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Creators/Authors contains: "Heintz, Tyler M."

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  1. Abstract

    White dwarf (WD) stars evolve simply and predictably, making them reliable age indicators. However, self-consistent validation of the methods for determining WD total ages has yet to be widely performed. This work uses 1565 wide (>100 au) WD+WD binaries and 24 new triples containing at least two WDs to test the accuracy and validity of WD total age determinations. For these 1589 wide double WD binaries and triples, we derive the total age of each WD using photometric data from all-sky surveys, in conjunction with Gaia parallaxes and current hydrogen atmosphere WD models. Ignoring the initial-to-final mass relation and considering only WD cooling ages, we find that roughly 21%–36% of the more massive WDs in a system have a shorter cooling age. Since more massive WDs should be born as more massive main-sequence stars, we interpret this unphysical disagreement as evidence of prior mergers or the presence of an unresolved companion, suggesting that roughly 21%–36% of wide WD+WD binaries were once triples. Among the 423 wide WD+WD pairs that pass high-fidelity cuts, we find that 25% total age uncertainties are generally appropriate for WDs with masses >0.63Mand temperatures <12,000 K and provide suggested inflation factors for age uncertainties formore »higher-mass WDs. Overall, WDs return reliable stellar ages, but we detail cases where the total ages are least reliable, especially for WDs <0.63M.

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  2. ABSTRACT We construct from Gaia eDR3 an extensive catalogue of spatially resolved binary stars within ≈1 kpc of the Sun, with projected separations ranging from a few au to 1 pc. We estimate the probability that each pair is a chance alignment empirically, using the Gaia catalogue itself to calculate the rate of chance alignments as a function of observables. The catalogue contains 1.3 (1.1) million binaries with >90 per cent (>99 per cent) probability of being bound, including 16 000 white dwarf – main-sequence (WD + MS) binaries and 1400 WD + WD binaries. We make the full catalogue publicly available, as well as the queries and code to produce it. We then use this sample to calibrate the published Gaia DR3 parallax uncertainties, making use of the binary components’ near-identical parallaxes. We show that these uncertainties are generally reliable for faint stars (G ≳ 18), but are underestimated significantly for brighter stars. The underestimates are generally $\leq30{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ for isolated sources with well-behaved astrometry, but are larger (up to ∼80 per cent) for apparently well-behaved sources with a companion within ≲4 arcsec, and much larger for sources with poor astrometric fits. We provide an empirical fitting function to inflate published σϖ values for isolated sources. The publicmore »catalogue offers wide ranging follow-up opportunities: from calibrating spectroscopic surveys, to precisely constraining ages of field stars, to the masses and the initial–final mass relation of WDs, to dynamically probing the Galactic tidal field.« less
  3. ABSTRACT

    We report the discovery of 74 new pulsating DA white dwarf stars, or ZZ Cetis, from the data obtained by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission, from Sectors 1 to 39, corresponding to the first 3 cycles. This includes objects from the Southern hemisphere (Sectors 1–13 and 27–39) and the Northern hemisphere (Sectors 14–26), observed with 120 s- and 20 s-cadence. Our sample likely includes 13 low-mass and one extremely low-mass white dwarf candidate, considering the mass determinations from fitting Gaia magnitudes and parallax. In addition, we present follow-up time series photometry from ground-based telescopes for 11 objects, which allowed us to detect a larger number of periods. For each object, we analysed the period spectra and performed an asteroseismological analysis, and we estimate the structure parameters of the sample, i.e. stellar mass, effective temperature, and hydrogen envelope mass. We estimate a mean asteroseismological mass of 〈Msis〉 = 0.635 ± 0.015 M⊙, excluding the candidate low or extremely low-mass objects. This value is in agreement with the mean mass using estimates from Gaia data, which is 〈Mphot〉 = 0.631 ± 0.040 M⊙, and with the mean mass of previously known ZZ Cetis of 〈M*〉 = 0.644 ± 0.034 M⊙. Our sample of 74 new bright ZZ Cetis increases the number of known ZZ Cetis by ∼20 per cent.