skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Bergeron, P"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We present an analysis of new and archival data to the 20.506 minute LISA verification binary J052610.42+593445.32 (J0526+5934). Our joint spectroscopic and photometric analysis finds that the binary contains an unseenM1= 0.89 ± 0.11MCO-core white dwarf primary with anM2= 0.38 ± 0.07Mpost-core-burning subdwarf, or low-mass white dwarf, companion. Given the short orbital period and relatively large total binary mass, we find that LISA will detect this binary with signal-to-noise ratio 44 after 4 yr of observations. J0526+5934 is expected to merge within 1.8 ± 0.3 Myr and likely result in a D6scenario Type Ia supernova or form a He-rich star that will evolve into a massive single white dwarf.

    more » « less

    We report the discovery of spectroscopic variations in the magnetic DBA white dwarf SDSS J091016.43+210554.2. Follow-up time-resolved spectroscopy at the Apache Point Observatory (APO) and the MMT show significant variations in the H absorption lines over a rotation period of 7.7 or 11.3 h. Unlike recent targets that show similar discrepancies in their H and He line profiles, such as GD 323 and Janus (ZTF J203349.8+322901.1), SDSS J091016.43+210554.2 is confirmed to be magnetic, with a field strength derived from Zeeman-split H and He lines of B ≈ 0.5 MG. Model fits using a H and He atmosphere with a constant abundance ratio across the surface fail to match our time-resolved spectra. On the other hand, we obtain excellent fits using magnetic atmosphere models with varying H/He surface abundance ratios. We use the oblique rotator model to fit the system geometry. The observed spectroscopic variations can be explained by a magnetic inhomogeneous atmosphere where the magnetic axis is offset from the rotation axis by β = 52°, and the inclination angle between the line of sight and the rotation axis is i = 13–16°. This magnetic white dwarf offers a unique opportunity to study the effect of the magnetic field on surface abundances. We propose a model where H is brought to the surface from the deep interior more efficiently along the magnetic field lines, thus producing H polar caps.

    more » « less

    We present a detailed model atmosphere analysis of 14001 DA white dwarfs from the Montreal White Dwarf Database with ultraviolet photometry from the GALEX mission. We use the 100 pc sample, where the extinction is negligible, to demonstrate that there are no major systematic differences between the best-fitting parameters derived from optical only data and the optical + UV photometry. GALEX FUV and NUV data improve the statistical errors in the model fits, especially for the hotter white dwarfs with spectral energy distributions that peak in the UV. Fitting the UV to optical spectral energy distributions also reveals UV-excess or UV-deficit objects. We use two different methods to identify outliers in our model fits. Known outliers include objects with unusual atmospheric compositions, strongly magnetic white dwarfs, and binary white dwarfs, including double degenerates and white dwarf + main-sequence systems. We present a list of 89 newly identified outliers based on GALEX UV data; follow-up observations of these objects will be required to constrain their nature. Several current and upcoming large-scale spectroscopic surveys are targeting >105 white dwarfs. In addition, the ULTRASAT mission is planning an all-sky survey in the NUV band. A combination of the UV data from GALEX and ULTRASAT and optical data on these large samples of spectroscopically confirmed DA white dwarfs will provide an excellent opportunity to identify unusual white dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood.

    more » « less

    We present our findings on the spectral analysis of seven magnetic white dwarfs that were presumed to be double degenerates. We obtained time-resolved spectroscopy at the Gemini Observatory to look for evidence of binarity or fast rotation. We find three of our targets have rotation periods of less than an hour based on the shifting positions of the Zeeman-split H α components: 13, 35, and 39 min, and we find one more target with a approximately an hour long period that is currently unconstrained. We use offset dipole models to determine the inclination, magnetic field strength, and dipole offset of each target. The average surface field strengths of our fast rotators vary by 1–2 MG between different spectra. In all cases, the observed absorption features are too shallow compared to our models. This could be due to extra flux from a companion for our three low-mass targets, but the majority of our sample likely requires an inhomogeneous surface composition. Including an additional magnetic white dwarf with similar properties presented in the literature, we find that five of the eight targets in this sample show field variations on minute/hour time-scales. A crystallization driven dynamo can potentially explain the magnetic fields in three of our targets with masses above 0.7 M⊙, but another mechanism is still needed to explain their rapid rotation. We suggest that rapid rotation or low-masses point to binary evolution as the likely source of magnetism in seven of these eight targets.

    more » « less

    We search for merger products among the 25 most massive white dwarfs in the Montreal White Dwarf Database 100 pc sample through follow-up spectroscopy and high-cadence photometry. We find an unusually high fraction, 40 per cent, of magnetic white dwarfs among this population. In addition, we identify four outliers in transverse velocity and detect rapid rotation in five objects. Our results show that $56^{+9}_{-10}$ per cent of the $M\approx 1.3\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ ultramassive white dwarfs form through mergers. This fraction is significantly higher than expected from the default binary population synthesis calculations using the α prescription (with αλ = 2), and provides further support for efficient orbital shrinkage, such as with low values of the common-envelope efficiency.

