard HST. Our analysis uses stratified line-blanketed non-LTE model atmosphere calculations to determine the shape of the intrinsic WD Lyman-alpha profile and estimate the WD photospheric contamination of the interstellar lines. Although three velocity components were reported previously towards G191-B2B, we detect only two velocity components. The first component is at V(hel) ~ 8.6 km/s and the second at V(hel) ~ 19.3 km/s, which we identify with the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC). From the STIS data we derive D/H = 1.60(+0.39,-0.27)X10^-5 for the LIC component, and D/H > 1.26X10^-5 for the 8.6 km/s component (uncertainties denote 2-sigma or 95% confidence limits). The STIS data provide no evidence for local or component-to-component variation in the D/H ratio. Despite using two velocity components ...

  13. Limits on variations of the fine-structure constant with gravitational potential from white-dwarf spectra

    CERN Document Server

    Berengut, J C; Ong, A; Webb, J K; Barrow, John D; Barstow, M A; Preval, S P; Holberg, J B

    2013-01-01

    We propose a new probe of the variation of the fine structure constant, alpha, in a strong gravitational field using metal lines in the spectra of white dwarf stars. Comparison of laboratory spectra with far-UV astronomical spectra from the white dwarf star G191-B2B recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph gives limits on the fractional variation of alpha of (Delta alpha/alpha)=(4.2 +- 1.6)x10^(-5) and (-6.1 +- 5.8)x10^(-5) from Fe V and Ni V spectra, respectively, at a dimensionless gravitational potential relative to Earth of (Delta phi) ~ 5x10^(-5). With better determinations of the laboratory wavelengths of the lines employed these results could be improved by up to two orders of magnitude.

  14. Measuring chemical evolution and gravitational dependence of \\alpha using ultraviolet Fe V and Ni V transitions in white-dwarf spectra

    CERN Document Server

    Ong, A; Flambaum, V V

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we present the details of the ab initio high-precision configuration interaction and many-body perturbation theory calculations that were used in a previous work to place limits on the dependence of the fine-structure constant, alpha, on the gravitational field of the white-dwarf star G191-B2B. These calculations were combined with laboratory wavelengths and spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to obtain limits on the gravitational alpha-dependence using Fe V and Ni V transitions. The uncertainty in these results are dominated by the uncertainty in the laboratory wavelengths. In this work we also present ab initio calculations of the isotopic shifts of the Fe V transitions. We show that improved laboratory spectra will enable determination of the relative isotope abundances in Fe V to an accuracy ~20%. Therefore this work provides a strong motivation for new laboratory measurements.

  15. Hot DA white dwarf model atmosphere calculations: Including improved Ni PI cross sections

    CERN Document Server

    Preval, S P; Badnell, N R; Hubeny, I; Holberg, J B

    2016-01-01

    To calculate realistic models of objects with Ni in their atmospheres, accurate atomic data for the relevant ionization stages needs to be included in model atmosphere calculations. In the context of white dwarf stars, we investigate the effect of changing the Ni {\\sc iv}-{\\sc vi} bound-bound and bound-free atomic data has on model atmosphere calculations. Models including PICS calculated with {\\sc autostructure} show significant flux attenuation of up to $\\sim 80$\\% shortward of 180\\AA\\, in the EUV region compared to a model using hydrogenic PICS. Comparatively, models including a larger set of Ni transitions left the EUV, UV, and optical continua unaffected. We use models calculated with permutations of this atomic data to test for potential changes to measured metal abundances of the hot DA white dwarf G191-B2B. Models including {\\sc autostructure} PICS were found to change the abundances of N and O by as much as $\\sim 22$\\% compared to models using hydrogenic PICS, but heavier species were relatively unaf...

  16. White Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. White dwarf-red dwarf binaries in the Galaxy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  18. White dwarf pulsations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.)

  19. White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    CERN Document Server

    Kepler, S O; Romero, Alejandra Daniela; Ourique, Gustavo; Pelisoli, Ingrid

    2016-01-01

    We present the mass distribution for all S/N > 15 pure DA white dwarfs detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey up to Data Release 12, fitted with Koester models for ML2/alpha=0.8, and with Teff > 10 000 K, and for DBs with S/N >10, fitted with ML2/alpha=1.25, for Teff > 16 000 K. These mass distributions are for log g > 6.5 stars, i.e., excluding the Extremely Low Mass white dwarfs. We also present the mass distributions corrected by volume with the 1/Vmax approach, for stars brighter than g=19. Both distributions have a maximum at M=0.624 Msun but very distinct shapes. From the estimated z-distances, we deduce a disk scale height of 300 pc. We also present 10 probable halo white dwarfs, from their galactic U, V, W velocities.

  20. Axions and White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Garcia-Berro, E; Salaris, M; Torres, S

    2010-01-01

    White dwarfs are almost completely degenerate objects that cannot obtain energy from the thermonuclear sources and their evolution is just a gravothermal process of cooling. The simplicity of these objects, the fact that the physical inputs necessary to understand them are well identified, although not always well understood, and the impressive observational background about white dwarfs make them the most well studied Galactic population. These characteristics allow to use them as laboratories to test new ideas of physics. In this contribution we discuss the robustness of the method and its application to the axion case.

  1. White dwarf planets

    OpenAIRE

    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⊙...

  2. The white dwarf luminosity function

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  3. Stark Broadening and White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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/).

  4. Solidification of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Magnetized White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  6. Axion cooling of white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Garcia--Berro, E; Salaris, M; Torres, S

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of white dwarfs is a simple gravothermal process. This process can be tested in two ways, through the luminosity function of these stars and through the secular variation of the period of pulsation of those stars that are variable. Here we show how the mass of the axion can be constrained using the white dwarf luminosity function.

  7. White Dwarf Planets from GAIA

    OpenAIRE

    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.

  8. Singing and dancing white dwarfs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  9. Singing and dancing white dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  10. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Garcia-Aspeitia, Miguel A

    2015-01-01

    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 its stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to be close to the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predicts an average value of brane tension as: $\\langle\\lambda\\rangle\\gtrsim84.818\\;\\rm MeV^4$, with a standard deviation $\\sigma\\simeq82.021\\;\\rm MeV^4$ which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining above of cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others.

  11. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  12. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Magnetars and White Dwarf Pulsars

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  15. Rare White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  16. White dwarf cooling sequences and cosmochronology

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Garcia-Berro, E

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of white dwarfs is a simple gravothermal process. This means that their luminosity function, i.e. the number of white dwarfs per unit bolometric magnitude and unit volume as a function of bolometric magnitude, is a monotonically increasing function that decreases abruptly as a consequence of the finite age of the Galaxy. The precision and the accuracy of the white dwarf luminosity functions obtained with the recent large surveys together with the improved quality of the theoretical models of evolution of white dwarfs allow to feed the hope that in a near future it will be possible to reconstruct the history of the different Galactic populations.

  17. AR Sco: A White Dwarf Synchronar

    CERN Document Server

    Katz, J I

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Disks and Planets Around Massive White Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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.

  19. Magnetic White Dwarfs with Heavy Elements

    CERN Document Server

    Hardy, François; Jordan, Stefan

    2016-01-01

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

  20. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. White Dwarfs Cosmological and Galactic Probes

    CERN Document Server

    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).

  3. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Dyson Spheres around White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  5. White dwarf constraints on a varying $G$

    CERN Document Server

    García-Berro, Enrique; Althaus, Leandro G; Córsico, Alejandro H; Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo; Romero, Alejandra D; Isern, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    A secular variation of $G$ modifies the structure and evolutionary time scales of white dwarfs. Using an state-of-the-art stellar evolutionary code, an up-to-date pulsational code, and a detailed population synthesis code we demonstrate that the effects of a running $G$ are obvious both in the properties of individual white dwarfs, and in those of the white dwarf populations in clusters. Specifically, we show that the white dwarf evolutionary sequences depend on both the value of $\\dot G/G$, and on the value of $G$ when the white dwarf was born. We show as well that the pulsational properties of variable white dwarfs can be used to constrain $\\dot G/G$. Finally, we also show that the ensemble properties of of white dwarfs in clusters can also be used to set upper bounds to $\\dot G/G$. Precisely, the tightest bound --- $\\dot G/G \\sim -1.8 10^{-12}$ yr$^{-1}$ --- is obtained studying the population of the old, metal-rich, well populated, open cluster NGC 6791. Less stringent upper limits can be obtained compari...

  6. Simulations of Double White Dwarf Mergers

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Magnetic white dwarfs with debris disks

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  8. Pulsating White Dwarf Stars and Precision Asteroseismology

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  9. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

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

  10. The Physics of crystallizing white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  11. A radio pulsing white dwarf binary star

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  12. ON THE EVOLUTION OF MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tremblay, P.-E. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P. [Département de Physique, Université de Montréal, C. P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Freytag, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University, Regementsvägen 1, Box 516, SE-75120 Uppsala (Sweden); Steiner, O. [Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, D-79104 Freiburg (Germany); Ludwig, H.-G. [Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Steffen, M. [Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam (Germany); Wedemeyer, S., E-mail: tremblay@stsci.edu [Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1029 Blindern, NO-0315 Oslo (Norway)

    2015-10-10

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

  13. Comparison of theoretical white dwarf cooling timescales

    CERN Document Server

    Salaris, Maurizio; García-Berro, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    An accurate assessment of white dwarf cooling times is paramount to place white dwarf cosmochronology of Galactic populations on more solid grounds. This issue is particularly relevant in view of the enhanced observational capabilities provided by the next generation of Extremely Large Telescopes, that will offer more avenues to employ white dwarfs as probes of Galactic evolution and test-beds of fundamental physics. We estimate for the first time the consistency of results obtained from two independent and widely used evolutionary codes (BaSTI and LPCODE) for white dwarf models with fixed mass and chemical stratification, when the same input physics is employed in both codes. We considered 0.55Msun white dwarf models with both pure carbon and uniform carbon-oxygen (50/50 mass fractions) core. We have assessed for the first time the maximum possible accuracy in the current estimates of white dwarf cooling times, resulting only from the different implementations of the stellar evolution equations and homogeneo...

  14. Building an Unusual White-Dwarf Duo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

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

  15. Measuring M dwarf Winds with DAZ White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  16. White dwarfs, red dwarfs and halo dark matter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    GarcIa-Berro, E; Torres, S; Camacho, J [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Av. del Canal Olimpic, s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Isern, J, E-mail: garcia@fa.upc.ed [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2009-06-01

    The nature of the microlensing events observed by the MACHO team towards the LMC still remains controversial. Low-mass substellar objects and stars with masses larger than approx 1M{sub o-dot} have been ruled out, while stars of approx 0.5 M{sub o-dot} are the most probable candidates. This means that the microlenses should be either red or white dwarfs. Consequently, we assess jointly the relative contributions of both types of stars to the mass budget of the Galactic halo. We use a Monte Carlo code that incorporates up-to-date evolutionary sequences of both red dwarfs and white dwarfs as well as detailed descriptions of both our Galaxy and the LMC and we compare the synthetic populations obtained with our simulator with the results obtained by the MACHO and EROS experiments. We find that the contribution of the red dwarf population is not enough to explain the number of events measured by the MACHO team. Even though, the optical depth obtained in our simulations almost doubles that obtained when taking into account the white dwarf population alone. Finally, we also find that the contribution to the halo dark matter of the entire population under study is smaller than 10%, at the 95% confidence level.

  17. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. New cooling sequences for old white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Renedo, Isabel; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; Romero, Alejandra D; Corsico, Alejandro H; Rohrmann, Rene D; Garcia-Berro, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    We present full evolutionary calculations appropriate for the study of hydrogen-rich DA white dwarfs. This is done by evolving white dwarf progenitors from the zero age main sequence, through the core hydrogen burning phase, the helium burning phase and the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch phase to the white dwarf stage. Complete evolutionary sequences are computed for a wide range of stellar masses and for two different metallicities: Z=0.01, which is representative of the solar neighborhood, and Z=0.001, which is appropriate for the study of old stellar systems, like globular clusters. During the white dwarf cooling stage we compute self-consistently the phase in which nuclear reactions are still important, the diffusive evolution of the elements in the outer layers and, finally, we also take into account all the relevant energy sources in the deep interior of the white dwarf, like the release of latent heat and the release of gravitational energy due to carbon-oxygen phase separation upon crystall...

  19. The Potential of White Dwarf Cosmochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-04-01

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

  20. Recombination energy in double white dwarf formation

    CERN Document Server

    Nandez, Jose L A; Lombardi, James C

    2015-01-01

    In this Letter we investigate the role of recombination energy during a common envelope event. We confirm that taking this energy into account helps to avoid the formation of the circumbinary envelope commonly found in previous studies. For the first time, we can model a complete common envelope event, with a clean compact double white dwarf binary system formed at the end. The resulting binary orbit is almost perfectly circular. In addition to considering recombination energy, we also show that between 1/4 and 1/2 of the released orbital energy is taken away by the ejected material. We apply this new method to the case of the double-white dwarf system WD 1101+364, and we find that the progenitor system at the start of the common envelope event consisted of a $\\sim1.5M_\\odot$ red giant star in a $\\sim 30$ day orbit with a white dwarf companion.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  2. Mystery of a Dimming White Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. The Observational Signature of Old White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Hansen, B M S

    1998-01-01

    The recent discovery of microlensing of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud has excited much interest in the nature of the lensing population. Detailed analyses indicate that the mass of these objects ranges from 0.3-0.8 solar masses, suggesting that they might be white dwarfs, the faint remnants of stellar evolution. The confirmation of such an hypothesis would yield profound insights into the early history of our galaxy and the early generations of stars in the universe. Previous attempts have been made to place theoretical constraints on this scenario, but were unduly pessimistic because they relied on inadequate evolutionary models. Here we present the first results from detailed evolutionary models appropriate for the study of white dwarfs of truly cosmological vintage. We find that the commonly held notion that old white dwarfs are red to hold only for helium atmosphere dwarfs and that hydrogen atmosphere dwarfs will be blue, with colours similar to those of the faint point sources found in the Hubble D...

  4. Magnetic white dwarfs with debris discs

    CERN Document Server

    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. On The Evolution of Magnetic White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  6. DA White Dwarfs in the Kepler Field

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  7. Radiative Levitation in Hot White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. White dwarf evolution - Cradle-to-grave constraints via pulsation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaler, Steven D.

    1990-01-01

    White dwarf evolution, particularly in the early phases, is not very strongly constrained by observation. Fortunately, white dwarfs undergo nonradial pulsation in three distinct regions of the H-R diagram. These pulsations provide accurate masses, surface compositional structure and rotation velocities, and help constrain other important physical properties. We demonstrate the application of the tools of stellar seismology to white dwarf evolution using the hot white dwarf star PG 1159-035 and the cool DAV (or ZZ Ceti) stars as examples. From pulsation studies, significant challenges to the theory of white dwarf evolution emerge.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  10. Lessons for Asteroseismology from White Dwarf Stars

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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.

  11. The Field White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  12. Oxygen neutronization in accreting white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. The field white dwarf mass distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  15. DA White Dwarfs in the Kepler Field

    CERN Document Server

    Doyle, T F; Petit, V; Lepine, S

    2016-01-01

    We present 16 new, and confirm 7 previously identified, DA white dwarfs in the Kepler field through ground-based spectroscopy with the Hale 200", Kitt Peak 4-meter, and Bok 2.3-meter telescopes. Using atmospheric models we determine their effective temperatures and surface gravities to constrain their position with respect to the ZZ Ceti (DA pulsator) instability strip, and look for the presence or absence of pulsation with Kepler's unprecedented photometry. Our results are as follows: i) From our measurements of temperature and surface gravity, 12 of the 23 DA white dwarfs from this work fall well outside of the instability strip. The Kepler photometry available for 11 of these WDs allows us to confirm that none are pulsating. One of these eleven happens to be a presumed binary, KIC 11604781, with a period of ~5 days. ii) The remaining 11 DA white dwarfs are instability strip candidates, potentially falling within the current, empirical instability strip, after accounting for uncertainties. These WDs will he...

  16. The 25 Parsec Local White Dwarf Population

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  17. Axions and the white dwarf luminosity function

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; García-Berro, E; Torres, S

    2008-01-01

    The evolution of white dwarfs can be described as a simple cooling process. Recently, it has been possible to determine with an unprecedented precision their luminosity function, that is, the number of stars per unit volume and luminosity interval. Since the shape of the bright branch of this function is only sensitive to the average cooling rate, we use this property to check the possible existence of axions, a proposed but not yet detected weakly interacting particle. We show here that the inclusion of the axion emissivity in the evolutionary models of white dwarfs noticeably improves the agreement between the theoretical calculations and the observational white dwarf luminosity function, thus providing the first positive indication that axions could exist. Our results indicate that the best fit is obtained for m_a cos^2beta ~ 2-6 meV, where m_a is the mass of the axion and cos^2beta is a free parameter, and that values larger than 10 meV are clearly excluded.

  18. Detonations in white dwarf dynamical interactions

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  19. The white dwarf population of NGC 6397

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, S; Althaus, L G; Camisassa, M E

    2015-01-01

    NGC 6397 is one of the most interesting, well observed and theoretically studied globular clusters. The existing wealth of observations allows us to study the reliability of the theoretical white dwarf cooling sequences of low metallicity progenitors,to determine its age and the percentage of unresolved binaries, and to assess other important characteristics of the cluster, like the slope of the initial mass function, or the fraction of white dwarfs with hydrogen deficient atmospheres. We present a population synthesis study of the white dwarf population of NGC 6397. In particular, we study the shape of the color-magnitude diagram, and the corresponding magnitude and color distributions. We do this using an up-to-date Monte Carlo code that incorporates the most recent and reliable cooling sequences and an accurate modeling of the observational biases. We find a good agreement between our theoretical models and the observed data. In particular, we find that this agreement is best for those cooling sequences th...

  20. Discovery of a peculiar DQ white dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  1. Unlocking the secrets of white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    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, ...

  2. The WFCAM transit survey and cool white dwarfs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Kawaler, Steven D

    2009-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  5. The Fate of Exomoons in White Dwarf Planetary Systems

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  7. Single and multiple detonations in white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  8. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  9. Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Freak waves in white dwarfs and magnetars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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}.

  12. Diffusion of Neon in White Dwarf Stars

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. A wide binary trigger for white dwarf pollution

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  15. Low Frequency Gravitational Waves from White Dwarf MACHO Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Hiscock, W A; Routzahn, J R; Kulick, B; Hiscock, William A.; Larson, Shane L.; Routzahn, Joshua R.; Kulick, Ben

    2000-01-01

    The possibility that Galactic halo MACHOs are white dwarfs has recently attracted much attention. Using the known properties of white dwarf binaries in the Galactic disk as a model, we estimate the possible contribution of halo white dwarf binaries to the low-frequency (10^{-5} Hz} < f < 10^{-1}Hz) gravitational wave background. Assuming the fraction of white dwarfs in binaries is the same in the halo as in the disk, we find the confusion background from halo white dwarf binaries could be five times stronger than the expected contribution from Galactic disk binaries, dominating the response of the proposed space based interferometer LISA. Low-frequency gravitational wave observations will be the key to discovering the nature of the dark MACHO binary population.

