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Gaensicke B. T. | Gaensicke Boris T. | Gaensicke Boris | Gaensicke B. | Gaensicke B T | Gaensicke B T. | Gaensicke B. T | Gaensicke B. T. G.

B Krishna P | B | B Navaneethkrishnan | B A. M. Lopez | b A. Zepeda | B Arun I | b H. Salazar | B J. | B Krishna Bharadwaj | B M.

T | T Akhil P | T Balamurali B | T Geetha | T N. Poveda | T Shijin | T Smitha T. | T Vasudev | T Aby Abahai | T AdelekeJ.

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V1460 Her: A fast spinning white dwarf accreting from an evolved donor star

Ashley R. P., Marsh T. R., Breedt E., Gaensicke B. T., Pala A. F., Toloza O., Chote P., Thorstensen John R., Burleigh M. R.
30 Aug 2020 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/2008.13242

We present time-resolved optical and ultraviolet spectroscopy and photometry of V1460~Her, an eclipsing cataclysmic variable with a 4.99\,h orbital period and an overluminous K5-type donor star. The optical spectra show emission lines from an accretion disc along with absorption lines from the donor. We use these to measure radial velocities, which, together with constraints upon the orbital inclination from photometry, imply masses of $M_1=0.869\pm0.006\,\mathrm{M}\odot$ and $M_2=0.295\pm0.004\,\mathrm{M}\odot$ for the white dwarf and the donor. The radius of the donor, $R_2=0.43\pm0.002\,\mathrm{R}_\odot$, is $\approx 50$ per cent larger than expected given its mass, while its spectral type is much earlier than the M3.5 type that would be expected from a main sequence star with a similar mass. HST spectra show strong $\mathrm{N{\small V}}$ 1240 A emission but no $\mathrm{C{\small IV}}$ 1550 A emission, evidence for CNO-processed material. The donor is therefore a bloated, over-luminous remnant of a thermal-timescale stage of high mass transfer and has yet to re-establish thermal equilibrium. Remarkably, the HST ultraviolet data also show a strong 30 per cent peak-to-peak, $38.9\,$s pulsation that we explain as being due to the spin of the white dwarf, potentially putting V1460 Her in a similar category to the propeller system AE Aqr in terms of its spin frequency and evolutionary path. AE Aqr also features a post-thermal timescale mass donor, and V1460 Her may therefore be its weak magnetic field analogue since the accretion disc is still present, with the white dwarf spin-up a result of a recent high accretion rate.

A white dwarf bound to the transiting planetary system WASP-98

Southworth John, Tremblay P. -E., Gaensicke B. T., Evans D. F., Mocnik T.
06 Aug 2020 astro-ph.SR astro-ph.EP arxiv.org/abs/2008.02533

WASP-98 is a planetary system containing a hot Jupiter transiting a late-G dwarf. A fainter star 12 arcsec distant has previously been identified as a white dwarf, with a distance and proper motion consistent with a physical association with the planetary system. We present spectroscopy of the white dwarf, with the aim of determining its mass, radius and temperature and hence the age of the system. However, the spectra show the featureless continuum and lack of spectral lines characteristic of the DC class of white dwarfs. We therefore fitted theoretical white dwarf spectra to the ugriz apparent magnitudes and Gaia DR2 parallax of this object in order to determine its physical properties and the age of the system. We find that the system is old, with a lower limit of 3.6 Gyr, but theoretical uncertainties preclude a precise determination of its age. Its kinematics are consistent with membership of the thick disc, but do not allow us to rule out the thin-disc alternative. The old age and low metallicity of the system suggest it is subject to an age-metallicity relation, but analysis of the most metal-rich and metal-poor transiting planetary systems yields only insubstantial evidence of this. We conclude that the study of bound white dwarfs can yield independent ages to planetary systems, but such analysis may be better-suited to DA and DB rather than DC white dwarfs.

WD1032+011, an inflated brown dwarf in an old eclipsing binary with a white dwarf

Casewell S. L., Belardi C., Parsons S. G., Littlefair S. P., Braker I. P., Hermes J. J., Debes J., Vanderbosch Z., Burleigh M. R., Gaensicke B. T.
16 Jun 2020 astro-ph.SR astro-ph.EP arxiv.org/abs/2006.09417

We present the discovery of only the third brown dwarf known to eclipse a non-accreting white dwarf. Gaia parallax information and multi-colour photometry confirm that the white dwarf is cool (9950$\pm$150K) and has a low mass (0.45$\pm$0.05~MSun), and spectra and lightcurves suggest the brown dwarf has a mass of 0.067 $\pm$0.006 MSun (70 MJup) and a spectral type of L5 $\pm$1. The kinematics of the system show that the binary is likely to be a member of the thick disk and therefore at least 5 Gyr old. The high cadence lightcurves show that the brown dwarf is inflated, making it the first brown dwarf in an eclipsing white dwarf-brown dwarf binary to be so.

