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  1. Abstract

    Many core-collapse supernovae (SNe) with hydrogen-poor and low-mass ejecta, such as ultra-stripped SNe and type Ibn SNe, are observed to interact with dense circumstellar material (CSM). These events likely arise from the core collapse of helium stars that have been heavily stripped by a binary companion and have ejected significant mass during the last weeks to years of their lives. In helium star models run to days before core collapse we identify a range of helium core masses ≈2.5–3Mwhose envelopes expand substantially due to the helium shell burning while the core undergoes neon and oxygen burning. When modeled in binary systems, the rapid expansion of these helium stars induces extremely high rates of late-stage mass transfer (Ṁ102Myr1) beginning weeks to decades before core collapse. We consider two scenarios for producing CSM in these systems: either mass transfer remains stable and mass loss is driven from the system in the vicinity of the accreting companion, or mass transfer becomes unstable and causes a common envelope event (CEE) through which the helium envelope is unbound. The ensuing CSM properties are consistent with the CSM masses (∼10−2–1M) and radii (∼1013–1016cm) inferred for ultra-stripped SNe and severalmore »type Ibn SNe. Furthermore, systems that undergo a CEE could produce short-period neutron star binaries that merge in less than 100 Myr.

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    Planetary engulfment events can occur while host stars are on the main sequence. The addition of rocky planetary material during engulfment will lead to refractory abundance enhancements in the host star photosphere, but the level of enrichment and its duration will depend on mixing processes that occur within the stellar interior, such as convection, diffusion, and thermohaline mixing. We examine engulfment signatures by modelling the evolution of photospheric lithium abundances. Because lithium can be burned before or after the engulfment event, it produces unique signatures that vary with time and host star type. Using mesa stellar models, we quantify the strength and duration of these signatures following the engulfment of a 1, 10, or 100 M⊕ planetary companion with bulk Earth composition, for solar-metallicity host stars with masses ranging from 0.5 to 1.4 M⊙. We find that lithium is quickly depleted via burning in low-mass host stars ($\lesssim 0.7 \, {\rm M}_\odot$) on a time-scale of a few hundred Myrs, but significant lithium enrichment signatures can last for Gyrs in G-type stars ($\sim \! 0.9 \, {\rm M}_{\odot }$). For more massive stars (1.3−1.4 M⊙), engulfment can enhance internal mixing and diffusion processes, potentially decreasing the surface lithium abundance. Our predicted signatures frommore »exoplanet engulfment are consistent with observed lithium-rich solar-type stars and abundance enhancements in chemically inhomogeneous binary stars.

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    We constrain the orbital period (Porb) distribution of low-mass detached main-sequence eclipsing binaries (EBs) with light-curves from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which provides a well-understood selection function and sensitivity to faint stars. At short periods (Porb ≲ 2 d), binaries are predicted to evolve significantly due to magnetic braking (MB), which shrinks orbits and ultimately brings detached binaries into contact. The period distribution is thus a sensitive probe of MB. We find that the intrinsic period distribution of low-mass (0.1 ≲ M1/M⊙ < 0.9) binaries is basically flat (${\rm d}N/{\rm d}P_{\rm orb} \propto P_{\rm orb}^0$) from Porb = 10 d down to the contact limit. This is strongly inconsistent with predictions of classical MB models based on the Skumanich relation, which are widely used in binary evolution calculations and predict ${\rm d}N/{\rm d}P_{\rm orb} \propto P_{\rm orb}^{7/3}$ at short periods. The observed distributions are best reproduced by models in which the magnetic field saturates at short periods with a MB torque that scales roughly as $\dot{J}\propto P_{\rm orb}^{-1}$, as opposed to $\dot{J} \propto P_{\rm orb}^{-3}$ in the standard Skumanich law. We also find no significant difference between the period distributions of binaries containing fully and partially convective stars. Our results confirmmore »that a saturated MB law, which was previously found to describe the spin-down of rapidly rotating isolated M dwarfs, also operates in tidally locked binaries. We advocate using saturated MB models in binary evolution calculations. Our work supports previous suggestions that MB in cataclysmic variables (CVs) is much weaker than assumed in the standard evolutionary model, unless mass transfer leads to significant additional angular momentum loss in CVs.

