skip to main content

Title: Year 1 of the ZTF high-cadence Galactic Plane Survey: Strategy, goals, and early results on new single-mode hot subdwarf B-star pulsators
We present the goals, strategy and first results of the high-cadence Galactic plane survey using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). The goal of the survey is to unveil the Galactic population of short-period variable stars, including short period binaries and stellar pulsators with periods less than a few hours. Between June 2018 and January 2019, we observed 64 ZTF fields resulting in 2990 deg2 of high stellar density in ZTF-r band along the Galactic Plane. Each field was observed continuously for 1.5 to 6 hrs with a cadence of 40 sec. Most fields have between 200 and 400 observations obtained over 2-3 continuous nights. As part of this survey we extract a total of ≈230 million individual objects with at least 80 epochs obtained during the high-cadence Galactic Plane survey reaching an average depth of ZTF-r ≈20.5 mag. For four selected fields with 2 million to 10 million individual objects per field we calculate different variability statistics and find that ≈1-2% of the objects are astrophysically variable over the observed period. We present a progress report on recent discoveries, including a new class of compact pulsators, the first members of a new class of Roche Lobe filling hot subdwarf binaries more » as well as new ultracompact double white dwarfs and flaring stars. Finally we present a sample of 12 new single-mode hot subdwarf B-star pulsators with pulsation amplitudes between ZTF-r = 20-76 mmag and pulsation periods between P = 5.8-16 min with a strong cluster of systems with periods ≈ 6 min. All of the data have now been released in either ZTF Data Release 3 or data release 4. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; « less
Award ID(s):
1440341 2034437
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10280428
Journal Name:
ArXivorg
ISSN:
2331-8422
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Context. The TESS satellite was launched in 2018 to perform high-precision photometry from space over almost the whole sky in a search for exoplanets orbiting bright stars. This instrument has opened new opportunities to study variable hot subdwarfs, white dwarfs, and related compact objects. Targets of interest include white dwarf and hot subdwarf pulsators, both carrying high potential for asteroseismology. Aims. We present the discovery and detailed asteroseismic analysis of a new g -mode hot B subdwarf (sdB) pulsator, EC 21494−7018 (TIC 278659026), monitored in TESS first sector using 120-s cadence. Methods. The TESS light curve was analyzed with standardmore »prewhitening techniques, followed by forward modeling using our latest generation of sdB models developed for asteroseismic investigations. By simultaneously best-matching all the observed frequencies with those computed from models, we identified the pulsation modes detected and, more importantly, we determined the global parameters and structural configuration of the star. Results. The light curve analysis reveals that EC 21494−7018 is a sdB pulsator counting up to 20 frequencies associated with independent g -modes. The seismic analysis singles out an optimal model solution in full agreement with independent measurements provided by spectroscopy (atmospheric parameters derived from model atmospheres) and astrometry (distance evaluated from Gaia DR2 trigonometric parallax). Several key parameters of the star are derived. Its mass (0.391 ± 0.009  M ⊙ ) is significantly lower than the typical mass of sdB stars and suggests that its progenitor has not undergone the He-core flash; therefore this progenitor could originate from a massive (≳2  M ⊙ ) red giant, which is an alternative channel for the formation of sdBs. Other derived parameters include the H-rich envelope mass (0.0037 ± 0.0010  M ⊙ ), radius (0.1694 ± 0.0081  R ⊙ ), and luminosity (8.2 ± 1.1  L ⊙ ). The optimal model fit has a double-layered He+H composition profile, which we interpret as an incomplete but ongoing process of gravitational settling of helium at the bottom of a thick H-rich envelope. Moreover, the derived properties of the core indicate that EC 21494−7018 has burnt ∼43% (in mass) of its central helium and possesses a relatively large mixed core ( M core  = 0.198 ± 0.010  M ⊙ ), in line with trends already uncovered from other g-mode sdB pulsators analyzed with asteroseismology. Finally, we obtain for the first time an estimate of the amount of oxygen (in mass; X (O) core = 0.16 +0.13 −0.05 ) produced at this stage of evolution by an helium-burning core. This result, along with the core-size estimate, is an interesting constraint that may help to narrow down the still uncertain 12 C( α ,  γ ) 16 O nuclear reaction rate.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We characterize an all-sky catalogue of ∼8400 δ Scuti variables in ASAS-SN, which includes ∼3300 new discoveries. Using distances from Gaia DR2, we derive period–luminosity relationships for both the fundamental mode and overtone pulsators in the WJK, V, Gaia DR2 G, J, H, Ks, and W1 bands. We find that the overtone pulsators have a dominant overtone mode, with many sources pulsating in the second overtone or higher order modes. The fundamental mode pulsators have metallicity-dependent periods, with log10(P) ∼ −1.1 for $\rm [Fe/H]\lt -0.3$ and log10(P) ∼ −0.9 for $\rm [Fe/H]\gt 0$, which leads to a period-dependent scalemore »height. Stars with $P\gt 0.100\, \rm d$ are predominantly located close to the Galactic disc ($\rm |\mathit{ Z}|\lt 0.5\, kpc$). The median period at a scale height of $Z\sim 0\, \rm kpc$ also increases with the Galactocentric radius R, from log10(P) ∼ −0.94 for sources with $R\gt 9\, \rm kpc$ to log10(P) ∼ −0.85 for sources with $R\lt 7\, \rm kpc$, which is indicative of a radial metallicity gradient. To illustrate potential applications of this all-sky catalogue, we obtained 30 min cadence, image subtraction TESS light curves for a sample of 10 fundamental mode and 10 overtone δ Scuti stars discovered by ASAS-SN. From this sample, we identified two new δ Scuti eclipsing binaries, ASASSN-V J071855.62−434247.3 and ASASSN-V J170344.20−615941.2 with short orbital periods of Porb = 2.6096 and 2.5347 d, respectively.« less