  16. Evolutionary and pulsational properties of white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, Leandro G; Isern, Jordi; a-Berro, Enrique Garcí

    2010-01-01

    Abridged. White dwarf stars are the final evolutionary stage of the vast majority of stars, including our Sun. The study of white dwarfs has potential applications to different fields of astrophysics. In particular, they can be used as independent reliable cosmic clocks, and can also provide valuable information about the fundamental parameters of a wide variety of stellar populations, like our Galaxy and open and globular clusters. In addition, the high densities and temperatures characterizing white dwarfs allow to use these stars as cosmic laboratories for studying physical processes under extreme conditions that cannot be achieved in terrestrial laboratories. They can be used to constrain fundamental properties of elementary particles such as axions and neutrinos, and to study problems related to the variation of fundamental constants. In this work, we review the essentials of the physics of white dwarf stars. Special emphasis is placed on the physical processes that lead to the formation of white dwarfs ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. Liberating exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  19. Complexity and white-dwarf structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. Isochrones and Luminosity Functions for Old White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  1. The evolution of white dwarfs with a varying gravitational constant

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, L G; Torres, S; Loren-Aguilar, P; Isern, J; Garcia-Berro, E

    2011-01-01

    Within the theoretical framework of some modern unification theories the constants of nature are functions of cosmological time. White dwarfs offer the possibility of testing a possible variation of G and, thus, to place constraints to these theories. We present full white dwarf evolutionary calculations in the case that G decreases with time. White dwarf evolution is computed in a self-consistent way, including the most up-to-date physical inputs, non-gray model atmospheres and a detailed core chemical composition that results from the calculation of the full evolution of progenitor stars. We find that the mechanical structure and the energy balance of white dwarfs are strongly modified by the presence of a varying G. In particular, for certain values of the rate of change of G, the evolution of cool white dwarfs is markedly affected. The impact of a varying G is more notorious in the case of more massive white dwarfs. In view of the recent results reporting that a very accurate white dwarf cooling age can b...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  4. Induced Compression of White Dwarfs by Angular Momentum Loss

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  6. A radio-pulsing white dwarf binary star

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Time dependent white dwarf radiative shocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. Active states and structure transformations in accreting white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Outbursts in two new cool pulsating DA white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  10. Magnetic White Dwarfs: Observations, Theory, and Future Prospects

    CERN Document Server

    García-Berro, Enrique; Kepler, S O

    2015-01-01

    Isolated magnetic white dwarfs have field strengths ranging from kilogauss to gigagauss, and constitute an interesting class of objects. The origin of the magnetic field is still the subject of a hot debate. Whether these fields are fossil, hence the remnants of original weak magnetic fields amplified during the course of the evolution of the progenitor of white dwarfs, or on the contrary, are the result of binary interactions or, finally, other physical mechanisms that could produce such large magnetic fields during the evolution of the white dwarf itself, remains to be elucidated. In this work we review the current status and paradigms of magnetic fields in white dwarfs, from both the theoretical and observational points of view.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  12. Circumstellar Debris and Pollution at White Dwarf Stars

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  13. General Relativistic White Dwarfs and Their Astrophysical Implications

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  14. Outbursts in Two New Cool Pulsating DA White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  15. Dark halo baryons not in ancient halo white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  16. A EUTECTIC IN CARBON-OXYGEN WHITE DWARFS ?

    OpenAIRE

    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.

  17. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. The Montreal White Dwarf Database: a Tool for the Community

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  20. Most Double Degenerate Low Mass White Dwarf Binaries Merge

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  1. A double white dwarf with a paradoxical origin?

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  2. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  3. Spin and Magnetism of White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  4. Seismology of Rapidly Rotating Accreting White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  5. The binary white dwarf LHS 3236

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, Hugh C.; Dahn, Conard C.; Canzian, Blaise; Guetter, Harry H.; Levine, Stephen E.; Luginbuhl, Christian B.; Monet, Alice K. B.; Stone, Ronald C.; Subasavage, John P.; Tilleman, Trudy; Walker, Richard L. [US Naval Observatory, 10391 West Naval Observatory Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001-8521 (United States); Dupuy, Trent J.; Liu, Michael C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Hartkopf, William I. [US Naval Observatory, 3450 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20392-5420 (United States); Ireland, Michael J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, New South Wales, NSW 2109 (Australia); Leggett, S. K., E-mail: hch@nofs.navy.mil [Gemini Observatory, 670 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2013-12-10

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

  6. White Dwarf Cosmochronology in the Solar Neighborhood

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    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 which 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/Msun < 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 <...

  7. Merging white dwarfs and SN Ia

    CERN Document Server

    Yungelson, L R

    2016-01-01

    Using population synthesis, we study a double-degenerate (DD) scenario for SNe Ia, aiming to estimate the maximum possible contribution to the rate of SNe from this scenario and the dependence of the delay-time distribution (DTD) on it. We make an extreme assumption that all mergers of super-Chandrasekhar pairs of CO white dwarfs (WDs) and mergers of CO WDs more massive than 0.47 $M_\\odot$ with hybrid or helium WDs more massive than 0.37$M_\\odot$ produce SNe Ia. The models are parametrized by the product of the common envelope efficiency and the parameter of binding energy of stellar envelopes $\\alpha_{ce}\\lambda$, which we vary between 0.25 and 2. The best agreement with observations is obtained for $\\alpha_{ce}\\lambda$=2. A substantial contribution to the rate of SNe Ia is provided by the pairs with a hybrid WD. The estimated Galactic rate of SNe Ia is $6.5 10^{-3}$ per yr (for the mass of the bulge and thin disk equal to $7.2 10^{10} M_\\odot$), which is comparable to the observational estimate $(5.4\\pm0.12...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  12. Thermonuclear detonations ensuing white dwarf mergers

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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)

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  15. Pulsations powered by hydrogen shell burning in white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  16. Massive double white dwarfs and the AM CVn birthrate

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  18. Outer boundary conditions for evolving cool white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Rohrmann, R D; García-Berro, E; Córsico, A H; Bertolami, M M Miller

    2012-01-01

    White dwarf evolution is essentially a gravothermal cooling process, which,for cool white dwarfs, sensitively depends on the treatment of the outer boundary conditions. We provide detailed outer boundary conditions appropriate for computing the evolution of cool white dwarfs employing detailed non-gray model atmospheres for pure H composition. We also explore the impact on the white dwarf cooling times of different assumptions for energy transfer in the atmosphere of cool white dwarfs. Detailed non-gray model atmospheres are computed taken into account non-ideal effects in the gas equation of state and chemical equilibrium, collision-induced absorption from molecules, and the Lyman alpha quasi-molecular opacity. Our results show that the use of detailed outer boundary conditions becomes relevant for effective temperatures lower than 5800 and 6100K for sequences with 0.60 and 0.90 M_sun, respectively. Detailed model atmospheres predict ages that are up to approx 10% shorter at log L/L_sun=-4 when compared with...

  19. Quiescent nuclear burning in low-metallicity white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Asteroseismology of pulsating DA white dwarfs with fully evolutionary models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Althaus L.G.

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a new approach for asteroseismology of DA white dwarfs that consists in the employment of a large set of non-static, physically sound, fully evolutionary models representative of these stars. We already have applied this approach with success to pulsating PG1159 stars (GW Vir variables. Our white dwarf models, which cover a wide range of stellar masses, effective temperatures, and envelope thicknesses, are the result of fully evolutionary computations that take into account the complete history of the progenitor stars from the ZAMS. In particular, the models are characterized by self-consistent chemical structures from the centre to the surface, a crucial aspect of white dwarf asteroseismology. We apply this approach to an ensemble of 44 bright DAV (ZZ Ceti stars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. On the maximum mass of magnetised white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Chatterjee, D; Chamel, N; Novak, J; Oertel, M

    2016-01-01

    We develop a detailed and self-consistent numerical model for extremely-magnetised white dwarfs, which have been proposed as progenitors of overluminous Type Ia supernovae. This model can describe fully-consistent equilibria of magnetic stars in axial symmetry, with rotation, general-relativistic effects and realistic equations of state (including electron-ion interactions and taking into account Landau quantisation of electrons due to the magnetic field). We study the influence of each of these ingredients onto the white dwarf structure and, in particular, on their maximum mass. We perform an extensive stability analysis of such objects, with their highest surface magnetic fields reaching $\\sim 10^{13}~G$ (at which point the star adopts a torus-like shape). We confirm previous speculations that although very massive strongly magnetised white dwarfs could potentially exist, the onset of electron captures and pycnonuclear reactions may severely limit their stability. Finally, the emission of gravitational wave...

  4. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    We present the serendipitous discovery of eclipse-like events around the massive white dwarf SDSS J152934.98+292801.9 (hereafter J1529+2928). We selected J1529+2928 for time-series photometry based on its spectroscopic temperature and surface gravity, which place it near the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Instead of pulsations, we detect photometric dips from this white dwarf every 38 minutes. Follow-up optical spectroscopy observations with Gemini reveal no significant radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar and brown dwarf companions. A disintegrating planet around this white dwarf cannot explain the observed light curves in different filters. Given the short period, the source of the photometric dips must be a dark spot that comes into view every 38 minutes due to the rotation of the white dwarf. Our optical spectroscopy does not show any evidence of Zeeman splitting of the Balmer lines, limiting the magnetic field strength to B Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Córsico, A.H.; Althaus, L.G. [Grupo de Evolución Estelar y Pulsaciones, Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, (1900) La Plata (Argentina); Bertolami, M.M. Miller [Instituto de Astrofísica La Plata, CONICET-UNLP, Paseo del Bosque s/n, (1900) La Plata (Argentina); Kepler, S.O. [Departamento de Astronomia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Goncalves 9500, Porto Alegre 91501-970, RS (Brazil); García-Berro, E., E-mail: acorsico@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: althaus@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: marcelo@MPA-Garching.MPG.DE, E-mail: kepler@if.ufrgs.br, E-mail: enrique.garcia-berro@upc.edu [Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades 5, 08860, Castelldefels (Spain)

    2014-08-01

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

  6. The gravitational waveforms of white dwarf collisions in globular clusters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loren-Aguilar, P; Garcia-Berro, E [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Av. del Canal OlImpic, s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Lobo, J A; Isern, J, E-mail: loren@fa.upc.ed [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2009-06-01

    In the dense central regions of globular clusters close encounters of two white dwarfs are relatively frequent. The estimated frequency is one or more strong encounters per star in the lifetime of the cluster. Such encounters should be then potential sources of gravitational wave radiation. Thus, it is foreseeable that these collisions could be either individually detected by LISA or they could contribute significantly to the background noise of the detector. We compute the pattern of gravitational wave emission from these encounters for a sufficiently broad range of system parameters, namely the masses, the relative velocities and the distances of the two white dwarfs involved in the encounter.

  7. Search For Oxygen in Cool DQ White Dwarf Atmospheres

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. White dwarfs as physics laboratories: the case of axions

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Catalan, S; Corsico, A; Garcia-Berro, E; Salaris, M; Torres, S

    2012-01-01

    White dwarfs are almost completely degenerate objects that cannot obtain energy from thermonuclear sources, so their evolution is just a gravothermal cooling process. Recent improvements in the accuracy and precision of the luminosity function and in pulsational data of variable white dwarfs suggest that they are cooling faster than expected from conventional theory. In this contribution we show that the inclusion of an additional cooling term due to axions able to interact with electrons with a coupling constant g_ae ~(2-7)x10^{-13} allows to fit better the observations.

  10. Helium at white dwarf photospheric conditions: preliminary laboratory results

    CERN Document Server

    Schaeuble, Marc; Gomez, Thomas A; Winget, Don E; Montgomery, Michael H; Bailey, James E

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  14. Central stars of planetary nebulae: The white dwarf connection

    CERN Document Server

    Werner, K

    2011-01-01

    This paper is focused on the transition phase between central stars and white dwarfs, i.e. objects in the effective temperature range 100,000 - 200,000 K. We confine our review to hydrogen-deficient stars because the common H-rich objects are subject of the paper by Ziegler et al. in these proceedings. We address the claimed iron-deficiency in PG1159 stars and [WC] central stars. The discovery of new Ne VII and Ne VIII lines in PG1159 stars suggests that the identification of O VII and O VIII lines that are used for spectral classification of [WCE] stars is wrong. We then present evidence for two distinct post-AGB evolutionary sequences for H-deficient stars based on abundance analyses of the He-dominated O(He) stars and the hot DO white dwarf KPD0005+5106. Finally, we report on evidence for an H-deficient post-super AGB evolution sequence represented by the hottest known, carbon/oxygen-atmosphere white dwarf H1504+65 and the recently discovered carbon-atmosphere "hot DQ" white dwarfs.

  15. The Chandrasekhar's Equation for Two-Dimensional Hypothetical White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    De, Sanchari

    2014-01-01

    In this article we have extended the original work of Chandrasekhar on the structure of white dwarfs to the two-dimensional case. Although such two-dimensional stellar objects are hypothetical in nature, we strongly believe that the work presented in this article may be prescribed as Master of Science level class problem for the students in physics.

  16. Massive Double White Dwarfs and the AM CVn Birthrate

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  17. Mass-radius relation of strongly magnetized white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bera, Prasanta; Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2016-07-01

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

  18. The brightest pure-H ultracool white dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  19. Lithium production in the merging of white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  20. Axions and the pulsation periods of variable white dwarfs revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Althaus, L G; Córsico, A H

    2010-01-01

    Axions are the natural consequence of the introduction of the Peccei-Quinn symmetry to solve the strong CP problem. All the efforts to detect such elusive particles have failed up to now. Nevertheless, it has been recently shown that the luminosity function of white dwarfs is best fitted if axions with a mass of a few meV are included in the evolutionary calculations. Our aim is to show that variable white dwarfs can provide additional and independent evidence about the existence of axions. The evolution of a white dwarf is a slow cooling process that translates into a secular increase of the pulsation periods of some variable white dwarfs, the so-called DAV and DBV types. Since axions can freely escape from such stars, their existence would increase the cooling rate and, consequently, the rate of change of the periods as compared with the standard ones. The present values of the rate of change of the pulsation period of G117-B15A are compatible with the existence of axions with the masses suggested by the lu...

  1. Revisiting the luminosity function of single halo white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Cojocaru, R; Althaus, L G; Isern, J; García-Berro, E

    2015-01-01

    White dwarfs are the fossils left by the evolution of low-and intermediate-mass stars, and have very long evolutionary timescales. This allows us to use them to explore the properties of old populations, like the Galactic halo. We present a population synthesis study of the luminosity function of halo white dwarfs, aimed at investigating which information can be derived from the currently available observed data. We employ an up-to-date population synthesis code based on Monte Carlo techniques, that incorporates the most recent and reliable cooling sequences for metal poor progenitors as well as an accurate modeling of the observational biases. We find that because the observed sample of halo white dwarfs is restricted to the brightest stars only the hot branch of the white dwarf luminosity function can be used for such purposes, and that its shape function is almost insensitive to the most relevant inputs, like the adopted cooling sequences, the initial mass function, the density profile of the stellar spher...

  2. Axions and the cooling of white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Torres, S; Catalan, S

    2008-01-01

    White dwarfs are the end-product of the lifes of intermediate- and low-mass stars and their evolution is described as a simple cooling process. Recently, it has been possible to determine with an unprecedented precision their luminosity function, that is, the number of stars per unit volume and luminosity interval. We show here that the shape of the bright branch of this function is only sensitive to the averaged cooling rate of white dwarfs and we propose to use this property to check the possible existence of axions, a proposed but not yet detected weakly interacting particle. Our results indicate that the inclusion of the emission of axions in the evolutionary models of white dwarfs noticeably improves the agreement between the theoretical calculations and the observational white dwarf luminosity function. The best fit is obtained for m_a cos^2 \\beta ~ 5 meV, where m_a is the mass of the axion and cos^2 \\beta is a free parameter. We also show that values larger than 10 meV are clearly excluded. The existin...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  4. Global properties of the white dwarf pulsar AR Scorpii

    CERN Document Server

    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 $\

  5. Chandra Grating Spectroscopy of Three Hot White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    High-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopic observations of single hot white dwarfs are scarce. With the Chandra Low-Energy Transmission Grating, we have observed two white dwarfs, one is of spectral type DA (LB1919) and the other is a non-DA of spectral type PG1159 (PG1520+525). The spectra of both stars are analyzed, together with an archival Chandra spectrum of another DA white dwarf (GD246). Aims. The soft X-ray spectra of the two DA white dwarfs are investigated in order to study the effect of gravitational settling and radiative levitation of metals in their photospheres. LB1919 is of interest because it has a significantly lower metallicity than DAs with otherwise similar atmospheric parameters. GD246 is the only white dwarf known that shows identifiable individual iron lines in the soft X-ray range. For the PG1159 star, a precise effective temperature determination is performed in order to confine the position of the blue edge of the GW Vir instability region in the HRD. Methods. The Chandra spectra are analyzed with chemically homogeneous as well as stratified NLTE model atmospheres that assume equilibrium between gravitational settling and radiative acceleration of chemical elements. Archival EUV and UV spectra obtained with EUVE, FUSE, and HST are utilized to support the analysis. Results. No metals could be identified in LB1919. All observations are compatible with a pure hydrogen atmosphere. This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of hot DA white dwarfs that exhibit light and heavy metals and to the stratified models that predict significant metal abundances in the atmosphere. For GD246 we find that neither stratified nor homogeneous models can fit the Chandra spectrum. The Chandra spectrum of PG1520+525 constrains the effective temperature to T(sub eff) = 150 000 +/- 10 000 K. Therefore, this nonpulsating star together with the pulsating prototype of the GWVir class (PG1159-035) defines the location of the blue edge of the GWVir instability region

  6. Chandra grating spectroscopy of three hot white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Sirius B - A still mysterious white dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Nonlinear Time Series Analysis of White Dwarf Light Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  10. Monte Carlo simulations of the luminosity function of hot white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, S; Krzesinski, J; Kleinman, S J

    2012-01-01

    We present a detailed Monte Carlo simulation of the population of the hot branch of the white dwarf luminosity function. We used the most up-to-date stellar evolutionary models and we implemented a full description of the observational selection biases. Our theoretical results are compared with the luminosity function of hot white dwarfs obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), for both DA and non-DA white dwarfs. For non-DA white dwarfs we find an excellent agreement with the observational data, while for DA white dwarfs our simulations show some discrepancies with the observations for the brightest luminosity bins, those corresponding to L>= 10 L_sun.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. The frequency of planetary debris around young white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    Context. Heavy metals in the atmospheres of white dwarfs are thought in many cases to be accreted from a circumstellar debris disk, which was formed by the tidal disruption of a rocky planetary body within the Roche radius of the star. The abundance analysis of photospheric elements and conclusions about the chemical composition of the accreted matter are a new and promising method of studying the composition of extrasolar planetary systems. However, ground-based searches for metal-polluted white dwarfs that rely primarily on the detection of the Ca ii K line become insensitive at Teff > 15 000 K because this ionization state depopulates. Aims: We present the results of the first unbiased survey for metal pollution among hydrogen-atmosphere (DA type) white dwarfs with cooling ages in the range 20-200 Myr and 17 000 K gravitational settling and radiative levitation. Results: We find 48 of the 85 DA white dwarfs studied, or 56% show traces of heavy elements. In 25 stars (showing only Si and occasionally C), the elements can be explained by radiative levitation alone, although we argue that accretion has very likely occurred recently. The remaining 23 white dwarfs (27%), however, must be currently accreting. Together with previous studies from the ground and adopting bulk Earth abundances for the debris, accretion rates range from a few 105 g s-1 to a few 108 g s-1, with no evident trend in cooling age from ≈40 Myr to ≈2 Gyr. Only a single, modest case of metal pollution (Ṁ 23 000 K, in excellent agreement with the absence of infrared excess from dust around these warmer stars. The median, main sequence progenitor of our sample corresponds to an A-type star of ≈2 M⊙, and we find 13 of 23 white dwarfs descending from main sequence 2-3 M⊙, late B- and A-type stars to be currently accreting. Only one of 14 targets with Mwd > 0.8 M⊙ is found to be currently accreting, which suggests a large fraction of these stars result from double-degenerate mergers, and

  14. The contribution of red dwarfs and white dwarfs to the halo dark matter

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, S; Isern, J; García-Berro, E

    2008-01-01

    The nature of the several microlensing events observed by the MACHO team towards the LMC still remains controversial. Low-mass substellar objects and stars with masses larger than ~1 M_{sun} have been ruled out as major components of a MACHO galactic halo, while stars of half solar masses are the most probable candidates. In this paper we assess jointly the relative contributions of both red dwarfs and white dwarfs to the mass budget of the galactic halo. In doing so we use a Monte Carlo simulator which incorporates up-to-date evolutionary sequences of both red dwarfs and white dwarfs as well as detailed descriptions of our Galaxy and of the LMC. We explore the complete mass range between 0.08 and 1 M_{sun} as possible microlensing candidates and we compare the synthetic populations obtained with our simulator with the results obtained by the MACHO and EROS experiments. Our results indicate that, despite that the contribution of the red dwarf population increases by a factor of 2 the value of the optical dept...

