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Sample records for white dwarf g191-b2b

  1. Analysis of ultraviolet and extreme-ultraviolet spectra of the DA white dwarf G 191-B2B using self-consistent diffusion models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreizler, S.; Wolff, B.

    1999-08-01

    We present a multi-wavelength spectral analysis of the DA white dwarf G 191-B2B. The employed atmospheric models account for gravitational settling and radiative levitation, which are, for the first time, calculated self-consistently with the atmospheric structure. The resulting spectra can reproduce the complete EUVE spectrum and the ultraviolet lines of iron. Some restrictions regarding the UV lines of other elements (C, N, O, Ni), however, still remain. In contrast to homogeneous models, it is not necessary to introduce additional photospheric or interstellar absorbers to account for the high opacity at lambda Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  2. 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*...

  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 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Stellar laboratories. VIII. New Zr IV - VII, Xe IV - V, and Xe VII oscillator strengths and the Al, Zr, and Xe abundances in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289

    CERN Document Server

    Rauch, T; Quinet, P; Loebling, L; Hoyer, D; Werner, K; Kruk, J W; Demleitner, M

    2016-01-01

    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. To search for Zr and Xe lines in the ultraviolet (UV) spectra of G191-B2B and RE0503-289, new Zr IV-VII, Xe IV-V, and Xe VIII oscillator strengths were calculated. This allows for the first time, determination of the Zr abundance in white dwarf (WD) stars and improvement of the Xe abundance determinations. We calculated Zr IV-VII, Xe IV-V, and Xe VIII oscillator strengths to consider radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions of Zr and Xe in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of their lines exhibited in UV observations of the hot WDs G191-B2B and RE0503-289. We identified one new Zr IV, 14 new Zr V, and ten new Zr VI lines in the spectrum of RE0503-289. Zr was detected for the first time in a WD. We mea...

  7. Stellar laboratories. II. New Zn iv and Zn v oscillator strengths and their validation in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE 0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

    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. 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. 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 G191-B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE 0503-289. 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-S/N UV observations of G191-B2B and RE 0503-289. Results: 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 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 and log g = 7.60 ± 0.05. In the spectrum of RE 0503-289, 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 (G191-B2B and RE 0503-289) ultraviolet spectra were well reproduced with our newly calculated oscillator strengths. This allowed us to

  8. 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 RE 0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    Context. 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. Aims: 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 RE 0503-289 and to determine their photospheric Ga abundances. Methods: 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 RE 0503-289. Results: 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 RE 0503-289. The identification of Ga iv and Ga vi lines is uncertain because they are weak and partly blended by other lines. The determined Ga abundance is 3.5 ± 0.5 × 10-5 (mass fraction, about 625 times the solar value). The Ga iv/Ga v ionization equilibrium, which is a very sensitive indicator for the effective temperature, is well reproduced in RE 0503-289. We identified the strongest Ga iv lines (at 1258.801, 1338.129 Å) in the HST/STIS spectrum of G191-B2B and measured a Ga abundance of 2.0 ± 0.5 × 10-6 (about 22 times solar). Conclusions: Reliable measurements and calculations of atomic data are a prerequisite for stellar-atmosphere modeling. The observed Ga iv-v line profiles in two white dwarf (G191-B2B and RE 0503-289) ultraviolet spectra were well reproduced with our newly calculated oscillator strengths. For the first time, this allowed us to determine the photospheric Ga abundance in white dwarfs. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space

  9. 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 RE 0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    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 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 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 × 10-4 (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 × 10-6 (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. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for

  10. Stellar laboratories . VIII. New Zr iv-vii, Xe iv-v, and Xe vii oscillator strengths and the Al, Zr, and Xe abundances in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE 0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, T.; Gamrath, S.; Quinet, P.; Löbling, L.; Hoyer, D.; Werner, K.; Kruk, J. W.; Demleitner, M.

    2017-03-01

    Context. 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. Aims: To search for zirconium and xenon lines in the ultraviolet (UV) spectra of G191-B2B and RE 0503-289, new Zr iv-vii, Xe iv-v, and Xe vii oscillator strengths were calculated. This allows, for the first time, determination of the Zr abundance in white dwarf (WD) stars and improvement of the Xe abundance determinations. Methods: We calculated Zr iv-vii, Xe iv-v, and Xe vii oscillator strengths to consider radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions of Zr and Xe in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of their lines exhibited in UV observations of the hot WDs G191-B2B and RE 0503-289. Results: We identified one new Zr iv, 14 new Zr v, and ten new Zr vi lines in the spectrum of RE 0503-289. Zr was detected for the first time in a WD. We measured a Zr abundance of -3.5 ± 0.2 (logarithmic mass fraction, approx. 11 500 times solar). We identified five new Xe vi lines and determined a Xe abundance of -3.9 ± 0.2 (approx. 7500 times solar). We determined a preliminary photospheric Al abundance of -4.3 ± 0.2 (solar) in RE 0503-289. In the spectra of G191-B2B, no Zr line was identified. The strongest Zr iv line (1598.948 Å) in our model gave an upper limit of -5.6 ± 0.3 (approx. 100 times solar). No Xe line was identified in the UV spectrum of G191-B2B and we confirmed the previously determined upper limit of -6.8 ± 0.3 (ten times solar). Conclusions: Precise measurements and calculations of atomic data are a prerequisite for advanced NLTE stellar-atmosphere modeling. Observed Zr iv-vi and Xe vi-vii line profiles in the UV spectrum of RE 0503-289 were simultaneously well reproduced with our newly calculated oscillator strengths. Based on observations

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. Stellar laboratories. VI. New Mo iv-vii oscillator strengths and the molybdenum abundance in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE 0503-289

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    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: To identify molybdenum lines in the ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the DA-type white dwarf G191-B2B and the DO-type white dwarf RE 0503-289 and, to determine their photospheric Mo abundances, reliable Mo iv-vii oscillator strengths are used. Methods: We newly calculated Mo iv-vii oscillator strengths to consider their radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions in detail in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of Mo lines exhibited in high-resolution and high S/N UV observations of RE 0503-289. Results: We identified 12 Mo v and 9 Mo vi lines in the UV spectrum of RE 0503-289 and measured a photospheric Mo abundance of 1.2-3.0 × 10-4 (mass fraction, 22 500-56 400 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 × 10-5, about 300-1200 times solar) and tin (1.3-3.2 × 10-4, about 14 300-35 200 times solar). For G191-B2B, upper limits were determined for the abundances of Mo (5.3 × 10-7, 100 times solar) and, in addition, for Kr (1.1 × 10-6, 10 times solar) and Xe (1.7 × 10-7, 10 times solar). The arsenic abundance was determined (2.3-5.9 × 10-7, about 21-53 times solar). A new, registered German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (GAVO) service, TOSS, has been constructed to provide weighted oscillator strengths and transition probabilities. Conclusions: Reliable measurements and calculations of atomic data are a prerequisite for stellar-atmosphere modeling. Observed Mo v-vi line profiles in the UV spectrum of the white dwarf RE 0503-289 were well reproduced with our newly calculated oscillator strengths. For the first time, this allowed the photospheric Mo

  14. 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

  15. High-Resolution Spectroscopy of G191-B2B in the Extreme Ultraviolet

    CERN Document Server

    Cruddace, R G; Yentis, D J; Brown, C M; Gursky, H; Barstow, M A; Bannister, N P; Fraser, G W; Spragg, J E; Lapington, J S; Tandy, J A; Sanderson, B; Culhane, J L; Barbee, T W; Kordas, J F; Goldstein, W H; Fritz, G G

    2001-01-01

    We report a high-resolution (R=3000-4000) spectroscopic observation of the DA white dwarf G191-B2B in the extreme ultraviolet band 220-245 A. A low- density ionised He component is clearly present along the line-of-sight, which if completely interstellar implies a He ionisation fraction considerably higher than is typical of the local interstellar medium. However, some of this material may be associated with circumstellar gas, which has been detected by analysis of the C IV absorption line doublet in an HST STIS spectrum. A stellar atmosphere model assuming a uniform element distribution yields a best fit to the data which includes a significant abundance of photospheric He. The 99-percent confidence contour for the fit parameters excludes solutions in which photospheric He is absent, but this result needs to be tested using models allowing abundance gradients.

  16. The D/H Ratio in Interstellar Gas toward G191-B2B

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-10-01

    Recent analysis of Goddard High-Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) echelle spectra suggests ~30% variations in the D/H abundance ratio along the line of sight to the nearby (69 pc) hot white dwarf (WD) G191-B2B (Vidal-Madjar et al.). Variations in the D/H ratio on such short length scales imply nonuniform production/destruction of deuterium and an inefficient mixing of gas in the local interstellar medium (LISM). We reinvestigate the question of the 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 the Hubble Space Telescope. The STIS spectra were obtained in the high-resolution (E140H) mode and cover the wavelength region ranging from 1140 to 1700 Å. Our analysis uses stratified line-blanketed non-LTE model atmosphere calculations to determine the shape of the intrinsic WD Lyα profile and to estimate the WD photospheric contamination of the interstellar lines. Although three velocity components were reported previously toward G191-B2B, we deduce only two velocity components. The first component is at vhel~8.6 km s-1, and the second is at vhel~19.3 km s-1, which we identify with the local interstellar cloud (LIC). From the STIS data, we derive D/H = 1.60+0.39-0.27×10-5 for the LIC component and D/H>1.26×10-5 for the 8.6 km s-1 component (uncertainties denote 2σ or 95% confidence limits). The derived D/H values in both components are consistent with (D/H)LIC = (1.5+/-0.1)×10-5, which was determined by Linsky in 1998. The STIS data provide no evidence for local or component-to-component variation in the D/H ratio. Our reanalysis of the GHRS data gives essentially the same results as Vidal-Madjar et al., despite using two velocity components for the profile fitting (vs. three by Vidal-Madjar et al.) and a more physically realistic WD Lyα profile for G191-B2B. The GHRS data indicate a component-to-component variation as well as a

  17. High-resolution extreme ultraviolet spectroscopy of G191-B2B: structure of the stellar photosphere and the surrounding interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barstow, M. A.; Cruddace, R. G.; Kowalski, M. P.; Bannister, N. P.; Yentis, D.; Lapington, J. S.; Tandy, J. A.; Hubeny, I.; Schuh, S.; Dreizler, S.; Barbee, T. W.

    2005-10-01

    We have continued our detailed analysis of the high-resolution (R= 4000) spectroscopic observation of the DA white dwarf G191-B2B, obtained by the Joint Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Experiment (J-PEX) normal incidence sounding rocket-borne telescope, comparing the observed data with theoretical predictions for both homogeneous and stratified atmosphere structures. We find that the former models give the best agreement over the narrow waveband covered by J-PEX, in conflict with what is expected from previous studies of the lower resolution but broader wavelength coverage Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer spectra. We discuss the possible limitations of the atomic data and our understanding of the stellar atmospheres that might give rise to this inconsistency. In our earlier study, we obtained an unusually high ionization fraction for the ionized HeII present along the line of sight to the star. In the present paper, we obtain a better fit when we assume, as suggested by Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph results, that this HeII resides in two separate components. When one of these is assigned to the local interstellar cloud, the implied He ionization fraction is consistent with measurements along other lines of sight. However, the resolving power and signal-to-noise available from the instrument configuration used in this first successful J-PEX flight are not sufficient to clearly identify and prove the existence of the two components.

  18. High-Resolution EUV Spectroscopy of White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. A New Insight on the Ionization of the Local Interstellar Medium, as Revealed by FUSE Observations of Ar I toward White Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, E. B.; Oegerle, W. R.; Sembach, K. R.; Shelton, R. L.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Ferlet, R.; Gry, C.; FUSE Science Team

    1999-12-01

    FUSE spectra of the white dwarf stars G191-B2B and GD394 indicate that the absorption features of interstellar Ar I at 1048.22 Angstroms have equivalent widths Wλ B2B, we infer that Ar I/H I toward this star is less than 60% of the cosmic abundance ratio of Ar to H (from B stars and the Sun). In the diffuse interstellar medium, argon is not likely to be depleted onto dust grains. Instead, its apparent deficiency probably arises from the fact that the photoionization cross section of Ar I is much larger than that of H I, while the two atoms have nearly equal recombination rates with free electrons. In the partially ionized local interstellar medium, the argon atoms are mostly ionized and thus much less conspicuous at 1048.22 Angstroms. For some time, the moderately large fractional ionization of He in the local medium has been difficult to understand. A flux of ionizing photons with E > 24.6 eV and sufficient intensity to create the steady-state ionization of He has not yet been observed directly (either a diffuse component or from known, probable sources), but our argon observations favor its existence. This finding seems to rule out the proposition that the gas is recombining from a more highly ionized condition and has not yet attained equilibrium. This research is supported by NASA contract NAS5-32985.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The white dwarf luminosity function

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Berro, Enrique; Oswalt, Terry D.

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. The evolution of iron white dwarf stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Panei

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent measurements by Hipparcos provide strong observational evidence supporting the existence of white dwarf stars with iron-rich core composition. Here we examine the evolution of iron-rich white dwarfs, for which the cooling is substancially accelerated as compared with the standard carbon-oxigen white dwarfs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

  11. White dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2016-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Dynamical Masses of Accreting White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pala, A. F.; Gänsckie, B. T.

    2017-03-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Double White Dwarf Merger Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    CERN Document Server

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. AR Sco: A Precessing White Dwarf Synchronar?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, J. I.

    2017-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. SDSS DR7 White Dwarf Catalog

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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)

  6. Merging White Dwarfs and Thermonuclear Supernovae

    CERN Document Server

    van Kerkwijk, Marten H

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Pulsating White Dwarf Stars and Precision Asteroseismology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  10. Abundance analysis of DAZ white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Kawka, Adela; Dinnbier, Frantisek; Cibulkova, Helena; Nemeth, Peter

    2010-01-01

    We present an abundance analysis of a sample of 33 hydrogen-rich (DA) white dwarfs. We have used archival high-resolution spectra to measure abundances of calcium, magnesium and iron in a set of 30 objects. In addition, we present preliminary calcium abundances in three new white dwarfs based on low-dispersion spectra. We investigate some abundance ratios (Mg/Ca, Fe/Ca) that may help uncover the composition of the accretion source.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  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 Magnetic Fields in White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

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

  15. 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

  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. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.; Bodenheimer, Peter; Black, David C.

    1990-01-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties.

  18. 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. 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

  20. Magnetic White Dwarf Stars in the SDSS

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Pulsating White Dwarfs in Globular Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  2. White Dwarf Pulsational Constraints on Stellar Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. The 25 parsec local white dwarf population

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  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.

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Fluid Atmospheres of Cool White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalski, P.

    2004-05-01

    We investigate quantitatively for the first time the dense fluid effects in the surface layers of very cool white dwarf stars. In general, the gas is so tenuous in stellar atmospheres that non-ideal gas effects are negligible. One important exception are the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs, especially those rich in helium, where temperature varies from 1000K to 10000K, the densities reach values as large as 2 \\ g/cm3, and pressure is as high as 1 \\ Mbar. Under such conditions, the atmosphere is no longer an ideal gas, but must be treated as a dense fluid. New physical effects occur. Helium atoms become strongly correlated and refraction effects are present. Opacity sources, such as He- free-free absorption, require different treatment from diluted gases. The refractive index departs from unity and can be as large as 1.35. We present the first solution of the radiative transfer in refractive atmospheres of cool white dwarfs. The importance of total internal reflection is discussed. We find that through the constraint of the radiative equilibrium, the total internal reflection warms the white dwarf atmosphere in optically thin surface regions. Strong curvature of rays results in a much weakened limb darkening effect. This preliminary result suggests that dense fluid effects may have a significant impact on studies of very cool white dwarf stars. This research was supported by NSF grant AST97-31438, NASA grant NAG5-8906, and by the United States Department of Energy under contract W-7405-ENG-36.

  10. 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 ...

  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. 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.

  13. Asteroseismology of DAV White Dwarf Stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradley, Paul A.

    1997-12-31

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

  14. Six White Dwarfs with Circumstellar Silicates

    CERN Document Server

    Jura, M; Zuckerman, B

    2008-01-01

    Spitzer Space Telescope spectra reveal 10 micron silicate emission from circumstellar dust orbiting six externally-polluted white dwarfs. Micron-size glasses with an olivine stoichiometry can account for the distinctively broad wings that extend to 12 microns; these particles likely are produced by tidal-disruption of asteroids. The absence of infrared PAH features is consistent with a scenario where extrasolar rocky planets are assembled from carbon-poor solids.

  15. 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.

  16. Observations and Modelling of DQ White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Vornanen, Tommi; Berdyugin, Andrei

    2012-01-01

    We present spectropolarimetric observations and modelling of 12 DQ white dwarfs. Modelling is based on the method presented in Berdyugina et al. (2005). We use the model to fit the C_2 absorption bands to get atmospheric parameters in different configurations, including stellar spots and stratified atmospheres, searching for the best possible fit. We still have problem to solve before we can give temperature estimates based on the Swan bands alone.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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, ...

  20. The Masses of Population II White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Kalirai, Jason S; Richer, Harvey B; Bergeron, P; Catelan, Marcio; Hansen, Brad M S; Rich, R Michael

    2009-01-01

    Globular star clusters are among the first stellar populations to have formed in the Milky Way, and thus only a small sliver of their initial spectrum of stellar types are still burning hydrogen on the main-sequence today. Almost all of the stars born with more mass than 0.8 M_sun have evolved to form the white dwarf cooling sequence of these systems, and the distribution and properties of these remnants uniquely holds clues related to the nature of the now evolved progenitor stars. With ultra-deep HST imaging observations, rich white dwarf populations of four nearby Milky Way globular clusters have recently been uncovered, and are found to extend an impressive 5 - 8 magnitudes in the faint-blue region of the H-R diagram. In this paper, we characterize the properties of these population II remnants by presenting the first direct mass measurements of individual white dwarfs near the tip of the cooling sequence in the nearest of the Milky Way globulars, M4. Based on Gemini/GMOS and Keck/LRIS multiobject spectro...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Open Science Project in White Dwarf Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vornanen, T.

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Studying white dwarf merger remnants with FLASH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenks, Malia

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Open Science Project in White Dwarf Research

    CERN Document Server

    Vornanen, Tommi

    2012-01-01

    I will propose a new way of advancing white dwarf research. Open science is a method of doing research that lets everyone who has something to say about the subject take part in the problem solving process. Already now, the amount of information we gather from observations, theory and modelling is too vast for any one individual to comprehend and turn into knowledge. And the amount of information just keeps growing in the future. A platform that promotes sharing of thoughts and ideas allows us to pool our collective knowledge of white dwarfs and get a clear picture of our research field. It will also make it possible for researchers in fields closely related to ours (AGB stars, planetary nebulae etc.) to join the scientific discourse. In the first stage this project would allow us to summarize what we know and what we don't, and what we should search for next. Later, it could grow into a large collaboration that would have the impact to, for example, suggest instrument requirements for future telescopes to sa...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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 equation of state that

  14. Pure hydrogen atmosphere for very cool white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Saumon, D S

    1999-01-01

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

  15. 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 ...