  3. Eclipsing post-common-envelope binaries are highly important for resolving the poorly understood, very short-lived common-envelope phase of stellar evolution. Most hot subdwarfs (sdO/Bs) are the bare helium-burning cores of red giants that have lost almost all of their hydrogen envelope. This mass loss is often triggered by common-envelope interactions with close stellar or even substellar companions. Cool companions to hot subdwarf stars such as late-type stars and brown dwarfs are detectable from characteristic light-curve variations – reflection effects and often eclipses. In the recently published catalog of eclipsing binaries in the Galactic Bulge and in the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert Systemmore »(ATLAS) survey, we discovered 125 new eclipsing systems showing a reflection effect seen by visual inspection of the light curves and using a machine-learning algorithm, in addition to the 36 systems previously discovered by the Optical Gravitational Lesing Experiment (OGLE) team. The Eclipsing Reflection Effect Binaries from Optical Surveys (EREBOS) project aims at analyzing all newly discovered eclipsing binaries of the HW Vir type (hot subdwarf + close, cool companion) based on a spectroscopic and photometric follow up to derive the mass distribution of the companions, constrain the fraction of substellar companions, and determine the minimum mass needed to strip off the red-giant envelope. To constrain the nature of the primary we derived the absolute magnitude and the reduced proper motion of all our targets with the help of the parallaxes and proper motions measured by the Gaia mission and compared those to the Gaia white-dwarf candidate catalog. It was possible to derive the nature of a subset of our targets, for which observed spectra are available, by measuring the atmospheric parameter of the primary, confirming that less than 10% of our systems are not sdO/Bs with cool companions but are white dwarfs or central stars of planetary nebula. This large sample of eclipsing hot subdwarfs with cool companions allowed us to derive a significant period distribution for hot subdwarfs with cool companions for the first time showing that the period distribution is much broader than previously thought and is ideally suited to finding the lowest-mass companions to hot subdwarf stars. The comparison with related binary populations shows that the period distribution of HW Vir systems is very similar to WD+dM systems and central stars of planetary nebula with cool companions. In the future, several new photometric surveys will be carried out, which will further increase the sample of this project, providing the potential to test many aspects of common-envelope theory and binary evolution.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We explore the synergy between photometric and spectroscopic surveys by searching for periodic variable stars among the targets observed by the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) using photometry from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We identified 1924 periodic variables among more than $258\, 000$ APOGEE targets; 465 are new discoveries. We homogeneously classified 430 eclipsing and ellipsoidal binaries, 139 classical pulsators (Cepheids, RR Lyrae, and δ Scuti), 719 long-period variables (pulsating red giants), and 636 rotational variables. The search was performed using both visual inspection and machine learning techniques. The light curves were also modelled with themore »damped random walk stochastic process. We find that the median [Fe/H] of variable objects is lower by 0.3 dex than that of the overall APOGEE sample. Eclipsing binaries and ellipsoidal variables are shifted to a lower median [Fe/H] by 0.2 dex. Eclipsing binaries and rotational variables exhibit significantly broader spectral lines than the rest of the sample. We make ASAS-SN light curves for all the APOGEE stars publicly available and provide parameters for the variable objects.« less
  5. Abstract

    The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), a public–private enterprise, is a new time-domain survey employing a dedicated camera on the Palomar 48-inch Schmidt telescope with a 47 deg2field of view and an 8 second readout time. It is well positioned in the development of time-domain astronomy, offering operations at 10% of the scale and style of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) with a single 1-m class survey telescope. The public surveys will cover the observable northern sky every three nights ingandrfilters and the visible Galactic plane every night ingandr. Alerts generated by these surveys are sent in real timemore »to brokers. A consortium of universities that provided funding (“partnership”) are undertaking several boutique surveys. The combination of these surveys producing one million alerts per night allows for exploration of transient and variable astrophysical phenomena brighter thanr ∼ 20.5 on timescales of minutes to years. We describe the primary science objectives driving ZTF, including the physics of supernovae and relativistic explosions, multi-messenger astrophysics, supernova cosmology, active galactic nuclei, and tidal disruption events, stellar variability, and solar system objects.

    « less