  15. Limb-Darkening Coefficients for Eclipsing White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Gianninas, A; Kilic, Mukremin; Bergeron, P

    2013-01-01

    We present extensive calculations of linear and non-linear limb-darkening coefficients as well as complete intensity profiles appropriate for modeling the light-curves of eclipsing white dwarfs. We compute limb-darkening coefficients in the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI photometric system as well as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) ugrizy system using the most up-to-date model atmospheres available. In all, we provide the coefficients for seven different limb-darkening laws. We describe the variations of these coefficients as a function of the atmospheric parameters, including the effects of convection at low effective temperatures. Finally, we discuss the importance of having readily available limb-darkening coefficients in the context of present and future photometric surveys like the LSST, Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), and the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). The LSST, for example, may find ~10^5 eclipsing white dwarfs. The limb-darkening calculations presented h...

  16. Constraining Gravitational Theories by Observing Magnetic White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Preuss, O; Haugan, Mark P; Solanki, S K; Preuss, Oliver; Jordan, Stefan; Haugan, Mark P.; Solanki, Sami K.

    2004-01-01

    Under the assumption of a specific nonminimal coupling of torsion to Under the assumption of a specific nonminimal coupling of torsion to electromagnetism, spacetime is birefringent in the presence of a gravitational field leading to depolarization of light emitted from extended astrophysical sources. We use polarimetric data of the magnetic white dwarf RE J0317-853 to set for the very first time constraints on the essential coupling constant for this effect, giving k^2 <22 m^2. electromagnetism, spacetime is birefringent in the presence of a gravitational field leading to depolarization of light emitted from extended astrophysical sources. We use polarimetric data of the magnetic white dwarf RE J0317-853 to set for the very first time constraints on the essential coupling constant for this effect, giving k^2 <22 m^2.

  17. Merging Binary Stars and the magnetic white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Briggs, Gordon P; Tout, Christopher A; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T; Hurley, Jarrod R

    2014-01-01

    A magnetic dynamo driven by differential rotation generated when stars merge can explain strong fields in certain classes of magnetic stars, including the high field magnetic white dwarfs (HFMWDs). In their case the site of the differential rotation has been variously proposed to be within a common envelope, the massive hot outer regions of a merged degenerate core or an accretion disc formed by a tidally disrupted companion that is subsequently incorporated into a degenerate core. We synthesize a population of binary systems to investigate the stellar merging hypothesis for observed single HFMWDs. Our calculations provide mass distribution and the fractions of white dwarfs that merge during a common envelope phase or as double degenerate systems in a post common envelope phase. We vary the common envelope efficiency parameter alpha and compare with observations. We find that this hypothesis can explain both the observed incidence of magnetism and the mass distribution of HFMWDs for a wide range of alpha. In ...

  18. The white dwarf cooling sequence of 47 Tucanae

    CERN Document Server

    García-Berro, Enrique; Althaus, Leandro G; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller

    2014-01-01

    47 Tucanae is one of the most interesting and well observed and theoretically studied globular clusters. This allows us to study the reliability of our understanding of white dwarf cooling sequences, to confront different methods to determine its age, and to assess other important characteristics, like its star formation history. Here we present a population synthesis study of the cooling sequence of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. In particular, we study the distribution of effective temperatures, the shape of the color-magnitude diagram, and the corresponding magnitude and color distributions. We do so using an up-to-date population synthesis code based on Monte Carlo techniques, that incorporates the most recent and reliable cooling sequences and an accurate modeling of the observational biases. We find a good agreement between our theoretical models and the observed data. Thus, our study, rules out previous claims that there are still missing physics in the white dwarf cooling models at moderately high e...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  20. Spitzer Surveys of IR Excesses of White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  1. Spitzer Surveys of Infrared Excesses of White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  2. Quantum gases and white dwarfs with quantum gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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.

  4. Gravitational wave emission from the coalescence of white dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Berro, E [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Avda del Canal OlImpic s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Ed. Nexus, c/Gran Capita 2, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Loren-Aguilar, P [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Ed. Nexus, c/Gran Capita 2, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC), Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Isern, J [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Ed. Nexus, c/Gran Capita 2, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC), Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Pedemonte, A G [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Avda del Canal OlImpic s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Guerrero, J [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Ed. Nexus, c/Gran Capita 2, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC), Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Lobo, J A [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Ed. Nexus, c/Gran Capita 2, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Departament de Fisica Fonamental, Universitat de Barcelona, c/MartI i Franques 1, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2005-05-21

    We have computed the gravitational wave emission arising from the coalescence of several close white dwarf binary systems. In order to do so, we have followed the evolution of such systems using a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code. Here we present some of the results obtained so far, paying special attention to the detectability of the emitted gravitational waves. Within this context, we show which could be the impact of individual merging episodes for LISA.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. A population synthesis study of the luminosity function of hot white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, S; Krzesinski, J; Kleinman, S J

    2014-01-01

    We present a coherent and detailed Monte Carlo simulation of the population of hot white dwarfs. We assess the statistical significance of the hot end of the white dwarf luminosity function and the role played by the bolometric corrections of hydrogen-rich white dwarfs at high effective temperatures. We use the most up-to-date stellar evolutionary models and implement a full description of the observational selection biases to obtain realistic simulations of the observed white dwarf population. Our theoretical results are compared with the luminosity function of hot white dwarfs obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), for both DA and non-DA white dwarfs. We find that the theoretical results are in excellent agreement with the observational data for the population of white dwarfs with hydrogen deficient atmospheres (non-DA white dwarfs). For the population of white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich atmospheres (white dwarfs of the DA class), our simulations show some discrepancies with the observations for ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Kowalski, Piotr M; Holberg, Jay; Leggett, Sandy

    2012-01-01

    Cool white dwarfs with Teff < 6000 K are the remnants of the oldest stars that existed in our Galaxy. Their atmospheres, when properly characterized, can provide valuable information on white dwarf evolution and ultimately star formation through the history of the Milky Way. Understanding the atmospheres of these stars requires joined observational effort and reliable atmosphere modeling. We discuss and analyze recent observations of the near-ultraviolet (UV) and near-infrared (IR) spectrum of several cool white dwarfs including DQ/DQp stars showing carbon in their spectra. We present fits to the entire spectral energy distribution (SED) of selected cool stars, showing that the current pure-hydrogen atmosphere models are quite reliable, especially in the near-UV spectral region. Recently, we also performed an analysis of the coolest known DQ/DQp stars investigating further the origin of the C2 Swan bands-like spectral features that characterize the DQp stars. We show that the carbon abundances derived for ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Ghosh, Pranab

    2016-01-01

    Most viable models of Type Ia supernovae (SN~Ia) require the thermonuclear explosion of a carbon/oxygen white dwarf that has evolved in a binary system. Rotation could be an important aspect of any model for SN~Ia, whether single or double degenerate, with the white dwarf mass at, below, or above the Chandrasekhar limit. {\\sl Differential rotation} is specifically invoked in attempts to account for the apparent excess mass in the super--Chandrasekhar events. Some earlier work has suggested that only uniform rotation is consistent with the expected mechanisms of angular momentum transport in white dwarfs, while others have found pronounced differential rotation. We show that if the baroclinic instability is active in degenerate matter and the effects of magnetic fields are neglected, both nearly-uniform and strongly-differential rotation are possible. We classify rotation regimes in terms of the Richardson number, Ri. At small values of Ri $\\leq$ 0.1, we find both the low-viscosity Zahn regime with a non-monot...

  15. Dark halo baryons not in ancient halo white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  16. The age-metallicity dependence for white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Córsico, Alejandro H; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; Kepler, S O; García-Berro, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Pulsating white dwarf stars can be used as astrophysical laboratories to constrain the properties of weakly interacting particles. Comparing the cooling rates of these stars with the expected values from theoretical models allows us to search for additional sources of cooling due to the emission of axions, neutralinos, or neutrinos with magnetic dipole moment. In this work, we derive an upper bound to the neutrino magnetic dipole moment using an estimate of the rate of period change of the pulsating DB white dwarf star PG 1351+489. By comparing the theoretical rate of change of period expected for this star with the rate of change of period with time of PG 1351+489, we assess the possible existence of additional cooling by neutrinos with magnetic dipole moment. Our models suggest the existence of some additional cooling in this pulsating DB white dwarf, consistent with a non-zero magnetic dipole moment. Our upper limit for the neutrino magnetic dipole moment is somewhat less restrictive than, but still compat...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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....

  19. Atypical Thermonuclear Supernovae from Tidally Crushed White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  20. Peculiar variations of white dwarf pulsation frequencies and maestro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalessio, James Ruland

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2009-01-01

    Hot DQ white dwarfs constitute a new class of white dwarf stars, uncovered recently within the framework of the SDSS project. Recently, three hot DQ white dwarfs have been reported to exhibit photometric variability with periods compatible with pulsation g-modes. Here, we present a nonadiabatic pulsation analysis of the recently discovered carbon-rich hot DQ white dwarf stars. One of our main aims is to test the convective-mixing picture for the origin of hot DQs through the pulsational properties. Our study relies on the full evolutionary models of hot DQ white dwarfs recently developed by Althaus et al. (2009), that consistently cover the whole evolution from the born-again stage to the white dwarf cooling track. Specifically, we present a stability analysis of white dwarf models from stages before the blue edge of the DBV instability strip until the domain of the hot DQ white dwarfs, including the transition DB --> hot DQ white dwarf. We found that at evolutionary phases in which the models are characteriz...

  7. A Model of White Dwarf Pulsar AR Scorpii

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. White dwarfs in an ungravity-inspired model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolami, Orfeu; Mariji, Hodjat

    2016-05-01

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

  11. White dwarfs in an ungravity-inspired model

    CERN Document Server

    Bertolami, Orfeu

    2016-01-01

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

  12. On the angular momentum evolution of merged white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. A Search for Pulsations in Helium White Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  14. Axion Emission from Red Giants and White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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, $g_{ae} < 2\\times 10^{-13}$.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  16. Planetary engulfment as a trigger for white dwarf pollution

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  17. On the formation of hot DQ white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, L G; Córsico, A H; Bertolami, M M Miller; Romero, A D

    2009-01-01

    We present the first full evolutionary calculations aimed at exploring the origin of hot DQ white dwarfs. These calculations consistently cover the whole evolution from the born-again stage to the white dwarf cooling track. Our calculations provide strong support to the diffusive/convective-mixing picture for the formation of hot DQs. We find that the hot DQ stage is a short-lived stage and that the range of effective temperatures where hot DQ stars are found can be accounted for by different masses of residual helium and/or different initial stellar masses. In the frame of this scenario, a correlation between the effective temperature and the surface carbon abundance in DQs should be expected, with the largest carbon abundances expected in the hottest DQs. From our calculations, we suggest that most of the hot DQs could be the cooler descendants of some PG1159 stars characterized by He-rich envelopes markedly smaller than those predicted by the standard theory of stellar evolution. At least for one hot DQ, t...

  18. Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  19. White Dwarfs for Calibrating the Dark Energy Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Radio transients from accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Moriya, Takashi J

    2016-01-01

    We investigate observational properties of accretion-induced collapse (AIC) of white dwarfs in radio frequencies. If AIC is triggered by accretion from a companion star, a dense circumstellar medium can be formed around the progenitor system. Then, the ejecta from AIC collide to the dense circumstellar medium, making a strong shock. The strong shock can produce synchrotron emission which can be observed in radio frequencies. Even if AIC occurs as a result of white dwarf mergers, we argue that AIC may cause fast radio bursts if a certain condition is satisfied. If AIC forms neutron stars which are so massive that rotation is required to support themselves (i.e., supramassive neutron stars), the supramassive neutron stars may immediately lose their rotational energy by the r-mode instability and collapse to black holes. If the collapsing supramassive neutron stars are strongly magnetized, they may emit fast radio bursts as previously suggested. The AIC radio transients from the single-degenerate systems may be ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegner, G.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

    NGC 6791 is a well studied open cluster1 that it is so close to us that can be imaged down to very faint luminosities. The main sequence turn-off age (~8 Gyr) and the age derived from the termination of the white dwarf cooling sequence (~6 Gyr) are significantly different. One possible explanation is that as white dwarfs cool, one of the ashes of helium burning, 22Ne, sinks in the deep interior of these stars. At lower temperatures, white dwarfs are expected to crystallise and phase separation of the main constituents of the core of a typical white dwarf, 12C and 16O, is expected to occur. This sequence of events is expected to introduce significant delays in the cooling times, but has not hitherto been proven. Here we report that, as theoretically anticipated, physical separation processes occur in the cores of white dwarfs, solving the age discrepancy for NGC 6791.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Axisymmetric Magnetic Fields, Electron Capture and Pycnonuclear Reactions in Magnetized White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Otoniel, Edson; Malheiro, Manuel; Schramm, Stefan; Weber, Fridolin

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we study the properties of magnetized white dwarfs taking into account possible instabilities due to electron capture and pycnonuclear fusion reactions in the cores of such objects. The structure of white dwarfs is obtained by solving the Einstein-Maxwell equations with a poloidal magnetic field in a fully general relativistic approach. The stellar interior is composed of a regular crystal lattice made of carbon ions immersed in a degenerate relativistic electron gas. The onsets of electron capture reactions and pycnonuclear reactions are determined with and without magnetic fields. We find that magnetized white dwarfs violate the standard Chandrasekhar mass limit significantly, even when electron capture and pycnonuclear instabilities are present in the stellar interior. We obtain a maximum white dwarf mass of around $2.12\\,M_{\\odot}$ with a central magnetic field of $\\sim 1.74\\times 10^{14}$G, which indicates that magnetized white dwarfs may be the progenitor candidates of superluminous type I...

  9. New Pulsating DB White Dwarf Stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Nitta, A; Krzesínski, J; Kepler, S O; Metcalfe, T S; Mukadam, Anjum S; Mullally, Fergal; Nather, R E; Sullivan, Denis J; Thompson, Susan E; Winget, D E

    2008-01-01

    We are searching for new He atmosphere white dwarf pulsators (DBVs) based on the newly found white dwarf stars from the spectra obtained by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. DBVs pulsate at hotter temperature ranges than their better known cousins, the H atmosphere white dwarf pulsators (DAVs or ZZ Ceti stars). Since the evolution of white dwarf stars is characterized by cooling, asteroseismological studies of DBVs give us opportunities to study white dwarf structure at a different evolutionary stage than the DAVs. The hottest DBVs are thought to have neutrino luminosities exceeding their photon luminosities (Winget et al. 2004), a quantity measurable through asteroseismology. Therefore, they can also be used to study neutrino physics in the stellar interior. So far we have discovered nine new DBVs, doubling the number of previously known DBVs. Here we report the new pulsators' lightcurves and power spectra.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. On the Orbits of Companions to White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Nordhaus, J

    2012-01-01

    The ultimate fates of binary companions to stars (including whether the companion survives and the final orbit of the binary) are of interest in light of an increasing number of recently discovered, low-mass companions to white dwarfs (WDs). In this Letter, we study the evolution of a two-body system wherein the orbit adjusts due to structural changes in the primary, dissipation of orbital energy via tides, and mass loss during the giant phases. For companions ranging from Jupiter's mass to ~0.3 Msun and primaries ranging from 1--3 Msun, we determine the minimum initial semimajor axis required for the companion to avoid engulfment by the primary during post-main-sequence evolution, typically several times the maximum radius on the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We present regions in secondary mass and orbital period space where an engulfed companion might be expected to survive the common envelope phase (CEP), and compare with known M dwarf+WD short-period binaries. Finally, we note that engulfed Earth-like planets...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. Type Ia Supernovae from Merging White Dwarfs I. Prompt Detonations

    CERN Document Server

    Moll, Rainer; Kasen, Daniel; Woosley, Stan

    2013-01-01

    Merging white dwarfs are a possible progenitor of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). While it is not entirely clear if and when an explosion is triggered in such systems, numerical models suggest that a detonation might be initiated before the stars have coalesced to form a single compact object. Here we study such "peri-merger" detonations by means of numerical simulations, modeling the disruption and nucleosynthesis of the stars until the ejecta reach the coasting phase. Synthetic light curves and spectra are generated for comparison with observations. Three models are considered with primary masses 0.96 Msun, 1.06 Msun, and 1.20 Msun. Of these, the 0.96 Msun dwarf merging with an 0.81 Msun companion, with a Ni56 yield of 0.58 Msun, is the most promising candidate for reproducing common SNe Ia. The more massive mergers produce unusually luminous SNe Ia with peak luminosities approaching those attributed to "super-Chandrasekhar" mass SNe Ia. While the synthetic light curves and spectra of some of the models resemb...

  14. White Dwarfs and Hot Subdwarfs as Seen from FUSE

    CERN Document Server

    Fontaine, G

    2004-01-01

    We present a small collection of FUSE spectra representative of the main spectral classes found in white dwarf stars. In addition, we also discuss another family of hot evolved stars, that of the hot subdwarfs. Both families belong to the chemically peculiar stars, and it is thought that a complex interplay of competing processes such as gravitational settling, ordinary diffusion, radiative levitation, weak stellar winds, and accretion is responsible for the rich variety of atmospheric compositions observed in those objects. FUSE is playing a key role in the current quest for establishing a coherent theory of the spectral evolution of these stars as it allows the determination of the patterns of heavy element abundances at a significantly higher level of accuracy than has been possible before on the basis of optical or UV observations. We also briefly present some fascinating FUV light curves of a handful of pulsating subdwarf B stars, thus illustrating the unique potential of FUSE for asteroseismological stu...

  15. Detectability of substellar companions around white dwarfs with Gaia

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  16. On the White Dwarf Mass Problem of Cataclysmic Variables

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, Wei-Min

    2016-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  18. Crystallization of Carbon Oxygen Mixtures in White Dwarf Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Horowitz, C J; Berry, D K

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. The First Six Outbursting Cool DA White Dwarf Pulsators

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Kowalski, Piotr M; Dufour, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Dense, He-rich atmospheres of cool white dwarfs represent a challenge to the modeling. This is because these atmospheres are constituted of a dense fluid in which strong multi-atomic interactions determine their physics and chemistry. Therefore, the ideal-gas-based description of absorption is no longer adequate, which makes the opacities of these atmospheres difficult to model. This is illustrated with severe problems in fitting the spectra of cool, He-rich stars. Good description of the infrared (IR) opacity is essential for proper assignment of the atmospheric parameters of these stars. Using methods of computational quantum chemistry we simulate the IR absorption of dense He/H media. We found a significant IR absorption from He atoms (He-He-He CIA opacity) and a strong pressure distortion of the H$_2$-He collision-induced absorption (CIA). We discuss the implication of these results for interpretation of the spectra of cool stars.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    CERN Document Server

    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).

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

    CERN Document Server

    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. New phase diagrams for dense carbon-oxygen mixtures and white dwarf evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, Leandro G; Isern, Jordi; Córsico, Alejandro H; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller

    2011-01-01

    Cool white dwarfs are reliable and independent stellar chronometers. The most common white dwarfs have carbon-oxygen dense cores. Consequently, the cooling ages of very cool white dwarfs sensitively depend on the adopted phase diagram of the carbon-oxygen binary mixture. A new phase diagram of dense carbon-oxygen mixtures appropriate for white dwarf interiors has been recently obtained using direct molecular dynamics simulations. In this paper, we explore the consequences of this phase diagram in the evolution of cool white dwarfs. To do this we employ a detailed stellar evolutionary code and accurate initial white dwarf configurations, derived from the full evolution of progenitor stars. We use two different phase diagrams, that of Horowitz et al. (2010), which presents an azeotrope, and the phase diagram of Segretain & Chabrier (1993), which is of the spindle form. We computed the evolution of 0.593 and 0.878M_sun white dwarf models during the crystallization phase, and we found that the energy released...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Bognár, Zs

    2016-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hall, Philip D

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-06-01

    We have examined the statistical properties, cooling ages, and vector components of the three-dimensional space motion U, V, W for the enlarged sample of 53 magnetic white dwarfs contained in the fourth edition of the Catalog of Spectroscopically Identified White Dwarfs (McCook & Sion). Their cooling ages range from 2 million years to 12.6 billion years. A comparison of the total kinematic samples of magnetics and DA stars over the same luminosity range 10.0near miss'' pulsar progenitors. We find preliminary evidence that the magnetic white dwarfs show a peculiar distribution in UV velocity space relative to other spectroscopic subgroups of white dwarfs. However, there is little evidence of a difference in velocity dispersion among the hot and cool magnetic degenerates, despite their having vastly different cooling ages. This may be taken as indirect evidence that the magnetics represent a sample of mixed evolutionary progeny.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  20. An upper limit to the secular variation of the gravitational constant from white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    García-Berro, Enrique; Torres, Santiago; Althaus, Leandro G; Isern, Jordi

    2011-01-01

    A variation of the gravitational constant over cosmological ages modifies the main sequence lifetimes and white dwarf cooling ages. Using an state-of-the-art stellar evolutionary code we compute the effects of a secularly varying G on the main sequence ages and, employing white dwarf cooling ages computed taking into account the effects of a running G, we place constraints on the rate of variation of Newton's constant. This is done using the white dwarf luminosity function and the distance of the well studied open Galactic cluster NGC 6791. We derive an upper bound G'/G ~ -1.8 10^{-12} 1/yr. This upper limit for the secular variation of the gravitational constant compares favorably with those obtained using other stellar evolutionary properties, and can be easily improved if deep images of the cluster allow to obtain an improved white dwarf luminosity function.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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/

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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

    OpenAIRE

    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. White dwarf mergers and the origin of R Coronae Borealis stars

    CERN Document Server

    Lorén-Aguilar, P; José, J; García-Berro, E; Althaus, L G; Isern, J

    2011-01-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  9. On the formation of DA white dwarfs with low hydrogen contents: Preliminary Results

    CERN Document Server

    Bertolami, M M Miller; Córsico, A H

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  11. The DB gap and a new class of pulsating white dwarfs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shibahashi H.