  16. A DARK SPOT ON A MASSIVE WHITE DWARF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, Alexandros; Curd, Brandon; Wisniewski, John P. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks St., Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Bell, Keaton J.; Winget, D. E.; Winget, K. I. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Brown, Warren R. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hermes, J. J. [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Dufour, Patrick [Institut de recherche sur les exoplanétes (iREx), Département de Physique, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Law, Nicholas M. [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Kraus, Adam L. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc., 6740 Cortona Dr. Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 (United States); Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Baranec, Christoph; Bui, Khanh; Davis, Jack T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, Eran O. [Cahill Center for Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bloom, Joshua S.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Filippenko, Alexei V. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K. [Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Ganeshkhind, Pune-411007 (India); Kasliwal, Mansi M. [Carnegie Institution for Science, 813 Santa Barbara St., Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Nugent, Peter [Computational Cosmology Center, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); and others

    2012-10-01

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

  18. Evolution of iron core white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Panei, J A; Benvenuto, O G

    1999-01-01

    Recent measurements made by Hipparcos (Provencal et al. 1998) present observational evidence supporting the existence of some white dwarf (WD) stars with iron - rich, core composition. In this connection, the present paper is aimed at exploring the structure and evolution of iron - core WDs by means of a detailed and updated evolutionary code. In particular, we examine the evolution of the central conditions, neutrino luminosity, surface gravity, crystallization, internal luminosity profiles and ages. We find that the evolution of iron - rich WDs is markedly different from that of their carbon - oxygen counterparts. In particular, cooling is strongly accelerated as compared with the standard case. Thus, if iron WDs were very numerous, some of them would have had time enough to evolve at lower luminosities than that corresponding to the fall - off in the observed WD luminosity function.

  19. Heavy Metals Resisting Gravity in White Dwarfs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, T.; Gamrath, S.; Quinet, P.; Hoyer, D.; Werner, K.; Kruk, J. W.

    2017-03-01

    Spectral lines of heavy metals, identified in high-resolution ultraviolet spectra of the DO-type white dwarf RX J0503.9–2854 (RE 0503–289), allow precise abundance determinations of these species by means of advanced non-local thermodynamic equilibrium stellar-atmosphere models – provided that reliable atomic data is available. Such analyses of Zn (atomic number Z = 30), Ga (31), Ge (32), As (33), Mo (42), Kr (36), Zr (40), Xe (54), and Ba (56) have recently shown that, without exception, their abundances are unexpectedly strongly supersolar (up to about 5 dex). This is much higher than predicted by recent asymptotic giant branch nucleosynthesis calculations. Thus, the interplay of gravitational settling and radiative levitation may play an important role for their photospheric prominence.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Future Observations of White Dwarfs from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    Aims: We study single and binary white dwarfs in the inner halo of the Milky Way in order to learn more about the conditions under which the population of halo stars was born, such as the initial mass function (IMF), the star formation history, or the binary fraction. Methods: We simulate the evolution of low-metallicity halo stars at distances up to ~ 3 kpc using the binary population synthesis code SeBa. We use two different white dwarf cooling models to predict the present-day luminosities of halo white dwarfs. We determine the white dwarf luminosity functions (WDLFs) for eight different halo models and compare these with the observed halo WDLF of white dwarfs in the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey. Furthermore, we predict the properties of binary white dwarfs in the halo and determine the number of halo white dwarfs that is expected to be observed with the Gaia satellite. Results: By comparing the WDLFs, we find that a standard IMF matches the observations more accurately than a top-heavy one, but the difference w...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. The DODO Survey: Imaging Planets around White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, E.; Burleigh, M. R.; Clarke, F. J.

    2007-09-01

    The aim of the Degenerate Objects around Degenerate Objects (DODO) survey is to directly image very low mass (⪆2 MJup) common proper motion companions in wide orbits around nearby white dwarfs. These proceedings contribution presents detailed results for three interesting white dwarfs from this survey and briefly describes the results from 19 other northern hemisphere and equatorial white dwarfs. So far, these results are consistent with the conclusions of tet{t40_mz2004}, that no more than ˜3% of stars harbour 5 - 10 MJup planets in wide orbits.

  6. 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.

  7. On the Evolution of Hydrogen-Deficient White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. General relativistic white dwarfs and their astrophysical implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boshkayev, Kuantay [Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty (Kazakhstan); Rueda, Jorge A.; Ruffini, Remo [Sapienza University of Rome, Rome (Italy); Siutsou, Ivan [ICRANet, Square of Republic, Pescara (Italy)

    2014-09-15

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Rueda, Jorge A.; 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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Analysis of White Dwarfs with Strange-Matter Cores

    CERN Document Server

    Mathews, G J; O'Gorman, B; Lan, N Q; Zech, W; Otsuki, K; Weber, F

    2006-01-01

    We summarize masses and radii for a number of white dwarfs as deduced from a combination of proper motion studies, Hipparcos parallax distances, effective temperatures, and binary or spectroscopic masses. A puzzling feature of these data is that some stars appear to have radii which are significantly smaller than that expected for a standard electron-degenerate white-dwarf equations of state. We construct a projection of white-dwarf radii for fixed effective mass and conclude that there is at least marginal evidence for bimodality in the radius distribution forwhite dwarfs. We argue that if such compact white dwarfs exist it is unlikely that they contain an iron core. We propose an alternative of strange-quark matter within the white-dwarf core. We also discuss the impact of the so-called color-flavor locked (CFL) state in strange-matter core associated with color superconductivity. We show that the data exhibit several features consistent with the expected mass-radius relation of strange dwarfs. We identify ...

  17. Broad-Band Molecular Polarization in White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

    We present novel calculations of broad-band polarization due to the molecular Paschen--Back effect in a strong magnetic field. Based on that, we analyze new spectropolarimetric observations of the cool magnetic helium-rich white dwarf G 99-37 which shows strongly polarized molecular bands in its spectrum. Combining the polarimetric observations with our model calculations for the CH bands at 4300 Å, we deduce a magnetic field of 8 MG on this unique magnetic white dwarf.

  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. Binary white dwarfs in the halo of the Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  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 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 ...

  2. Presupernova evolution of accreting white dwarfs with rotation

    CERN Document Server

    Yoon, S C

    2004-01-01

    We discuss the effects of rotation on the evolution of accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, with the emphasis on possible consequences in Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) progenitors. Starting with a slowly rotating white dwarf, we simulate the accretion of matter and angular momentum from a quasi-Keplerian accretion disk. The role of the various rotationally induced hydrodynamic instabilities for the transport of angular momentum inside the white dwarf is investigated. We find that the dynamical shear instability is the most important one in the highly degenerate core. Our results imply that accreting white dwarfs rotate differentially throughout,with a shear rate close to the threshold value for the onset of the dynamical shear instability. As the latter depends on the temperature of the white dwarf, the thermal evolution of the white dwarf core is found to be relevant for the angular momentum redistribution. As found previously, significant rotation is shown to lead to carbon ignition masses well above 1.4 Msun....

  3. White Dwarf - Red Dwarf Systems Resolved with the Hubble Space Telescope. II. Full Snapshot Survey Results

    CERN Document Server

    Farihi, J; Wachter, S

    2010-01-01

    {Abrigded} Results are presented for a Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys high-resolution imaging campaign of 90 white dwarfs with known or suspected low mass stellar and substellar companions. Of the 72 targets which remain candidate and confirmed white dwarfs with near-infrared excess, 43 are spatially resolved into two or more components, and a total of 12 systems are potentially triples. There is a possible, slight deficit of earlier spectral types (bluer colors) among the spatially unresolved companions, exactly the opposite of expectations if significant mass is transferred to the companion during the common envelope phase. Using the best available distance estimates, the low mass companions to white dwarfs exhibit a bimodal distribution in projected separation. This result supports the hypothesis that during the giant phases of the white dwarf progenitor, any unevolved companions either migrate inward to short periods of hours to days, or outward to periods of hundreds to thousands of y...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  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. 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 <...

  9. 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...

  10. On general relativistic uniformly rotating white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Boshkayev, Kuantay; Ruffini, Remo; Siutsou, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Uniformly rotating white dwarfs (RWDs) are analyzed within the framework of general relativity. The Hartle's formalism is applied to construct self-consistently the internal and external solutions to the Einstein equations. The relativistic Feynman-Metropolis-Teller EoS that generalizes the Salpeter's one taking fully into account the finite size of nuclei, the Coulomb interactions as well as electroweak equilibrium in a self-consistent relativistic fashion is used to describe the WD matter. The mass, radius, angular momentum, eccentricity and quadrupole moment of RWDs are calculated as a function of the central density and rotation angular velocity. We construct the region of stability of RWDs taking into account the mass-shedding limit, inverse beta-decay instability, and the boundary established by the turning points of constant angular momentum sequences that separates stable from secularly unstable configurations. We found the minimum rotation periods 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 2.2 seconds and maximum masses 1.50...

  11. 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...

  12. White dwarf masses in cataclysmic variables

    CERN Document Server

    Wijnen, T P G; Schreiber, M R

    2015-01-01

    The white dwarf (WD) mass distribution of cataclysmic variables (CVs) has recently been found to dramatically disagree with the predictions of the standard CV formation model. The high mean WD mass among CVs is not imprinted in the currently observed sample of CV progenitors and cannot be attributed to selection effects. Two possibilities have been put forward: either the WD grows in mass during CV evolution, or in a significant fraction of cases, CV formation is preceded by a (short) phase of thermal time-scale mass transfer (TTMT) in which the WD gains a sufficient amount of mass. We investigate if either of these two scenarios can bring theoretical predictions and observations into agreement. We employed binary population synthesis models to simulate the present intrinsic CV population. We incorporated aspects specific to CV evolution such as an appropriate mass-radius relation of the donor star and a more detailed prescription for the critical mass ratio for dynamically unstable mass transfer. We also imp...

  13. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Constraining White Dwarf Masses Via Apsidal Precession in Eccentric Double White Dwarf Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Valsecchi, Francesca; Willems, Bart; Deloye, Christopher J; Kalogera, Vicky

    2011-01-01

    Galactic short period double white dwarfs (DWD) are guaranteed gravitational wave (GW) sources for the next generation of space-based interferometers sensitive to low-frequency GWs (10^{-4}- 1 Hz). Here we investigate the possibility of constraining the white dwarf (WD) properties through measurements of apsidal precession in eccentric binaries. We analyze the general relativistic (GR), tidal, and rotational contributions to apsidal precession by using detailed He WD models. We find that apsidal precession can lead to a detectable shift in the emitted GW signal, the effect being stronger (weaker) for binaries hosting hot (cool) WDs. We find that in hot (cool) DWDs tides dominate the precession at orbital frequencies above ~0.01 mHz (~1 mHz). Analyzing the apsidal precession of these sources only accounting for GR would potentially lead to an extreme overestimate of the component masses. Finally, we derive a relation that ties the radius and apsidal precession constant of cool WD components to their masses, th...

  15. Hubble Space Telescope Studies of Exposed White Dwarfs in Dwarf Novae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sion, Edward M.

    Coordinated AAVSO optical observations and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) far ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopic observations of cataclysmic variables, during dwarf nova quiescence when the underlying white dwarf is exposed in the far UV, have yielded a number of new insights into accretional heating, photospheric abundances of the accreted atmosphere, and rotational velocities of the underlying degenerates. Recent results of synthetic spectral analyses of HST spectra are highlighted. Their impact on our understanding of accretion physics and the effect of accretion on the white dwarf are discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. Dissecting accretion and outflows in accreting white dwarf binaries

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Merging white dwarfs and Type Ia supernovae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yungelson, L. R.; Kuranov, A. G.

    2017-01-01

    Using population synthesis, we study a double-degenerate (DD) scenario for Type Ia supernovae (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⊙ with hybrid or helium WDs more massive than 0.37 M⊙ produce SNe Ia. The models are parametrized by the product of the common envelope efficiency and the parameter of binding energy of stellar envelopes, αce λ, which we vary between 0.25 and 2. The best agreement with observations is obtained for αce λ = 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 yr-1 (for the mass of the bulge and thin disc equal to 7.2 × 1010 M⊙), which is comparable to the observational estimate (5.4 ± 0.12) × 10-3 yr-1. The model DTD for 1 ≤ t ≤ 8 Gyr satisfactorily fits the DTD for SNe Ia in the field galaxies (Maoz, Mannucci & Brandt). For this epoch, the model DTD is ∝t-1.64. At earlier and later epochs, our DTD has a deficit of events, as in other studies. Marginal agreement with the observational DTD is achieved even if only CO+CO WDs with M1 ≥ 0.8 M⊙ and M2 ≥ 0.6 M⊙ produce SNe Ia. A better agreement of observed and modelled DTD may be obtained if tidal effects are weaker than assumed and/or the metallicity of the population is much lower than solar.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, W.; Desch, S.

    2017-03-01

    The prevailing model for the pollution of white dwarf photospheres invokes accretion from a disk of gas and solid particles, fed by tidal disruption of rocky bodies inside the Roche radius. Current models can successfully explain the accretion rates of metals onto white dwarfs, provided the gaseous disks viscously spread at rates consistent with a partially suppressed magnetorotational instability (Metzger et al. 2012); however, these models do not explore the extent of the magnetorotational instability in disks by calculating the degree of ionization. We present ionization fractions for thermal and non-thermal processes to assess the extent of the magnetorotational instability in white dwarf disks. We determine that the disk viscosity parameter α can be as high as 0.1 in white disks, implying that the magnetorotational instability must be carefully modeled.

  20. On the long term evolution of white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables and their recurrence times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sion, E. M.; Starrfield, S. G.

    1985-01-01

    The relevance of the long term quasi-static evolution of accreting white dwarfs to the outbursts of Z Andromeda-like symbiotics; the masses and accretion rates of classical nova white dwarfs; and the observed properties of white dwarfs detected optically and with IUE in low M dot cataclysmic variables is discussed. A surface luminosity versus time plot for a massive, hot white dwarf bears a remarkable similarity to the outburst behavior of the hot blue source in Z Andromeda. The long term quasi-static models of hot accreting white dwarfs provide convenient constraints on the theoretically permissible parameters to give a dynamical (nova-like) outburst of classic white dwarfs.

  1. 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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Bergfors, Carolina; Dufour, Patrick; Rocchetto, Marco

    2014-01-01

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

  3. The First Mid-Infrared Spectra of Cool White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Kilic, Mukremin; Mullally, Fergal; Reach, William T; von Hippel, Ted

    2007-01-01

    We present the first mid-infrared spectra of two cool white dwarfs obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We also present 3.5-8 micron photometry for 19 cool white dwarfs with 5000K < Teff < 9000K. We perform a detailed model atmosphere analysis of these white dwarfs by fitting their UBVRIJHK and Spitzer photometry with state-of-the-art model atmospheres, and demonstrate that the optical and infrared spectral energy distributions of cool white dwarfs are well reproduced by our grid of models. Our mid-IR photometry and 7.5-14.5 micron spectrum of WD0018-267 are consistent with a Teff = 5720K, pure hydrogen white dwarf model atmosphere. On the other hand, LHS 1126 remains peculiar with significant mid-IR flux deficits in all IRAC bands and a featureless spectrum in the 5.2-7.5 micron range. Even though this deficit is attributed to collision induced absorption (CIA) due to molecular hydrogen, the shape of the deficit cannot be explained with current CIA opacity calculations. The infrared portion of th...

  4. 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.

  5. A Multi-Survey Approach to White Dwarf Discovery

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. Gravitational settling of 22Ne and white dwarf evolution

    CERN Document Server

    García--Berro, E; Córsico, A H; Isern, J

    2007-01-01

    We study the effects of the sedimentation of the trace element 22Ne in the cooling of white dwarfs. In contrast with previous studies, which adopted a simplified treatment of the effects of 22Ne sedimentation, this is done self-consistently for the first time, using an up-to-date stellar evolutionary code in which the diffusion equation is coupled with the full set of equations of stellar evolution. Due the large neutron excess of 22Ne, this isotope rapidly sediments in the interior of the white dwarf. Although we explore a wide range of parameters, we find that using the most reasonable assumptions concerning the diffusion coefficient and the physical state of the white dwarf interior the delay introduced by the ensuing chemical differentation is minor for a typical 0.6 Msun white dwarf. For more massive white dwarfs, say M_Wd about 1.0 Msun, the delay turns out to be considerably larger. These results are in qualitatively good accord with those obtained in previous studies, but we find that the magnitude of...

  10. 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.

  11. New DA white dwarf evolutionary models and their pulsational properties

    CERN Document Server

    Corsico, A H; Benvenuto, O G; Serenelli, A M

    2001-01-01

    In this letter we investigate the pulsational properties of ZZ Ceti stars on the basis of new white dwarf evolutionary models calculated in a self-consistent way with the predictions of time dependent element diffusion and nuclear burning. In addition, full account is taken of the evolutionary stages prior to the white dwarf formation. Emphasis is placed on the trapping properties of such models. By means of adiabatic, non-radial pulsation calculations, we find, as a result of time dependent diffusion, a much weaker mode trapping effect, particularly for the high-period regime of the pulsation g-spectrum. This result is valid at least for models with massive hydrogen-rich envelopes. Thus, mode trapping would not be an effective mechanism to explain the fact that all the high periods expected from standard models of stratified white dwarfs are not observed in the ZZ Ceti stars.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Stone, Nicholas; Loeb, Abraham

    2014-01-01

    Several lines of observational evidence suggest that white dwarfs receive small birth kicks due to anisotropic mass loss. If other stars possess extrasolar analogues to the Solar Oort cloud, the orbits of comets in such clouds will be scrambled by white dwarf natal kicks. Although most comets will be unbound, some will be placed on low angular momentum orbits vulnerable to sublimation or tidal disruption. The dusty debris from these comets will manifest itself as a debris disk temporarily visible around newborn white dwarfs; examples of such disks may already have been seen in the Helix Nebula, and around several other young WDs. Future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope will distinguish this hypothesis from alternatives such as a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt analogue. If interpreted as indeed being cometary in origin, the observation that >15% of young WDs possess such disks provides indirect evidence that low mass gas giants (thought necessary to produce an Oort cloud) are common in the out...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. On high proper motion white dwarfs from photographic surveys

    CERN Document Server

    Reylé, C; Creze, M; Reyle, Celine; Robin, Annie C.; Creze, Michel

    2001-01-01

    The interpretation of high proper motion white dwarfs detected by Oppenheimer et al (2001) was the start of a tough controversy. While the discoverers identify a large fraction of their findings as dark halo members, others interpret the same sample as essentially made of disc and/or thick disc stars. We use the comprehensive description of galactic stellar populations provided by the "Besancon" model to produce a realistic simulation of Oppenheimer et al. data, including all observational selections and calibration biases. The conclusion is unambiguous: Thick disc white dwarfs resulting from ordinary hypotheses on the local density and kinematics are sufficient to explain the observed objects, there is no need for halo white dwarfs. This conclusion is robust to reasonable changes in model ingredients. The main cause of the misinterpretation seems to be that the velocity distribution of a proper motion selected star sample is severely biased in favour of high velocities. This has been neglected in previous an...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm-Vitense, Erika

    1992-01-01

    The F6 giant HD 160365 was detected to have a white dwarf companion about 8 arcsec south of the star. The UV energy distribution observed with IUE shows that the white dwarf has an effective temperature of 23,000 +/- 2000 K. If log g = 8 the Lya profile indicates an effective temperature around 24,500 K. Using the theoretical models by Wesemael et al. (1980) one finds a visual magnitude of m(V) about 16.5. For T(eff) = 24,500 K one expects for a white dwarf a luminosity of log L/L(solar) about 1.3 and M(V) about 10.67. This gives a distance modulus for the system of m(V) - M(V) = 5.83 and an absolute magnitude M(V)= 0.3 for the giant.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A Pulsar and White Dwarf in an Unexpected Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    Astronomers have discovered a binary system consisting of a low-mass white dwarf and a millisecond pulsar but its eccentric orbit defies all expectations of how such binaries form.Observed orbital periods and binary eccentricities for binary millisecond pulsars. PSR J2234+0511 is the furthest right of the green stars that mark the five known eccentric systems. [Antoniadis et al. 2016]Unusual EccentricityIt would take a low-mass (0.4 solar masses) white dwarf over 100 billion years to form from the evolution of a single star. Since this is longer than the age of the universe, we believe that these lightweights are instead products of binary-star evolution and indeed, we observe many of these stars to still be in binary systems.But the binary evolution that can create a low-mass white dwarf includes a period of mass transfer, in which efficient tidal dissipation damps the systems orbital eccentricity. Because of this, we would expect all systems containing low-mass white dwarfs to have circular orbits.In the past, our observations of low-mass white dwarfmillisecond pulsar binaries have all been consistent with this expectation. But a new detection has thrown a wrench in the works: the unambiguous identification of a low-mass white dwarf thats in an eccentric (e=0.13) orbit with the millisecond pulsar PSR J2234+0511. How could this system have formed?Eliminating Formation ModelsLed by John Antoniadis (Dunlap Institute at University of Toronto), a team of scientists has used newly obtained optical photometry (from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and spectroscopy (from the Very Large Telescope in Chile) of the white dwarf to confirm the identification of this system.Antoniadis and collaborators then use measurements of the bodies masses (0.28 and 1.4 solar masses for the white dwarf and pulsar, respectively) and velocities, and constraints on the white dwarfs temperature, radius and surface gravity, to address three proposed models for the formation of this system.The 3D

  7. Bose-Einstein condensation in helium white dwarf stars. I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mosquera, M.E. [Faculty of Astronomy and Geophysics, University of La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s.n., La Plata (Argentina); Department of Physics, University of La Plata, c.c. 67 1900, La Plata (Argentina); Civitarese, O., E-mail: osvaldo.civitarese@fisica.unlp.edu.a [Department of Physics, University of La Plata, c.c. 67 1900, La Plata (Argentina); Benvenuto, O.G.; De Vito, M.A. [Faculty of Astronomy and Geophysics, University of La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s.n., La Plata (Argentina); Instituto de Astrofisica La Plata, CCT (Argentina)

    2010-01-18

    The formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate in the interior of helium white dwarfs stars is discussed. Following the proposal made by Gabadadze and Rosen, we have explored the consequences of such a mechanism by calculating the cooling time of the stars. We have found that it is shorter than the value predicted by the standard model.