A White Dwarf with Transiting Circumstellar Material Far Outside the Roche Limit

Vanderbosch Z., Hermes J. J., Dennihy E., Dunlap B. H., Izquierdo P., Tremblay P. E., Cho P. B., Gaensicke B. T., Toloza O., Bell K. J.
26 Aug 2019 astro-ph.SR astro-ph.EP arxiv.org/abs/1908.09839

We report the discovery of a white dwarf exhibiting deep, irregularly shaped transits, indicative of circumstellar planetary debris. Using Zwicky Transient Facility DR2 photometry of ZTF$\,$J013906.17+524536.89 and follow-up observations from the Las Cumbres Observatory, we identify multiple transit events that recur every ${\approx}\,107.2\,$d, much longer than the $4.5{-}4.9\,$h orbital periods observed in WD$\,$1145+017, the only other white dwarf known with transiting planetary debris. The transits vary in both depth and duration, lasting $15{-}25\,$d and reaching $20{-}45\,\%$ dips in flux. Optical spectra reveal strong Balmer lines, identifying the white dwarf as a DA with $T_{\mathrm{eff}}=10{,}530\pm140\,\mathrm{K}$ and $\log(g)=7.86\pm0.06$. A $\mathrm{Ca\,II\,K}$ absorption feature is present in all spectra both in and out of transit. Spectra obtained during one night at roughly $15\,\%$ transit depth show increased $\mathrm{Ca\,II\,K}$ absorption with a model atmospheric fit suggesting $[\mathrm{Ca/H}]=-4.6\pm0.3$, whereas spectra taken on three nights out of transit have $[\mathrm{Ca/H}]$ of -5.5, -5.3, and -4.9 with similar uncertainties. While the $\mathrm{Ca\,II\,K}$ line strength varies by only 2-sigma, we consider a predominantly interstellar origin for Ca absorption unlikely. We suggest a larger column density of circumstellar metallic gas along the line of site or increased accretion of material onto the white dwarf's surface are responsible for the Ca absorption, but further spectroscopic studies are required. In addition, high-speed time series photometry out of transit reveals variability with periods of 900 and 1030$\,$s, consistent with ZZ Ceti pulsations.

The evolutionary status of Cataclysmic Variables: Eclipse modelling of 15 systems

McAllister M., Littlefair S. P., Parsons S. G., Dhillon V. S., Marsh T. R., Gaensicke B. T., Breedt E., Copperwheat C., Green M. J., Knigge C.
03 Apr 2019 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/1904.01888

We present measurements of the component masses in 15 Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) - 6 new estimates and 9 improved estimates. We provide new calibrations of the relationship between superhump period excess and mass ratio, and use this relation to estimate donor star masses for 225 superhumping CVs. With an increased sample of donor masses we revisit the implications for CV evolution. We confirm the high mass of white dwarfs in CVs, but find no trend in white dwarf mass with orbital period. We argue for a revision in the location of the orbital period minimum of CVs to $79.6 \pm 0.2$ min, significantly shorter than previous estimates. We find that CV donors below the gap have an intrinsic scatter of only 0.005 R${\odot}$ around a common evolutionary track, implying a correspondingly small variation in angular momentum loss rates. In contrast to prior studies, we find that standard CV evolutionary tracks - without additional angular momentum loss - are a reasonable fit to the donor masses just below the period gap, but that they do not reproduce the observed period minimum, or fit the donor radii below 0.1 M${\odot}$.

Partly burnt runaway stellar remnants from peculiar thermonuclear supernovae

Raddi R., Hollands M. A., Koester D., Hermes J. J., Gaensicke B. T., Heber U., Shen K. J., Townsley D. M., Pala A. F., Reding J. S.
13 Feb 2019 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/1902.05061

We report the discovery of three stars that, along with the prototype LP40-365, form a distinct class of chemically peculiar runaway stars that are the survivors of thermonuclear explosions. Spectroscopy of the four confirmed LP 40-365 stars finds ONe-dominated atmospheres enriched with remarkably similar amounts of nuclear ashes of partial O- and Si-burning. Kinematic evidence is consistent with ejection from a binary supernova progenitor; at least two stars have rest-frame velocities indicating they are unbound to the Galaxy. With masses and radii ranging between 0.20-0.28 Msun and 0.16-0.60 Rsun, respectively, we speculate these inflated white dwarfs are the partly burnt remnants of either peculiar Type Iax or electron-capture supernovae. Adopting supernova rates from the literature, we estimate that ~20 LP40-365 stars brighter than 19 mag should be detectable within 2 kpc from the Sun at the end of the Gaia mission. We suggest that as they cool, these stars will evolve in their spectroscopic appearance, and eventually become peculiar O-rich white dwarfs. Finally, we stress that the discovery of new LP40-365 stars will be useful to further constrain their evolution, supplying key boundary conditions to the modelling of explosion mechanisms, supernova rates, and nucleosynthetic yields of peculiar thermonuclear explosions.