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The recent systematic surveys providing enormously massive datasets of white dwarfs show that there is still a deficit of a factor of 2.5 in the DA/non-DA ratio within the temperature range of 30 000 K < Teff < 45 000 K, which has been regarded as the “DB gap” meaning a range with almost no helium atmosphere white dwarfs. Since all white dwarfs have to evolve through this temperature range along almost the identical sequence on the color-magnitude diagram, this implies that most of the helium atmosphere DO stars once evolve into hydrogen atmosphere hot DA stars in the temperature range of the DB gap and then back to helium atmosphere DB stars. Possible scenarios for this chameleon-like disguises of white dwarfs with helium dominant atmospheres are described and a new class of pulsating white dwarfs, named the hot-DAV stars, is predicted from these scenarios. One pulsating DA white dwarf, being consistent with the prediction, has been discovered indeed.

  12. The Gaia DR1 Mass-Radius Relation for White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Tremblay, P -E; Raddi, R; Jordan, S; Besson, C; Gaensicke, B T; Parsons, S G; Koester, D; Marsh, T; Bohlin, R; Kalirai, J

    2016-01-01

    The Gaia Data Release 1 (DR1) sample of white dwarf parallaxes is presented, including 6 directly observed degenerates and 46 white dwarfs in wide binaries. This data set is combined with spectroscopic atmospheric parameters to study the white dwarf mass-radius relationship (MRR). Gaia parallaxes and G magnitudes are used to derive model atmosphere dependent white dwarf radii, which can then be compared to the predictions of a theoretical MRR. We find a good agreement between Gaia DR1 parallaxes, published effective temperatures (Teff) and surface gravities (log g), and theoretical MRRs. As it was the case for Hipparcos, the precision of the data does not allow for the characterisation of hydrogen envelope masses. The uncertainties on the spectroscopic atmospheric parameters are found to dominate the error budget and current error estimates for well-known and bright white dwarfs may be slightly optimistic. With the much larger Gaia DR2 white dwarf sample it will be possible to explore the MRR over a much wide...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilfanov, Marat; Bogdán, Akos

    2010-02-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 white dwarf cooling sequence of NGC 6791: an unique tool for stellar astrophysics

    CERN Document Server

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

    2011-01-01

    NGC 6791 is a well-studied, metal-rich open cluster that is so close to us that can be imaged down to luminosities fainter than that of the termination of its white dwarf cooling sequence, thus allowing for an in-depth study of its white dwarf population. We use a Monte Carlo simulator that employs up-to-date evolutionary cooling sequences for white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres, with carbon-oxygen and helium cores. The cooling sequences for carbon-oxygen cores account for the delays introduced by both Ne^22 sedimentation in the liquid phase and by carbon-oxygen phase separation upon crystallization. We do not find evidence for a substantial fraction of helium-core white dwarfs, and hence our results support the suggestion that the origin of the bright peak of the white dwarf luminosity function can only be attributed to a population of unresolved binary white dwarfs. Moreover, our results indicate that the number distribution of secondary masses of the population of unresolved ...

  17. Evolution and colors of helium-core white dwarf stars with high-metallicity progenitors

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, L G; Romero, A D; Rohrmann, R D; Córsico, A H; García-Berro, E; Bertolami, M M Miller

    2009-01-01

    Motivated by the recent detection of single and binary He-core white dwarfs in metal-rich clusters, we present a full set of evolutionary calculations and colors appropriate for the study of such white dwarfs. The paper is also aimed at investigating whether stable hydrogen burning may constitute a main source of energy for massive He-core white dwarfs resulting from high-metallicity progenitors. White dwarf sequences are derived by taking into account the evolutionary history of progenitor stars with supersolar metallicities. We also incorporate a self-consistent, time-dependent treatment of gravitational settling and chemical diffusion, as well as of the residual nuclear burning. We find that the influence of residual nuclear burning during the late stages of white dwarf evolution is strongly dependent on the occurrence of chemical diffusion at the base of the hydrogen-rich envelope. When no diffusion is considered, residual hydrogen burning strongly influences the advanced stages of white dwarf cooling, in...

  18. A Search for Rocky Planets in Close Orbits around White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debes, John; Sandhaus, Phoebe; Ely, Justin

    2015-12-01

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in order to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all current spectral types, white dwarfs are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of white dwarfs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle surveys of stars have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of white dwarfs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright white dwarfs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating white dwarf GD~133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter white dwarfs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

  19. Transit surveys for Earths in the habitable zones of white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Agol, Eric

    2011-01-01

    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 0.4-0.9 solar masses, temperatures less than 10,000 K, and habitable durations of at least 3 Gyr. As they are similar in size to Earth, white dwarfs may be completely 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, rotation period, and host star temper...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. White dwarf pollution by planets in stellar binaries

    CERN Document Server

    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....

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  3. COSMOLOGICAL FAST RADIO BURSTS FROM BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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....

  5. Pulsations in Hydrogen Burning Low Mass Helium White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Steinfadt, Justin D R; Arras, Phil

    2010-01-01

    Helium core white dwarfs (WDs) with mass M < 0.20 M_sun undergo several Gyrs of stable hydrogen burning as they evolve. We show that in a certain range of WD and hydrogen envelope masses, these WDs may exhibit g-mode pulsations similar to their passively cooling, more massive carbon/oxygen core counterparts, the ZZ Cetis. Our models with stably burning hydrogen envelopes on helium cores yield g-mode periods and period spacings longer than the canonical ZZ Cetis by nearly a factor of two. We show that core composition and structure can be probed using seismology since the g-mode eigenfunctions predominantly reside in the helium core. Though we have not carried out a fully nonadiabatic stability analysis, the scaling of the thermal time in the convective zone with surface gravity highlights several low mass helium WDs that should be observed in search of pulsations: NLTT 11748, SDSS J0822+2753, and the companion to PSR J1012+5307. Seismological studies of these He core WDs may prove especially fruitful, as t...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  7. White dwarf pollution by planets in stellar binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  8. Electrical conductivity of plasmas of DB white dwarf atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Sreckovic, V A; Mihajlov, A A; Dimitrijevic, M S; 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16702.x

    2012-01-01

    The static electrical conductivity of non-ideal, dense, partially ionized helium plasma was calculated over a wide range of plasma parameters: temperatures $1\\cdot 10^{4}\\textrm{K} \\lesssim T \\lesssim 1\\cdot 10^{5}\\textrm{K}$ and mass density $1 \\times 10^{-6} \\textrm{g}/\\textrm{cm}^{3} \\lesssim \\rho \\lesssim 2 \\textrm{g}/\\textrm{cm}^{3}$. Calculations of electrical conductivity of plasma for the considered range of plasma parameters are of interest for DB white dwarf atmospheres with effective temperatures $1\\cdot 10^{4}\\textrm{K} \\lesssim T_{eff} \\lesssim 3\\cdot 10^{4}\\textrm{K}$. Electrical conductivity of plasma was calculated by using the modified random phase approximation and semiclassical method, adapted for the case of dense, partially ionized plasma. The results were compared with the unique existing experimental data, including the results related to the region of dense plasmas. In spite of low accuracy of the experimental data, the existing agreement with them indicates that results obtained in th...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bellini, A.; Anderson, J. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Salaris, M. [Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Twelve Quays House, Egerton Wharf, Birkenhead CH41 1LD (United Kingdom); Cassisi, S. [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Collurania, via Mentore Maggini, I-64100 Teramo (Italy); Bedin, L. R. [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, v.co dell' Osservatorio 5, I-35122, Padova (Italy); Piotto, G. [Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia ' Galileo Galilei' , Universita di Padova, v.co dell' Osservatorio 3, I-35122, Padova (Italy); Bergeron, P., E-mail: bellini@stsci.edu [Departement de Physique, Universite de Montreal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2013-06-01

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

  11. Turbulent Mixing on Helium-Accreting White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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. High-Energy Neutrino Emission from White Dwarf Mergers

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. The structure and fate of white dwarf merger remnants

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  14. Probing dark matter crests with white dwarfs and IMBHs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  15. Dusty Disks around White Dwarfs I: Origin of Debris Disks

    CERN Document Server

    Dong, Ruobing; Lin, D N C; Liu, X -W

    2010-01-01

    A significant fraction of the mature FGK stars have cool dusty disks at least an orders of magnitudes brighter than the solar system's outer zodiacal light. Since such dusts must be continually replenished, they are generally assumed to be the collisional fragments of residual planetesimals analogous to the Kuiper Belt objects. At least 10% of solar type stars also bear gas giant planets. The fraction of stars with known gas giants or detectable debris disks (or both) appears to increase with the stellar mass. Here, we examine the dynamical evolution of systems of long-period gas giant planets and residual planetesimals as their host stars evolve off the main sequence, lose mass, and form planetary nebula around remnant white dwarf cores. The orbits of distant gas giant planets and super-km-size planetesimals expand adiabatically. During the most intense AGB mass loss phase, sub-meter-size particles migrate toward their host stars due to the strong hydrodynamical drag by the intense stellar wind. Along their ...

  16. A Double White-Dwarf Cooling Sequence in {\\omega} Centauri

    CERN Document Server

    Bellini, A; Salaris, M; Cassisi, S; Bedin, L R; Piotto, G; Bergeon, P

    2013-01-01

    We have applied our empirical-PSF-based photometric techniques on a large number of calibration-related WFC3/UVIS UV-B exposures of the core of {\\omega} Cen, and found a well-defined split in the right 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 Msun CO-core DA objects) while the red WDCS hosts the end-products of the He-rich population (~0.46 Msun objects, ~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.

  17. White dwarf-main sequence binaries from LAMOST: the DR1 catalogue

    CERN Document Server

    Ren, Juanjuan; Luo, Ali; Zhao, Yongheng; Xiang, Maosheng; Liu, Xiaowei; Zhao, Gang; Jin, Ge; Zhang, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Context. White dwarf-main sequence (WDMS) binaries are used to study several different important open problems in modern astrophysics. Aims. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) identified the largest catalogue of WDMS binaries currently known. However, this sample is seriously affected by selection effects and the population of systems containing cool white dwarfs and early-type companions is under-represented.Here we search for WDMS binaries within the spectroscopic data release 1 of the LAMOST (Large sky Area Multi-Object fiber Spectroscopic Telescope) survey. LAMOST and SDSS follow different target selection algorithms. Hence, LAMOST WDMS binaries may be drawn from a different parent population and thus help in overcoming the selection effects incorporated by SDSS on the current observed population. Methods. We develop a fast and efficient routine based on the wavelet transform to identify LAMOST WDMS binaries containing a DA white dwarf and a M dwarf companion, and apply a decomposition/fitting routine to...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Probing dark matter crests with white dwarfs and IMBHs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Angular Momentum Transport in Double White Dwarf Binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  4. The impact of chemical differentiation of white dwarfs on thermonuclear supernovae

    CERN Document Server

    Bravo, Eduardo; García-Berro, Enrique; Domínguez, Inmaculada

    2010-01-01

    Gravitational settling of 22Ne in cooling white dwarfs has been suggested to affect the outcome of thermonuclear supernovae. We investigate how the supernova energetics and nucleosynthesis are affected by this process. This is done using realistic chemical profiles obtained from state-of-the-art white dwarf cooling sequences. The cooling sequences provide a link between the white dwarf chemical structure and the age of the supernova progenitor system. The cooling sequence of a 1 M_sun white dwarf has been computed until freezing using an up-to-date stellar evolutionary code. Thereafter we have computed explosions of both Chandrasekhar mass and sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs, assuming spherical symmetry and neglecting convective mixing during the pre-supernova carbon simmering phase in order to maximize the effects of chemical separation. Neither gravitational settling of 22Ne nor chemical differentiation of 12C and 16O have an appreciable impact on the properties of Type Ia supernovae, unless there is a ...

  5. White dwarf evolutionary sequences for low-metallicity progenitors: The impact of third dredge-up

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, Leandro G; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; Córsico, Alejandro H; García-Berro, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    We present new white dwarf evolutionary sequences for low-metallicity progenitors. White dwarf sequences have been derived from full evolutionary calculations that take into account the entire history of progenitor stars, including the thermally-pulsing and the post-asymptotic giant branch phases. We show that for progenitor metallicities in the range 0.00003--0.001, and in the absence of carbon enrichment due to the occurrence of a third dredge-up episode, the resulting H envelope of the low-mass white dwarfs is thick enough to make stable H burning the most important energy source even at low luminosities. This has a significant impact on white dwarf cooling times. This result is independent of the adopted mass-loss rate during the thermally-pulsing and post-AGB phases, and the planetary nebulae stage. We conclude that in the absence of third dredge-up episodes, a significant part of the evolution of low-mass white dwarfs resulting from low-metallicity progenitors is dominated by stable H burning. Our study...

  6. A Search for Rocky Planets in Close Orbits around White Dwarfs with COS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhaus, Phoebe; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Hines, Dean C.

    2016-01-01

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in order to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all current spectral types, white dwarfs are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of white dwarfs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle surveys of stars have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of white dwarfs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright white dwarfs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating white dwarf GD~133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

    We present optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of WISEA J061543.91$-$124726.8, which we rediscovered as a high motion object in the AllWISE survey. The spectra of this object are unusual; while the red optical ($\\lambda >$ 7,000 \\AA) and near-infrared spectra exhibit characteristic TiO, VO, and H$_{2}$O bands of a late-M dwarf, the blue portion of its optical spectrum shows a significant excess of emission relative to late-M type templates. The excess emission is relatively featureless, with the exception of a prominent and very broad Na I D doublet. We find that no single, ordinary star can reproduce these spectral characteristics. The most likely explanation is an unresolved binary system of an M7 dwarf and a cool white dwarf. The flux of a cool white dwarf drops in the optical red and near-infrared, due to collision-induced absorption, thus allowing the flux of a late-M dwarf to show through. This scenario, however, does not explain the Na D feature, which is unlike that of any known white dwarf, but wh...

  11. Pulsations of Pre-White Dwarfs with Hydrogen-dominated Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Maeda, Kazuhiro

    2014-01-01

    We carried out a fully non-adiabatic analysis for nonradial oscillations of pre-white dwarfs evolved from the post-Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) with hydrogen-dominated envelopes. It is shown that nuclear reactions in the hydrogen burning-shell excite low-degree g-modes in the period range of about 40-200 s for the pre-white dwarf models with Teff=40,000 K - 300,000 K. It is also shown that the amount of hydrogen {has} a significant influence on the instability domain of such pre-white dwarfs in the Hertzsprung-Russel (H-R) diagram. Thus, the thickness of hydrogen-dominated envelopes may be well constrained by observing the presence of the g-mode oscillations.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  14. Discovery of ZZ Cetis in detached white dwarf plus main-sequence binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Pyrzas, S; Hermes, J J; Copperwheat, C M; Rebassa-Mansergas, A; Dhillon, V S; Littlefair, S P; Marsh, T R; Parsons, S G; Savoury, C D J; Schreiber, M R; Barros, S C C; Bento, J; Breedt, E; Kerry, P

    2014-01-01

    We present the first results of a dedicated search for pulsating white dwarfs (WDs) in detached white dwarf plus main-sequence binaries. Candidate systems were selected from a catalogue of WD+MS binaries, based on the surface gravities and effective temperatures of the WDs. We observed a total of 26 systems using ULTRACAM mounted on ESO's 3.5m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla. Our photometric observations reveal pulsations in seven WDs of our sample, including the first pulsating white dwarf with a main-sequence companion in a post common envelope binary, SDSSJ1136+0409. Asteroseismology of these new pulsating systems will provide crucial insight into how binary interactions, particularly the common envelope phase, affect the internal structure and evolution of WDs. In addition, our observations have revealed the partially eclipsing nature of one of our targets, SDSSJ1223-0056.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  17. Finding the Instability Strip for Accreting Pulsating White Dwarfs from HST and Optical Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Szkody, Paula; Gansicke, Boris T; Henden, Arne; Templeton, Matthew; Holtzman, Jon; Montgomery, Michael H; Howell, Steve B; Nitta, Atsuko; Sion, Edward M; Schwartz, Richard D; Dillon, William

    2010-01-01

    Time-resolved low resolution Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectra together with ground-based optical photometry and spectra are used to constrain the temperatures and pulsation properties of six cataclysmic variables containing pulsating white dwarfs. Combining our temperature determinations for the five pulsating white dwarfs that are several years past outburst with past results on six other systems shows that the instability strip for accreting pulsating white dwarfs ranges from 10,500-15,000K, a wider range than evident for ZZ Ceti pulsators. Analysis of the UV/optical pulsation properties reveals some puzzling aspects. While half the systems show high pulsation amplitudes in the UV compared to their optical counterparts, others show UV/optical amplitude ratios that are less than one or no pulsations at either wavelength region.

  18. Nucleosynthesis during the Merger of White Dwarfs and the Origin of R Coronae Borealis Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Longland, R; José, J; García-Berro, E; Althaus, L G; Isern, J

    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 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.