  8. 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...

  9. Planetary Engulfment as a Trigger for White Dwarf Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovich, Cristobal; Muñoz, Diego J.

    2017-01-01

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

  10. LISA Astronomy of Double White Dwarf Binary Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stroeer, A.; Vecchio, A.; Nelemans, G.A.

    2005-01-01

    The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will provide us with the largest observational sample of (interacting) double white dwarf binaries, whose evolution is driven by the radiation reaction and other effects, such as tides and mass transfer. We show that, depending on the actual physical par

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    Aims: We study single and binary white dwarfs in the inner halo of the Milky Way in order to learn more about the conditions under which the population of halo stars was born, such as the initial mass function (IMF), the star formation history, or the binary fraction. Methods: We simulate the evolut

  12. 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...

  13. Mass-Radius Relation of Strongly Magnetized White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bera, P.; Bhattacharya, D.

    2017-03-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Empirical Determination of Convection in Pulsating White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 $\

  19. Direct imaging searches for planets around white dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burleigh, Matt; Hogan, Emma; Clarke, Fraser

    White dwarfs are excellent targets for direct imaging searches for extra-solar planets, since they are up to 10^4 times fainter than their main sequence progenitors, providing a huge gain in the contrast problem. In addition, the orbits of planetary companions that lie beyond the maximum extent of the Red Giant envelope are expected to widen considerably, improving resolution and further encouraging direct detection. We discuss current searches for planetary companions to white dwarfs, including our own “DODO” programme. At the time of writing, no planetary companion to a white dwarf has been detected. The most sensitive searches have been capable of detecting companions ≳5M_{Jup}, and their non-detection is consistent with the conclusions of McCarthy & Zuckerman (2004), that no more than 3% of stars harbour 5-10M_{Jup} planets at orbits between 75-300AU. Extremely Large Telescopes are required to enable deeper searches sensitive to lower mass planets, and to provide larger target samples including more distant and older white dwarfs. ELTs will also enable spectroscopic follow-up for any resolved planets, and follow-up of any planetary companions discovered astrometrically by GAIA and SIM.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  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. A Common Origin of Magnetism from Planets to White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A Population Synthesis Study of the White Dwarf Cooling Sequence of the Galactic Bulge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, S.; García-Berro, E. G.; Cojocaru, R. E.; Calamida, A.

    2017-03-01

    Recent Hubble Space Telescope observations have allowed to determine, for the first time, the white dwarf cooling sequence of the Galactic bulge. However, observations show systematically redder objects than those predicted by the theoretical cooling tracks of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. Here we present a population synthesis study of the white dwarf cooling sequence of the galactic bulge including both single white dwarfs and binary systems. These calculations incorporate the most up-to-date cooling sequences for white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich and hydrogen-deficient atmospheres, for both white dwarfs with carbon-oxygen and helium cores, and also take into account detailed prescriptions of the evolution of binary systems and of the observational biases. This allows us to model with a high degree of realism the white dwarf population of the Galactic bulge. Among other interesting results we estimate the fraction of binaries and double degenerate systems of the Galactic bulge.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Discovery of five new massive pulsating white dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. The metal content of hot DA white dwarf spectra

    CERN Document Server

    Dickinson, Nathan

    2012-01-01

    A study of high ion metal absorption features present in the spectra of hot DA white dwarfs is presented. An analysis of three DAs is performed, where previous studies came to conflicting conclusions as to the stars' nitrogen configurations. The nitrogen abundances were found to be in keeping with DAs of higher Teff, with a homogeneous distribution. A search for circumstellar gas discs was performed on eight stars, where circumstellar pollution may explain the differences between predicted and observed metal abundances. No positive detections were made. Already the subject of previous studies, the circumstellar absorption features seen at many hot DAs were again analysed, using a more advanced technique than those implemented in previous studies. This allowed, for the first time, column density measurements for all non-photospheric absorbing material. The derived column density measurements are consistent with those predicted to exist in white dwarf Stromgren Spheres, and the velocities of the absorbing mater...

  14. Cool DZ white dwarfs I: Identification and spectral analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollands, M. A.; Koester, D.; Alekseev, V.; Herbert, E. L.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-01-01

    White dwarfs with metal lines in their spectra act as signposts for post-main sequence planetary systems. Searching the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 12, we have identified 231 cool (absorption, extending the DZ cooling sequence to both higher metal abundances, lower temperatures, and hence longer cooler ages. Of these 231 systems, 104 are previously unknown white dwarfs. Compared with previous work, our spectral fitting uses improved model atmospheres with updated line profiles and line-lists, which we use to derive effective temperatures and abundances for up to 8 elements. We also determine spectroscopic distances to our sample, identifying two halo-members with tangential space-velocities >300 km s-1. The implications of our results on remnant planetary systems are to be discussed in a separate paper.

  15. A Detailed Spectroscopic and Photometric Analysis of DQ White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Dufour, P; Fontaine, G

    2005-01-01

    We present an analysis of spectroscopic and photometric observations of cool DQ white dwarfs based on improved model atmosphere calculations. In particular, we revise the atmospheric parameters of the trigonometric parallax sample of Bergeron, Leggett, & Ruiz, and discuss the astrophysical implications on the temperature scale and mean mass, as well as the chemical evolution of these stars. We also analyze 40 new DQ stars discovered in the first data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our analysis confirms that effective temperatures derived from model atmospheres including carbon are significantly lower than the temperatures obtained from pure helium models. Similarly the mean mass of the trigonometric parallax sample, = 0.62 Mo, is significantly lower than that obtained from pure helium models, = 0.73 Mo, and more consistent with the spectroscopic mean mass of DB stars, = 0.59 Mo, the most likely progenitors of DQ white dwarfs. We find that DQ stars form a remarkably well defined sequence in a ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Onset of Convectionon a Pre-Runaway White Dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    Dursi, L J; Alexakis, A; Truran, J W; Rosner, R; Zingale, M A; Fryxell, B; Ricker, P M; Timmes, F X; Olson, K

    2002-01-01

    Observed novae abundances and explosion energies estimated from observations indicate that there must be significant mixing of the heavier material of the white dwarf (C+O) into the lighter accreted material (H+He). Accordingly, nova models must incorporate a mechanism that will dredge up the heavier white dwarf material, and fluid motions from an early convection phase is one proposed mechanism. We present results from two-dimensional simulations of classical nova precursor models that demonstrate the beginning of a convective phase during the `simmering' of a Nova precursor. We use a new hydrostatic equilibrium hydrodynamics module recently developed for the adaptive-mesh code FLASH. The two-dimensional models are based on the one-dimensional models of Ami Glasner, and were evolved with FLASH from a pre-convective state to the onset of convection.

  19. Photometry of two DQ white dwarfs - search for spots

    CERN Document Server

    Vornanen, Tommi; 10.1051/0004-6361/201219255

    2012-01-01

    Aims. The intensity profiles of the C_2 Swan bands in cool DQ white dwarfs cannot be adequately fitted with models that otherwise succesfully reproduce spectral features of the molecule CH in these stars. Initial modelling showed that a two-component atmosphere in the style of a spot might be able to solve the problem. Methods. We photometrically observed the two cool DQ white dwarfs GJ1117 and EGGR78 to search for variability caused by stellar spots. Results. We have not found any such variability, but we estimate the effects of hypothetical spots on lightcurves. We also estimate detection probabilities for spots in different configurations. Alternative explanations of the problem are needed and briefly discussed.

  20. On mode trapping in pulsating DA white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    Benvenuto, O G; Althaus, L G; Serenelli, A M

    2002-01-01

    The present work is designed to explore the effects of the time-dependent element diffusion on the mode trapping properties of DA white dwarf models with various thickness of the hydrogen envelope. Our predictions are compared with the standard assumption of diffusive equilibrium in the trace element approximation. We find that element diffusion markedly weakens the presence of mode trapping originated in the outer layers of the models, even for the case of thin hydrogen envelopes.

  1. White dwarf stars as strange quark matter detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benvenuto, O G [Departamento de AstronomIa y AstroFisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Vicuna Mackenna 4860, Casilla 306, Santiago (Chile); Facultad de Ciencias Astronomicas y GeoFisicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque S/N, B1900FWA, La Plata (Argentina)

    2005-11-01

    We show that the presence of a strange matter core inside a white dwarf (WD) star produces a drastic change in the spectrum of non-radial oscillations in the range of periods corresponding to gravity modes. The distinctive, observable signal for such a core is a very short period spacing between consecutive modes, far shorter than in the case of pulsating WDs without any compact core. (letter to the editor)

  2. Planet-Planet Scattering and White Dwarf Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. Regimes of Internal Rotation in Differentially Rotating White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, J. Craig; Ghosh, Pranab

    2017-01-01

    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. 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 > 1 produce a regime of nearly-uniform rotation for which the baroclinic viscosity is of intermediate value and scales as σ3. We discuss the gap in understanding of the behavior at intermediate values of Ri and how observations may constrain the rotation regimes attained by nature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Pranab; Wheeler, J. Craig

    2017-01-01

    Most viable models of Type Ia supernovae (SNe 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 SNe Ia, whether single or double degenerate, with the white dwarf mass at, below, or above the Chandrasekhar limit. 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 rotation and strongly differential rotation are possible. We classify rotation regimes in terms of the Richardson number, Ri. At small values of Ri ≤slant 0.1, we find both the low-viscosity Zahn regime with a nonmonotonic angular velocity profile and a new differential rotation regime for which the viscosity is high and scales linearly with the shear, σ. Employment of Kelvin–Helmholtz viscosity alone yields differential rotation. Large values of Ri ≫ 1 produce a regime of nearly uniform rotation for which the baroclinic viscosity is of intermediate value and scales as {σ }3. We discuss the gap in understanding of the behavior at intermediate values of Ri and how observations may constrain the rotation regimes attained by nature.

  11. 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...

  12. The (Double) White Dwarf Binary SDSS 1257+5428

    CERN Document Server

    Kulkarni, S R

    2010-01-01

    SDSS 1257+5428 is a white dwarf in a close orbit with a companion that has been suggested to be a neutron star. If so, it hosts the closest known neutron star, and its existence implies a great abundance of similar systems and a rate of white-dwarf neutron-star mergers similar to that of the type Ia supernova rate. Here, we present high signal-to-noise spectra of SDSS 1257+5428, which confirm an independent finding that the system is in fact composed of two white dwarfs, one relatively cool and with low mass, and the other hotter and more massive. With this, the demographics and merger rate are no longer puzzling (various factors combine to lower the latter by more than two orders of magnitude). We show that the spectra are fit well with a combination of two hydrogen model atmospheres, as long as the lines of the higher-gravity component are broadened significantly relative to what is expected from just pressure broadening. Interpreting this additional broadening as due to rotation, the inferred spin period i...

  13. Calibration of Synthetic Photometry Using DA White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holberg, J. B.; Bergeron, Pierre

    2006-09-01

    We have calibrated four major ground-based photometric systems with respect to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) absolute flux scale, which is defined by Vega and four fundamental DA white dwarfs. These photometric systems include the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI, the Strömgren uvby filters, the Two Micron All Sky Survey JHKs, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ugriz filters. Synthetic magnitudes are calculated from model white dwarf spectra folded through the published filter response functions; these magnitudes in turn are absolutely calibrated with respect to the HST flux scale. Effective zero-magnitude fluxes and zero-point offsets of each system are determined. In order to verify the external observational consistency, as well as to demonstrate the applicability of these definitions, the synthetic magnitudes are compared with the respective observed magnitudes of larger sets of DA white dwarfs that have well-determined effective temperatures and surface gravities and span a wide range in both of these parameters.

  14. COS Spectroscopy of White Dwarf Companions to Blue Stragglers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. Evidence for Terrestrial Planetary System Remnants at White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Farihi, J

    2010-01-01

    The last several years have brought about a dynamic shift in the view of exoplanetary systems in the post-main sequence, perhaps epitomized by the evidence for surviving rocky planetary bodies at white dwarfs. Coinciding with the launch of the Spitzer Space Telescope, both space- and ground-based data have supported a picture whereby asteroid analogs persist at a significant fraction of cool white dwarfs, and are prone to tidal disruption when passing close to the compact stellar remnant. The ensuing debris can produce a detectable infrared excess, and the material gradually falls onto the star, polluting the atmosphere with heavy elements that can be used to determine the bulk composition of the destroyed planetary body. Based on the observations to date, the parent bodies inferred at white dwarfs are best described as asteroids, and have a distinctly rocky composition similar to material found in the inner Solar System. Their minimum masses are typical of large asteroids, and can approach or exceed the mass...

  18. The distribution of metals in hot DA white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Dickinson, N J; Hubeny, I

    2012-01-01

    The importance to stellar evolution of understanding the metal abundances in hot white dwarfs is well known. Previous work has found the hot DA white dwarfs REJ 1032+532, REJ 1614-085 and GD 659 to have highly abundant, stratified photospheric nitrogen, due to the narrow absorption line profiles of the FUV N V doublet and the lack of EUV continuum absorption. A preliminary analysis of the extremely narrow, deep line profiles of the photospheric metal absorption features of PG 0948+534 suggested a similar photospheric metal configuration. However, other studies have found REJ 1032+532, REJ 1614-085 and GD 659 can be well described by homogeneous models, with nitrogen abundances more in keeping with those of white dwarfs with higher effective temperatures. Here, a re-analysis of the nitrogen absorption features seen in REJ 1032+532, REJ 1614-085 and GD 659 is presented, with the aim of better understanding the structure of these stars, to test which models better represent the observed data and apply the result...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Discovery of New Ultracool White Dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Gates, E; Harris, H C; Subba-Rao, M; Anderson, S; Kleinman, S J; Liebert, J; Brewington, H; Brinkmann, J; Harvanek, M; Krzesínski, J; Lamb, D Q; Long, D; Neilsen, E H; Newman, P R; Nitta, A; Snedden, S A; Gates, Evalyn; Gyuk, Geza; Harris, Hugh C.; Subbarao, Mark; Anderson, Scott; Liebert, James; Brewington, Howard; Harvanek, Michael; Krzesinski, Jurek; Lamb, Don Q.; Long, Dan; Neilsen, Eric H.; Newman, Peter R.; Nitta, Atsuko; Snedden, Stephanie A.

    2004-01-01

    We report the discovery of five very cool white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Four are ultracool, exhibiting strong collision induced absorption (CIA) from molecular hydrogen and are similar in color to the three previously known coolest white dwarfs, SDSS J1337+00, LHS 3250 and LHS 1402. The fifth, an ultracool white dwarf candidate, shows milder CIA flux suppression and has a color and spectral shape similar to WD 0346+246. All five new white dwarfs are faint (g > 18.9) and have significant proper motions. One of the new ultracool white dwarfs, SDSS J0947, appears to be in a binary system with a slightly warmer (T_{eff} ~ 5000K) white dwarf companion.

  3. Constraining white-dwarf kicks in globular clusters : IV. Retarding Core Collapse

    CERN Document Server

    Heyl, Jeremy S

    2009-01-01

    Observations of white dwarfs in the globular clusters NGC 6397 and Omega Centauri indicate that these stars may get a velocity kick during their time as giants. This velocity kick could originate naturally if the mass loss while on the asymptotic giant branch is slightly asymmetric. The kicks may be large enough to dramatically change the radial distribution of young white dwarfs, giving them larger energies than other stars in the cluster. As these energetic white dwarfs travel through the cluster they can impart their excess energy on the other stars in the cluster. A Monte-Carlo simualtion of the white-dwarfs kicks combined with estimate of the phase-space diffusion of the white dwarfs reveals that as the white dwarfs equilibrate, they lose most of their energy in the central region of the cluster. They could possibly mimic the effect of binaries, puffing up the cluster and delaying core collapse.

  4. 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...

  5. The evolutionary state of short period magnetic white dwarf binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Breedt, E; Girven, J; Drake, A J; Copperwheat, C M; Parsons, S G; Marsh, T R

    2012-01-01

    We present phase-resolved spectroscopy of two new short period low accretion rate magnetic binaries, SDSSJ125044.42+154957.3 (Porb = 86 min) and SDSSJ151415.65+074446.5 (Porb = 89 min). Both systems were previously identified as magnetic white dwarfs from the Zeeman splitting of the Balmer absorption lines in their optical spectra. Their spectral energy distributions exhibit a large near-infrared excess, which we interpret as a combination of cyclotron emission and possibly a late type companion star. No absorption features from the companion are seen in our optical spectra. We derive the orbital periods from a narrow, variable H_alpha emission line which we show to originate on the companion star. The high radial velocity amplitude measured in both systems suggests a high orbital inclination, but we find no evidence for eclipses in our data. The two new systems resemble the polar EF Eri in its prolonged low state and also SDSSJ121209.31+013627.7, a known magnetic white dwarf plus possible brown dwarf binary,...

  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. Orbital periods and component masses of three double white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Parsons, S. G.; García-Berro, E.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Schreiber, M. R.; Rybicka, M.; Koester, D.