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  4. Abstract

    We present the discovery of a new double-detonation progenitor system consisting of a hot subdwarf B (sdB) binary with a white dwarf companion with aPorb= 76.34179(2) minutes orbital period. Spectroscopic observations are consistent with an sdB star during helium core burning residing on the extreme horizontal branch. Chimera light curves are dominated by ellipsoidal deformation of the sdB star and a weak eclipse of the companion white dwarf. Combining spectroscopic and light curve fits, we find a low-mass sdB star,MsdB= 0.383 ± 0.028Mwith a massive white dwarf companion,MWD= 0.725 ± 0.026M. From the eclipses we find a blackbody temperature for the white dwarf of 26,800 K resulting in a cooling age of ≈25 Myr whereas ourMESAmodel predicts an sdB age of ≈170 Myr. We conclude that the sdB formed first through stable mass transfer followed by a common envelope which led to the formation of the white dwarf companion ≈25 Myr ago. Using theMESAstellar evolutionary code we find that the sdB star will start mass transfer in ≈6 Myr and in ≈60 Myr the white dwarf will reach a total mass of 0.92Mwith a thick helium layer of 0.17M. This will lead to a detonation that will likely destroymore »the white dwarf in a peculiar thermonuclear supernova. PTF1 J2238+7430 is only the second confirmed candidate for a double-detonation thermonuclear supernova. Using both systems we estimate that at least ≈1% of white dwarf thermonuclear supernovae originate from sdB+WD binaries with thick helium layers, consistent with the small number of observed peculiar thermonuclear explosions.

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  5. ABSTRACT The hyper-velocity star S5-HVS1, ejected 5 Myr ago from the Galactic Centre at 1800 km s−1, was most likely produced by tidal break-up of a tight binary by the supermassive black hole SgrA*. Taking a Monte Carlo approach, we show that the former companion of S5-HVS1 was likely a main-sequence star between 1.2 and 6 M⊙ and was captured into a highly eccentric orbit with pericentre distance in the range of 1–10 au and semimajor axis about 103 au. We then explore the fate of the captured star. We find that the heat deposited by tidally excited stellar oscillation modes leads to runaway disruption if the pericentre distance is smaller than about $3\rm \, au$. Over the past 5 Myr, its angular momentum has been significantly modified by orbital relaxation, which may stochastically drive the pericentre inwards below $3\rm \, au$ and cause tidal disruption. We find an overall survival probability in the range 5 per cent to 50 per cent, depending on the local relaxation time in the close environment of the captured star, and the initial pericentre at capture. The pericentre distance of the surviving star has migrated to 10–100 au, making it potentially the most extreme member of the S-star cluster. From the ejection rate ofmore »S5-HVS1-like stars, we estimate that there may currently be a few stars in such highly eccentric orbits. They should be detectable (typically $K_{\rm s}\lesssim 18.5\,$ mag) by the GRAVITY instrument and by future Extremely Large Telescopes and hence provide an extraordinary probe of the spin of SgrA*.« less
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 5, 2023
  7. ABSTRACT Compact white dwarf (WD) binaries are important sources for space-based gravitational-wave (GW) observatories, and an increasing number of them are being identified by surveys like Extremely Low Mass (ELM) and Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). We study the effects of non-linear dynamical tides in such binaries. We focus on the global three-mode parametric instability and show that it has a much lower threshold energy than the local wave-breaking condition studied previously. By integrating networks of coupled modes, we calculate the tidal dissipation rate as a function of orbital period. We construct phenomenological models that match these numerical results and use them to evaluate the spin and luminosity evolution of a WD binary. While in linear theory the WD’s spin frequency can lock to the orbital frequency, we find that such a lock cannot be maintained when non-linear effects are taken into account. Instead, as the orbit decays, the spin and orbit go in and out of synchronization. Each time they go out of synchronization, there is a brief but significant dip in the tidal heating rate. While most WDs in compact binaries should have luminosities that are similar to previous traveling-wave estimates, a few per cent should be about 10 times dimmermore »because they reside in heating rate dips. This offers a potential explanation for the low luminosity of the CO WD in J0651. Lastly, we consider the impact of tides on the GW signal and show that the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and TianGO can constrain the WD’s moment of inertia to better than $1{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ for centi-Hz systems.« less
  8. AM CVn systems are a rare type of accreting binary that consists of a white dwarf and a helium-rich, degenerate donor star. Using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), we searched for new AM CVn systems by focusing on blue, outbursting stars. We first selected outbursting stars using the ZTF alerts. We cross-matched the candidates with Gaia and Pan-STARRS catalogs. The initial selection of candidates based on the Gaia BP-RP contains 1751 unknown objects. We used the Pan-STARRS g-r and r-i color in combination with the Gaia color to identify 59 high-priority candidates. We obtained identification spectra of 35 sources, of which 18 are high priority candidates, and discovered 9 new AM CVn systems and one magnetic CV which shows only He-II lines. Using the outburst recurrence time, we estimate the orbital periods which are in the range of 29 to 50 minutes. We conclude that targeted followup of blue, outbursting sources is an efficient method to find new AM CVn systems, and we plan to followup all candidates we identified to systematically study the population of outbursting AM CVn systems.