skip to main content

Title: On the Impact of 22 Ne on the Pulsation Periods of Carbon–Oxygen White Dwarfs with Helium-dominated Atmospheres
Abstract

We explore changes in the adiabatic low-order g-mode pulsation periods of 0.526, 0.560, and 0.729Mcarbon–oxygen white dwarf models with helium-dominated envelopes due to the presence, absence, and enhancement of22Ne in the interior. The observed g-mode pulsation periods of such white dwarfs are typically given to 6−7 significant figures of precision. Usually white dwarf models without22Ne are fit to the observed periods and other properties. The rms residuals to the ≃150−400 s low-order g-mode periods are typically in the range ofσrms≲ 0.3 s, for a fit precision ofσrms/P≲ 0.3%. We find average relative period shifts of ΔP/P≃ ±0.5% for the low-order dipole and quadrupole g-mode pulsations within the observed effective temperature window, with the range of ΔP/Pdepending on the specific g-mode, abundance of22Ne, effective temperature, and the mass of the white dwarf model. This finding suggests a systematic offset may be present in the fitting process of specific white dwarfs when22Ne is absent. As part of the fitting processes involves adjusting the composition profiles of a white dwarf model, our study on the impact of22Ne can provide new inferences on the derived interior mass fraction profiles. We encourage routinely including22Ne mass fraction profiles, informed by stellar evolution models, to future more » generations of white dwarf model-fitting processes.

« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1663696 1707419 1927130
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10362058
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
910
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 24
ISSN:
0004-637X
Publisher:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract We seek signatures of the current experimental 12 C α , γ 16 O reaction rate probability distribution function in the pulsation periods of carbon–oxygen white dwarf (WD) models. We find that adiabatic g-modes trapped by the interior carbon-rich layer offer potentially useful signatures of this reaction rate probability distribution function. Probing the carbon-rich region is relevant because it forms during the evolution of low-mass stars under radiative helium-burning conditions, mitigating the impact of convective mixing processes. We make direct quantitative connections between the pulsation periods of the identified trapped g-modes in variable WD models and the current experimental 12 C α , γ 16 O reaction rate probability distribution function. We find an average spread in relative period shifts of Δ P / P ≃ ±2% for the identified trapped g-modes over the ±3 σ uncertainty in the 12 C α , γ 16 O reaction rate probability distribution function—across the effective temperature range of observed DAV and DBV WDs and for different WD masses, helium shell masses, and hydrogen shell masses. The g-mode pulsation periods of observed WDs are typically given to six to seven significant figures of precision. This suggests that an astrophysical constraint on themore »12 C α , γ 16 O reaction rate could, in principle, be extractable from the period spectrum of observed variable WDs.« less
  2. Context. The recent arrival of continuous photometric observations of unprecedented quality from space missions has strongly promoted the study of pulsating stars and caused great interest in the stellar astrophysics community. In the particular case of pulsating white dwarfs, the TESS mission is taking asteroseismology of these compact stars to a higher level, emulating or even surpassing the performance of its predecessor, the Kepler mission. Aims. We present a detailed asteroseismological analysis of six GW Vir stars that includes the observations collected by the TESS mission. Methods. We processed and analyzed TESS observations of RX J2117+3412 (TIC 117070953), HS 2324+3944 (TIC 352444061), NGC 6905 (TIC 402913811), NGC 1501 (TIC 084306468), NGC 2371 (TIC 446005482), and K 1−16 (TIC 233689607). We carried out a detailed asteroseismological analysis of these stars on the basis of PG 1159 evolutionary models that take into account the complete evolution of the progenitor stars. We constrained the stellar mass of these stars by comparing the observed period spacing with the average of the computed period spacings, and we employed the individual observed periods to search for a representative seismological model when possible. Results. In total, we extracted 58 periodicities from the TESS light curves of thesemore »GW Vir stars using a standard prewhitening procedure to derive the potential pulsation frequencies. All the oscillation frequencies that we found are associated with g -mode pulsations, with periods spanning from ∼817 s to ∼2682 s. We find constant period spacings for all but one star (K 1−16), which allowed us to infer their stellar masses and constrain the harmonic degree ℓ of the modes. Based on rotational frequency splittings, we derive the rotation period of RX J2117+3412, obtaining a value in agreement with previous determinations. We performed period-to-period fit analyses on five of the six analyzed stars. For four stars (RX J2117+3412, HS 2324+3944, NGC 1501, and NGC 2371), we were able to find an asteroseismological model with masses that agree with the stellar mass values inferred from the period spacings and are generally compatible with the spectroscopic masses. Obtaining seismological models allowed us to estimate the seismological distance and compare it with the precise astrometric distance measured with Gaia . Finally, we find that the period spectrum of K 1−16 exhibits dramatic changes in frequency and amplitude that together with the scarcity of modes prevented us from meaningful seismological modeling of this star. Conclusions. The high-quality data collected by the TESS space mission, considered simultaneously with ground-based observations, provide very valuable input to the asteroseismology of GW Vir stars, similar to the case of other classes of pulsating white dwarf stars. The TESS mission, in conjunction with future space missions and upcoming surveys, will make impressive progress in white dwarf asteroseismology.« less
  3. Context. Before reaching their quiescent terminal white-dwarf cooling branch, some low-mass helium-core white dwarf stellar models experience a number of nuclear flashes which greatly reduce their hydrogen envelopes. Just before the occurrence of each flash, stable hydrogen burning may be able to drive global pulsations that could be relevant in shedding some light on the internal structure of these stars through asteroseismology, similarly to what occurs with other classes of pulsating white dwarfs. Aims. We present a pulsational stability analysis applied to low-mass helium-core stars on their early white-dwarf cooling branches going through CNO flashes in order to study the possibility that the ε mechanism is able to excite gravity-mode pulsations. We assess the ranges of unstable periods and the corresponding instability domain in the log g  −  T eff plane. Methods. We carried out a nonadiabatic pulsation analysis for low-mass helium-core white-dwarf models with stellar masses between 0.2025 and 0.3630  M ⊙ going through CNO flashes during their early cooling phases. Results. We found that the ε mechanism due to stable hydrogen burning can excite low-order ( ℓ  = 1, 2) gravity modes with periods between ∼80 and 500 s for stars with 0.2025 ≲  M ⋆ / M ⊙  ≲ 0.3630 locatedmore »in an extended region of the log g  −  T eff diagram, with effective temperature and surface gravity in the ranges 15 000 ≲  T eff  ≲ 38 000 K and 5.8 ≲ log g  ≲ 7.1, respectively. For the sequences that experience multiple CNO flashes, we found that with every consecutive flash, the region of instability becomes wider and the modes are more strongly excited. The magnitudes of the rate of period change for these modes are in the range of ∼10 −10 –10 −11  [s/s]. Conclusions. Since the timescales required for these modes to reach amplitudes large enough to be observable are shorter than their corresponding evolutionary timescales, the detection of pulsations in these stars is feasible. Given the current problems in distinguishing some stars that populate the same region of the log g  −  T eff plane, the eventual detection of short-period pulsations may help in the classification of such stars. Furthermore, if a low-mass white dwarf star were found to pulsate with low-order gravity modes in this region of instability, it would confirm our result that such pulsations can be driven by the ε mechanism. In addition, confirming a rapid rate of period change in these pulsations would support the idea that these stars actually experience CNO flashes, as has been predicted by evolutionary calculations.« less
  4. Abstract