    2017-04-01

    The merger of close double white dwarfs (CDWDs) is one of the favourite evolutionary channels for producing Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia). Unfortunately, current theories of the evolution and formation of CDWDs are still poorly constrained and have several serious uncertainties that affect the predicted SN Ia rates. Moreover, current observational constraints on this evolutionary pathway for SN Ia mainly rely on only 17 double-lined and/or eclipsing CDWDs with measured orbital and stellar parameters for both white dwarfs. In this paper, we present the orbital periods and the individual masses of three new double-lined CDWDs, derived using a new method. This method employs mass ratios, the Hα core ratios and spectral model fitting to constrain the masses of the components of the pair. The three CDWDs are WD0028-474 (Porb = 9.350 ± 0.007 h, M1 = 0.60 ± 0.06 M⊙, M2 = 0.45 ± 0.04 M⊙), HE0410-1137 (Porb = 12.208 ± 0.008 h, M1 = 0.51 ± 0.04 M⊙, M2 = 0.39 ± 0.03 M⊙) and SDSSJ031813.25-010711.7 (Porb = 45.908 ± 0.006 h, among the longest period systems, M1 = 0.40 ± 0.05 M⊙, M2 = 0.49 ± 0.05 M⊙). While the three systems studied here will merge in time-scales longer than the Hubble time and are expected to become single massive ( ≳ 0.9 M⊙) white dwarfs rather than exploding as SN Ia, increasing the small sample of CDWDs with determined stellar parameters is crucial for a better overall understanding of their evolution.

  9. Magnetic Fields and the Crystallization of White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isern, J.; García-Berro, E.; Külebi, B.; Lorén-Aguilar, P.

    2017-03-01

    The evolution of white dwarfs can be described as a cooling process. When the temperature is low enough, the interior experiences a phase transition and crystallizes. Crystallization introduces two new sources of energy, latent heat and chemical sedimentation, and induces the formation of a convective mantle around the solid core. This structure, which is analogous to that of the Earth, could induce the formation of a magnetic field via dynamo mechanism. In this work we discuss the viability of such mechanism, and its use as a diagnostic tool of crystallization.

  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. The Discovery of the First White Dwarf: Sirius B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holberg, J. B.

    2005-08-01

    The major events surrounding the discovery of the white dwarf Sirius B, from its prediction in 1844 by Bessel, to its discovery by Alvan Graham Clark in 1862, to the demonstration of its subluminous nature by Adams in 1915 are relatively well known. However, numerous influential individuals, including C. A. F. Peters, A. Auwers, G. P. Bond., U. J. J. Le Verrier, L. Foucault and W. Struve, all played little known but influential roles in the initial discovery of Sirius B and in the subsequent interpretation of its nature.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2011-01-01

    We present three new eclipsing white-dwarf / M-dwarf binary systems discovered during a search for transiting planets around M-dwarfs. Unlike most known eclipsing systems of this type, the optical and infrared emission is dominated by the M-dwarf components, and the systems have optical colors and discovery light curves consistent with being Jupiter-radius transiting planets around early M-dwarfs. We detail the PTF/M-dwarf transiting planet survey, part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We present a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)-based box-least-squares search for transits that runs approximately 8X 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 solar radi...

  14. 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.

  15. A stellar prominence in the white dwarf/red dwarf binary QS Vir: evidence for a detached system

    CERN Document Server

    Parsons, S G; Gänsicke, B T; Tappert, C

    2010-01-01

    Using high resolution UVES spectra of the eclipsing Post Common Envelope Binary QS Vir we detect material along the line of sight to the white dwarf at orbital phase $\\phi=0.16$. We ascribe this to a stellar prominence originating from the M dwarf secondary star which passes in front of the white dwarf at this phase. This creates sharp absorption features in the hydrogen Balmer series and Ca II H and K lines. The small size of the white dwarf allows us to place tight constraints on the column density of hydrogen in the n=2 level of log_(10)(N_2) = 14.10 +/- 0.03 cm^(-2) and, assuming local thermodynamical equilibrium, the temperature of the prominence material of ~9000K. The prominence material is at least 1.5 stellar radii from the surface of the M dwarf. The location of the prominence is consistent with emission features previously interpreted as evidence for Roche lobe overflow in the system. We also detect Mg II 4481A absorption from the white dwarf. The width of the Mg II line indicates that the white dw...

  16. DA WHITE DWARFS OBSERVED IN THE LAMOST PILOT SURVEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Yueyang; Deng Licai; Liu Chao; Carrell, Kenneth; Yang Fan; Gao Shuang; Xu Yan; Li Jing; Zhang Haotong; Zhao Yongheng; Luo Ali; Bai Zhongrui; Yuan Hailong [Key Lab for Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Lepine, Sebastien [Department of Astrophysics, Division of Physical Sciences, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY (United States); Newberg, Heidi Jo; Carlin, Jeffrey L. [Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180 (United States); Jin Ge [University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China)

    2013-08-01

    A total of {approx}640, 000 objects from the LAMOST pilot survey have been publicly released. In this work, we present a catalog of DA white dwarfs (DAWDs) from the entire pilot survey. We outline a new algorithm for the selection of white dwarfs (WDs) by fitting Sersic profiles to the Balmer H{beta}, H{gamma}, and H{delta} lines of the spectra, and calculating the equivalent width of the Ca II K line. Two thousand nine hundred sixty-four candidates are selected by constraining the fitting parameters and the equivalent width of the Ca II K line. All the spectra of candidates are visually inspected. We identify 230 DAWDs (59 of which are already included in the Villanova and SDSS WD catalogs), 20 of which are DAWDs with non-degenerate companions. In addition, 128 candidates are classified as DAWDs/subdwarfs, which means the classifications are ambiguous. The result is consistent with the expected DAWD number estimated based on the LEGUE target selection algorithm.

  17. 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 ...

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. 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 ...

  20. Orbital periods and component masses of three double white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A; Garcia-Berro, E; Gaensicke, B T; Schreiber, M R; Rybicka, M; Koester, D

    2016-01-01

    The merger of close double white dwarfs (CDWDs) is one of the favourite evolutionary channels for producing Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia). Unfortunately, current theories of the evolution and formation of CDWDs are still poorly constrained and have several serious uncertainties, which affect the predicted SN Ia rates. Moreover, current observational constraints on this evolutionary pathway for SN Ia mainly rely on only 18 double-lined and/or eclipsing CDWDs with measured orbital and stellar parameters for both white dwarfs. In this paper we present the orbital periods and the individual masses of three new double-lined CDWDs, derived using a new method. This method employs mass ratios, the Halpha core ratios and spectral model-fitting to constrain the masses of the components of the pair. The three CDWDs are WD0028-474 (Porb=9.350 +- 0.007 hours, M1=0.60 +- 0.06 Msun, M2=0.45 +- 0.04 Msun), HE0410-1137 (Porb = 12.208 +- 0.008 hours, M1= 0.51 +- 0.04 Msun, M2= 0.39 +- 0.03 Msun) and SDSSJ031813.25-010711.7 (Porb ...

  1. SGRs and AXPs: Massive Rotating White Dwarfs versus Magnetars

    CERN Document Server

    Malheiro, Manuel; Ruffini, Remo

    2011-01-01

    The recent observations of SGR 0418+5729 offer an authentic Rosetta Stone for deciphering the energy source of Soft Gamma Ray Repeaters (SGRs) and Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs). The "magnetar" model, appeals to a yet untested new energy source in astrophysical systems: bulk magnetic energy. It leads for SGR 0418+5729 to results in contradiction with observations. It is shown how a consistent model for SGRs and AXPs can be expressed in terms of canonical physics and astrophysics within massive, fast rotating, and highly magnetized white dwarfs. The pioneering work of B. Paczynski (1990) on 1E 2259+586 is extended and further developed to describe the observed properties of all known SGRS and AXPs by assuming spin-down powered massive, fast rotating, and highly magnetized white dwarfs. Within this model, we obtain the theoretical prediction for the lower limit of the first time derivative of the rotational period of SGR 0418+5729, $\\dot{P} \\geq L_X P^3/(4\\pi^2 I)=1.18\\times 10^{-16}$ s/s being $L_X$ and $P$ th...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Saumon, D; Kowalski, P M

    2014-01-01

    The atmospheres of very cool, hydrogen-rich white dwarfs (Teff <6000 K) are challenging to models because of the increased complexity of the equation of state, chemical equilibrium, and opacity sources in a low-temperature, weakly ionized dense gas. In particular, many models that assume relatively simple models for the broadening of atomic levels and mostly ideal gas physics overestimate the flux in the blue part of their spectra. A solution to this problem that has met with some success is that additional opacity at short wavelengths comes for the extreme broadening of the Lyman alpha line of atomic H by collisions primarily with H2. For the purpose of validating this model more rigorously, we acquired Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectra of 8 very cool white dwarfs (5 DA and 3 DC stars). Combined with their known parallaxes, BVRIJHK and Spitzer IRAC photometry, we analyze their entire spectral energy distribution (from 0.24 to 9.3 micron) with a large grid of model atmospheres and synthetic spectra. We f...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Toonen, Silvia; Zwart, Simon Portegies

    2011-01-01

    An update is presented to the software package SeBa for simulating single star and binary evolution in which new stellar evolution tracks have been implemented. SeBa is applied to study the population of close double white dwarf and the delay time distribution of double white dwarf mergers that may lead to Supernovae Type Ia.

  7. 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...

  8. 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....

  9. 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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Althaus, Leandro G; Córsico, Alejandro H; Torres, Santiago; García--Berro, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Some globular clusters host multiple stellar populations with different chemical abundance patterns. This is particularly true for $\\omega$ Centauri, which shows clear evidence of a helium- enriched sub-population characterized by a helium abundance as high as $Y= 0.4$. We present a whole and consistent set of evolutionary tracks from the ZAMS to the white dwarf stage appropriate for the study of the formation and evolution of white dwarfs resulting from the evolution of helium-rich progenitors. Different issues of the white dwarf evolution and their helium-rich progenitors have been explored. In particular, the final mass of the remnants, the role of overshooting during the thermally-pulsing phase, and the cooling of the resulting white dwarfs differ markedly from the evolutionary predictions of progenitor stars with standard initial helium abundance. Finally, the pulsational properties of the resulting white dwarfs are also explored. We find that, for the range of initial masses explored in this paper, the ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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 in Globular Clusters HST Observations of M4

    CERN Document Server

    Richer, H B; Ibata, R A; Pryor, C E; Bell, R A; Bolte, M; Bond, H E; Harris, W E; Hesser, J E; Holland, S; Ivanans, N; Mandushev, G I; Stetson, P B; Wood, M A; Richer, Harvey B.; Fahlman, Gregory G.; Ibata, Rodrigo A.; Pryor, Carlton; Bell, Roger A.; Bolte, Michael; Bond, Howard E.; Harris, William E.; Hesser, James E.; Holland, Steve; Ivanans, Nicholas; Mandushev, Georgi; Stetson, Peter B.; Wood, Matt A.

    1997-01-01

    Using WFPC2 on the Hubble Space Telescope, we have isolated a sample of 258 white dwarfs (WDs) in the Galactic globular cluster M4. Fields at three radial distances from the cluster center were observed and sizeable WD populations were found in all three. The location of these WDs in the color-magnitude diagram, their mean mass of 0.51($ \\pm 0.03$)M$_{\\odot}$, and their luminosity function confirm basic tenets of stellar evolution theory and support the results from current WD cooling theory. The WDs are used to extend the cluster main-sequence mass function upward to stars that have already completed their nuclear evolution. The WD/red dwarf binary frequency in M4 is investigated and found to be at most a few percent of all the main-sequence stars. The most ancient WDs found are about 9 Gyr old, a level which is set solely by the photometric limits of our data. Even though this is less than the age of M4, we discuss how these cooling WDs can eventually be used to check the turnoff ages of globular clusters a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Fuller, Jim

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Eccentric double white dwarfs as LISA sources in globular clusters

    CERN Document Server

    Willems, B; Vecchio, A; Ivanova, N; Rasio, F A; Fregeau, J M; Belczynski, K

    2007-01-01

    We consider the formation of double white dwarfs (DWDs) through dynamical interactions in globular clusters. Such interactions can readily give rise to eccentric DWDs, in contrast to the exclusively circular population that is expected to form in the Galactic disk. We show that for a 5-year Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission and distances as far as the Large Magellanic Cloud, multiple harmonics from eccentric DWDs can be detected at a signal-to-noise ratio higher than 8 for at least a handful of eccentric DWDs, given their formation rate and typical merger lifetimes estimated from current cluster simulations. Consequently the association of eccentricity with stellar-mass LISA sources does not uniquely involve neutron stars, as is usually assumed. Due to the difficulty of detecting these systems with present and planned electromagnetic observatories, LISA could provide unique dynamical identifications of eccentric DWDs in globular clusters.

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Warren R.; Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, A. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks St., Norman, OK, 73019 (United States); Allende Prieto, Carlos, E-mail: wbrown@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: kilic@ou.edu, E-mail: alexg@nhn.ou.edu, E-mail: callende@iac.es [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, E-38205, La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)

    2013-05-20

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

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

    We present spin-resolved spectroscopy of the accreting white dwarf binary V455 And. With a suggested spin period of only 67s, it has one of the fastest spinning white dwarfs known. To study the spectral variability on the spin period of the white dwarf, we observed V455 And with 2s integration times, which is significantly shorter than the spin rate of the white dwarf. To achieve this cadence, we used the blue arm of the ISIS spectrograph at the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope, equipped with an electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD). Strong coherent signals were detected in our time series, which lead to a robust determination of the spin period of the white dwarf (Pspin=67.619 +/- 0.002 s). Folding the spectra on the white dwarf spin period uncovered very complex emission line variations in Hgamma, He I 4472 and He II 4686. We attribute the observed spin phase dependence of the emission line shape to the presence of magnetically controlled accretion onto the white dwarf via accretion curtains, consistent with an ...

  6. 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...

  7. HR2875 Spectroscopic discovery of the first B star + white dwarf binary

    CERN Document Server

    Burleigh, M R; Burleigh, Matt; Barstow, Martin

    1998-01-01

    We report the discovery, in an Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) short wavelength spectrum, of an unresolved hot white dwarf companion to the 5th-magnitude B5Vp star HR2875. This is the first time that a non-interacting white dwarf$+$ B star binary has been discovered; previously, the the earliest type star known with a white dwarf companion was Sirius (A1V). Since the white dwarf must have evolved from a main sequence progenitor with a mass greater than that of a B5V star ($\\geq$6.0M$_\\odot$), this places a lower limit on the maximum mass for white dwarf progenitors, with important implications for our knowledge of the initial-final mass relation. Assuming a pure-hydrogen atmospheric composition, we constrain the temperature of the white dwarf to be between 39,000K and 49,000K. We also argue that this degenerate star is likely to have mass significantly greater than the mean mass for white dwarf stars ($\\approx$0.55M$_\\odot$). Finally, we suggest that other bright B stars (e.g.\\ Field Camera and EUVE may a...

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bognar, Zs.; Sodor, A.

    2016-09-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. 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. The Effects of Element Diffusion on the Pulsational Properties of Variable DA White Dwarf Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Corsico, A H; Althaus, L G; Serenelli, A M

    2002-01-01

    We explore the effects of element diffusion due to gravitational settling and thermal and chemical diffusion on the pulsational properties of DA white dwarfs. To this end, we employ an updated evolutionary code coupled with a pulsational, finite difference code for computing the linear, non-radial g-modes in the adiabatic approximation. We follow the evolution of a 0.55 \\msun white dwarf model in a self-consistent way with the evolution of chemical abundance distribution as given by time dependent diffusion processes. Results are compared with the standard treatment of diffusive equilibrium in the trace element approximation. Appreciable differences are found between the two employed treatments. We conclude that time dependent element diffusion plays an important role in determining the whole oscillation pattern and the temporal derivative of the periods in DAV white dwarfs. In addition, we discuss the plausibility of the standard description employed in accounting for diffusion in most of white dwarf asteros...

  17. White Dwarfs in the Metal-Rich Open Cluster NGC 6253

    CERN Document Server

    Jeffery, Elizabeth J; Romero, Alejandra; Kepler, S O

    2016-01-01

    We have obtained 53 images with the $g$ filter and 19 images with the $i$ filter, each with 600-second exposures of the super metal rich open cluster NGC 6253 with the Gemini-South telescope to create deep images of the cluster to observe the cluster white dwarfs for the first time. We will analyze the white dwarf luminosity function to measure the cluster's white dwarf age, search for any anomalous features (as has been seen in the similarly metal rich cluster NGC 6791), and constrain the initial-final mass relation at high metallicities. We present an update on these observations and our program to study the formation of white dwarfs in super high metallicity environments.

  18. 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.

  19. RX J0648.0--4418: the fastest-spinning white dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    Mereghetti, Sandro

    2013-01-01

    RX J0648.0-4418 is a post common-envelope X-ray binary composed of a hot subdwarf and one of the most massive white dwarfs with a dynamical mass measurement (1.28+/-0.05 M_sun). This white dwarf, with a spin period of 13.2 s, rotates more than twice faster than the white dwarf in the cataclysmic variable AE Aqr. The current properties of these two binaries, as well as their future evolution, are quite different, despite both contain a fast-spinning white dwarf. RX J0648.0-4418 could be the progenitor of either a Type Ia supernova or of a non-recycled millisecond pulsars.

  20. 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/

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding the Oldest White Dwarfs: Atmospheres of Cool WDs as Extreme Physics Laboratories

    CERN Document Server

    Kowalski, Piotr M

    2010-01-01

    Reliable modeling of the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs is crucial for understanding the atmospheric evolution of these stars and for accurate white dwarfs cosmochronology. Over the last decade {\\it ab initio} modeling entered many research fields and has been successful in predicting properties of various materials under extreme conditions. In many cases the investigated physical regimes are difficult or even impossible to access by experimental methods, and first principles quantum mechanical calculations are the only tools available for investigation. Using modern methods of computational chemistry and physics we investigate the atmospheres of helium-rich, old white dwarfs. Such atmospheres reach extreme, fluid like densities (up to grams per cm$^3$) and represent an excellent laboratory for high temperature and pressure physics and chemistry. We show our results for the stability and opacity of $\\rm H^-$ and $\\rm C_2$ in dense helium and the implications of our work for understanding cool white dwarfs.

  4. Understanding the Oldest White Dwarfs: Atmospheres of Cool WDs as Extreme Physics Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalski, Piotr M.

    2010-11-01

    Reliable modeling of the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs is crucial for understanding the atmospheric evolution of these stars and for accurate white dwarfs cosmochronology. Over the last decade ab initio modeling entered many research fields and has been successful in predicting properties of various materials under extreme conditions. In many cases the investigated physical regimes are difficult or even impossible to access by experimental methods, and first principles quantum mechanical calculations are the only tools available for investigation. Using modern methods of computational chemistry and physics we investigate the atmospheres of helium-rich, old white dwarfs. Such atmospheres reach extreme, fluid like densities (up to grams per cm3) and represent an excellent laboratory for high temperature and pressure physics and chemistry. We show our results for the stability and opacity of H- and C2 in dense helium and the implications of our work for understanding cool white dwarfs.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Jeffery, C Simon; 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 evolved to become the carbon-oxygen white dwarf. Thus the surface composition of the merged star is estimated as a function of the initial mass and metallicity of its progenitor. The question of whether additional nucleosynthesis occurs during the white dwarf merger has been examined. The high observed abundances of carbon and oxygen must either originate by dredge-up from the core of the carbon-oxygen white dwarf during a cold merger or be generated directly by alpha-burning during a hot merger. The presence of large quantiti...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. The Gaia DR1 mass-radius relation for white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Gentile-Fusillo, N.; Raddi, R.; Jordan, S.; Besson, C.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Parsons, S. G.; Koester, D.; Marsh, T.; Bohlin, R.; Kalirai, J.; Deustua, S.