  19. Super-Chandrasekhar White Dwarfs with Magnetic-dependent Equation of State

    CERN Document Server

    Zou, Qi-Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Recently, some over-luminous Ia supernovaes are found, suggesting that their progenitors are white dwarfs more massive than the Chandrasekhar limit, which perhaps result from ultra-strong magnetic field inside the white dwarfs. We present an equation of state, explicitly magnetic-dependent and analytically practicable, and observe that the change of equation of states due to magnetic field waning along radium will so significantly influence the configuration of a white dwarf as that its density does not monotonically decrease, but goes down at first, re-peaks near the crust and falls off again. As a supernovae will, in the single degenerate Ia supernovae system, leave the remnant of its companion and a neutron star (pulsar star), we point out that the observations of these objects can put our model into tests

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1993-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Blouin, Simon; Kowalski, Piotr M

    2016-01-01

    Due to their high photospheric density, cool helium-rich white dwarfs (particularly DZ, DQpec and ultracool) are often poorly described by current atmosphere models. As part of our ongoing efforts to design atmosphere models suitable for all cool white dwarfs, we investigate how the ionization ratio of heavy elements and the H$_2$-He collision-induced absorption (CIA) spectrum are altered under fluid-like densities. For the conditions encountered at the photosphere of cool helium-rich white dwarfs, our ab initio calculations show that the ionization of most metals is inhibited and that the H$_2$-He CIA spectrum is significantly distorted for densities higher than 0.1 g/cm$^3$.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  5. The Post-Merger Magnetized Evolution of White Dwarf Binaries: The Double-Degenerate Channel of Sub-Chandrasekhar Type Ia Supernovae and the Formation of Magnetized White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Suoqing; Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Tzeferacos, Petros; Jordan, George; Lee, Dongwook; Loren-Aguilar, Pablo; Cremer, Pascal; Behrends, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) play a crucial role as standardizable cosmological candles, though the nature of their progenitors is a subject of active investigation. Recent observational and theoretical work has pointed to merging white dwarf binaries, referred to as the double-degenerate channel, as the possible progenitor systems for some SNe Ia. Additionally, recent theoretical work suggests that mergers which fail to detonate may produce magnetized, rapidly-rotating white dwarfs. In this paper, we present the first multidimensional simulations of the post-merger evolution of white dwarf binaries to include the effect of the magnetic field. In these systems, the two white dwarfs complete a final merger on a dynamical timescale, and are tidally disrupted, producing a rapidly-rotating white dwarf merger surrounded by a hot corona and a thick, differentially-rotating disk. The disk is strongly susceptible to the magnetorotational instability (MRI), and we demonstrate that this leads to the rapid growth of an i...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  7. The gravitational wave emission from white dwarf interactions in globular clusters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loren-Aguilar, P; Garcia-Berro, E [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Av. del Canal OlImpic, s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Lobo, J A; Isern, J, E-mail: loren@fa.upc.ed [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2009-03-01

    In the dense central regions of globular clusters close encounters of two white dwarfs are relatively frequent. The estimated frequency is one or more strong encounters per star in the lifetime of the cluster. Such encounters should be then potential sources of gravitational wave radiation. Thus, it is foreseeable that these collisions could be either individually detected by LISA or they could contribute significantly to the background noise of the detector. We compute the pattern of gravitational wave emission from these encounters for a sufficiently broad range of system parameters, namely the masses, the relative velocities and the distances of the two white dwarfs involved in the encounter.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  10. Creating White Dwarf Photospheres in the Laboratory: Strategy for Astrophysics Applications

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  11. Completeness of the Nearby White Dwarf Sample: Let Us Count the Ways

    CERN Document Server

    Oswalt, Terry D; Sion, Edward

    2016-01-01

    We have recently extended our ongoing survey of the local white dwarf population, effectively doubling the sample volume. Based upon the latest distance determinations, Holberg et al. (2016) estimated the present 20 pc and 25 pc samples were about 86 and 68 percent complete, respectively. Here we examine how the completeness of the 25 pc sample depends upon other observables such as apparent magnitude, proper motion, photometric color index, etc. The results may provide additional clues to why Sirius-Like systems are underrepresented in the extended 25 pc sample and how additional nearby single white dwarf stars may be found.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  13. WD0837+185:the formation and evolution of an extreme mass ratio white dwarf-brown dwarf binary in Praesepe

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

    Studies of cool white dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood have placed a limit on the age of the Galactic disk of 8-9 billion years. However, determining their cooling ages requires the knowledge of their effective temperatures, masses, radii, and atmospheric composition. So far, these parameters could only be inferred for a small number of ultracool white dwarfs for which an accurate distance is known, by fitting their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) in conjunction with a theoretical mass-radius relation. However, the mass-radius relation remains largely untested, and the derived cooling ages are hence model-dependent. Here we report direct measurements of the mass and radius of an ultracool white dwarf in the double-lined eclipsing binary SDSS J013851.54-001621.6. We find M(WD)=0.529+/-0.010Msol and R(WD)=0.0131+/-0.0003Rsol. Our measurements are consistent with the mass-radius relation and we determine a robust cooling age of 9.5 billion years for the 3570K white dwarf. We find that the mass and radius o...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. The Reanalysis of the ROSAT Data of GQ Mus (1983) Using White Dwarf Atmosphere Emission Models

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  18. Comparing the White Dwarf Cooling Sequences in 47 Tuc and NGC 6397

    CERN Document Server

    Richer, Harvey B; Heyl, Jeremy; Hurley, Jarrod; Dotter, Aaron; Kalirai, Jason S; Woodley, Kristin A; Fahlman, Gregory G; Rich, R Michael; Shara, Michael M

    2013-01-01

    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 s...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  20. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations of white dwarf collisions and close encounters

    CERN Document Server

    Lorén-Aguilar, P; García-Berro, E

    2010-01-01

    The collision of two white dwarfs is a quite frequent event in dense stellar systems, like globular clusters and galactic nuclei. In this paper we present the results of a set of simulations of the close encounters and collisions of two white dwarfs. We use an up- to-date smoothed particle hydrodynamics code that incorporates very detailed input physics and an improved treatment of the artificial viscosity. Our simulations have been done using a large number of particles (~ 4 \\times 10^5) and covering a wide range of velocities and initial distances of the colliding white dwarfs. We discuss in detail when the initial eccentric binary white dwarf survives the closest approach, when a lateral collision in which several mass transfer episodes occur is the outcome of the newly formed binary system, and which range of input parameters leads to a direct collision, in which only one mass transfer episode occurs. We also discuss the characteristics of the final configuration and we assess the possible observational s...

  1. Evolution of white dwarf stars with high-metallicity progenitors: the role of 22Ne diffusion

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, Leandro G; Renedo, Isabel; Isern, Jordi; Córsico, Alejandro H; Rohrmann, Rene D

    2010-01-01

    Motivated by the strong discrepancy between the main sequence turn-off age and the white dwarf cooling age in the metal-rich open cluster NGC 6791, we compute a grid of white dwarf evolutionary sequences that incorporates for the first time the energy released by the processes of 22Ne sedimentation and of carbon/oxygen phase separation upon crystallization. The grid covers the mass range from 0.52 to 1.0 Msun, and it is appropriate for the study of white dwarfs in metal-rich clusters. The evolutionary calculations are based on a detailed and self-consistent treatment of the energy released from these two processes, as well as on the employment of realistic carbon/oxygen profiles, of relevance for an accurate evaluation of the energy released by carbon/oxygen phase separation. We find that 22Ne sedimentation strongly delays the cooling rate of white dwarfs stemming from progenitors with high metallicities at moderate luminosities, whilst carbon/oxygen phase separation adds considerable delays at low luminositi...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  3. Stellar evolution on the borderline of white dwarf and neutron star formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  4. Constraining white dwarf viscosity through tidal heating in detached binary systems

    CERN Document Server

    Dall'Osso, Simone

    2013-01-01

    Although the internal structure of white dwarfs is considered to be generally well understood, the source and entity of viscosity is still very uncertain. We propose here to study white dwarf viscous properties using short period (< 1 hr), detached white dwarf binaries, such as the newly discovered ~12.8 min system. These binaries are wide enough that mass transfer has not yet started but close enough that the least massive component is subject to a measurable tidal deformation. The associated tidal torque transfers orbital energy, which is partially converted into heat by the action of viscosity within the deformed star. As a consequence, its outer non-degenerate layers expand, and the star puffs up. We self-consistently calculate the fractional change in radius, and the degree of asynchronism (ratio of stellar to orbital spin) as a function of the viscous time. Specializing our calculations to J0651, we find that the discrepancy between the measured radius of the secondary star and He white dwarf model p...

  5. Stripped red giants - Helium core white dwarf progenitors and their sdB siblings

    CERN Document Server

    Heber, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

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

  6. The mass limit of white dwarfs with strong magnetic fields in general relativity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  7. Ejection of globular cluster interstellar media through ionization by white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kitaguchi, Takao; An, Hongjun; Beloborodov, Andrei M.;

    2014-01-01

    AE Aquarii is a cataclysmic variable with the fastest known rotating magnetized white dwarf (P-spin = 33.08 s). Compared to many intermediate polars, AE Aquarii shows a soft X-ray spectrum with a very low luminosity (L-X similar to 10(31) erg s(-1)). We have analyzed overlapping observations of t...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belyaev, V.B. [Bogolyubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna 141980 (Russian Federation); Ricci, P. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Firenze, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Firenze) (Italy); Šimkovic, F. [Department of Nuclear Physics and Biophysics, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina F1, SK-842 15, Bratislava (Slovakia); Bogolyubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna 141980 (Russian Federation); Adam, J.; Tater, M. [Institute of Nuclear Physics ASCR, CZ-250 68 Řež (Czech Republic); Truhlík, E., E-mail: truhlik@ujf.cas.cz [Institute of Nuclear Physics ASCR, CZ-250 68 Řež (Czech Republic)

    2015-05-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  13. Relativistic Feynman-Metropolis-Teller theory for white dwarfs in general relativity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  18. New Close Binary Systems from the SDSS-I (Data Release Five) and the Search for Magnetic White Dwarfs in Cataclysmic Variable Progenitor Systems

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  19. Toward High Precision Seismic Studies of White Dwarf Stars: Parametrization of the Core and Tests of Accuracy

    CERN Document Server

    Giammichele, N; Fontaine, G; Brassard, P

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Optical linear polarization of 74 white dwarfs with the RoboPol polarimeter

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Towards a Network of Faint DA White Dwarfs as High-Precision Spectrophotometric Standards

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  3. Pulsations of Post-AGB Pre-White Dwarfs with Hydrogen-dominated Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Kazuhiro; Shibahashi, Hiromoto

    2015-09-01

    It is shown by a fully non adiabatic analysis that pre-white dwarfs with hydrogen-dominated atmospheres in the range of Teff = 40 000 K - 300 000 K are pul-sationally unstable due to nuclear reactions in the hydrogen burning-shell against low-degree g-modes in the period range of about 40-200 s. It is also shown that the amount of hydrogen has a significant influence on the instability domain of such pre-white dwarfs in the Hertzsprung-Russel (H-R) diagram. Hence, the thickness of hydrogen-dominated envelopes may be well constrained by observing the presence of the g-mode oscillations.

  4. Pulsations of Post-AGB Pre-White Dwarfs with Hydrogen-dominated Atmospheres*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maeda Kazuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available It is shown by a fully non adiabatic analysis that pre-white dwarfs with hydrogen-dominated atmospheres in the range of Teff = 40 000 K - 300 000 K are pul-sationally unstable due to nuclear reactions in the hydrogen burning-shell against low-degree g-modes in the period range of about 40-200 s. It is also shown that the amount of hydrogen has a significant influence on the instability domain of such pre-white dwarfs in the Hertzsprung-Russel (H-R diagram. Hence, the thickness of hydrogen-dominated envelopes may be well constrained by observing the presence of the g-mode oscillations.

  5. Effects of Fe/C phase separation on the ages of white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. White Dwarf Mergers on Adaptive Meshes I. Methodology and Code Verification

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  7. A photospheric metal line profile analysis of hot DA white dwarfs with circumstellar material

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  8. The impact of mergers in the mass distribution of white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Isern, J; Garcia-Berro, E; Hernanz, M

    2012-01-01

    Recent surveys have allowed to derive the white dwarf mass distribution with reasonable accuracy. This distribution shows a noticeable degree of structure that it is often attributed to the evolution of close binaries in general, and to mergers in particular. To analyze if the origin of this structure can be attributed to the merger of double white dwarfs, we have used a simplified population synthesis model that retains the essential processes of formation of double degenerate binaries. Special care has been taken to avoid artifacts introduced by discontinuities in the distribution functions. Our result is that these structures are not probably due to mergers, but they can provide a deep insight on the evolution of close binary systems.

  9. Double degenerate mergers as progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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. High-resolution Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations of the merger of binary white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Lorén-Aguilar, P; García-Berro, E

    2009-01-01

    We present the results of a set of high-resolution simulations of the merging process of two white dwarfs. In order to do so, we use an up-to-date Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code which incorporates very detailed input physics and an improved treatment of the artificial viscosity. Our simulations have been done using a large number of particles (4x10^5) and cover the full range of masses and chemical compositions of the coalescing white dwarfs. We also compare the time evolution of the system during the first phases of the coalescence with that obtained using a simplified treatment of mass transfer, we discuss in detail the characteristics of the final configuration, we assess the possible observational signatures of the merger, like the associated gravitational waveforms and the fallback X-ray flares, and we study the long-term evolution of the coalescence.

  11. Constraining the spin-down timescale of the white-dwarf progenitors of Type Ia supernovae

    CERN Document Server

    Meng, Xiangcun

    2013-01-01

    Justham (2011) and DiStefano et al.\\ (2011) 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, we here 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 $10^{\\rm 7} {\\rm yr}$. Based on the study of Di Stefano & Kilic (2012) this means that it is too early to rule out the existence of a surviving companion in SNR 0509-67.5.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. A possible solution to the Lyman/Balmer line problem in hot DA white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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, ...

  14. CONSTRAINING THE SPIN-DOWN TIMESCALE OF THE WHITE DWARF PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Probing the extraordinary ends of ordinary stars white dwarf seismology with the Whole Earth Telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Kawaler, S D

    1995-01-01

    During the final evolution of most stars, they shed their outer skin and expose their core of the hot ashes of nuclear burning. As these hot and very dense cores cool into white dwarf stars, they go through episodes of multiperiodic, nonradial g-mode pulsation. The tools of stellar seismology allow us to use the pulsation spectra as powerful probes into the deep interiors of these stars. Progress in white dwarf seismology has required significant international cooperation, since another consequence of the complex pulsations of these stars is decoding the true pulsation frequencies requires a coordinated global effort involving high-speed photometric observations. Through one such effort, the Whole Earth Telescope project, we have located subsurface composition changes, detected differential rotation and magnetic fields, and measured fundamental quantities such as stellar mass, luminosity, and distance to extraordinary accuracy.

  16. Simulating the photometric study of pulsating white dwarf stars in the physics laboratory

    CERN Document Server

    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. Stark Broadening of Carbon and Oxygen Lines in Hot DQ White Dwarf Stars: Recent Results and Applications

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  18. G29-38 and G38-29; Two new large-amplitude variable white dwarfs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  20. Effect of Radiative Levitation on Calculations of Accretion Rates in White Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    Chayer, P.; Dupuis, J.

    2010-01-01

    Elements heavier than hydrogen or helium that are present in the atmospheres of white dwarfs with effective temperatures lower than 25,000 K, are believed to be the result of accretion. By measuring the abundances of these elements and by assuming a steady-state accretion, we can derive the composition of the accreted matter and infer its source. The presence of radiative levitation, however, may affect the determination of the accretion rate. We present time-dependent diffusion calculations ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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, ...

  2. Multi-Dimensional Double Detonation of Sub-Chandrasekhar Mass White Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  4. A study of the Lyman-$\\alpha$ line profile in DBA white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Genest-Beaulieu, C

    2016-01-01

    The hydrogen abundances in DBA white dwarfs determined from optical or UV spectra have been reported to differ significantly in some studies. We revisit this problem using our own model atmospheres and synthetic spectra, and present a theoretical investigation of the Lyman-$\\alpha$ line profile as a function of effective temperature and hydrogen abundance. We identify one possible solution to this discrepancy and show considerable improvement from a detailed analysis of optical and UV spectra of DBA stars.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  7. The merging of white dwarf and neutron star systems: gravitational radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Avda. del Canal OlImpic s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Pedemonte, Alba G [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Escola Politecnica Superior de Castelldefels, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Avda. del Canal OlImpic s/n, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); GarcIa-Senz, Domingo [Departament de Fisica i Enginyeria Nuclear, Facultat de Informatica de Barcelona, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, c/ Jordi Girona Salgado, s/n, 08034, Barcelona (Spain); Loren-Aguilar, Pablo [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Facultat de Ciencies, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Isern, Jordi [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Facultat de Ciencies, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Lobo, Jose A [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai, CSIC, Facultat de Ciencies, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2007-05-15

    We have computed the gravitational wave emission arising from the coalescence of binary systems composed of a white dwarf and a neutron star. In order to do so, we have followed the evolution of such systems using a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code. Here we present some of the results obtained so far, paying special attention to the detectability of the emitted gravitational waves. Within this context, we show which could be the impact of individual merging episodes for LISA.

  8. New evolutionary sequences for extremely low mass white dwarfs: Homogeneous mass and age determinations, and asteroseismic prospects

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  9. AN IMPROVED SPECTROSCOPIC ANALYSIS OF DA WHITE DWARFS FROM THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY DATA RELEASE 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  10. A WHITE DWARF MERGER AS PROGENITOR OF THE ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSAR 4U 0142+61?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  11. Significantly super-Chandrasekhar limiting mass white dwarfs as progenitors for peculiar over-luminous type Ia supernovae

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  12. A study of high proper-motion white dwarfs I. Spectropolarimetry of a cool hydrogen-rich sample

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. Discovery of photospheric argon in very hot central stars of planetary nebulae and white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  15. The spectrum of the recycled PSR J0437-4715 and its white dwarf companion

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  16. Properties of the Eclipsing Double-White Dwarf Binary NLTT 11748

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  18. A search for hidden white dwarfs in the ROSAT EUV survey

    CERN Document Server

    Burleigh, M R; Fleming, T; Burleigh, Matt; Barstow, Martin; Fleming, Tom

    1997-01-01

    The ROSAT WFC survey has provided us with evidence for the existence of a previously unidentified sample of hot white dwarfs (WD) in non-interacting binary systems, through the detection of EUV and soft X-ray emission. These stars are hidden at optical wavelengths due to their close proximity to much more luminous main sequence (MS) companions (spectral type K or earlier). However, for companions of spectral type A5 or later the white dwarfs are easily visible at far-UV wavelengths, and can be identified in spectra taken by IUE. Eleven white dwarf binary systems have previously been found in this way from ROSAT, EUVE and IUE observations (e.g. Barstow et al. 1994). In this paper we report the discovery of three more such systems through our programmes in recent episodes of IUE. The new binaries are HD2133, RE J0357+283 (whose existence was predicted by Jeffries, Burleigh and Robb 1996), and BD+27 1888. In addition, we have independently identified a fourth new WD+MS binary, RE J1027+322, which has also been r...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-15

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

  1. The Spectral Energy Distributions of White Dwarfs in 47 Tucanae: The Distance to the Cluster

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  2. Direct formation of millisecond pulsars from rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of massive white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Freire, Paulo C C

    2013-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are believed to be old neutron stars, formed via Type Ib/c core-collapse supernovae, which have subsequently been spun up to high rotation rates via accretion from a companion star in a highly circularised low-mass X-ray binary. The recent discoveries of Galactic field binary MSPs in eccentric orbits, and mass functions compatible with that expected for helium white dwarf companions, PSR J2234+06 and PSR J1946+3417, therefore challenge this picture. Here we present a hypothesis for producing this new class of systems, where the MSPs are formed directly from a rotationally-delayed accretion-induced collapse of a super-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. We compute the orbital properties of the MSPs formed in such events and demonstrate that our hypothesis can reproduce the observed eccentricities, masses and orbital periods of the white dwarfs, as well as forecasting the pulsar masses and velocities. Finally, we compare this hypothesis to a triple star scenario.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Barstow, M A; 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 HST. However, we also found an unexplained discrepancy between the spectroscopic and gravitational red-shift mass determinations. With the recovery of STIS, we have been able to revisit our observations of Sirius B with an improved observation strategy designed to reduce systematic errors on the gravitational red-shift measurement. We provide a preliminary report on the refined precision of the Sirius B mass-radius measurements and the extension of this technique to a larger sample of white dwarfs in resolved binaries. T...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. White dwarfs with hydrogen-deficient atmospheres and the dark matter content of the Galaxy

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, S; Isern, J; Garcia-Berro, E

    2010-01-01

    The nature of the several microlensing events observed by the MACHO team towards the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is still a subject of debate. Low-mass substellar objects and stars with masses larger than ~M_{sun} have been ruled out as major components of a Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Object (MACHO) Galactic halo, while stars of half a solar mass seem to be viable candidates. Main sequence stars have been already discarded, and there are tight restrictions on the role played by white dwarfs with hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. In this paper we evaluate the contribution to the dark matter content of the Galaxy of white dwarfs with hydrogen-deficient atmospheres. For this purpose we use a Monte Carlo simulator which incorporates up-to-date evolutionary sequences of white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres. We also take into account detailed descriptions of the thick disk and the halo of our Galaxy as well as of a reliable model of the LMC. We find that the contribution of whit...

  6. The effects of metallicity on the Galactic disk population of white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Cojocaru, Ruxandra; Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    It has been known for a long time that stellar metallicity plays a significant role in the determination of the ages of the different Galactic stellar populations, when main sequence evolutionary tracks are employed. Here we analyze the role that metallicity plays on the white dwarf luminosity function of the Galactic disk, which is often used to determine its age. We employ a Monte Carlo population synthesis code that accounts for the properties of the population of Galactic disk white dwarfs. Our code incorporates the most up-to-date evolutionary cooling sequences for white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres for both carbon-oxygen and oxygen-neon cores. We use two different models to assess the evolution of the metallicity, one in which the adopted metallicity is constant with time, but with a moderate dispersion, and a second one in which the metallicity increases with time. We found that our theoretical results are in a very satisfactory agreement with the observational luminosit...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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, ...