    We fit the mass and radial profile of the Orphan–Chenab Stream’s (OCS) dwarf-galaxy progenitor by using turnoff stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Dark Energy Camera to constrainN-body simulations of the OCS progenitor falling into the Milky Way on the 1.5 PetaFLOPS MilkyWay@home distributed supercomputer. We infer the internal structure of the OCS’s progenitor under the assumption that it was a spherically symmetric dwarf galaxy composed of a stellar system embedded in an extended dark matter halo. We optimize the evolution time, the baryonic and dark matter scale radii, and the baryonic and dark matter masses of the progenitor using a differential evolution algorithm. The likelihood score for each set of parameters is determined by comparing the simulated tidal stream to the angular distribution of OCS stars observed in the sky. We fit the total mass of the OCS’s progenitor to (2.0 ± 0.3) × 107Mwith a mass-to-light ratio ofγ= 73.5 ± 10.6 and (1.1 ± 0.2) × 106Mwithin 300 pc of its center. Within the progenitor’s half-light radius, we estimate a total mass of (4.0 ± 1.0) × 105M. We also fit the current sky position of the progenitor’s remnant to be (α,δ) = ((166.0more »± 0.9)°, (−11.1 ± 2.5)°) and show that it is gravitationally unbound at the present time. The measured progenitor mass is on the low end of previous measurements and, if confirmed, lowers the mass range of ultrafaint dwarf galaxies. Our optimization assumes a fixed Milky Way potential, OCS orbit, and radial profile for the progenitor, ignoring the impact of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

    « less
  5. 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 standard 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 evaluatedmore »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