    2017-03-01

    The Gaia Data Release 1 (DR1) sample of white dwarf parallaxes is presented, including six 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 characterization 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 wider range of mass, Teff, and spectral types.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Physical Properties of the Current Census of Northern White Dwarfs within 40 pc of the Sun

    CERN Document Server

    Limoges, M -M; Lépine, S

    2015-01-01

    We present a detailed description of the physical properties of our current census of white dwarfs within 40 pc of the Sun, based on an exhaustive spectroscopic survey of northern hemisphere candidates from the SUPERBLINK proper motion database. Our method for selecting white dwarf candidates is based on a combination of theoretical color-magnitude relations and reduced proper motion diagrams. We reported in an earlier publication the discovery of nearly 200 new white dwarfs, and we present here the discovery of an additional 133 new white dwarfs, among which we identify 96 DA, 3 DB, 24 DC, 3 DQ, and 7 DZ stars. We further identify 178 white dwarfs that lie within 40 pc of the Sun, representing a 40% increase of the current census, which now includes 492 objects. We estimate the completeness of our survey at between 66 and 78%, allowing for uncertainties in the distance estimates. We also perform a homogeneous model atmosphere analysis of this 40 pc sample and find a large fraction of massive white dwarfs, in...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Agnes

    2017-01-01

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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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.

  2. Cracking the Diamond: Testing White Dwarf Crystallization Theory with BPM 37093

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, T. S.; Montgomery, M. H.; Kanaan, A.

    2003-12-01

    More than four decades have passed since it was predicted that the cores of the coolest white dwarf stars should theoretically crystallize. This effect is one of the largest sources of uncertainty in white dwarf cooling models, which are now routinely used to estimate the ages of stellar populations in both the galactic disk and the halo. We are attempting to minimize this source of uncertainty by calibrating the models, using observations of pulsating white dwarfs. In a typical mass white dwarf model, crystallization does not begin until the surface temperature reaches 6000-8000 K. In more massive white dwarf models the effect begins at higher surface temperatures, where pulsations are observed in the ZZ Ceti (DAV) stars. The most massive DAV white dwarf presently known is BPM 37093. We are using the observed pulsation periods of this star to probe the interior and determine the size of the crystallized core empirically. We will present preliminary results from our application of a genetic-algorithm-based fitting method to address this enormous computational problem. This research was partially supported by a grant from NASA administered by the American Astronomical Society.

  3. 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...

  4. Latest Results from the DODO Survey: Imaging Planets around White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Emma; Burleigh, Matt R.; Clarke, Fraser J.

    2011-03-01

    The aim of the Degenerate Objects around Degenerate Objects (DODO) survey is to search for very low mass brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets in wide orbits around white dwarfs via direct imaging. The direct detection of such companions would allow the spectroscopic investigation of objects with temperatures lower (DODO survey has the ability to directly image planets in post-main sequence analogues of these systems. These proceedings present the latest results of our multi-epoch J band common proper motion survey of nearby white dwarfs.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Molecular Magnetic Dichroism in Spectra of White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

  9. Mass-radius relations for helium white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Civelek, R

    1998-01-01

    In recent years, white dwarf stars are receiving increasing attension. The recent studies on the relation of M-R for the WDs are those of Wood (1990), Vennes et al. (1995) and Althaus and Benvenuto (1997, 1998). Vennes et al. (1995) computed static M-R relation for masses between 0.4 $M_\\odot$ and 0.7 $M_\\odot$ assuming non zero temperature effects. They assumed the luminosity is proportional to the mass which works for cool WDs but their results are in the range of high effective temperatures. As Althaus and Benvenuto (1997) mentioned, luminosity is not proportional to a constant for hot WD interiors because of neutrino emission. The purpose of this study is to present the effect of neutrino emission at finite temperatures. We considered fully degenerate configuration for WDs with pure helium composition to obtain static mass-radius relation for masses greater than 0.4 $M_\\odot$ with luminosity mass ratio due to neutrino energy loss.

  10. 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....

  11. Multi-Messenger Astronomy: White Dwarf Binaries, LISA and GAIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Michael; Breivik, Katelyn; Larson, Shane L.

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of gravitational waves has ushered in a new era in astronomy. The low-frequency band covered by the future LISA detector provides unprecedented opportunities for multi-messenger astronomy. With the Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics (GAIA) mission, we expect to discover about 1,000 eclipsing binary systems composed of a WD and a main sequence star - a sizeable increase from the approximately 34 currently known binaries of this type. In advance of the first GAIA data release and the launch of LISA within the next decade, we used the Binary Stellar Evolution (BSE) code simulate the evolution of White Dwarf Binaries (WDB) in a fixed galaxy population of about 196,000 sources. Our goal is to assess the detectability of a WDB by LISA and GAIA using the parameters from our population synthesis, we calculate GW strength h, and apparent GAIA magnitude G. We can then use a scale factor to make a prediction of how many multi- messenger sources we expect to be detectable by both LISA and GAIA in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way. We create binaries 10 times to ensure randomness in distance assignment and average our results. We then determined whether or not astronomical chirp is the difference between the total chirp and the GW chirp. With Astronomical chirp and simulations of mass transfer and tides, we can gather more information about the internal astrophysics of stars in ultra-compact binary systems.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. On the white dwarf cooling sequence with extremely large telescopes

    CERN Document Server

    Bono, G; Gilmozzi, R

    2012-01-01

    We present new diagnostics of white dwarf (WD) cooling sequences and luminosity functions (LFs) in the near-infrared (NIR) bands that will exploit the sensitivity and resolution of future extremely large telescopes. The collision-induced absorption (CIA) of molecular hydrogen causes a clearly defined blue turn-off along the WD (WDBTO) cooling sequences and a bright secondary maximum in the WD LFs. These features are independent of age over a broad age range and are minimally affected by metal abundance. This means that the NIR magnitudes of the WDBTO are very promising distance indicators. The interplay between the cooling time of progressively more massive WDs and the onset of CIA causes a red turn-off along the WD (WDRTO) cooling sequences and a well defined faint peak in the WD LFs. These features are very sensitive to the cluster age, and indeed the K-band magnitude of the faint peak increases by 0.2--0.25 mag/Gyr for ages between 10 and 14 Gyr. On the other hand, the faint peak in the optical WD LF incre...

  15. 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...

  16. Models of Vortices and Spirals in White Dwarf's Accretion Binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boneva, Daniela

    2010-11-01

    The main aim in the current survey is to suggest models of the development of structures, such as vortices and spirals, in accretion white dwarf's binaries. On the base of hydrodynamical analytical considerations it is applied numerical methods and simulations. It is suggested in the theoretical model the perturbation's parameters of the accretion flow, caused by the influences of the tidal wave over the flux of accretion matter around the secondary star. To examine such disturbed flow, the numerical code has involved in the calculations. The results reveal us an appearing of structure with spiral shape due to the tidal interaction in the close binaries. Our further simulations give the solution, which expresses the formation of vortical configurations in the accretion disc's zone. The evolution of vortices in areas of the flow's interaction is explored using single vortex and composite vortex models. Gas in the disc matter is considered to be compressible and non-ideal. The longevity of all these structures is different and each depends of time period of the rotation, density and velocity of the accretion matter.

  17. SEISMOLOGY OF A MASSIVE PULSATING HYDROGEN ATMOSPHERE WHITE DWARF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  18. The Viscous Evolution of White Dwarf Merger Remnants

    CERN Document Server

    Schwab, Josiah; Quataert, Eliot; Dan, Marius; Rosswog, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    The merger of two white dwarfs (WDs) creates a differentially rotating remnant which is unstable to magnetohydrodynamic instabilities. These instabilities can lead to viscous evolution on a time-scale short compared to the thermal evolution of the remnant. We present multi-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the evolution of WD merger remnants under the action of an $\\alpha$-viscosity. We initialize our calculations using the output of eight WD merger simulations from Dan et al. (2011), which span a range of mass ratios and total masses. We generically find that the merger remnants evolve towards spherical states on time-scales of hours, even though a significant fraction of the mass is initially rotationally supported. The viscous evolution unbinds only a very small amount of mass $(< 10^{-5} M_\\odot)$. Viscous heating causes some of the systems we study with He WD secondaries to reach conditions of nearly dynamical burning. It is thus possible that the post-merger viscous phase triggers detonation of...

  19. White Dwarf Mass Estimation with X-ray Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, T.

    2017-03-01

    I present X-ray spectral modeling of intermediate polars (IPs) and its application to Suzaku satellite data. The intrinsic thermal X-rays are modeled by integrating the plasma emissions of various temperatures in the post-shock accretion column (PSAC). The physical quantity distributions for the thermal spectral model is calculated from quasi-one-dimensional hydrodynamics. The PSAC calculation includes especially the dipolar geometry and variation of the specific accretion rate. The X-ray reflection from the white dwarf (WD) is modeled by a Monte Carlo simulation. In this simulation, the PSAC irradiates a cool, neutral and spherical WD with the various thermal spectra from the corresponding positions in the PSAC according to the thermal spectral model. The coherent and incoherent scattering, the photoelectric absorption, and Kα and Kβ re-emission of iron and nickel are taken into account for the photons arriving at the WD. The constructed X-ray spectral model is applied to EX Hya and V1223 Sgr, finding 0.65+0.11 –0.12 M⊙ and 0.91+0.08–0.03 M⊙, respectively. Their specific accretion rates are estimated at 0.069+0.33–0.045 g cm–2 s-1 and > 2 g cm–2 s-1, respectively, while the reflecting angles are 78.0–1.6+1.4 deg and 66.2+2.5–2.3 deg, respectively.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. The Discovery of Binary White Dwarfs that will Merge within 500 Myr

    CERN Document Server

    Kilic, Mukremin; Prieto, Carlos Allende; Kenyon, S J

    2009-01-01

    We present radial velocity observations of four extremely low-mass (0.2 Msol) white dwarfs. All four stars show peak-to-peak radial velocity variations of 540 - 710 km/s with 1.0 - 5.9 hr periods. The optical photometry rules out main-sequence companions. In addition, no milli-second pulsar companions are detected in radio observations. Thus the invisible companions are most likely white dwarfs. Due to the loss of angular momentum through gravitational radiation, three of the systems will merge within 500 Myr. The remaining system will merge within a Hubble time. The mass functions for three of the systems imply companions more massive than 0.44 Msol; thus those are carbon/oxygen core white dwarfs. However, the chance of a supernova Ia event is only 1% to 5%. These systems will most likely form single R Coronae Borealis stars, providing evidence for a white dwarf + white dwarf merger mechanism for these unusual objects. One of the systems, SDSS J105353.89+520031.0 has a 70% chance of having a low-mass white d...

  4. White Dwarfs in SDSS DR9 and DR10

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    MacDonald, J; José, J; Donald, James Mac; Hernanz, Margarita; José, Jordi; Physics, Department of; Delaware, University of; Catalunya, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de; Unit, CSIC Research; Nexus-201, Edifici; Nuclear, Departament de Fí sica i Enginyeria; Balaguer, Avda. Ví ctor

    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 models with older opacity data. Thus convective dredge-up of observationally detectable carbon in helium atmosphere white dwarfs can occur for thicker helium layers than found by Pelletier et al (1986). We find that the range of observed C to He ratios in different DQ white dwarfs of similar effective temperature is well explained by a range of initial helium layer mass between $10^{-3}$ and $10^{-2} M_{\\odot}$, in good agreement with stellar evolution theory, assuming a typical white dwarf mass of $0.6 M_{\\odot}$. We also ...

  8. 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...

  9. White Dwarfs:. Contributors and Tracers of the Galactic Dark-Matter Halo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopmans, L. V. E.; Blandford, R. D.

    2002-03-01

    We examine the claim by Oppenheimer et al. (2001) that the local halo density of white dwarfs is an order of magnitude higher than previously thought. As it stands, the observational data support the presence of a kinematically distinct population of halo white dwarfs at the >99% confidence level. A maximum-likelihood analysis gives a radial velocity dispersionREFID="9789812778017_0024FN001"> of σ hU = 150+80-40\\ km s-1 and an asymmetric drift of ν ha = 176+102-80\\ km s-1, for a Schwarzschild velocity distribution function with σU:σV:σW = 1:2/3:1/2. Halo white dwarfs have a local number density of 1.1+2.1-0.7 × 10-4\\ pc-3, which amounts to 0.8+1.6-0.5 per cent of the nominal local dark-matter halo density and is 5.0+9.5-3.2 times (90% C.L.) higher and thus only marginally in agreement with previous estimates. We discuss several direct consequences of this white-dwarf population (e.g. microlensing) and postulate a potential mechanism to eject young white dwarfs from the disc to the halo, through the orbital instabilities in triple or multiple stellar systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. The 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 ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Hubble space telescope observations of white dwarfs in the globular cluster M4

    CERN Document Server

    Richer, H B; Ibata, R A; Stetson, P B; Bell, R A; Bolte, M; Bond, H E; Harris, W E; Hesser, J E; Mandushev, G I; Pryor, C E; Richer, Harvey B; Fahlman, Gregory G; Ibata, Rodrigo A; Stetson, Peter B; Bell, Roger A; Bolte, Michael; Bond, Howard E; Harris, William E; Hesser, James E; Mandushev, Georgi; Pryor, Carlton

    1995-01-01

    With the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) on the Hubble Space Telescope, we have discovered in M4 (NGC 6121, C 1620-264) the first extensive sequence of cooling white dwarfs seen in a globular cluster. Adopting a distance modulus of (m-M)_V = 12.65 and a reddening of E(B-V) = 0.37, we show that the sequence, which extends over 9 < M_U < 13, is comprised of white dwarfs of mass \\sim 0.5 M_{\\odot}. The total mass loss from the present turnoff to the white dwarf sequence is 0.31 M_{\\odot} and the intrinsic dispersion in the mean mass appears to be < 0.05 M_{\\odot}. Both the location of the white dwarf cooling sequence in the cluster color-magnitude diagram and the cumulative luminosity function attest to the basic correctness and completeness of the physics in theoretical models for the upper three magnitudes of the observed white dwarf cooling sequence. To test the theory in globular clusters at cooling ages beyond \\sim 3 \\times 10^8 years will require deeper and more complete data.

  18. 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...

  19. Connections Between Tilted Accretion Disks Around White Dwarfs and Substellar Companions

    CERN Document Server

    Montgomery, M M

    2010-01-01

    Accretion disks in white dwarf systems are believed to be tilted. In a recent publication, the lift force has been suggested to be a source to disk tilt, a source that is likely relevant to all accretion disk systems. Lift is generated by slightly different supersonic gas stream speeds flowing over and under the disk at the bright spot. In this conference proceeding, we focus on whether a brown dwarf donor star accreting onto a white dwarf primary has enough mass to contribute to disk tilt. We also would like to obtain whether a white dwarf - brown dwarf close binary system has enough mass to induce and maintain a disk tilt of four degrees. We adopt SDSS 103533.03+055158.4 as our model system which has a mass transfer rate of \\( (10\\pm2) \\times 10^{-12} \\) M$_{\\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$. We find that the brown dwarf in SDSS 1035 does not have enough mass to contribute to disk tilt. We find a gross magnitude of the minimum mass transfer rate to be $\\sim10^{-10}$M$_{\\odot}$yr$^{-1}$. We conclude that SDSS 1035 does not ...

  20. Connections between Tilted Accretion Disks around White Dwarfs and Substellar Companions

    CERN Document Server

    Montgomery, M M

    2011-01-01

    Accretion disks in white dwarf systems are believed to be tilted. In a recent publication, the lift force has been suggested to be a source to disk tilt, a source that is likely relevant to all accretion disk systems. Lift is generated by slightly different supersonic gas stream speeds flowing over and under the disk at the bright spot. In this conference proceeding, we focus on whether a brown dwarf donor star accreting onto a white dwarf primary has enough mass to contribute to disk tilt. We also would like to obtain whether a white dwarf - brown dwarf close binary system has enough mass to induce and maintain a disk tilt of four degrees. We adopt SDSS 103533.03+055158.4 as our model system which has a mass transfer rate of (10 \\pm 2) x 10-12 M* yr-1. We find that the brown dwarf in SDSS 1035 does not have enough mass to contribute to disk tilt. We find a gross magnitude of the minimum mass transfer rate to be - 10-10 M* yr-1 . We conclude that SDSS 1035 does not seem to have a high enough mass transfer rat...

  1. Time dependent diffusion in pulsating white dwarf stars Asteroseismology of G117-B15A

    CERN Document Server

    Benvenuto, O G; Althaus, L G; Serenelli, A M

    2002-01-01

    We study the structural characteristic of the variable DA white dwarf G117B-15A by applying the methods of asteroseismology. For such a purpose, we construct white dwarf evolutionary models considering a detailed and up-to-date physical description as well as several processes responsible for the occurrence of element diffusion. We have considered several thickness for the outermost hydrogen layer, whereas for the inner helium-, carbon- and oxygen-rich layers we considered realistic profiles predicted by calculations of the white dwarf progenitor evolution. The evolution of each of the considered model sequences were followed down to very low effective temperature; in particular, from 12500K on we computed the dipolar, linear, adiabatic oscillations with low radial order. We find that asteroseismological results are not univocal regarding mode identification for the case of G117B-15A. However, our asteroseismological results are compatible with spectroscopical data only if the observed periods of 215.2, 271.0...

  2. 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.

  3. On the Dissociation Equilibrium of H2 in Very Cool, Helium-Rich White Dwarf Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Kowalski, P M

    2006-01-01

    We investigate the dissociation equilibrium of $\\rm H_2$ in very cool, helium-rich white dwarf atmospheres. We present the solution of the non-ideal chemical equilibrium for the dissociation of molecular hydrogen in a medium of dense helium. We find that at the photosphere of cool white dwarfs of $T_{\\rm eff}\\rm=4000 K$, the non-ideality results in an increase of the mole fraction of molecular hydrogen by up to a factor of $\\sim 10$, compared to the equilibrium value for the ideal gas. This increases the $\\rm H_{2}-He$ CIA opacity by an order of magnitude and will affect the determination of the abundance of hydrogen in very cool, helium-rich white dwarfs.

  4. 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.

  5. The heavily polluted atmosphere of the DAZ white dwarf GALEX J193156.8+011745

    CERN Document Server

    Vennes, S; Nemeth, P

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery of a new heavily polluted white dwarf. The DAZ white dwarf GALEX J193156.8+011745 was identified in a joint GALEX/GSC survey of ultraviolet-excess objects. Optical spectra obtained at ESO NTT show strong absorption lines of magnesium and silicon and a detailed abundance analysis based on VLT-Kueyen UVES spectra reveal super-solar abundances of silicon and magnesium, and near-solar abundances of oxygen, calcium, and iron. The overall abundance pattern bears the signature of ongoing accretion onto the white dwarf atmosphere. The infrared spectral energy distribution shows an excess in the H and K bands likely associated with the accretion source.

  6. Evolution of double white dwarf binaries undergoing direct-impact accretion: Implications for gravitational wave astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, Kyle; Breivik, Katelyn; Larson, Shane L.; Kalogera, Vassiliki

    2017-01-01

    For close double white dwarf binaries, the mass-transfer phenomenon known as direct-impact accretion (when the mass transfer stream impacts the accretor directly rather than forming a disc) may play a pivotal role in the long-term evolution of the systems. In this analysis, we explore the long-term evolution of white dwarf binaries accreting through direct-impact and explore implications of such systems to gravitational wave astronomy. We cover a broad range of parameter space which includes initial component masses and the strength of tidal coupling, and show that these systems, which lie firmly within the LISA frequency range, show strong negative chirps which can last as long as several million years. Detections of double white dwarf systems in the direct-impact phase by detectors such as LISA would provide astronomers with unique ways of probing the physics governing close compact object binaries.

  7. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Excess Infrared Radiation from a Massive DAZ White Dwarf: GD362 - a Debris Disk?