    more » « less

    We present the results of a search for deeply eclipsing white dwarfs in the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Data Release 4 (DR4). We identify nine deeply eclipsing white dwarf candidates, four of which we followed up with high-cadence photometry and spectroscopy. Three of these systems show total eclipses in the ZTF data and our follow-up Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope observations. Even though the eclipse duration is consistent with sub-stellar companions, our analysis shows that all four systems contain a white dwarf with low-mass stellar companions of ∼0.1 M⊙. We provide mass and radius constraints for both stars in each system based on our photometric and spectroscopic fitting. Finally, we present a list of 41 additional eclipsing WD+M candidates identified in a preliminary search of ZTF DR7, including 12 previously studied systems. We identify two new candidate short-period, eclipsing, white dwarf–brown dwarf binaries within our sample of 41 WD+M candidates based on Pan-STARRS colours.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    We report the discovery of an isolated white dwarf with a spin period of 70 s. We obtained high-speed photometry of three ultramassive white dwarfs within 100 pc and discovered significant variability in one. SDSS J221141.80+113604.4 is a 1.27M(assuming a CO core) magnetic white dwarf that shows 2.9% brightness variations in the BG40 filter with a 70.32 ± 0.04 s period, becoming the fastest spinning isolated white dwarf currently known. A detailed model atmosphere analysis shows that it has a mixed hydrogen and helium atmosphere with a dipole field strength ofBd= 15 MG. Given its large mass, fast rotation, strong magnetic field, unusual atmospheric composition, and relatively large tangential velocity for its cooling age, J2211+1136 displays all of the signatures of a double white dwarf merger remnant. Long-term monitoring of the spin evolution of J2211+1136 and other fast-spinning isolated white dwarfs opens a new discovery space for substellar and planetary mass companions around white dwarfs. In addition, the discovery of such fast rotators outside of the ZZ Ceti instability strip suggests that some should also exist within the strip. Hence, some of the monoperiodic variables found within the instability strip may be fast-spinning white dwarfs impersonating ZZ Ceti pulsators.

    more » « less
  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present an analysis of the most massive white dwarf candidates in the Montreal White Dwarf Database 100 pc sample. We identify 25 objects that would be more massive than $1.3\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ if they had pure H atmospheres and CO cores, including two outliers with unusually high photometric mass estimates near the Chandrasekhar limit. We provide follow-up spectroscopy of these two white dwarfs and show that they are indeed significantly below this limit. We expand our model calculations for CO core white dwarfs up to M = 1.334 M⊙, which corresponds to the high-density limit of our equation-of-state tables, ρ = 109 g cm−3. We find many objects close to this maximum mass of our CO core models. A significant fraction of ultramassive white dwarfs are predicted to form through binary mergers. Merger populations can reveal themselves through their kinematics, magnetism, or rapid rotation rates. We identify four outliers in transverse velocity, four likely magnetic white dwarfs (one of which is also an outlier in transverse velocity), and one with rapid rotation, indicating that at least 8 of the 25 ultramassive white dwarfs in our sample are likely merger products. 
    more » « less
  9. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present high-resolution spectroscopy of two nearby white dwarfs with inconsistent spectroscopic and parallax distances. The first one, PG 1632+177, is a 13th magnitude white dwarf only 25.6 pc away. Previous spectroscopic observations failed to detect any radial velocity changes in this star. Here, we show that PG 1632+177 is a 2.05-d period double-lined spectroscopic binary (SB2) containing a low-mass He-core white dwarf with a more-massive, likely CO-core white dwarf companion. After L 870−2, PG 1632+177 becomes the second closest SB2 white dwarf currently known. Our second target, WD 1534+503, is also an SB2 system with an orbital period of 0.71 d. For each system, we constrain the atmospheric parameters of both components through a composite model-atmosphere analysis. We also present a new set of non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) synthetic spectra appropriate for modelling high-resolution observations of cool white dwarfs, and show that NLTE effects in the core of the H α line increase with decreasing effective temperature. We discuss the orbital period and mass distribution of SB2 and eclipsing double white dwarfs with orbital constraints, and demonstrate that the observed population is consistent with the predicted period distribution from the binary population synthesis models. The latter predict more massive CO + CO white dwarf binaries at short (<1 d) periods, as well as binaries with several day orbital periods; such systems are still waiting to be discovered in large numbers. 
    more » « less
  10. ABSTRACT We present radial velocity observations of four binary white dwarf candidates identified through their overluminosity. We identify two new double-lined spectroscopic binary systems, WD 0311–649 and WD 1606+422, and constrain their orbital parameters. WD 0311–649 is a 17.7 h period system with a mass ratio of 1.44 ± 0.06 and WD 1606+422 is a 20.1 h period system with a mass ratio of 1.33 ± 0.03. An additional object, WD 1447–190, is a 43 h period single-lined white dwarf binary, whereas WD 1418–088 does not show any significant velocity variations over time-scales ranging from minutes to decades. We present an overview of the 14 overluminous white dwarfs that were identified by Bédard et al., and find the fraction of double- and single-lined systems to be both 31 per cent. However, an additional 31 per cent of these overluminous white dwarfs do not show any significant radial velocity variations. We demonstrate that these must be in long-period binaries that may be resolved by Gaia astrometry. We also discuss the overabundance of single low-mass white dwarfs identified in the SPY survey, and suggest that some of those systems are also likely long-period binary systems of more massive white dwarfs. 
    more » « less