Evidence for bimodal orbital separations of white dwarf-red dwarf binary stars

Ashley R. P., Farihi J., Marsh T. R., Wilson D. J., Gaensicke B. T.
25 Jan 2019 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/1901.09139

We present the results of a radial velocity survey of 20 white dwarf plus M dwarf binaries selected as a follow up to a \textit{Hubble Space Telescope} study that aimed to spatially resolve suspected binaries. Our candidates are taken from the list of targets that were spatially unresolved with \textit{Hubble}. We have determined the orbital periods for 16 of these compact binary candidates. The period distribution ranges from 0.14 to 9.16\,d and peaks near 0.6\,d. The original sample therefore contains two sets of binaries, wide orbits ($\approx100-1000$\,au) and close orbits ($\lesssim1-10$\,au), with no systems found in the $\approx10-100$\,au range. This observational evidence confirms the bimodal distribution predicted by population models and is also similar to results obtained in previous studies. We find no binary periods in the months to years range, supporting the post common envelope evolution scenario. One of our targets, WD\,1504+546, was discovered to be an eclipsing binary with a period of 0.93\,d.

The Gaia 20 pc white dwarf sample

Hollands M. A., Tremblay P. E., Gaensicke B. T., Gentile-Fusillo N. P., Toonen S.
31 May 2018 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/1805.12590

Using Gaia DR2 data, we present an up-to-date sample of white dwarfs within 20 pc of the Sun. In total we identified 139 systems in Gaia DR2, nine of which are new detections, with the closest of these located at a distance of 13.05 pc. We estimated atmospheric parameters for all stellar remnants based on the Gaia parallaxes and photometry. The high precision and completeness of the Gaia astrometry allowed us to search for wide binary companions. We re-identified all known binaries where both components have accurate DR2 astrometry, and established the binarity of one of the nine newly identified white dwarfs. No new companions were found to previously known 20 pc white dwarfs. Finally, we estimated the local white dwarf space-density to be $(4.49\pm0.38)\times10^{-3}$ pc$^{-3}$, having given careful consideration to the distance-dependent Gaia completeness, which misses known objects at short distances, but is close to complete for white dwarfs near 20 pc.

Anatomy of the hyper-runaway star LP 40-365 with Gaia

Raddi R., Hollands M. A., Gaensicke B. T., Townsley D. M., Hermes J. J., Fusillo N. P. Gentile, Koester D.
25 Apr 2018 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/1804.09677

LP 40-365 (aka GD 492) is a nearby low-luminosity hyper-runaway star with an extremely unusual atmospheric composition, which has been proposed as the remnant of a white dwarf that survived a subluminous Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in a single-degenerate scenario. Adopting the Gaia Data Release (DR2) parallax, 1.58 +/- 0.03 mas, we estimate a radius of 0.18 +/- 0.01 Rsun, confirming LP 40-365 as a subluminous star that is ~ 15 times larger than a typical white dwarf and is compatible with the SN Ia remnant scenario. We present an updated kinematic analysis, making use of the Gaia parallax and proper motion, and confirm that Lp 40-365 is leaving the Milky Way at about 1.5 times the escape velocity of the Solar neighbourhood with a rest-frame velocity of 852 +/- 10 km/s. Integrating the past trajectories of LP 40-365, we confirm it crossed the Galactic disc 5.0 +/- 0.3 Myr ago in the direction of Carina, likely coming from beneath the plane. Finally, we estimate that LP 40-365 was ejected from its progenitor binary with a velocity of at least 600 km/s, which is compatible with theoretical predictions for close binaries containing a white dwarf and a helium-star donor.

Further insight on the hypervelocity white dwarf, LP 40-365 (GD 492): a nearby emissary from a single-degenerate Type Ia supernova

Raddi R., Hollands M. A., Koester D., Gaensicke B. T., Gentile-Fusillo N. P., Hermes J. J., Townsley D. M.
20 Mar 2018 astro-ph.SR arxiv.org/abs/1803.07564

The recently discovered hypervelocity white dwarf LP 40-65 (aka GD 492) has been suggested as the outcome of the failed disruption of a white dwarf in a sub-luminous Type Ia supernova (SN Ia). We present new observations confirming GD 492 as a single star with unique spectral features. Our spectroscopic analysis suggests that a helium-dominated atmosphere, with ~ 33 percent neon and 2 percent oxygen by mass, can reproduce most of the observed properties of this highly unusual star. Although our atmospheric model contrasts with the previous analysis in terms of dominant atmospheric species, we confirm that the atmosphere of GD 492 is strongly hydrogen deficient, log(H/He) < -5, and displays traces of eleven other alpha- and iron-group elements (with sulfur, chromium, manganese, and titanium as new detections), indicating nuclear processing of carbon and silicon. We measure a manganese-to-iron ratio seven times larger than Solar. While the observed abundances of GD 492 do not fully match any predicted nuclear yields of a partially-burned supernova remnant, the manganese excess strongly favors a link with a single-degenerate SN Ia event over alternative scenarios.