    CERN Document Server

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

    2005-01-01

    We report the discovery of excess K-band radiation from a massive DAZ white dwarf star, GD362. Combining infrared photometric and spectroscopic observations, we show that the excess radiation cannot be explained by a stellar or substellar companion, and is likely to be caused by a debris disk. This would be only the second such system known, discovered 18 years after G29-38, the only single white dwarf currently known to be orbited by circumstellar dust. Both of these systems favor a model with accretion from a surrounding debris disk to explain the metal abundances observed in DAZ white dwarfs. Nevertheless, observations of more DAZs in the mid-infrared are required to test if this model can explain all DAZs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

    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 H2-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 H2-He CIA spectrum is significantly distorted for densities higher than 0.1 g/cm3.

  12. 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$^3$.

  13. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  17. The formation of high-field magnetic white dwarfs from common envelopes

    CERN Document Server

    Nordhaus, J; Spiegel, D S; Metzger, B D; Blackman, E G

    2010-01-01

    The origin of highly-magnetized white dwarfs has remained a mystery since their initial discovery. Recent observations indicate that the formation of high-field magnetic white dwarfs is intimately related to strong binary interactions during post-main-sequence phases of stellar evolution. If a low-mass companion, such as a planet, brown dwarf, or low-mass star is engulfed by a post-main-sequence giant, the hydrodynamic drag in the envelope of the giant leads 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...

  18. Pruning The ELM Survey: Characterizing Candidate Low-mass White Dwarfs through Photometric Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Keaton J.; Gianninas, A.; Hermes, J. J.; Winget, D. E.; Kilic, Mukremin; Montgomery, M. H.; Castanheira, B. G.; Vanderbosch, Z.; Winget, K. I.; Brown, Warren R.

    2017-02-01

    We assess the photometric variability of nine stars with spectroscopic Teff and log g values from the ELM Survey that locates them near the empirical extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarf instability strip. We discover three new pulsating stars: SDSS J135512.34+195645.4, SDSS J173521.69+213440.6, and SDSS J213907.42+222708.9. However, these are among the few ELM Survey objects that do not show radial velocity (RV) variations that confirm the binary nature expected of helium-core white dwarfs. The dominant 4.31 hr pulsation in SDSS J135512.34+195645.4 far exceeds the theoretical cut-off for surface reflection in a white dwarf, and this target is likely a high-amplitude δ Scuti pulsator with an overestimated surface gravity. We estimate the probability to be less than 0.0008 that the lack of measured RV variations in four of eight other pulsating candidate ELM white dwarfs could be due to low orbital inclination. Two other targets exhibit variability as photometric binaries. Partial coverage of the 19.342 hr orbit of WD J030818.19+514011.5 reveals deep eclipses that imply a primary radius >0.4 R⊙—too large to be consistent with an ELM white dwarf. The only object for which our time series photometry adds support to ELM white dwarf classification is SDSS J105435.78‑212155.9, which has consistent signatures of Doppler beaming and ellipsoidal variations. We conclude that the ELM Survey contains multiple false positives from another stellar population at Teff ≲ 9000 K, possibly related to the sdA stars recently reported from SDSS spectra.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Spectropolarimetry and Infrared Photometry of Magnetic White Dwarfs: Vacuum Polarization Effect or Magnetic CIA?

    CERN Document Server

    Gnedin, Y N; Larionov, V M; Naidenov, I D; Natsvlishvili, T M; Piotrovich, M Y; Gnedin, Yu. N.

    2004-01-01

    We present brief review of two probable physical mechanisms that can explain the results of photometric and spectropolarimetric observations of magnetic white dwarfs: vacuum polarization effect into a strong magnetic field and, so-called, magnetic collision induced absorption (magnetic CIA). Both mechanisms provide observed rotation of polarization ellipse and suppression of spectral energy distributions. The results of spectropolarimetric observations of magnetic white dwarfs made at Russian BTA-6m and the results of the near infrared photometric observations with Russian-Italian AZT-24 telescope located at Campo Imperatore are also presented.

  3. Significantly Super-Chandrasekhar Limiting Mass White Dwarfs and their Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, B.; Das, U.; Rao, A. R.; Subramanian, S.; Bhattacharya, M.; Mukerjee, S.; Bhatia, T. S.; Sutradhar, J.

    2017-03-01

    Since 2012, we have initiated a new idea showing that the mass of highly magnetized or modified Einstein's gravity induced white dwarfs could be significantly super-Chandrasekhar with a different mass-limit. This discovery has several important consequences, including explanation of peculiar, over-luminous type Ia supernovae, soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars without invoking extraordinarily strong, yet unobserved, magnetic fields. It further argues for a possible second standard candle. Based on simpler calculations, these white dwarfs are also shown to be much less luminous than their standard counter-parts (of low magnetic fields). This discovery altogether initiates a new field of research.

  4. Significantly super-Chandrasekhar limiting mass white dwarfs and their consequences

    CERN Document Server

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata; Rao, A R; Subramanian, Sathyawageeswar; Bhattacharya, Mukul; Mukerjee, Subroto; Bhatia, Tanayveer Singh; Sutradhar, Jagannath

    2016-01-01

    Since 2012, we have initiated a new idea showing that the mass of highly magnetized or modified Einstein's gravity induced white dwarfs could be significantly super-Chandrasekhar with a different mass-limit. This discovery has several important consequences, including explanation of peculiar, over-luminous type Ia supernovae, soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars without invoking extraordinarily strong, yet unobserved, magnetic fields. It further argues for a possible second standard candle. Based on simpler calculations, these white dwarfs are also shown to be much less luminous than their standard counter-parts (of low magnetic fields). This discovery altogether initiates a new field of research.

  5. 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.

  6. GD1212: Probing deep into the interior of a pulsating white dwarf star

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giammichele N.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present the first self-consistent seismic analysis of a white dwarf star, GD 1212, in the Kepler2 field. We precisely establish the fundamental parameters of the star using the forward method based on physically sound models. We unravel the internal structure as well as the rotation profile of GD1212 deeper than in any other ZZCeti stars studied so far. This opens up interesting prospects for future analyses of the white dwarf pulsators monitored in the Kepler and Kepler2 fields.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-07-01

    2008 May 27 ABSTRACT We report the discovery of a nearby old halo white dwarf (WD) candidate from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ( SDSS ). SDSS J110217.48...411315.4 has a proper motion of 1′′.75 yr−1 and redder optical colors than all other known featureless (type DC) WDs. We present SDSS imaging and...complicated physics of the dense atmospheres of cool WDs. Key words: stars: individual ( SDSS J110217.48+411315.4) – white dwarfs Online-only material

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musielak, Zdzislaw E.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The ages and colours of cool helium-core white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    Serenelli, A M; Rohrmann, R D; Benvenuto, O G

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this work is to explore the evolution of helium-core white dwarf stars in a self-consistent way with the predictions of detailed non-gray model atmospheres and element diffusion. To this end, we consider helium-core white dwarf models with stellar masses of 0.406, 0.360, 0.327, 0.292, 0.242, 0.196 and 0.169 solar masses and follow their evolution from the end of mass loss episodes during their pre-white dwarf evolution down to very low surface luminosities. We find that when the effective temperature decreases below 4000K, the emergent spectrum of these stars becomes bluer within time-scales of astrophysical interest. In particular, we analyse the evolution of our models in the colour-colour and colour-magnitude diagrams and we find that helium-core white dwarfs with masses ranging from approx. 0.18 to 0.3 solar masses can reach the turn-off in their colours and become blue again within cooling times much less than 15 Gyr and then remain brighter than M_V approx. 16.5. In view of these results,...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Córsico, A H

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of pulsations in some low-mass white dwarfs, including the so-called extremely low-mass white dwarfs, has opened the unprecedented opportunity of probing the internal structure of these ancient stars. We present a detailed adiabatic pulsational study of these stars based on a new set of He-core white-dwarf models with masses ranging from $0.1554$ to $0.4352 M_{\\odot}$ derived by computing the non-conservative evolution of a binary system consisting of an initially $1 M_{\\odot}$ ZAMS star and a $1.4 M_{\\odot}$ neutron star. We computed adiabatic radial ($\\ell= 0$) and non-radial ($\\ell= 1, 2$) $p$ and $g$ modes to assess the dependence of the pulsational properties of these objects on stellar parameters such as the stellar mass and the effective temperature, as well as the effects of element diffusion. We found that for white dwarf models with masses below $\\sim 0.18 M_{\\odot}$, $g$ modes mainly probe the core regions and $p$ modes the envelope, therefore pulsations offer the opportunity of const...

  16. Energy Dissipation through Quasi-Static Tides in White Dwarf Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Willems, B; Kalogera, V

    2009-01-01

    We study tidal interactions in white dwarf binaries in the limiting case of quasi-static tides. The formalism is valid for arbitrary orbital eccentricities and therefore applicable to white dwarf binaries in the Galactic disk as well as globular clusters. In the quasi-static limit, the total perturbation of the gravitational potential shows a phase shift with respect to the position of the companion, the magnitude of which is determined primarily by the efficiency of energy dissipation through convective damping. We determine rates of secular evolution of the orbital elements and white dwarf rotational angular velocity for a 0.3 solar mass helium white dwarf in binaries with orbital frequencies in the LISA gravitational wave frequency band and companion masses ranging from 0.3 to 10^5 solar masses. The resulting tidal evolution time scales for the orbital semi-major axis are longer than a Hubble time, so that convective damping of quasi-static tides need not be considered in the construction of gravitational ...

  17. The frequency and infrared brightness of circumstellar discs at white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Rocchetto, M; Gaensicke, B T; Bergfors, C

    2014-01-01

    White dwarfs whose atmospheres are polluted by terrestrial-like planetary debris have become a powerful and unique tool to study evolved planetary systems. This paper presents results for an unbiased Spitzer IRAC search for circumstellar dust orbiting a homogeneous and well-defined sample of 134 single white dwarfs. The stars were selected without regard to atmospheric metal content but were chosen to have 1) hydrogen rich atmospheres, 2) 17 000 K < T_eff < 25 000 K and correspondingly young post main-sequence ages of 15-270Myr, and 3) sufficient far-ultraviolet brightness for a corresponding Hubble Space Telescope COS Snapshot. Five white dwarfs were found to host an infrared bright dust disc, three previously known, and two reported here for the first time, yielding a nominal 3.7% of white dwarfs in this post-main sequence age range with detectable circumstellar dust. Remarkably, complementary HST observations indicate that a fraction of 27% show metals in their photosphere that can only be explained ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heber, U.

    2017-03-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. Discovery of a Bright, Extremely Low-Mass White Dwarf in a Close Double Degenerate System

    CERN Document Server

    Vennes, S; Kawka, A; Nemeth, P; Skinner, J N; Pigulski, A; Steslicki, M; Kolaczkowski, Z; Srodka, P; 10.1088/2041-8205/737/1/L16

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of a bright (V ~ 13.7), extremely low-mass white dwarf in a close double degenerate system. We originally selected GALEX J171708.5+675712 for spectroscopic follow-up among a group of white dwarf candidates in an ultraviolet-optical reduced proper-motion diagram. The new white dwarf has a mass of 0.18 M_solar and is the primary component of a close double degenerate system (P=0.246137 d, K_1 = 288 km/s) comprising a fainter white dwarf secondary with M_2 ~ 0.9 M_solar. Light curves phased with the orbital ephemeris show evidence of relativistic beaming and weaker ellipsoidal variations. The light curves also reveal secondary eclipses (depth ~ 8 mmag) while the primary eclipses appear partially compensated by the secondary gravitational deflection and are below detection limits. Photospheric abundance measurements show a nearly solar composition of Si, Ca, and Fe (0.1-1 solar), while the normal kinematics suggest a relatively recent formation history. Close binary evolutionary scenarios ...

  3. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Spectroscopically identified white dwarfs (McCook+, 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCook, G. P.; Sion, E. M.

    2016-10-01

    This is an update of the Villanova catalog published in the ApJS paper, corresponding to the Web version of the catalog in Apr 2014 (see http://www.astronomy.villanova.edu/WDCatalog/index.html). The introduction to the 1999 catalog is in the file "preface.tex". The total number of white dwarfs in this version is 14294. (5 data files).

  4. Asteroseismology of the \\emph{Kepler} V777 Her variable white dwarf with fully evolutionary models

    CERN Document Server

    Córsico, Alejandro H; Bertolami, Marcelo M Miller; Bischoff-Kim, Agnès

    2011-01-01

    DBV stars are pulsating white dwarfs with atmospheres rich in He. Asteroseismology of DBV stars can provide valuable clues about the origin, structure and evolution of hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs, and may allow to study neutrino and axion physics. Recently, a new DBV star, KIC 8626021, has been discovered in the field of the \\emph{Kepler} spacecraft. It is expected that further monitoring of this star in the next years will enable astronomers to determine its detailed asteroseismic profile. We perform an asteroseismological analysis of KIC 8626021 on the basis of fully evolutionary DB white-dwarf models. We employ a complete set of evolutionary DB white-dwarf structures covering a wide range of effective temperatures and stellar masses. They have been obtained on the basis of a complete treatment of the evolutionary history of progenitors stars. We compute g-mode adiabatic pulsation periods for this set of models and compare them with the pulsation properties exhibited by KIC 8626021. On the basis of the ...

  5. Ancient planetary systems are orbiting a large fraction of white dwarf stars

    CERN Document Server

    Zuckerman, B; Klein, B; Koester, D; Jura, M

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. The Merger Rate of Binary White Dwarfs in the Galactic Disk

    CERN Document Server

    Badenes, Carles

    2012-01-01

    We use multi-epoch spectroscopy of about 4000 white dwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to constrain the properties of the Galactic population of binary white dwarf systems and calculate their merger rate. With a Monte Carlo code, we model the distribution of DRVmax, the maximum radial velocity shift between exposures of the same star, as a function of the binary fraction within 0.05 AU, fbin, and the power-law index in the separation distribution at the end of the common envelope phase, alpha. Although there is some degeneracy between fbin and alpha, the data constrain the combination of these parameters, which determines a white dwarf merger rate per unit stellar mass of 1.4(+3.4,-1.0)e-13 /yr/Msun (1-sigma limits). This is remarkably similar to the measured rate of Type Ia supernovae per unit stellar mass in Milky-Way-like Sbc galaxies. The rate of super-Chandrasekhar mergers is only 1.0(+1.6,-0.6)e-14 /yr/Msun. We conclude that there are not enough close binary white dwarf systems to reproduce the obse...

  9. 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

  10. What Simulations Tell Us About White Dwarf Evolution in AM CVn Close Binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, M. M.

    2017-03-01

    In this work, we review the three most likely evolutionary channels that may result in AM CVn close binaries leading to white dwarf supernovae as evolutionary endpoints. To determine the likely evolutionary path for an AM CVn system, masses are needed. To find the secondary-to-primary mass ratio, a recent hypothesis suggests using the positive superhump period from Stage A of the superoutburst light curve rather than Stage B. To determine the most likely evolutionary track for this system, we compare observational data with values from three 3D SPH numerical simulations, one simulation for each of the potential evolutionary channels for AM CVn system SDSS J090221.35+38941.9. In this work, we explain why the white dwarf channel may be eliminated for this system. As for the other two channels, we find that the simulated parameters for the CV channel looks most promising for the primary white dwarf J0902 to reach supernova type Ia. However, a comparison of simulated and observed positive superhump period excess values suggests that the helium star channel is more likely, although the results do not support a supernova as the white dwarf primary's endpoint.

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toonen, S.; Nelemans, G.; Portegies Zwart, S.

    2012-10-01

    Context. The study of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) has lead to greatly improved insights into many fields in astrophysics, e.g. cosmology, and also into the metal enrichment of the universe. Although a theoretical explanation of the origin of these events is still lacking, there is a general consensus that SNIa are caused by the thermonuclear explosions of carbon/oxygen white dwarfs with masses near the Chandrasekhar mass. Aims: We investigate the potential contribution to the supernova Type Ia rate from the population of merging double carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. We aim to develop 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 α-formalism based on the energy equation and the γ-formalism that is based on the angular momentum equation. In one model we apply the α-formalism throughout. In the second model the γ-formalism is applied, unless the binary contains a compact object or the CE is triggered by a tidal instability for which the α-formalism is used. Methods: 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 and subsequent mergers. SeBa has been thoroughly updated since the last publication of the content of the code. Results: The limited sample of observed double white dwarfs is better represented by the simulated population using the γ-formalism for the first CE phase than the α-formalism. For both CE formalisms, we find that although the morphology of the simulated delay time distribution matches that of the observations within the errors, the normalisation and time-integrated rate per stellar mass are a factor ~7-12 lower than observed. Furthermore, the characteristics of the simulated populations of merging double carbon-oxygen white dwarfs are discussed and put in the context of alternative SNIa models for merging

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benvenuto, O.G.; Vito, M.A. De, E-mail: obenvenu@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar, E-mail: adevito@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar [Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque S/N, B1900FWA, La Plata (Argentina); Instituto de Astrofísica de La Plata, IALP, CCT-CONICET-UNLP (Argentina)

    2011-02-01

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

  15. WD0837+185: THE FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF AN EXTREME MASS-RATIO WHITE-DWARF-BROWN-DWARF BINARY IN PRAESEPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casewell, S. L.; Burleigh, M. R.; Wynn, G. A.; Alexander, R. D.; Lawrie, K. A.; Jameson, R. F. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH (United Kingdom); Napiwotzki, R. [Science and Technology Research Institute, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB (United Kingdom); Dobbie, P. D. [School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7001 (Australia); Hodgkin, S. T., E-mail: slc25@le.ac.uk [Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2012-11-10

    There is a striking and unexplained dearth of brown dwarf companions in close orbits (<3 AU) around stars more massive than the Sun, in stark contrast to the frequency of stellar and planetary companions. Although rare and relatively short-lived, these systems leave detectable evolutionary end points in the form of white-dwarf-brown-dwarf binaries and these remnants can offer unique insights into the births and deaths of their parent systems. We present the discovery of a close (orbital separation {approx}0.006 AU) substellar companion to a massive white dwarf member of the Praesepe star cluster. Using the cluster age and the mass of the white dwarf, we constrain the mass of the white dwarf progenitor star to lie in the range 3.5-3.7 M{sub Sun} (B9). The high mass of the white dwarf means the substellar companion must have been engulfed by the B star's envelope while it was on the late asymptotic giant branch (AGB). Hence, the initial separation of the system was {approx}2 AU, with common envelope evolution reducing the separation to its current value. The initial and final orbital separations allow us to constrain the combination of the common envelope efficiency ({alpha}) and binding energy parameters ({lambda}) for the AGB star to {alpha}{lambda} {approx} 3. We examine the various formation scenarios and conclude that the substellar object was most likely captured by the white dwarf progenitor early in the life of the cluster, rather than forming in situ.

  16. THE ROLE OF WHITE DWARFS IN CATACLYSMIC VARIABLE SPIN-DOWN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Kashyap, V. L. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St. Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2012-02-10

    We study the effect of a white dwarf on the spin-down of a cataclysmic variable (CV) system using a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic numerical model. The model includes the stellar corona, the stellar wind, and the WD mass and magnetic field. The existence of the WD modifies the system spin-down by physically blocking the stellar wind, restructuring the wind, channeling the wind toward the WD surface, and modifying the shape and size of the Alfven surface. The combination of these processes differs among a set of simple test cases, and the resulting angular momentum loss rates vary by factors of 2-3, and by factors of 2 relative to a test model with a single M dwarf. While the model employs some simplifications, the results suggest that angular momentum loss schemes currently employed in CV studies do not require drastic revision. Insights are also gained on wind accretion. We find that efficient accretion switches on quite rapidly with decreasing orbital separation. Accretion rates depend on magnetic field alignment and should be modulated by magnetic cycles on the M dwarf. For particular values of white dwarf magnetic field strength, an efficient syphoning of coronal plasma from the inward facing M dwarf hemisphere occurs. Wind accretion rates are expected to vary by factors of 10 or more between fairly similar close binaries, depending on magnetic field strengths and orbital separation.