  8. Supernova 2011fe from an Exploding Carbon-Oxygen White Dwarf Star

    CERN Document Server

    Nugent, Peter E; 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

    2011-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have been used empirically as standardized candles to reveal the accelerating universe even though fundamental details, such as the nature of the progenitor system and how the star explodes, remained a mystery. There is consensus that a white dwarf star explodes after accreting matter in a binary system, but the secondary could be anything from a main sequence star to a red giant, or even another white dwarf. The uncertainty stems from the fact that no recent SN Ia has been discovered close enough to detect the stars before explosion. Here we report early observations of SN 2011fe (PTF11kly) in M101 at a distance of 6.4 Mpc, the closest SN Ia in the past 25 years. We find that the exploding star was likely a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, and from the lack of an early shock we conclude that the companion was most likely a main sequence star. Early spectroscopy shows high-velocity oxygen that varies on a time scale of hours and extensive mixing of newly synthesized intermediate mass ele...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  10. Do R Coronae Borealis Stars Form from Double White Dwarf Mergers?

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Kilic, Mukremin; Tremblay, P -E; von Hippel, Ted; Bergeron, P; Harris, Hugh C; Munn, Jeffrey A; Williams, Kurtis A; Gates, Evalyn; Farihi, J

    2010-01-01

    We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 126 cool white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Our sample includes high proper motion targets selected using the SDSS and USNO-B astrometry and a dozen previously known ultracool white dwarf candidates. Our optical spectroscopic observations demonstrate that a clean selection of large samples of cool white dwarfs in the SDSS (and the SkyMapper, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope datasets) is possible using a reduced proper motion diagram and a tangential velocity cut-off (depending on the proper motion accuracy) of 30 km/s. Our near-infrared observations reveal eight new stars with significant absorption. We use the optical and near-infrared photometry to perform a detailed model atmosphere analysis. More than 80% of the stars in our sample are consistent with either pure hydrogen or pure helium atmospheres. However, the eight stars with significant infrared absorption and the majority of the previously known ultra...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata; Rao, A. R.

    2016-05-01

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

  13. Magnetized Moving Mesh Merger of a Carbon-Oxygen White Dwarf Binary

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Chenchong; van Kerkwijk, Marten H; Chang, Philip

    2015-01-01

    White dwarf binary mergers are possible progenitors to a number of unusual stars and transient phenomena, including type Ia supernovae. To date, simulations of mergers have not included magnetic fields, even though they are believed to play a significant role in the evolution of the merger remnant. We simulated a 0.625 - 0.65 $M_{\\odot}$ carbon-oxygen white dwarf binary merger in the magnetohydrodynamic moving mesh code Arepo. Each white dwarf was given an initial dipole field with a surface value of $\\sim10^3$ G. As in simulations of merging double neutron star binaries, we find exponential field growth within Kelvin-Helmholtz instability-generated vortices during the coalescence of the two stars. The final field has complex geometry, and a strength $>10^{10}$ G at the center of the merger remnant. Its energy is $\\sim2\\times10^{47}$ ergs, $\\sim0.2$% of the remnant's total energy. The strong field likely influences further evolution of the merger remnant by providing a mechanism for angular momentum transfer ...

  14. Pulsating low-mass white dwarfs in the frame of new evolutionary sequences: II. Nonadiabatic analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Córsico, Alejandro H

    2016-01-01

    Low-mass ($M_{\\star}/M_{\\sun} \\lesssim 0.45$) white dwarfs, including the so called extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM, $M_{\\star}/M_{\\sun } \\lesssim 0.18-0.20$), are being currently discovered in the field of our Galaxy through dedicated photometric surveys. The fact that some of them pulsate opens the unparalleled chance for sounding their interiors. We present a detailed nonadiabatic pulsational analysis of such stars based on a new set of He-core white-dwarf models with masses ranging from $0.1554$ to $0.4352 M_{\\sun}$ derived by computing the non-conservative evolution of a binary system consisting of an initially $1 M_{\\sun}$ ZAMS star and a $1.4 M_{\\sun}$ neutron star. We have computed nonadiabatic radial modes and nonradial g and p modes to assess the dependence of the pulsational stability properties of these objects with stellar parameters such as the stellar mass, the effective temperature, and the convective efficiency. We found that a dense spectrum of unstable radial modes and nonradial g and ...

  15. DB white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10 and 12

    CERN Document Server

    Koester, Detlev

    2015-01-01

    White dwarfs with helium-dominated atmospheres comprise approximately 20% of all white dwarfs. Among the open questions 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 30000 - 45000K. We use the largest-ever sample (by a factor of 10) provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to study these questions. 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. 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 Msun, which is very simil...

  16. Supernova Type Ia progenitors from merging double white dwarfs: Using a new population synthesis model

    CERN Document Server

    Toonen, Silvia; Zwart, Simon Portegies

    2012-01-01

    The study of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) has lead to greatly improved insights into many fields in astrophysics, however a theoretical explanation of the origin of these events is still lacking. We investigate the potential contribution to the SNIa rate from the population of merging double carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. We aim to develope a model that fits the observed SNIa progenitors as well as the observed close double white dwarf population. We differentiate between two scenarios for the common envelope (CE) evolution; the alpha-formalism based on the energy equation and the gamma-formalism that is based on the angular momentum equation. In one model we apply the alpha-formalism always. In the second model the gamma-formalism is applied, unless the binary contains a compact object or the CE is triggered by a tidal instability for which the alpha-formalism is used. The binary population synthesis code SeBa was used to evolve binary systems from the zero-age main sequence to the formation of double white dwarfs...

  17. Evolution of Cataclysmic Variables and Related Binaries Containing a White-Dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    Kalomeni, B; Rappaport, S; Molnar, M; Quintin, J; Yakut, K

    2016-01-01

    We present a binary evolution study of cataclysmic variables (CVs) and related systems with white dwarf accretors, including for example, AM CVn systems, classical novae, supersoft X-ray sources, and systems with giant donor stars. Our approach intentionally avoids the complications associated with population synthesis algorithms thereby allowing us to present the first truly comprehensive exploration of all of the subsequent binary evolution pathways that ZACVs might follow (assuming fully non-conservative, Roche-lobe overflow onto an accreting WD) using the sophisticated binary stellar evolution code MESA. The grid consists of 56,000 initial models, including 14 white dwarf accretor masses, 43 donor-star masses ($0.1-4.7$ $M_{\\odot}$), and 100 orbital periods. We explore evolution tracks in the orbital period and donor-mass ($P_{\\rm orb}-M_{\\rm don}$) plane in terms of evolution dwell times, masses of the white dwarf accretor, accretion rate, and chemical composition of the center and surface of the donor s...

  18. A comparative analysis of the observed white dwarf cooling sequence from globular clusters

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  19. The basic structure of hot white dwarfs atmospheres as a function of composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Non-gray model atmospheres and continuum surface flux distributions for hot white dwarfs have been calculated using 7 different chemical compositions. These include typical DA, non-DA, 'HZ 21', and 'HZ 34' mixtures and (for comparison purposes) normal population I abundances. The models cover the range 3 104 K 4 K and have been calculated using our own model atmosphere and absorption coefficient program. The results are used to obtain a better qualitative and intuitive understanding of the properties of hot white dwarf atmospheres and their dependence on chemical composition. We discuss specifically the dependence of the surface cooling and backwarming effects as well as the atmospheric density on Tsub(eff) and on element abundances. Furthermore, we investigate the fundamental differences between the surface fluxes (especially in the UV) of DA, non-DA and 'normal composition' stars. The importance of the electron scattering contribution to the source function in determining the EUV surface flux of DA stars is strongly emphasized. Finally, we discuss the basic qualitative differences between the energy distribution of the surface flux from hot white dwarf photospheres and the predicted coronal radiation from non-DA stars. (orig.)

  20. Revisiting the axion bounds from the Galactic white dwarf luminosity function

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to check for the possible existence of DFSZ-axions, a proposed but not yet detected type of weakly interacting particles. With the aim of deriving new constraints on the axion mass, we compute in this paper new theoretical WDLFs on the basis of WD evolving models that incorporate for the feedback of axions on the thermal structure of the white dwarf. We find that the impact of the axion emission into the neutrino emission can not be neglected at high luminosities ($M_{\\rm Bol}\\lesssim 8$) and that the axion emission needs to be incorporated self-consistently into the evolution of the white dwarfs when dealing with axion masses larger than $m_a\\cos^2\\beta\\gtrsim 5$ meV (i.e. axion-electron coupling constant $g_{ae}\\gtrsim 1.4\\times 10^{-13}$). We went beyond previous works by including 5 different derivations of the WDLF in our analysis. Then we have performed $\\chi^2$-tests to have a quantitative measure of t...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Morgan, Dylan P; 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 increase in stellar activity. Previous studies show a strong correlation between dMs that are magnetically active (showing H{\\alpha} in emission) and the frequency of stellar flare rates. We examine the difference between the flare rates observed in close WD+dM binary systems and field dMs. Our sample consists of a subset of 181 close WD+dM pairs from Morgan et al. (2012) observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82, where we obtain multi-epoch observations in the Sloan ugriz-bands. We find an increase in the overa...

  3. Hydrodynamic Studies of the Evolution of Recurrent, Symbiotic, and Dwarf Novae: The White Dwarf Components are Growing in Mass

    CERN Document Server

    Starrfield, S; Iliadis, C; Hix, W R; Arnett, W D; Meakin, C; Sparks, W M

    2012-01-01

    Symbiotic binaries are systems containing white dwarfs (WDs) and red giants. Symbiotic novae are those systems in which thermonuclear eruptions occur on the WD components. These are to be distinguished from events driven by accretion disk instabilities analogous to dwarf novae eruptions in cataclysmic variable outbursts. Another class of symbiotic systems are those in which the WD is extremely luminous and it seems likely that quiescent nuclear burning is ongoing on the accreting WD. A fundamental question is the secular evolution of the WD. Do the repeated outbursts or quiescent burning in these accreting systems cause the WD to gain or lose mass? If it is gaining mass, can it eventually reach the Chandrasekhar Limit and become a supernova (a SN Ia if it can hide the hydrogen and helium in the system)? In order to better understand these systems, we have begun a new study of the evolution of Thermonuclear Runaways (TNRs) in the accreted envelopes of WDs using a variety of initial WD masses, luminosities and ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. A Binary Scenario for the Formation of Strongly Magnetized White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Nordhaus, J

    2011-01-01

    Since their initial discovery, the origin of isolated white dwarfs (WDs) with magnetic fields in excess of $\\sim$1 MG has remained a mystery. Recently, the formation of these high-field magnetic WDs has been observationally linked to strong binary interactions incurred during post-main-sequence evolution. Planetary, brown dwarf or stellar companions located within a few AU of main-sequence stars may become engulfed during the primary's expansion off the main sequence. Sufficiently low-mass companions in-spiral inside a common envelope until they are tidally shredded near the natal white dwarf. Formation of an accretion disk from the disrupted companion provides a source of turbulence and shear which act to amplify magnetic fields and transport them to the WD surface. We show that these disk-generated fields explain the observed range of magnetic field strengths for isolated, high-field magnetic WDs. Additionally, we discuss a high-mass binary analogue which generates a strongly-magnetized WD core inside a pre...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Barnes, Rory

    2012-01-01

    White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time, and hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water, and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10^-6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons as their surface temperatures are over 10^4 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not const...

  7. The accreting white dwarfs in BW Scl, BC UMa and SW UMa

    CERN Document Server

    Gänsicke, B T; Howell, S B; Sion, E M

    2005-01-01

    We have observed the short-period dwarf novae BW Scl, BC UMa and SW UMa using the Hubble Space Telescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. In all three systems, the white dwarf is the dominant source of far-ultraviolet flux, even though in BC UMa and SW UMa an additional continuum component contributes ~10% and ~20% of the 1400A flux, respectively. Fitting the data with detailed white dwarf model spectra, we determine the effective temperatures to be 14800+-900K (BW Scl), 15200+-1000K (BC UMa), and 13900+-900K (SW UMa). The additional continuum component in BC UMa and SW UMa is equally well described by either a blackbody or a power law, which could be associated with emission from the hot spot or from an optically thin accretion disk (or an optically thin layer on top of a colder optically thick disk), respectively. Modelling the narrow metal lines detected in the STIS spectra results in sub-solar abundances of carbon, oxygen and silicon for all three systems, and also suggests substantial supra-solar ab...

  8. Magnetic field effects on the mass-radius relation of white dwarfs} Magnetic fields and the M-R relation of white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvear Terrero, D.; Castillo García, M.; Manreza Paret, D.; Horvath, J. E.; Pérez Martínez, A.

    2015-11-01

    We study the anisotropic equation of state (EoS) in both strong and weak magnetic field approximations, taking into account the statistical, vacuum, and Maxwell contributions. In the strong field regime, we perform a polytropic parametrization to the anisotropic EoS, showing that the polytropic index Γ remains close to 4/3 and never reaches the value Γ=2. We solve the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff (TOV) equations with anisotropic pressures, discarding the super-Chandrasekhar masses for magnetized white dwarfs (WD). Also, we find the solutions of the anisotropic structure equations (considering cylindrical metric), which allows us to confirm the same bound of {B ˜ 1013} G from scalar virial theorem, since beyond this value there are no physical solutions.

  9. X-Ray Lines from Hot Flows around White Dwarfs. Application to SS Cygni

    CERN Document Server

    Menou, K; Raymond, J; Menou, Kristen; Perna, Rosalba; Raymond, John

    2001-01-01

    Instead of possessing a boundary layer at the interface between a disk and their stellar surface, White Dwarfs (WDs) in quiescent Dwarf Novae (DN) could accrete via an Advection-Dominated Accretion Flow (ADAF), responsible for the X-ray Bremsstrahlung emission observed. Such a hot accretion flow is also expected to produce characteristic thermal line emission. Using SS Cyg as a specific example, we show that knowing a priori the inclination and the WD mass in quiescent DN makes X-ray line diagnostics powerful probes of the flow structure in these systems. Current X-ray instruments can discriminate, from their width, between lines emitted from a flow with a Keplerian rotation rate and those emitted at a substantially sub-Keplerian rate. This could be used to observationally test the property of energy advection, which is at the origin of the partial radial pressure support by the hot gas and the sub-Keplerian rotation rate in an ADAF.

  10. The effect of $^{22}$Ne diffusion in the evolution and pulsational properties of white dwarfs with solar metallicity progenitors

    CERN Document Server

    Camisassa, María E; Córsico, Alejandro H; Vinyoles, Núria; Serenelli, Aldo M; Isern, Jordi; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; a--Berro, Enrique Garcí

    2016-01-01

    Because of the large neutron excess of $^{22}$Ne, this isotope rapidly sediments in the interior of the white dwarfs. This process releases an additional amount of energy, thus delaying the cooling times of the white dwarf. This influences the ages of different stellar populations derived using white dwarf cosmochronology. Furthermore, the overabundance of $^{22}$Ne in the inner regions of the star, modifies the Brunt-V\\"ais\\"al\\"a frequency, thus altering the pulsational properties of these stars. In this work, we discuss the impact of $^{22}$Ne sedimentation in white dwarfs resulting from Solar metallicity progenitors ($Z=0.02$). We performed evolutionary calculations of white dwarfs of masses $0.528$, $0.576$, $0.657$ and $0.833$ M$_{\\sun}$, derived from full evolutionary computations of their progenitor stars, starting at the Zero Age Main Sequence all the way through central hydrogen and helium burning, thermally-pulsing AGB and post-AGB phases. Our computations show that at low luminosities ($\\log(L/L_{...

  11. An independent constraint on the secular rate of variation of the gravitational constant from pulsating white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Córsico, Alejandro H; García-Berro, Enrique; Romero, Alejandra D

    2013-01-01

    A secular variation of the gravitational constant modifies the structure and evolutionary time scales of white dwarfs. Using an state-of-the-art stellar evolutionary code and an up-to-date pulsational code we compute the effects of a secularly varying $G$ on the pulsational properties of variable white dwarfs. Comparing the the theoretical results obtained taking into account the effects of a running $G$ with the observed periods and measured rates of change of the periods of two well studied pulsating white dwarfs, G117--B15A and R548, we place constraints on the rate of variation of Newton's constant. We derive an upper bound $\\dot G/G\\sim -1.8\\times 10^{-10}$ yr$^{-1}$ using the variable white dwarf G117--B15A, and $\\dot G/G\\sim -1.3\\times 10^{-10}$ yr$^{-1}$ using R548. Although these upper limits are currently less restrictive than those obtained using other techniques, they can be improved in a future measuring the rate of change of the period of massive white dwarfs.

  12. A white dwarf merger as progenitor of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61?

    CERN Document Server

    Rueda, J A; Izzo, L; Ruffini, R; Aguilar, P Loren; Kulebi, B; Siguan, G Aznar; Berro, E Garcia

    2013-01-01

    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 (SGRs) and Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars (AXPs). Moreover, it has also been shown that high-field magnetic (HFMWDs) 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 $1.2 M_{\\sun}$ white dwarf, remnant of the coalescence of an original system made of two white dwarfs of masses $0.6\\, M_{\\sun}$ and $1.0\\, M_{\\sun}$. Finally, we infer a post-merging age $\\tau_{\\rm WD}\\approx 64$ kyr, and a magnetic field $B\\approx 2\\times 10^8$ G. Evidence for such a magnetic field may come from th...

  13. New evolutionary sequences for hot H-deficient white dwarfs on the basis of a full account of progenitor evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, L G; Bertolami, M M Miller; García-Berro, E; Córsico, A H; Romero, A D; Kepler, S O; Rohrmann, R D

    2009-01-01

    We present full evolutionary calculations appropriate for the study of hot hydrogen-deficent DO white dwarfs, PG 1159 stars, and DB white dwarfs. White dwarf sequences are computed for a wide range of stellar masses and helium envelopes on the basis of a complete treatment of the evolutionary history of progenitors stars, including the core hydrogen and helium burning phases, the thermally-pulsing AGB phase, and the born-again episode that is responsible for the hydrogen deficiency. We also provide colors and magnitudes for the new sequences for $T_{\\rm eff} < 40 000$ K, where the NLTE effects are not dominant. These new calculations provide an homogeneous set of evolutionary tracks appropriate for mass and age determinations for both PG 1159 stars and DO white dwarfs. The calculations are extended down to an effective temperature of 7 000 K. We applied these new tracks to redetermine stellar masses and ages of all known DO white dwarfs with spectroscopically-determined effective temperatures and gravities...

  14. An independent constraint on the secular rate of variation of the gravitational constant from pulsating white dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Córsico, Alejandro H.; Althaus, Leandro G. [Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, (1900) La Plata (Argentina); García-Berro, Enrique [Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades, 5, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Romero, Alejandra D., E-mail: acorsico@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: althaus@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: enrique.garcia-berro@upc.edu, E-mail: alejandra.romero@ufrgs.br [Departamento de Astronomia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Goncalves 9500, Porto Alegre 91501-970, RS (Brazil)

    2013-06-01

    A secular variation of the gravitational constant modifies the structure and evolutionary time scales of white dwarfs. Using an state-of-the-art stellar evolutionary code and an up-to-date pulsational code we compute the effects of a secularly varying G on the pulsational properties of variable white dwarfs. Comparing the the theoretical results obtained taking into account the effects of a running G with the observed periods and measured rates of change of the periods of two well studied pulsating white dwarfs, G117-B15A and R548, we place constraints on the rate of variation of Newton's constant. We derive an upper bound Ġ/G ∼ −1.8 × 10{sup −10} yr{sup −1} using the variable white dwarf G117-B15A, and Ġ/G ∼ −1.3 × 10{sup −10} yr{sup −1} using R548. Although these upper limits are currently less restrictive than those obtained using other techniques, they can be improved in a future measuring the rate of change of the period of massive white dwarfs.