  17. 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...

  18. The white dwarf in dwarf nova SDSS J080434.20+510349.2: Entering the instability strip?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pavlenko, E, E-mail: pavlenko@crao.crimea.u [Crimean astrophysical observatory, Crimea 98409 (Ukraine)

    2009-06-01

    SDSS J080434.20+510349.2 is a WZ Sge type binary that displayed a rare outburst in 2006 (Pavlenko et al. 2007). During the long-lasting tail of the late stage of the outburst, the binary showed a two-humped or four-humped profile of the orbital light modulation. The amplitude of the orbital light curve decreased while the mean brightness decreased; moreover, that occurred approx 10 times faster during the fast outburst decline with respect to the late quiet state of slow outburst fading. There were no white dwarf pulsations detected in this system, neither 1 - 1.5 months prior to the outburst, nor in 1.5 - 2 months after the 2006 outburst. However, strong non-radial pulsations with period 12.6 minutes and a mean amplitude of 0.05m were first detected in the V band with the 2.6-m Shajn mirror telescope of the Crimean astrophysical observatory, approx 8 months after the outburst. The evolution of pulsations over two years, in 2006 - 2008, is considered. It is supposed that pulsations first appeared when the cooling white dwarf (after the outburst) entered the instability strip, although the possibility of temporary lack of pulsations at some occasions could not be excluded.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. Latest Results from the DODO Survey: Imaging Planets around White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Hogan, E; Clarke, F J

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the Degenerate Objects around Degenerate Objects (DODO) survey is to search for very low mass brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets in wide orbits around white dwarfs via direct imaging. The direct detection of such companions would allow the spectroscopic investigation of objects with temperatures lower (< 500 K) than the coolest brown dwarfs currently observed. The discovery of planets around white dwarfs would prove that such objects can survive the final stages of stellar evolution and place constraints on the frequency of planetary systems around their progenitors (with masses between 1.5 - 8 M*, i.e., early B to mid-F). An increasing number of planetary mass companions have been directly imaged in wide orbits around young main sequence stars. For example, the planets around HR 8799 and 1RXS J160929.1 - 210524 are in wide orbits of 24 - 68 AU and 330 AU, respectively. The DODO survey has the ability to directly image planets in post-main sequence analogues of these systems. These proceedings ...

  4. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

    Context. The details of the C/O core structure in white dwarf stars has mostly remained inaccessible to the technique of asteroseismology, despite several attempts carried out in the past. Aims. We re-assess the potential of asteroseismology for probing the chemical stratification in white dwarf cores, in light of new highly efficient tools recently developed for that purpose. Methods. Using the forward modeling approach and a new parameterization for the core chemical stratification in ZZ Ceti stars, we test several situations typical of the usually limited constraints available, such as small numbers of observed independent modes, to carry out asteroseismology of these stars. Results. We find that, even with a limited number of modes, the core chemical stratification (in particular, the location of the steep chemical transitions expected in the oxygen profile) can be determined quite precisely due to the significant sensitivity of some confined modes to partial reflexion (trapping) effects. These effects ar...

  6. The mode trapping properties of full DA white dwarf evolutionary models

    CERN Document Server

    Corsico, A H; Benvenuto, O G; Serenelli, A M

    2002-01-01

    An adiabatic, non-radial pulsation study of a 0.563 M_sun DA white dwarf model is presented on the basis of new evolutionary calculations performed in a self-consistent way with the predictions of time dependent element diffusion, nuclear burning and the history of the white dwarf progenitor. Emphasis is placed on the role played by the internal chemical stratification of these new models in the behaviour of the eigenmodes, and the expectations for the full g-spectrum of periods. The implications for the mode trapping properties are discussed at length. In this regard, we find that, for high periods, the viability of mode trapping as a mode selection mechanism is markedly weaker for our models, as compared with the situation in which the hydrogen-helium transition region is treated assuming equilibrium diffusion in the trace element approximation.

  7. 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...

  8. Collapse of accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarfs induced by carbon deflagration at high density

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nomoto, K.

    1986-01-01

    A critical condition is obtained for which carbon deflagration induces collapse of an accreting C + O white dwarf, not explosion. If the carbon deflagration is initiated at central density as high as 10/sup 10/ g cm/sup -3/ and if the propagation of the deflagration wave is slower than approx. 0.15 upsilon/sub s/ (upsilon/sub s/ is the sound speed), electron capture behind the burning front induces collapse to form a neutron star. This is the case for both conductive and convective deflagrations. Such a high central density can be reached if the white dwarf is sufficiently massive and cold at the onset of accretion and if the accretion rate is in the appropriate range. Models for Type Ia and Ib supernovae are also discussed. 66 refs., 8 figs.

  9. Tidally-Induced Apsidal Precession in Double White Dwarfs: a new mass measurement tool with LISA

    CERN Document Server

    Valsecchi, Francesca; Willems, Bart; Deloye, Christopher J; Kalogera, Vassiliki

    2011-01-01

    Galactic interacting double white dwarfs (DWD) are guaranteed gravitational wave (GW) sources for the GW detector LISA, with more than 10^4 binaries expected to be detected over the mission's lifetime. While the majority of DWDs are expected to be circular, dynamical interactions in globular clusters can lead to a sub-population of eccentric DWDs detectable by LISA. Here we investigate the potential for constraining the white dwarf (WD) properties through apsidal precession in these binaries. We analyze the tidal, rotational, and general relativistic contributions to apsidal precession by using detailed He WD models, where the evolution of the star's interior is followed throughout the cooling phase. In agreement with previous studies of zero-temperature WDs, we find that apsidal precession in eccentric DWDs can lead to a detectable shift in the emitted GW signal when binaries with cool (old) components are considered. This shift increases significantly for hot (young) WDs. We find that apsidal motion in hot ...

  10. Twins: The Two Shortest Period Non-Interacting Double Degenerate White Dwarf Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Mullally, F; Thompson, Susan E; Lupton, Robert

    2009-01-01

    We report on the detection of the two shortest period non-interacting white dwarf binary systems. These systems, SDSS J143633.29+501026.8 and SDSS J105353.89+520031.0, were identified by searching for radial velocity variations in the individual exposures that make up the published spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We followed up these systems with time series spectroscopy to measure the period and mass ratios of these systems. Although we only place a lower bound on the companion masses, we argue that they must also be white dwarf stars. With periods of approximately 1 hour, we estimate that the systems will merge in less than 100 Myr, but the merger product will likely not be massive enough to result in a Type 1a supernova.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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, ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Physical properties and evolution of the two white dwarfs in the Sanduleak-Pesch binary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenstein, J. L.; Dolez, N.; Vauclair, G.

    1983-10-01

    An important new binary white dwarf has been found by Sanduleak and Pesch. The stars are analyzed with the data from the Palomar double CCD spectrograph, using continuum fluxes, lines profiles, and Balmer decrements. They have hydrogen atmospheres, are young Population I, age ≈5×108 yr, temperatures of 12500K and 9500K, and the same visual magnitude. The cooler and less luminous star, B, has the larger radius and lower mass; B started its degenerate cooling, more recently, as the brighter of the pair. The estimated cooling times differ by approximately 108 yr. The white dwarfs, with masses 0.80 and 0.43 m_sun;, are descended from progenitors of 8 and 4 m_sun; (or 5 and 3.5 m_sun;).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Infrared absorption of dense helium and its importance in the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Kowalski, Piotr M

    2014-01-01

    Aims: Hydrogen deficient white dwarfs are characterized by very dense, fluid-like atmospheres of complex physics and chemistry that are still poorly understood. The incomplete description of these atmospheres by the models results in serious problems with the description of spectra of these stars and subsequent difficulties in derivation of their surface parameters. Here, we address the problem of infrared (IR) opacities in the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs by direct $ab$ $initio$ simulations of IR absorption of dense helium. Methods: We applied state-of-the-art density functional theory-based quantum molecular dynamics simulations to obtain the time evolution of the induced dipole moment. The IR absorption coefficients were obtained by the Fourier transform of the dipole moment time autocorrelation function. Results: We found that a dipole moment is induced due to three- and more-body simultaneous collisions between helium atoms in highly compressed helium. This results in a significant IR absorption that...

  3. 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...

  4. Effective temperatures of cataclysmic-variable white dwarfs as a probe of their evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pala, A. F.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Townsley, D.; Boyd, D.; Cook, M. J.; De Martino, D.; Godon, P.; Haislip, J. B.; Henden, A. A.; Hubeny, I.; Ivarsen, K. M.; Kafka, S.; Knigge, C.; LaCluyze, A. P.; Long, K. S.; Marsh, T. R.; Monard, B.; Moore, J. P.; Myers, G.; Nelson, P.; Nogami, D.; Oksanen, A.; Pickard, R.; Poyner, G.; Reichart, D. E.; Rodriguez Perez, D.; Schreiber, M. R.; Shears, J.; Sion, E. M.; Stubbings, R.; Szkody, P.; Zorotovic, M.

    2017-04-01

    We present HST spectroscopy for 45 cataclysmic variables (CVs), observed with HST/COS and HST/STIS. For 36 CVs, the white dwarf is recognisable through its broad Ly α absorption profile and we measure the white dwarf effective temperatures (Teff) by fitting the HST data assuming log g = 8.35, which corresponds to the average mass for CV white dwarfs (≃0.8 M⊙). Our results nearly double the number of CV white dwarfs with an accurate temperature measurement. We find that CVs above the period gap have, on average, higher temperatures ( ≃ 23 000 K) and exhibit much more scatter compared to those below the gap ( ≃ 15 000 K). While this behaviour broadly agrees with theoretical predictions, some discrepancies are present: (i) all our new measurements above the gap are characterized by lower temperatures (Teff ≃ 16 000-26 000 K) than predicted by the present-day CV population models (Teff ≃ 38 000-43 000 K); (ii) our results below the gap are not clustered in the predicted narrow track and exhibit in particular a relatively large spread near the period minimum, which may point to some shortcomings in the CV evolutionary models. Finally, in the standard model of CV evolution, reaching the minimum period, CVs are expected to evolve back towards longer periods with mean accretion rates dot{M}≲ 2 × 10^{-11} M_{⊙} yr^{-1}, corresponding to Teff ≲ 11 500 K. We do not unambiguously identify any such system in our survey, suggesting that this major component of the predicted CV population still remains elusive to observations.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Benvenuto, O G

    2011-01-01

    It has been recently proposed that helium white dwarfs may provide promising conditions for the occurrence of the Bose-Einstein condensation. The argument supporting this expectation is that in some conditions attained in the core of these objects, the typical De Broglie wavelength associated with helium nuclei is of the order of the mean distance between neighboring nuclei. In these conditions the system should depart from classical behavior showing quantum effects. As helium nuclei are bosons, they are expected to condense. In order to explore the possibility of detecting the Bose-Einstein condensation in the evolution of helium white dwarfs we have computed a set of models for a variety of stellar masses and values of the condensation temperature. We do not perform a detailed treatment of the condensation process but mimic it by suppressing the nuclei contribution to the equation of state by applying an adequate function. As the cooling of white dwarfs depends on average properties of the whole stellar int...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    1999-01-01

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

  15. Accretion from debris disks onto white dwarfs : Fingering (thermohaline) instability and derived accretion rates

    CERN Document Server

    Deal, M; Vauclair, G; Vauclair, S; Wachlin, F C

    2013-01-01

    Recent observations of a large number of DA and DB white dwarfs show evidence of debris disks, which are the remnants of old planetary systems. The infrared excess detected with \\emph{Spitzer} and the lines of heavy elements observed in their atmospheres with high-resolution spectroscopy converge on the idea that planetary material accretes onto these stars. Accretion rates have been derived by several authors with the assumption of a steady state between accretion and gravitational settling. The results are unrealistically different for DA and DB white dwarfs. When heavy matter is accreted onto stars, it induces an inverse $\\mu$-gradient that leads to fingering (thermohaline) convection. The aim of this letter is to study the impact of this specific process on the derived accretion rates in white dwarfs and on the difference between DA and DB. We solve the diffusion equation for the accreted heavy elements with a time-dependent method. The models we use have been obtained both with the IRAP code, which compu...

  16. 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 ...

  17. An ultra-cool white dwarf serendipitously found with COMBO-17

    CERN Document Server

    Wolf, C

    2005-01-01

    We report the discovery of an ultra-cool white dwarf in the COMBO-17 survey. So far, only seven objects have been discovered in this rare category of white dwarfs, which are characterized by strong flux depression in the far-red and near-infrared part of the spectrum, presumably due to collisionally induced absorption (CIA). The new object COMBO-17 J114356.08-0144032 has very similar colours to LHS 3250, which was the first of its kind to be recognized. However, at R=21.5 it is the faintest and possibly most distant such object discovered to date. It is the only such object in COMBO-17 at R<23; due to the small sky coverage of 0.78 square degree this chance discovery can not provide any constraints on the abundance of faint ultra-cool white dwarfs. We speculate on the basis of the proper motion that this new object is probably a member of the Galactic (thin) disk.

  18. The white dwarf revealed in the intermediate polar V709 Cassiopeiae

    CERN Document Server

    Bonnet-Bidaud, J M; De Martino, D; Matt, G; Motch, C

    2001-01-01

    Results are presented from the first detailed spectroscopic observations of the recently identified intermediate polar RXJ0028.8+5917/V709 Cas. The study of the emission line radial velocities allows us to remove the uncertainties on the different aliases of the orbital period and a best value is found at (0.2225 +/- 0.0002) day. It is also found that the system shows significant EW~ (2-4)A, broad absorptions affecting the Balmer lines from Hdelta to Hbeta. These broad absorptions are interpreted as the contribution of an underlying white dwarf atmosphere. The characteristics of the absorptions are found to be consistent with a DA log(g) = 8 white dwarf at a temperature of ~ 23 000 K, contributing ~ 17 % (at 4500 A) to the overall flux. This is the first direct detection of a white dwarf in an intermediate polar system. The absence of significant Zeeman splitting indicates a magnetic field lower than 10 MG, confirming that, at least in some cases, intermediate polars have weaker fields than polars. Different ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

    2011-12-14

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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, ...

  9. Sub-Chandrasekhar White Dwarf Mergers as the Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

    CERN Document Server

    van Kerkwijk, Marten H; Justham, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae are generally thought to be due to the thermonuclear explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs with masses near the Chandrasekhar mass. This scenario, however, has two long-standing problems. First, the explosions do not naturally produce the correct mix of elements, but have to be finely tuned to proceed from sub-sonic deflagration to super-sonic detonation. Second, population models and observations give formation rates of near-Chandrasekhar white dwarfs that are far too small. Here, we suggest that type Ia supernovae instead result from mergers of roughly equal-mass carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar mass remnants. Numerical studies of such mergers have shown that the remnants consist of rapidly rotating cores that contain most of the mass and are hottest in the center, surrounded by dense, small disks. We argue that the disks accrete quickly, and that the resulting compressional heating likely ignites the carbon. This ignition occurs at densities f...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Yoon, S C

    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 is found that the helium envelope in an accreting white dwarf is heated efficiently by friction in the differentially rotating spun-up layers. As a result, helium ignites much earlier and under much less degenerate conditions compared to the corresponding non-rotating case. Consequently, a helium detonation may be avoided, which questions the sub-Chandrasekhar mass progenitor scenario for Type Ia supernovae. We discuss implications of our results for the evolution of helium star plus white dwarf binary systems as possible...

  11. New Praesepe white dwarfs and the initial mass-final mass relation

    CERN Document Server

    Dobbie, P D; Boyce, D D; Burleigh, M R; Casewell, S L; Fontaine, G; Hubeny, I; Jameson, R F; Napiwotzki, R

    2006-01-01

    We report the spectroscopic confirmation of four further white dwarf members of Praesepe. This brings the total number of confirmed white dwarf members to eleven making this the second largest collection of these objects in an open cluster identified to date. This number is consistent with the high mass end of the initial mass function of Praesepe being Salpeter in form. Furthermore, it suggests that the bulk of Praesepe white dwarfs did not gain a substantial recoil kick velocity from possible asymmetries in their loss of mass during the asymptotic giant branch phase of evolution. By comparing our estimates of the effective temperatures and the surface gravities of WD0833+194, WD0840+190, WD0840+205 and WD0843+184 to modern theoretical evolutionary tracks we have derived their masses to be in the range 0.72-0.76Msun and their cooling ages \\~300Myrs. For an assumed cluster age of 625+/-50Myrs the infered progenitor masses are between 3.3-3.5Msun. Examining these new data in the context of the initial mass-fin...

  12. 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...

  13. White Dwarfs and the Age of our Galaxy: A Professional Development Workshop for Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemenway, M. K.; Armosky, B. J.; Kilic, M.; Shipman, H.; von Hippel, T.

    2005-12-01

    The first of a planned series of workshops for secondary school science teachers was conducted at McDonald Observatory in 2005. In preparation for the workshop, new instructional materials on white dwarfs and the age of our Galaxy were prepared and pilot-tested. Thirteen teachers from Arizona, Delaware, and Texas performed these standards-aligned activities at the workshop in preparation for using them within their own classrooms. During four nights of observing, the participants made CCD-images at the 0.8-m telescope and reduced the data with personal computers using easily available image reduction software. Working in teams, they created a color-magnitude diagram for an open cluster and found several white dwarf candidates within the cluster. With guidance, they used the work of the White Dwarf Luminosity Function Collaboration, which fostered this workshop, to estimate the age of the Galaxy. The workshop included tours of other observatory facilities, practical exercises with small telescopes, and time to reflect on their own teaching practices. Evaluation on the workshop and the use of the instructional materials is continuing. Support from the National Science Foundation (AST 0307315), National Science FoundationsDistinguished Teaching Scholars Program (DUE-0306557), and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration under an Education and Public Outreach supplement to Grant/Contract/Agreement No. NAG5-13070 issued through the Office of Space Science is gratefully acknowledged.

  14. A search for binarity using FUSE observations of DAO white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Good, S A; Burleigh, M R; Dobbie, P D; Holberg, J B

    2005-01-01

    We report on a search for evidence of binarity in Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) observations of DAO white dwarfs. Spectra recorded by FUSE are built up from a number of separate exposures. Observation of changes in the position of photospheric heavy element absorption lines between exposures, with respect to the stationary interstellar medium lines, would reveal radial velocity changes - evidence of the presence of a binary system. This technique is successful in picking out all the white dwarfs already known to be binaries, which comprise 5 out of the sample of 16, but significant radial velocity shifts were found for only one additional star, Ton 320. This object is also known to have an infrared excess. DAOs can be separated broadly into low or normal mass objects. Low mass white dwarfs can be formed as a result of binary evolution, but it has been suggested that the lower mass DAOs evolve as single stars from the extended horizontal branch, and we find no evidence of binarity for 8 out of ...

  15. An analysis of DA white dwarfs from the Hamburg Quasar Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homeier, D.; Koester, D.; Hagen, H.-J.; Jordan, S.; Heber, U.; Engels, D.; Reimers, D.; Dreizler, S.

    1998-10-01

    Follow-up spectroscopy of several hundred hot stars detected by the Hamburg Quasar Survey (HQS) has been carried out between 1989 and 1996. We present the analysis of 80 DA white dwarfs using model atmospheres and theoretical cooling tracks to derive the atmospheric parameters T_eff and log g, masses and absolute magnitudes. The HQS turned out to be sensitive to the detection of hydrogen-rich white dwarfs in a wide temperature range, from 10 000 K upwards. Star counts within four HQS fields for magnitudes B 50 000 K compared to other surveys. The mean mass of our DA sample is M=0.61{M}_{\\odot}, with three massive DA stars exceeding 1{M}_{\\odot} and three DA stars with masses significantly below the assummed lower mass limit for single white dwarf evolution of 0.45{M}_{\\odot}. Among the cool DA stars, thirteen are potential ZZ Ceti candidates because their effective temperatures lie close to the instability strip. Based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center (DSAZ), Calar Alto, operated by the Max-Plank-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg jointly with the Spanish National Commission for Astronomy; with the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite (IUE) collected at Villafranca, Spain, and with the ROSAT X-ray telescope.

  16. 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...

  17. Three-Dimensional Simulations of the Convective Urca Process in Pre-Supernova White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willcox, Donald E.; Townsley, Dean; Zingale, Michael; Calder, Alan

    2017-01-01

    A significant source of uncertainty in modeling the progenitor systems of Type Ia supernovae is the dynamics of the convective Urca process in which beta decay and electron capture reactions remove energy from and decrease the buoyancy of carbon-fueled convection in the progenitor white dwarf. The details of the Urca process during this simmering phase have long remained computationally intractable in three-dimensional simulations because of the very low convective velocities and the associated timestep constraints of compressible hydrodynamics methods. We report on recent work simulating the A=23 (Ne/Na) Urca process in convecting white dwarfs in three dimensions using the low-Mach hydrodynamics code MAESTRO. We simulate white dwarf models inspired by one-dimensional stellar evolution calculations at the stage when the outer edge of the convection zone driven by core carbon burning reaches the A=23 Urca shell. We compare our methods and results to those of previous work in one and two dimensions, discussing the implications of three dimensional turbulence. We also comment on the prospect of our results informing one-dimensional stellar evolution calculations and the Type Ia supernovae progenitor problem.This work was supported in part by the Department of Energy under grant DE-FG02-87ER40317.

  18. Variability in Hot Carbon-Dominated Atmosphere (hot DQ) White Dwarfs: Rapid Rotation?

    CERN Document Server

    Williams, Kurtis A; Winget, D E; Falcon, Ross E; Bierwagon, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Hot white dwarfs with carbon-dominated atmospheres (hot DQs) are a cryptic class of white dwarfs. In addition to their deficiency of hydrogen and helium, most of these stars are highly magnetic, and a large fraction vary in luminosity. This variability has been ascribed to nonradial pulsations, but increasing data call this explanation into question. We present studies of short-term variability in seven hot DQ white dwarfs. Three (SDSS J1426+5752, SDSS J2200-0741, and SDSS J2348-0942) were known to be variable. Their photometric modulations are coherent over at least two years, and we find no evidence for variability at frequencies that are not harmonics. We present the first time-series photometry for three additional hot DQs (SDSS J0236-0734, SDSS J1402+3818, and SDSS J1615+4543); none are observed to vary, but the signal-to-noise is low. Finally, we present high speed photometry for SDSS J0005-1002, known to exhibit a 2.1 d photometric variation; we do not observe any short-term variability. Monoperiodicit...

  19. High resolution simulations of the head-on collision of white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    García-Senz, D; Arcones, A; Relaño, A; Thielemann, F K

    2013-01-01

    The direct impact of white dwarfs has been suggested as a plausible channel for type Ia supernovae. In spite of their (a priori) rareness, in highly populated globular clusters and in galactic centers, where the amount of white dwarfs is considerable, the rate of violent collisions between two of them might be non-negligible. Even more, there are indications that binary white dwarf systems orbited by a third stellar-mass body have an important chance to induce a clean head-on collision. Therefore, this scenario represents a source of contamination for the supernova light-curves sample that it is used as standard candles in cosmology, and it deserves further investigation. Some groups have conducted numerical simulations of this scenario, but their results show several differences. In this paper we address some of the possible sources of these differences, presenting the results of high resolution hydrodynamical simulations jointly with a detailed nuclear post-processing of the nuclear abundances, to check the...

  20. 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...

  1. The origin of peculiar molecular bands in cool DQ white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalski, P. M.

    2010-09-01

    Aims: The DQ white dwarfs are stars whose atmosphere is enriched with carbon, which for cool stars (Teff fluid-like atmospheres of cool DQ white dwarfs. Methods: In our investigation we use a density functional theory based quantum mechanical approach. Results: The electronic transition energy Te increases monotonically with the helium density (ΔTe (eV)~1.6 ρ (g/cm3)). This causes the Swan absorption to occur at shorter wavelengths compared with unperturbed C2. On the other hand the pressure-induced increase in the vibrational frequency is insufficient to account for the observed Swan bands shifts. Our findings are in line with the shape of the distorted molecular bands observed in DQp stars, but the predicted photospheric density required to reproduce these spectral features is one order of magnitude lower than the one predicted by the current models. This indicates pollution by hydrogen or reflects incomplete knowledge of the properties of fluid-like atmospheres of these stars. Conclusions: Our work shows that at the physical conditions encountered in the fluid-like atmospheres of cool DQ white dwarfs the strong interactions between C2 and helium atoms cause an increase in Te, which should produce a blueward shift of the Swan bands. This is consistent with the observations and indicates that the observed Swan-like molecular bands are most likely the pressure-shifted bands of C2.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Montgomery, M M

    2010-01-01

    In a recent publication, we introduce the lift force as a common source to accretion disk tilt that is likely relevant to accretion disk systems. Lift is generated by slightly different supersonic gas stream speeds flowing over and under the disk at the bright spot. In this conference proceeding, we focus on whether the average white dwarf has enough mass to prevent a disk tilt in non-magnetic Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) with accretion disks. Assuming a white dwarf mass of 0.6M$_{\\odot}$ and a disk mass of 10$^{-11}$M$_{\\odot}$, we vary the secondary mass to establish theoretical minimum mass transfer rates needed to induce and maintain a disk tilt of four degrees around the line of nodes. For mass ratios in the range \\( (0.13 \\le q=M_{2}M^{-1} \\le 0.45) \\), we confirm that the secondary mass does not contribute significantly to disk tilt. We also confirm that the average white dwarf does not have enough mass to prevent a disk tilt. We find that disk tilt may be likely in low mass transfer rate systems such a...

  3. Violent mergers of nearly equal-mass white dwarf as progenitors of subluminous Type Ia supernovae

    CERN Document Server

    Pakmor, R; Roepke, F K; Hillebrandt, W

    2011-01-01

    The origin of subluminous Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) has long eluded any explanation, as all Chandrasekhar-mass models have severe problems reproducing them. Recently, it has been proposed that violent mergers of two white dwarfs of 0.9 M_sun could lead to subluminous SNe Ia events that resemble 1991bg-like SNe~Ia. Here we investigate whether this scenario still works for mergers of two white dwarfs with a mass ratio smaller than one. We aim to determine the range of mass ratios for which a detonation still forms during the merger, as only those events will lead to a SN Ia. This range is an important ingredient for population synthesis and one decisive point to judge the viability of the scenario. In addition, we perform a resolution study of one of the models. Finally we discuss the connection between violent white dwarf mergers with a primary mass of 0.9 M_sun and 1991bg-like SNe Ia. The latest version of the smoothed particle hydrodynamics code Gadget3 is used to evolve binary systems with different mass ...

  4. 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...

  5. Next generation population synthesis of accreting white dwarfs: I. Hybrid calculations using BSE + MESA

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    Accreting, nuclear-burning white dwarfs have been deemed to be candidate progenitors of SNe Ia, and to account for supersoft X-ray sources, novae, etc. We have carried out a binary population synthesis (BPS) study of hydrogen-accreting WDs. First, we use the BPS code \\textsf{BSE} as a baseline for the commonly used "rapid" approach. Second, we apply a "hybrid" approach: we use \\textsf{BSE} to generate a population of WDs with non-degenerate companions on the verge of mass transfer. We then follow their evolution using the detailed stellar evolutionary code \\textsf{MESA}. We investigate the evolution of the number of rapidly accreting white dwarfs (RAWDs), stably nuclear-burning white dwarfs (SNBWDs), and the SNe Ia rate produced by "single-degenerate" systems (SD). The two algorithms differ significantly in the predicted numbers of SNBWDs at early and late times, and also in the delay time distribution (DTD) of SD SNe Ia. The differences in the treatment of mass transfer may partially account for differences ...

  6. 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.

  7. Measuring the Fundamental Parameters of Hot Hydrogen-Rich White Dwarfs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    M. A. Barstow

    2003-01-01

    This review considers the observations of hot, hydrogen-rich white dwarfstars, with particular reference to measurements of temperature, surface gravity andcomposition. Spectroscopic data from a variety of wavelength ranges are required forthis work and, in particular, the important contributions from optical, ultravioletand extreme ultraviolet studies are discussed. Using the values of Teff and log gdetermined for an individual white dwarf, estimates of mass and radius might bederived from the theoretical mass-radius relation. The issue of the accuracy of thetheoretical mass-radius calculations and the prospects for making empirical testsusing observational data are outlined.

  8. 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...

  9. The rms-flux relation in accreting white dwarfs: another nova-like variable and the first dwarf nova

    CERN Document Server

    Van de Sande, M; Knigge, C

    2015-01-01

    We report on the detection of the linear rms-flux relation in two accreting white dwarf binary systems: V1504 Cyg and KIC 8751494. The rms-flux relation relates the absolute root-mean-square (rms) variability of the light curve to its mean flux. The light curves analysed were obtained with the Kepler satellite at a 58.8 s cadence. The rms-flux relation was previously detected in only one other cataclysmic variable, MV Lyr. This result reenforces the ubiquity of the linear rms-flux relation as a characteristic property of accretion-induced variability, since it has been observed in several black hole binaries, neutron star binaries and active galactic nuclei. Moreover, its detection in V1504 Cyg is the first time the rms-flux relation has been detected in a dwarf nova-type CV during quiescence. This result, together with previous studies, hence points towards a common physical origin of accretion-induced variability, independent of the size, mass, or type of the central accreting compact object.

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Johannes and the seven dwarfs: Kepler detection of low-level day-timescale periodic photometric variations in white dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Maoz, Dan; McQuillan, Amy

    2014-01-01

    We make use of the high photometric precision of Kepler to search for periodic variations among 14 normal (DA- and DB-type, likely non-magnetic) hot white dwarfs (WDs) observed by the mission. In seven of the WDs, we detect periodic, ~2 hr to 10 d, variations, with semi-amplitudes of 40 to 2000 ppm, lower than ever seen in WDs. We consider various explanations for the observed variations: WD rotation combined with magnetic cool spots; rotation combined with magnetic dichroism; rotation combined with hot spots from an interstellar-medium accretion flow, channeled onto weak magnetic poles; transits by size ~50-200 km objects; relativistic beaming due to reflex motion caused by a cool companion WD; or reflection/re-radiation of the primary WD light by a brown-dwarf companion, or by a giant planet of about Jupiter radius, undergoing illumination phases as it orbits the WD. Each of these mechanisms could be behind some of the variable WDs, but could not be responsible for all seven variable cases. Alternatively, t...

  13. The WIRED Survey II: Infrared Excesses in the SDSS DR7 White Dwarf Catalog

    CERN Document Server

    Debes, J H; Wachter, S; Leisawitz, D T; Cohen, M

    2011-01-01

    With the launch of the {\\em Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer} ({\\em WISE}), a new era of detecting planetary debris and brown dwarfs around white dwarfs (WDs) has begun with the {\\em WISE} InfraRed Excesses around Degenerates (WIRED) Survey. The WIRED Survey is sensitive to substellar objects and dusty debris around WDs out to distances exceeding 100 pc, well beyond the completeness level of local WDs. In this paper, we present a cross-correlation of the preliminary Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 (DR7) WD Catalog between the {\\em WISE}, Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS), and SDSS DR7 photometric catalogs. From $\\sim18,000$ input targets, there are {\\em WISE} detections comprising 344 "naked" WDs (detection of the WD photosphere only), 1020 candidate WD+M dwarf binaries, 42 candidate WD+brown dwarf (BD) systems, 52 candidate WD+dust disk systems, and 69 targets with indeterminate infrared excess. We classified all of the detected targets through spect...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Composite Accretion Disk and White Dwarf Photosphere Analyses of the FUSE and HST Observations of EY Cygni

    CERN Document Server

    Sion, E M; Urban, J A; Tovmassian, G H; Zharikov, S; Gänsicke, B T; Orio, M

    2004-01-01

    We explore the origin of FUSE and HST STIS far UV spectra of the dwarf nova, EY Cyg, during its quiescence using \\emph{combined} high gravity photosphere and accretion disk models as well as model accretion belts. The best-fitting single temperature white dwarf model to the FUSE plus HST STIS spectrum of EY Cygni has T$_{eff} = 24,000$K, log $g = 9.0$, with an Si abundance of 0.1 x solar and C abundance of 0.2 x solar but the distance is only 301 pc. The best-fitting composite model consists of white dwarf with T$_{eff} = 22,000$K, log $g = 9$, plus an accretion belt with T$_{belt} = 36,000$K covering 27% of the white dwarf surface with V$_{belt} sin i = 2000$ km/s. The accretion belt contributes 63% of the FUV light and the cooler white dwarf latitudes contribute 37%. This fit yields a distance of 351 pc which is within 100 pc of our adopted distance of 450 pc. EY Cyg has very weak C {\\sc iv} emission and very strong N {\\sc v} emission, which is atypical of the majority of dwarf novae in quiescence. We also ...

  18. 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_{...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Córsico, A. H.; Althaus, L. G., E-mail: acorsico@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar [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)

    2014-09-20

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. A fast spinning magnetic white dwarf in the double-degenerate, super-Chandrasekhar system NLTT 12758

    CERN Document Server

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane; Ferrario, Lilia; Paunzen, Ernst; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T

    2016-01-01

    We present an analysis of the close double degenerate NLTT 12758, which is comprised of a magnetic white dwarf with a field of about 3.1 MG and an apparently non-magnetic white dwarf. We measured an orbital period of 1.154 days and found that the magnetic white dwarf is spinning around its axis with a period of 23 minutes. An analysis of the atmospheric parameters has revealed that the cooling ages of the two white dwarfs are comparable, suggesting that they formed within a short period of time from each other. Our modelling indicates that the non-magnetic white dwarf is more massive (M=0.83 M_sun) than its magnetic companion (M=0.69 M_sun) and that the total mass of the system is higher than the Chandrasekhar mass. Although the stars will not come into contact over a Hubble time, when they do come into contact, dynamically unstable mass transfer will take place leading to either an accretion induced collapse into a rapidly spinning neutron star or a Type Ia supernova.

  4. 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...

  5. CALIBRATION OF THE MIXING-LENGTH THEORY FOR CONVECTIVE WHITE DWARF ENVELOPES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tremblay, P.-E. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Ludwig, H.-G. [Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Freytag, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University, Regementsvägen 1, Box 516, SE-75120 Uppsala (Sweden); Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P. [Département de Physique, Université de Montréal, C. P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Steffen, M., E-mail: tremblay@stsci.edu [Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam (Germany)

    2015-02-01

    A calibration of the mixing-length parameter in the local mixing-length theory (MLT) is presented for the lower part of the convection zone in pure-hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs. The parameterization is performed from a comparison of three-dimensional (3D) CO5BOLD simulations with a grid of one-dimensional (1D) envelopes with a varying mixing-length parameter. In many instances, the 3D simulations are restricted to the upper part of the convection zone. The hydrodynamical calculations suggest, in those cases, that the entropy of the upflows does not change significantly from the bottom of the convection zone to regions immediately below the photosphere. We rely on this asymptotic entropy value, characteristic of the deep and adiabatically stratified layers, to calibrate 1D envelopes. The calibration encompasses the convective hydrogen-line (DA) white dwarfs in the effective temperature range 6000 ≤ T {sub eff} (K) ≤15, 000 and the surface gravity range 7.0 ≤ log g ≤ 9.0. It is established that the local MLT is unable to reproduce simultaneously the thermodynamical, flux, and dynamical properties of the 3D simulations. We therefore propose three different parameterizations for these quantities. The resulting calibration can be applied to structure and envelope calculations, in particular for pulsation, chemical diffusion, and convective mixing studies. On the other hand, convection has no effect on the white dwarf cooling rates until there is a convective coupling with the degenerate core below T {sub eff} ∼ 5000 K. In this regime, the 1D structures are insensitive to the MLT parameterization and converge to the mean 3D results, hence they remain fully appropriate for age determinations.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcmahan, Robert K.

    1989-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    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 ˜ 107 - 1010 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Pulsating low-mass white dwarfs in the frame of new evolutionary sequences. IV. The secular rate of period change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcaferro, Leila M.; Córsico, Alejandro H.; Althaus, Leandro G.

    2017-04-01

    Context. An increasing number of low-mass (M⋆/M⊙ ≲ 0.45) and extremely low-mass (ELM, M⋆/M⊙ ≲ 0.18-0.20) white-dwarf stars are being discovered in the field of the Milky Way. Some of these stars exhibit long-period g-mode pulsations, and are called ELMV variable stars. Also, some low-mass pre-white dwarf stars show short-period p-mode (and likely radial-mode) photometric variations, and are designated as pre-ELMV variable stars. The existence of these new classes of pulsating white dwarfs and pre-white dwarfs opens the prospect of exploring the binary formation channels of these low-mass white dwarfs through asteroseismology. Aims: We aim to present a theoretical assessment of the expected temporal rates of change of periods (\\dot{Π}) for such stars, based on fully evolutionary low-mass He-core white dwarf and pre-white dwarf models. Methods: Our analysis is based on a large set of adiabatic periods of radial and nonradial pulsation modes computed on a suite of low-mass He-core white dwarf and pre-white dwarf models with masses ranging from 0.1554 to 0.4352 M⊙, which were derived by computing the non-conservative evolution of a binary system consisting of an initially 1 M⊙ ZAMS star and a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star companion. Results: We computed the secular rates of period change of radial (ℓ = 0) and nonradial (ℓ = 1,2) g and p modes for stellar models representative of ELMV and pre-ELMV stars, as well as for stellar objects that are evolving just before the occurrence of CNO flashes at the early cooling branches. We find that the theoretically expected magnitude of \\dot{Π} of g modes for pre-ELMVs is by far larger than for ELMVs. In turn, \\dot{Π} of g modes for models evolving before the occurrence of CNO flashes are larger than the maximum values of the rates of period change predicted for pre-ELMV stars. Regarding p and radial modes, we find that the larger absolute values of \\dot{Π} correspond to pre-ELMV models. Conclusions: We

  18. HST and Optical Data Reveal White Dwarf Cooling, Spin and Periodicities in GW Librae 3-4 Years after Outburst

    CERN Document Server

    Szkody, Paula; Gaensicke, Boris T; Henden, Arne; Sion, Edward M; Townsley, Dean; Chote, Paul; Harmer, Diane; Harpe, Eric J; Hermes, J J; Sullivan, Denis J; Winget, D E

    2012-01-01

    Since the large amplitude 2007 outburst which heated its accreting, pulsating white dwarf, the dwarf nova system GW Librae has been cooling to its quiescent temperature. Our Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectra combined with ground-based optical coverage during the 3rd and 4th year after outburst show that the fluxes and temperatures are still higher than quiescence (T=19,700K and 17,300K vs 16,000K pre-outburst for a log g=8.7 and d=100 pc). The K{wd} of 7.6+/-0.8 km/s determined from the CI1463 absorption line, as well as the gravitational redshift implies a white dwarf mass of 0.79+/-0.08 Msun. The widths of the UV lines imply a white dwarf rotation velocity vsin i of 40 km/s and a spin period of 209 s (for an inclination of 11 deg and a white dwarf radius of 7x10^{8} cm). Light curves produced from the UV spectra in both years show a prominent multiplet near 290 s, with higher amplitude in the UV compared to the optical, and increased amplitude in 2011 vs 2010. As the presence of this set of periods...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...