  15. An independent limit on the axion mass from the variable white dwarf star R548

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Córsico, A.H.; Althaus, L.G. [Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, (1900) La Plata (Argentina); Romero, A.D.; Kepler, S.O. [Departamento de Astronomia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Goncalves 9500, Porto Alegre 91501-970, RS (Brazil); Mukadam, A.S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1580 (United States); García-Berro, E. [Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades 5, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Isern, J. [Institut de Ciències de l' Espai (CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Corti, M.A., E-mail: acorsico@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: althaus@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: aromero@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: anjum@astro.washington.edu, E-mail: enrique.garcia-berro@upc.edu, E-mail: isern@ice.cat, E-mail: kepler@if.ufrgs.br, E-mail: mariela@fcaglp.fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar [Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (CCT-La Plata, CONICET), C.C. No. 5, 1894 Villa Elisa (Argentina)

    2012-12-01

    Pulsating white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich atmospheres, also known as DAV stars, can be used as astrophysical laboratories to constrain the properties of fundamental particles like axions. Comparing the measured cooling rates of these stars with the expected values from theoretical models allows us to search for sources of additional cooling due to the emission of weakly interacting particles. In this paper, we present an independent inference of the mass of the axion using the recent determination of the evolutionary cooling rate of R548, the DAV class prototype. We employ a state-of-the-art code which allows us to perform a detailed asteroseismological fit based on fully evolutionary sequences. Stellar cooling is the solely responsible of the rates of change of period with time (.Π)) for the DAV class. Thus, the inclusion of axion emission in these sequences notably influences the evolutionary timescales, and also the expected pulsational properties of the DAV stars. This allows us to compare the theoretical .Π) values to the corresponding empirical rate of change of period with time of R548 to discern the presence of axion cooling. We found that if the dominant period at 213.13 s in R548 is associated with a pulsation mode trapped in the hydrogen envelope, our models indicate the existence of additional cooling in this pulsating white dwarf, consistent with axions of mass m{sub a}cos {sup 2}β ∼ 17.1 meV at a 2σ confidence level. This determination is in agreement with the value inferred from another well-studied DAV, G117-B15A. We now have two independent and consistent estimates of the mass of the axion obtained from DAVs, although additional studies of other pulsating white dwarfs are needed to confirm this value of the axion mass.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  18. Mass-radius relations for white dwarf stars of different internal compositions

    OpenAIRE

    Panei, J. A.; Althaus, L.G.; Benvenuto, O. G.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this work is to present accurate and detailed mass-radius relations for white dwarf (WD) models with helium, carbon, oxygen, silicon and iron cores, by using a fully updated stellar evolutionary code. We considered masses from 0.15 to 0.5 Mo for the case of helium core, from 0.45 to 1.2 Mo for carbon, oxygen and silicon cores and from 0.45 to 1.0 Mo for the case of an iron core. In view of recent measurements made by Hipparcos that strongly suggest the existence of WDs with an ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, M. [Departamento de Física, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, ITA - DCTA, Vila das Acácias, São José dos Campos, 12228-900 SP (Brazil); Coelho, J. G. [INPE - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Divisão de Astrofísica, Av. dos Astronautas 1758, São José dos Campos, 12227-010 SP (Brazil)

    2015-12-17

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

  2. P-process nucleosynthesis during He-detonation in sub-Chandrasekhar CO white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goriely, S.; José, J.; Hernanz, M.; Rayet, M.; Arnould, M.

    2003-05-01

    He-accreting white dwarfs with sub-Chandrasekhar mass are revisited. It is shown that the considered scenario can be the site of an αp-process combined with a p-process and with a variant of the rp-process we refer to as the pn-process. We define the conditions under which the derived distribution of the abundances of the p-nuclides in the ejecta, including the puzzling light Mo and Ru isotopes, mimics the solar-system one.

  3. P-process nucleosynthesis during He-detonation in sub-Chandrasekhar CO white dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goriely, S.; Jose, J.; Hernanz, M.; Rayet, M.; Arnould, M

    2003-05-05

    He-accreting white dwarfs with sub-Chandrasekhar mass are revisited. It is shown that the considered scenario can be the site of an {alpha}p-process combined with a p-process and with a variant of the rp-process we refer to as the pn-process. We define the conditions under which the derived distribution of the abundances of the p-nuclides in the ejecta, including the puzzling light Mo and Ru isotopes, mimics the solar-system one.

  4. Critical angular velocity of uniformly rotating white dwarfs. Technical summary report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miketinac, M.J.

    1976-05-01

    The equilibrium configurations of uniformly rotating white dwarfs are calculated numerically as an application of the finite difference--finite expansion method pioneered by Stoeckly. The latest version of the Harrison--Wheeler equation of state is used, together with the post-Newtonian equations of structure. No other approximation is made. The resulting critical values for the angular velocity agree in order of magnitude with a 'crude' approximation to these values by Hartle and Thorne, but fractional differences in mean radius and in mass and eccentricities are very different. (GRA)

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  6. The age-metallicity relation in the solar neighbourhood from a pilot sample of white dwarf-main sequence binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A; García-Berro, E; Freeman, K C; Cojocaru, R; Manser, C J; Pala, A F; Gänsicke, B T; Liu, X -W

    2016-01-01

    The age-metallicity relation (AMR) is a fundamental observational constraint for understanding how the Galactic disc formed and evolved chemically in time. However, there is not yet an agreement on the observational properties of the AMR for the solar neighbourhood, primarily due to the difficulty in obtaining accurate stellar ages for individual field stars. We have started an observational campaign for providing the much needed observational input by using wide white dwarf-main sequence (WDMS) binaries. White dwarfs are natural clocks and can be used to derive accurate ages. Metallicities can be obtained from the main sequence companions. Since the progenitors of white dwarfs and the main sequence stars were born at the same time, WDMS binaries provide a unique opportunity to observationally constrain in a robust way the properties of the AMR. In this work we present the AMR derived from analysing a pilot sample of 23 WDMS binaries and provide clear observational evidence for the lack of correlation between...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Bera, Prasanta

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  9. Photospheric phosphorus in the FUSE spectra of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Dobbie, P; Hubeny, I; Holberg, J; Burleigh, M; Forbes, A; Dobbie, Paul; Barstow, Martin; Hubeny, Ivan; Holberg, Jay; Burleigh, Matt; Forbes, Anne

    2005-01-01

    We report the detection, from FUSE data, of phosphorus in the atmospheres of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs. This is the first detection of a trace metal in the photosphere of the spectrophotometric standard star GD71. Collectively, these objects represent the coolest DA white dwarfs in which photospheric phosphorus has been observed. We use a grid of homogeneous non-LTE synthetic spectra to measure abundances of[P/H]=-8.57 +0.09 -0.13, -8.70 +0.23 -0.37 and -8.36 +0.14 -0.19 in GD71, RE J1918+595 and RE J0605-482 respectively. At the observed level we find phosphorus has no significant impact on the overall energy distribution of GD71. We explore possible mechanisms responsible for the presence of this element in these stars, concluding that the most likely is an interplay between radiative levitation and gravitational settling but possibly modified by weak mass loss.

  10. Effect of Radiative Levitation on Calculations of Accretion Rates in White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Chayer, P

    2010-01-01

    Elements heavier than hydrogen or helium that are present in the atmospheres of white dwarfs with effective temperatures lower than 25,000 K, are believed to be the result of accretion. By measuring the abundances of these elements and by assuming a steady-state accretion, we can derive the composition of the accreted matter and infer its source. The presence of radiative levitation, however, may affect the determination of the accretion rate. We present time-dependent diffusion calculations that take into account radiative levitation and accretion. The calculations are performed on C, N, O, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ar, and Ca in hydrogen-rich white dwarf models with effective temperatures lower than 25,000 K and a gravity of log g = 8.0. We show that in the presence of accretion, the abundance of an element supported by the radiative levitation is given by the equilibrium between the radiative and gravitational accelerations, unless the abundance predicted by the steady-state accretion is much greater than the...

  11. Two new pulsating low-mass pre-white dwarfs or SX Phenix stars?*

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

    Context. The discovery of pulsations in low-mass stars opens an opportunity for probing their interiors and to determine their evolution, by employing the tools of asteroseismology. Aims. We aim to analyze high-speed photometry of SDSSJ145847.02$+$070754.46 and SDSSJ173001.94$+$070600.25 and discover brightness variabilities. In order to locate these stars in the $T_{\\rm eff} - \\log g$ diagram we fit optical spectra (SDSS) with synthetic non-magnetic spectra derived from model atmospheres. Methods. To carry out this study, we used the photometric data obtained by us for these stars with the 2.15m telescope at CASLEO, Argentina. We analyzed their light curves and we apply the Discrete Fourier Transform to determine the pulsation frequencies. Finally, we compare both stars in the $T_{\\rm eff} - \\log g$ diagram, with known two pre-white dwarfs, seven pulsating pre-ELM white dwarf stars, $\\delta$ Scuti and SX Phe stars. Results. We report the discovery of pulsations in SDSSJ145847.02$+$070754.46 and SDSSJ173001.9...

  12. Type Ia Supernova Explosions from Hybrid Carbon-Oxygen-Neon White Dwarf Progenitors

    CERN Document Server

    Willcox, Donald E; Calder, Alan C; Denissenkov, Pavel A; Herwig, Falk

    2016-01-01

    Motivated by recent results in stellar evolution that predict the existence of hybrid white dwarf (WD) stars with a C-O core inside an O-Ne shell, we simulate thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae from these hybrid progenitors. We use the FLASH code to perform multidimensional simulations in the deflagration to detonation transition (DDT) explosion paradigm. Our hybrid progenitor models were produced with the MESA stellar evolution code and include the effects of the Urca process, and we map the progenitor model to the FLASH grid. We performed a suite of DDT simulations over a range of ignition conditions consistent with the progenitor's thermal and convective structure assuming multiple ignition points. To compare the results from these hybrid WD stars to previous results from C-O white dwarfs, we construct a set of C-O WD models with similar properties and similarly simulate a suite of explosions. We find that despite significant variability within each suite, trends distinguishing the explosions are apparent ...

  13. PSR J1738+0333: The First Millisecond Pulsar + Pulsating White Dwarf Binary

    CERN Document Server

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, A; Brown, Warren R

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of the first millisecond pulsar with a pulsating white dwarf companion. Following the recent discoveries of pulsations in extremely low-mass (ELM, <0.3 Msol) white dwarfs (WDs), we targeted ELM WD companions to two millisecond pulsars with high-speed Gemini photometry. We find significant optical variability in PSR J1738+0333 with periods between roughly 1790-3060 s, consistent in timescale with theoretical and empirical observations of pulsations in 0.17 Msol He-core ELM WDs. We additionally put stringent limits on a lack of variability in PSR J1909-3744, showing this ELM WD is not variable to <0.1 per cent amplitude. Thanks to the accurate distance and radius estimates from radio timing measurements, PSR J1738+0333 becomes a benchmark for low-mass, pulsating WDs. Future, more extensive time-series photometry of this system offers an unprecedented opportunity to constrain the physical parameters (including the cooling age) and interior structure of this ELM WD, and in turn, the ...

  14. Component masses of young, wide, non-magnetic white dwarf binaries in the SDSS DR7

    CERN Document Server

    Baxter, R B; Parker, Q A; Casewell, S L; Lodieu, N; Burleigh, M R; Lawrie, K A; Kulebi, B; Koester, D; Holland, B R

    2014-01-01

    We present a spectroscopic component analysis of 18 candidate young, wide, non-magnetic, double-degenerate binaries identified from a search of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 (DR7). All but two pairings are likely to be physical systems. We show SDSS J084952.47+471247.7 + SDSS J084952.87+471249.4 to be a wide DA+DB binary, only the second identified to date. Combining our measurements for the components of 16 new binaries with results for three similar, previously known systems within the DR7, we have constructed a mass distribution for the largest sample to date (38) of white dwarfs in young, wide, non-magnetic, double-degenerate pairings. This is broadly similar in form to that of the isolated field population with a substantial peak around M~0.6 Msun. We identify an excess of ultra-massive white dwarfs and attribute this to the primordial separation distribution of their progenitor systems peaking at relatively larger values and the greater expansion of their binary orbits during the final sta...

  15. Importance of Tides for Periastron Precession in Eccentric Neutron Star - White Dwarf Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Sravan, Niharika; Kalogera, Vassiliki; Althaus, Leandro G

    2014-01-01

    Although not nearly as numerous as binaries with two white dwarfs, eccentric neutron star-white dwarf (NS-WD) binaries are important gravitational wave sources for the next generation of space-based detectors sensitive to low frequency waves. Here we investigate periastron precession in these sources as a result of general relativistic, tidal, and rotational effects; such precession is expected to be detectable for at least some of the detected binaries of this type. Currently, two eccentric NS-WD binaries are known in the galactic field, PSR J1141-6545 and PSR B2303+46, both of which have orbits too wide to be relevant in their current state to gravitational-wave observations. However, population synthesis studies predict the existence of a significant Galactic population of such systems. We find that the contribution from tides should not be neglected when analyzing periastron precession signatures in gravitational-wave signals: not accounting for tides can produce errors as high as a factor of 80 in the WD...

  16. Asymmetry and the Nucleosynthetic Signature of Nearly Edge-Lit Detonation in White Dwarf Cores

    CERN Document Server

    Chamulak, David A; Seitenzahl, Ivo R; Truran, James W

    2011-01-01

    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 near edge-lit detonation results in asymmetries in the density and thermal profiles, notably the expansion timescale, throughout the supernova. 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 asymmetry stems from the fact that in one hemisphere the propagation direction of the detonation wave is largely in the direction of final (radial) expansion, whereas in the ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 ...

  1. A RADIO SEARCH FOR PULSAR COMPANIONS TO SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We have conducted a search for pulsar companions to 15 low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs; M sun) at 820 MHz with the NRAO Green Bank Telescope (GBT). These LMWDs were spectroscopically identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and do not show the photometric excess or spectroscopic signature associated with a companion in their discovery data. However, LMWDs are believed to evolve in binary systems and to have either a more massive white dwarf (WD) or a neutron star (NS) as a companion. Indeed, evolutionary models of low-mass X-ray binaries, the precursors of millisecond pulsars (MSPs), produce significant numbers of LMWDs, suggesting that the SDSS LMWDs may have NS companions. No convincing pulsar signal is detected in our data. This is consistent with the findings of van Leeuwen et al., who conducted a GBT search for radio pulsations at 340 MHz from unseen companions to eight SDSS WDs (five are still considered LMWDs; the three others are now classified as 'ordinary' WDs). We discuss the constraints our nondetections place on the probability P MSP that the companion to a given LMWD is a radio pulsar in the context of the luminosity and acceleration limits of our search; we find that P MSP +4-2%.

  2. Tidal Tail Ejection as a Signature of Type~Ia Supernovae from White Dwarf Mergers

    CERN Document Server

    Raskin, Cody

    2013-01-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs may be preceded by the ejection of some mass in "tidal tails", creating a circumstellar medium around the system. We consider the variety of observational signatures from this material, which depend on the lag time between the start of the merger and the ultimate explosion (assuming one occurs) of the system in a Type Ia supernova. If the time lag is fairly short, the interaction of the supernova ejecta with the tails could lead to detectable shock emission at radio, optical, and/or x-ray wavelengths. At somewhat later times, the tails produce relatively broad NaID absorption lines with velocity widths of order the white dwarf escape speed ($\\sim 1000$ \\kms). That none of these signatures have been detected in normal SNe Ia constrains the lag time to be either very short ($\\lesssim 100$ s) or fairly long ($\\gtrsim 100$ yr). If the tails have expanded and cooled over timescales $\\sim 10^4$ yr, they could be observable through narrow NaID and CaII H&K absorption lines in the s...

  3. Optical Identification of He White Dwarfs Orbiting Four Millisecond Pulsars in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

    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 cooling sequences, consistent with the cooling tracks of He white dwarfs of mass between 0.15 Msun and 0.20 Msun. 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 in 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 2-sig...

  4. Hidden Photon Compton and Bremsstrahlung in White Dwarf Anomalous Cooling and Luminosity Functions

    CERN Document Server

    Chang, Chia-Feng

    2016-01-01

    We computed the contribution of the Compton and Bremsstrahlung processes with a hidden light $U(1)_D$ neutral boson $\\gamma_D$ to the white dwarf G117-B15A anomalous cooling rate, as well as the white dwarf luminosity functions (WDLF). We demonstrated that for a light mass of hidden photon ($m_{\\gamma_D} \\ll$ a few keV), compatible results are obtained for the recent Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey observation, but the stringent limits would be imposed on the kinetic mixing $\\epsilon$. We performed $\\chi^2$-tests to acquire a quantitative assessment on the WDLF data in the context of our model, computed under the assumption of different kinetic mixing $\\epsilon$, the age of the oldest computed stars $T_D$, and a constant star formation rate $\\psi$. Then taken together, the WDLF analysis of 2$\\sigma$ confidence interval $\\epsilon = \\left( 0.37^{+0.35}_{-0.37}\\right) \\times 10^{-14}$ is barely consistent with the cooling rate analysis at 2$\\sigma$ regime $\\epsilon = \\left( 0.97^{+0.35}_{...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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. Strong linear polarization of bremsstrahlung emissivity in photospheres of magnetic white dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bubukina, I I; Koryagin, S A, E-mail: koryagin@appl.sci-nnov.r [Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 46 Uljanova str., Nizhny Novgorod 603950 (Russian Federation)

    2009-06-01

    We discuss the strong linear polarization and the appreciable decrease of the bremsstrahlung emissivity at frequencies below the electron cyclotron frequency (infrared wave band) in the photospheres of the isolated magnetic white dwarfs. In the photospheres of strongly magnetized white dwarfs (B > 10{sup 7} G, T approx 10{sup 4} K), the electron's Larmor radius becomes smaller than the characteristic impact parameter of close Coulomb collisions in a non-magnetized plasma. Thus, the cyclotron period of the electron becomes smaller than the duration of all distant collisions and of most close collisions. The magnetic field effectively 'freezes' the electron motion in the plane transverse to the magnetic field lines. The resulting motion is nearly one-dimensional and parallel to the magnetic field, inducing a strong linear polarization of the bremsstrahlung emission. Being attached to a magnetic field line, an electron cannot approach an ion as closely as it does in the case in which the magnetic field is absent. Thus, the bremsstrahlung emissivity appreciably decreases. We analytically compute an approximation to the spectrum of the strongly linear polarized bremsstrahlung emissivity at the frequencies below the electron cyclotron frequency.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robitaille, Pierre-Marie

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Optical spectroscopy of the candidate luminous white dwarf in the young LMC cluster NGC1818

    CERN Document Server

    Burleigh, M R; Gilmore, G F; Napiwotzki, R

    1999-01-01

    An optical spectrum of the Elson et al. (1998) candidate luminous white dwarf in the young LMC cluster NGC1818 shows conclusively that it is not a degenerate star. A model atmosphere fit gives T=31,500K and log g=4.4, typical of a garden-variety main sequence B star. However, if it is a true LMC member then the star is under-luminous by almost three magnitudes. Its position in the cluster colour-magnitude diagram also rules out the possibility that this is an ordinary B star. The luminosity is, however, consistent with a ~0.5 solar mass post-AGB or post-EHB object, although if it has evolved via single star evolution from a high mass (7.6-9.0 solar masses) progenitor then we might expect it to have a much higher mass, $\\sim0.9\\Msun$. Alternatively, it has evolved in a close binary. In this case the object offers no implications for the maximum mass for white dwarf progenitors, or the initial-final mass relation. Finally, we suggest that it could in fact be an evolved member of the LMC disk, and merely project...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  13. Helium-Core White Dwarfs in the Globular Cluster NGC 6397

    CERN Document Server

    Strickler, R R; Anderson, J; Cohn, H N; Lugger, P M; Serenelli, A M

    2009-01-01

    We present results of a study of the central regions of NGC 6397 using Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, focusing on a group of 24 faint blue stars that form a sequence parallel to, but brighter than, the more populated sequence of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (CO WDs). Using F625W, F435W, and F658N filters with the Wide Field Channel we show that these stars, 18 of which are newly discovered, have magnitudes and colors consistent with those of helium-core white dwarfs (He WDs) with masses ~ 0.2-0.3 Msun. Their H-alpha--R625 colors indicate that they have strong H-alpha absorption lines, which distinguishes them from cataclysmic variables in the cluster. The radial distribution of the He WDs is significantly more concentrated to the cluster center than that of either the CO WDs or the turnoff stars and most closely resembles that of the cluster's blue stragglers. Binary companions are required to explain the implied dynamical masses. We show that the companions cannot be main-sequence stars ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  16. Why DA and DB white dwarfs do not show coronal activity and p-mode oscillations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The problems of nonradiative heating of outer atmospheric layers and p-mode oscillations in white dwarfs caused by acoustic waves generated in convective zones are discussed. These effects have been studied by calculating the cutoff periods for adiabatic and isothermal waves propagating in atmospheres of DA and DB stars with Teff greater than or equal 20,000 K and log g = 6-9. The obtained cutoff periods are approximately bounded by 0.01 and 40 sec for high- and low-gravity white dwarfs, respectively. Expected amplitudes of p-mode oscillations corresponding to trapped acoustic waves with small angular wave numbers are estimated, indicating that the amplitudes could be observed as Doppler shifts of spectral lines which might be detectable if adequate spectral resolution were available. The luminosity variations corresponding to these amplitudes are unlikely to be observable when all damping processes are accounted for. Results also indicate that the present theory of convection predicts some irregularities in the behavior of physical parameters. 34 refs

  17. KOI 1224, a Fourth Bloated Hot White Dwarf Companion Found With Kepler

    CERN Document Server

    Breton, Rene P; van Kerkwijk, Marten H; Carter, Josh A

    2011-01-01

    We present an analysis and interpretation of the Kepler binary system KOI 1224. This is the fourth binary found with Kepler that consists of a thermally bloated, hot white dwarf in a close orbit with a more or less normal star of spectral class A or F. As we show, KOI 1224 contains a white dwarf with Teff = 14400 +/- 1100 K, mass = 0.20 +/- 0.02 Msun, and radius = 0.103 +/- 0.004 Rsun, and an F-star companion of mass = 1.59 +/- 0.07 Msun that is somewhat beyond its terminal-age main sequence. The orbital period is quite short at 2.69802 days. The ingredients that are used in the analysis are the Kepler binary light curve, including the detection of the Doppler boosting effect; the NUV and FUV fluxes from the Galex images of this object; an estimate of the spectral type of the F-star companion; and evolutionary models of the companion designed to match its effective temperature and mean density. The light curve is modelled with a new code named Icarus which we describe in detail. Its features include the full ...

  18. Asteroseismic test of rotational mixing in low-mass white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Istrate, A G; Gianninas, A; Grassitelli, L; Marchant, P; Tauris, T M; Langer, N

    2016-01-01

    We exploit the recent discovery of pulsations in mixed-atmosphere (He/H), extremely low-mass white dwarf precursors (ELM proto-WDs) to test the proposition that rotational mixing is a fundamental process in the formation and evolution of low-mass helium core white dwarfs. Rotational mixing has been shown to be a mechanism able to compete efficiently against gravitational settling, thus accounting naturally for the presence of He, as well as traces of metals such as Mg and Ca, typically found in the atmospheres of ELM proto-WDs. Here we investigate whether rotational mixing can maintain a sufficient amount of He in the deeper driving region of the star, such that it can fuel, through HeII-HeIII ionization, the observed pulsations in this type of stars. Using state-of-the-art evolutionary models computed with MESA, we show that rotational mixing can indeed explain qualitatively the very existence and general properties of the known pulsating, mixed-atmosphere ELM proto-WDs. Moreover, such objects are very likel...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  20. Stellar Evolution in NGC 6791: Mass Loss on the Red Giant Branch and the Formation of Low Mass White Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    Kalirai, Jasonjot S.; Bergeron, P.; Hansen, Brad M. S.; Kelson, Daniel D.; Reitzel, David B.; Rich, R. Michael; Richer, Harvey B.

    2007-01-01

    We present the first detailed study of the properties (temperatures, gravities, and masses) of the NGC 6791 white dwarf population. This unique stellar system is both one of the oldest (8 Gyr) and most metal-rich ([Fe/H] ~ 0.4) open clusters in our Galaxy, and has a color-magnitude diagram (CMD) that exhibits both a red giant clump and a much hotter extreme horizontal branch. Fitting the Balmer lines of the white dwarfs in the cluster, using Keck/LRIS spectra, suggests that most of these star...

  1. The Solar Neighborhood. XXI. Parallax Results from the CTIOPI 0.9m Program: 20 New Members of the 25 Parsec White Dwarf Sample

    CERN Document Server

    Subasavage, John P; Henry, Todd J; Bergeron, P; Dufour, P; Ianna, Philip A; Costa, Edgardo; Mendez, Rene A

    2009-01-01

    We present accurate trigonometric parallaxes for 20 new members of the 25 pc white dwarf sample as part of the DENSE project (Discovery and Evalution of Nearby Stellar Embers, http://www.DenseProject.com). Previously, there were a total of 112 white dwarf systems with trigonometric parallaxes placing them within 25 pc and of these, 99 have trigonometric parallaxes known to better than 10%. Thus, the 20 new members presented in this work represent a 20% increase in the number of white dwarfs accurately known to be within 25 pc. In addition, we present updated parallaxes for seven known white dwarfs within 10 pc that have been observed as part of the ASPENS initiative (Astrometric Search for Planets Encircling Nearby Stars) to monitor nearby southern red and white dwarfs for astrometric perturbations from unseen companions. Including a few white dwarf companions and white dwarfs beyond 25 pc, we present a total of 33 trigonometric parallaxes. We perform atmospheric modeling for white dwarfs to determine physica...

  2. Kepler monitoring of an L dwarf I. The photometric period and white light flares

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gizis, John E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Burgasser, Adam J. [Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Berger, Edo; Williams, Peter K. G. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Vrba, Frederick J. [US Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station, 10391 West Naval Observatory Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Cruz, Kelle L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Hunter College, City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 (United States); Metchev, Stanimir [Department of Physics and Astronomy, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (United States)

    2013-12-20

    We report on the results of 15 months of monitoring the nearby field L1 dwarf WISEP J190648.47+401106.8 (W1906+40) with the Kepler mission. Supporting observations with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array and Gemini North Telescope reveal that the L dwarf is magnetically active, with quiescent radio and variable Hα emission. A preliminary trigonometric parallax shows that W1906+40 is at a distance of 16.35{sub −0.34}{sup +0.36} pc, and all observations are consistent with W1906+40 being an old disk star just above the hydrogen-burning limit. The star shows photometric variability with a period of 8.9 hr and an amplitude of 1.5%, with a consistent phase throughout the year. We infer a radius of 0.92 ± 0.07R{sub J} and sin i > 0.57 from the observed period, luminosity (10{sup –3.67} {sup ±} {sup 0.03} L {sub ☉}), effective temperature (2300 ± 75 K), and vsin i (11.2 ± 2.2 km s{sup –1}). The light curve may be modeled with a single large, high latitude dark spot. Unlike many L-type brown dwarfs, there is no evidence of other variations at the ≳ 2% level, either non-periodic or transient periodic, that mask the underlying rotation period. We suggest that the long-lived surface features may be due to starspots, but the possibility of cloud variations cannot be ruled out without further multi-wavelength observations. During the Gemini spectroscopy, we observed the most powerful flare ever seen on an L dwarf, with an estimated energy of ∼1.6 × 10{sup 32} erg in white light emission. Using the Kepler data, we identify similar flares and estimate that white light flares with optical/ultraviolet energies of 10{sup 31} erg or more occur on W1906+40 as often as 1-2 times per month.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Discovery of an extremely weak magnetic field in the white dwarf LTT 16093 = WD2047+372

    CERN Document Server

    Landstreet, J D; Martin, A; Valyavin, G

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic fields have been detected in several hundred white dwarfs, with strengths ranging from a few kG to several hundred MG. Only a few of the known fields have a mean magnetic field modulus below about 1 MG. We are searching for new examples of magnetic white dwarfs with very weak fields, and trying to model the few known examples. Our search is intended to be sensitive enough to detect fields at the few kG level. We have been surveying bright white dwarfs for very weak fields using spectropolarimeters at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, the William Herschel telescope, the European Southern Observatory, and the Russian Special Astrophysical Observatory. We discuss in some detail tests of the WHT spectropolarimeter ISIS using the known magnetic strong-field Ap star HD 215441 (Babcock's star) and the long-period Ap star HD 201601 (gamma Equ). We report the discovery of a field with a mean field modulus of about 57 kG in the white dwarf LTT 16093 = WD2047+372. The field is clearly detected through the Zee...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winget, Donald

    2011-10-01

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

  6. The relativistic pulsar-white dwarf binary PSR J1738+0333 I. Mass determination and evolutionary history

    CERN Document Server

    Antoniadis, J; Koester, D; Freire, P C C; Wex, N; Tauris, T M; Kramer, M; Bassa, C G

    2012-01-01

    PSR J1738+0333 is one of the four millisecond pulsars known to be orbited by a white dwarf companion bright enough for optical spectroscopy. Of these, it has the shortest orbital period, making it especially interesting for a range of astrophysical and gravity related questions. We present a spectroscopic and photometric study of the white dwarf companion and infer its radial velocity curve, effective temperature, surface gravity and luminosity. We find that the white dwarf has properties consistent with those of low-mass white dwarfs with thick hydrogen envelopes, and use the corresponding mass-radius relation to infer its mass; M_WD = 0.181 +/- +0.007/-0.005 solar masses. Combined with the mass ratio q=8.1 +/- 0.2 inferred from the radial velocities and the precise pulsar timing ephemeris, the neutron star mass is constrained to M_PSR = 1.47 +/- +0.07/-0.06 solar masses. Contrary to expectations, the latter is only slightly above the Chandrasekhar limit. We find that, even if the birth mass of the neutron s...

  7. DA white dwarfs from the LSS-GAC survey DR1: the preliminary luminosity and mass functions and formation rate

    CERN Document Server

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A; Cojocaru, R; Yuan, H -B; Torres, S; Garcia-Berro, E; Xiang, M -X; Huang, Y; Koester, D; Hou, Y; Li, G; Zhang, Y

    2015-01-01

    Modern large-scale surveys have allowed the identification of large numbers of white dwarfs. However, these surveys are subject to complicated target selection algorithms, which make it almost impossible to quantify to what extent the observational biases affect the observed populations. The LAMOST (Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope) Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic anti-center (LSS-GAC) follows a well-defined set of criteria for selecting targets for observations. This advantage over previous surveys has been fully exploited here to identify a small yet well-characterised magnitude-limited sample of hydrogen-rich (DA) white dwarfs. We derive preliminary LSS-GAC DA white dwarf luminosity and mass functions. The space density and average formation rate of DA white dwarfs we derive are 0.83+/-0.16 x 10^{-3} pc^{-3} and 5.42 +/- 0.08 x 10^{-13} pc^{-3} yr^{-1}, respectively. Additionally, using an existing Monte Carlo population synthesis code we simulate the population of single DA w...

  8. An aluminum/calcium-rich, iron-poor, white dwarf star: evidence for an extrasolar planetary lithosphere?

    CERN Document Server

    Zuckerman, B; Dufour, P; Melis, Carl; Klein, B; Jura, M

    2011-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  10. The chemical composition of White Dwarfs as a test of convective efficiency during core He-burning

    CERN Document Server

    Straniero, O; Imbriani, G; Piersanti, L; Straniero, Oscar; Dominguez, Inma; Imbriani, Gianluca; Piersanti, Luciano

    2003-01-01

    Pulsating white dwarfs provide constraints to the evolution of progenitor stars. We revise He-burning stellar models, with particular attention to core convection and to its connection with the nuclear reactions powering energy generation and chemical evolution Theoretical results are compared to the available measurements for the variable white dwarf GD 358, which indicate a rather large abundance of central oxygen. We show that the attempt to constrain the relevant nuclear reaction rate by means of the white dwarf composition is faced with a large degree of uncertainty related to evaluating the efficiency of convection-induced mixing.By combining the uncertainty of the convection theory with the error on the relevant reaction rate we derive that the present theoretical prediction for the central oxygen mass fraction in white dwarfs varies between 0.3 and 0.9. Unlike previous claims, we find that models taking into account semiconvection and a moderate C12(alpha,gamma)O16 reaction rate are able to account fo...

  11. Flares from Disruptions of White Dwarfs by Intermediate Mass Black Holes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakov, Roman; Haas, R.; Bode, T.; Laguna, P.

    2011-05-01

    Tidal disruptions of white dwarfs (WDs) by intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) may produce detectable electromagnetic/gravitational wave signature. They may provide the evidence for existence of IMBHs. We simulate the disruptions in full numerical general relativity (GR) with MayaKranc + Whisky code combination for several BH spin values. We model X-ray and UV time-dependent spectra from the simulations. Direct emission from hot fallback material is substantial, when the BH spin is aligned with WD orbital angular momentum. However, the fallback material can be completely shielded by large Compton optical depth in a misaligned case. This emphasizes the importance of realistic GR simulations with misaligned spin. Properties of flares from shock breakout region depend less on spin orientation and value. We discuss the prospects of positive identifications of candidates from GALEX and other surveys.

  12. Metal Abundances in the Hottest Known DO White Dwarf (KPD 0005+5106)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassermann, Daniel; Werner, Klaus; Rauch, Thomas; Kurk, Jeffrey W.

    2010-01-01

    We performed a new analysis of UV and optical spectra of KPD 0005+5106. We find T(sub eff) = 200000 +/- 20000 K, log(g) = 6.7+/-0.3, M =.64 Stellar mass and logL/L = 3.7. The mass fractions of the metals are in the range 0.7 - 4.3 times solar. This abundance pattern is probably unaffected by gravitational settling and radiative levitation, hence, its origin lies in previous evolutionary stages. We speculate about a link of KPD 0005+5106 to the RCrB stars and its possible outcome of a double-degenerate merger event. Keywords: White dwarfs, atmospheres, abundances

  13. Understanding the spectrum of the very hot DA white dwarf PG0948+534

    CERN Document Server

    Preval, S P

    2016-01-01

    PG0948+534 is currently one of the hottest DA white dwarf stars, and is also one of the most mysterious. Attempts to model the sharp, deep absorption features of this star have been unsuccessful. In these proceedings we describe our analysis of PG0948+534. We perform a line survey of the UV spectrum of PG0948+534, making detections of 300+ absorption features, and identifying four distinct velocity regimes. We find evidence of circumstellar absorption in the profiles of C {\\sc iv} and Si {\\sc iv}. Using non-local thermodynamic equilibrium model atmospheres, we are able to correctly model the absorption features of the star, providing abundance measurements for C, N, O, and Si for PG0948+534 for the first time. We also revise the effective temperature and gravity for this star using models including these new abundances.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kitaguchi, Takao; An, Hongjun; Beloborodov, Andrei M.;

    2014-01-01

    AE Aquarii is a cataclysmic variable with the fastest known rotating magnetized white dwarf (P-spin = 33.08 s). Compared to many intermediate polars, AE Aquarii shows a soft X-ray spectrum with a very low luminosity (L-X similar to 10(31) erg s(-1)). We have analyzed overlapping observations...... of this system with the NuSTAR and the Swift X-ray observatories in 2012 September. We find the 0.5-30 keV spectra to be well fitted by either an optically thin thermal plasma model with three temperatures of 0.75(-0.45)(+0.18), 2.29(-0.82)(+0.96), and 9.33(-2.18)(+6.07) keV, or an optically thin thermal plasma...

  15. The end of the white dwarf cooling sequence in M 67

    CERN Document Server

    Bellini, A; Piotto, G; Salaris, M; Anderson, J; Brocato, E; Ragazzoni, R; Ortolani, S; Bonanos, A Z; Platais, I; Gilliland, R; Raimondo, G; Bragaglia, A; Tosi, M; Gallozzi, S; Testa, V; Kochanek, C S; Giallongo, E; Baruffolo, A; Farinato, J; Diolaiti, E; Speziali, R; Carraro, G; Yadav, R K S

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present for the first time a proper-motion-selected white dwarf (WD) sample of the old Galactic open cluster M 67, down to the bottom of the WD cooling sequence (CS). The color-magnitude diagram is based on data collected with the LBC-Blue camera at the prime focus of LBT. As first epoch data, we used CFHT-archive images collected 10 years before LBC data. We measured proper motions of all the identified sources. Proper motions are then used to separate foreground and background objects from the cluster stars, including WDs. Finally, the field-object cleaned WD CS in the V vs. B-I color-magnitude diagram is compared with the models. We confirm that the age derived from the location of the bottom of the WD CS is consistent with the turn off age.

  16. Photometric variability of candidate white dwarf binary systems from Palomar Transient Factory archival data

    CERN Document Server

    Kao, Wil; Prince, Thomas A; Tang, Sumin; Ene, Irina; Kim, Kyu Bin; Levitan, David; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R; Laher, Russ R

    2016-01-01

    We present a sample of 59 periodic variables from the Palomar Transient Factory, selected from published catalogues of white dwarf (WD) candidates. The variability can likely be attributed to ellipsoidal variation of the tidally distorted companion induced by the gravity of the primary (WD or hot subdwarf) or to the reflection of hot emission by a cooler companion. We searched 11,311 spectroscopically or photometrically selected WD candidates from three hot star/WD catalogues, using the Lomb-Scargle periodogram to single out promising sources. We present period estimates for the candidates, 45 of which were not previously identified as periodic variables, and find that most have a period shorter than a few days. Additionally, we discuss the eclipsing systems in our sample and present spectroscopic data on selected sources.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Spagna, A; Lattanzi, M G; Bucciarelli, B

    2004-01-01

    We present an alternative method for the kinematic analysis of high proper motion surveys and discuss its application to the survey of Oppenheimer et al. (2001) for the selection of reliable halo white dwarfs (WDs). The local WD space density we estimate is (1-2) 10^{-5}MSun/pc^{3}, which is about an order of magnitude smaller than the value derived in Oppenheimer et al. (2001), and is consistent with the values obtained from recent reanalyses of the same data (e.g. Reid et al. 2001, Reyle et al. 2001, Torres et al. 2002, Salim et al. 2004). Our result, which corresponds to a fraction of 0.1%-0.2% of the local dark matter, does not support the scenario suggested by the microlensing experiments that ancient cool WDs could contribute significantly to the dark halo of the Milky Way.

  18. Recent advances in the theoretical modeling of pulsating low-mass He-core white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

    Many extremely low-mass (ELM) white-dwarf (WD) stars are currently being found in the field of the Milky Way. Some of these stars exhibit long-period nonradial $g$-mode pulsations, and constitute the class of ELMV pulsating WDs. In addition, several low-mass pre-WDs, which could be precursors of ELM WDs, have been observed to show short-period photometric variations likely due to nonradial $p$ modes and radial modes. They could constitute a new class of pulsating low-mass pre-WD stars, the pre-ELMV stars. Here, we present the recent results of a thorough theoretical study of the nonadiabatic pulsation properties of low-mass He-core WDs and pre-WDs on the basis of fully evolutionary models representative of these stars.

  19. Multi-Dimensional Double Detonation of Sub-Chandrasekhar Mass White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Moll, Rainer

    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, however, robustly generate hot spots which trigger a detonation in the core. Our simulations show that this is true even for non-axisymmetric initial conditions. If the helium is ignited at multiple points, the internal waves can pass through one another or be reflected, but this added complexity does not defeat the generation of the hot spot. The ignition of very low-mass helium shells depends on whether a thermonuclear runaway can simultaneously commence in a sufficiently large region.

  20. Evolution of Neutron-Star, Carbon-Oxygen White-Dwarf Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, G E; Zwart, S P; Bethe, Hans Albrecht

    1999-01-01

    We consider the evolution of neutron-star (ns), carbon-oxygen white-dwarf (co) binaries, using both the Bethe & Brown (1998) schematic analytic evolutions and the Portegies Zwart & Yungelson (1998) numerical population syntheses. In the earlier literature, the five observed (ns,co)_c binaries were evolved through common envelope, but now a concensus is arising that common envelope evolution is avoided, as we shall discuss. Accepting this, we see that the present discrepancy between observed (ns,co)_c binaries (none) and the predicted $\\sim 50$ is great. We show that the introduction of hypercritical accretion, which sends the neutron star into a black hole, is helpful in explaining this discrepancy. One of our main purposes in these evolutions is to compare the schematic, analytic and numerical population syntheses. We show there to be excellent agreement between these two approaches and we outline why this results.