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  1. ABSTRACT

    We report the results from follow-up observations of two Roche-lobe filling hot subdwarf binaries with white dwarf companions predicted to have accretion discs. ZTF J213056.71+442046.5 (ZTF J2130) with a 39-min period and ZTF J205515.98+465106.5 (ZTF J2055) with a 56-min period were both discovered as subdwarf binaries with light curves that could only be explained well by including an accretion disc in their models. We performed a detailed high-resolution spectral analysis, using Keck/ESI to search for possible accretion features for both objects. We also employed polarimetric analysis using the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) for ZTF J2130. We did not find any signatures of an accretion disc in either object, and placed upper limits on the flux contribution and variation in degree of polarization due to the disc. Owing to the short 39-min period and availability of photometric data over 6 yr for ZTF J2130, we conducted an extensive O − C timing analysis in an attempt to look for orbital decay due to gravitational wave radiation. No such decay was detected conclusively, and a few more years of data paired with precise and consistent timing measurements were deemed necessary to constrain $\dot{P}$ observationally.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We report the discovery of ZTF J0127+5258, a compact mass-transferring binary with an orbital period of 13.7 minutes. The system contains a white dwarf accretor, which likely originated as a post–common envelope carbon–oxygen (CO) white dwarf, and a warm donor (Teff,donor= 16,400 ± 1000 K). The donor probably formed during a common envelope phase between the CO white dwarf and an evolving giant that left behind a helium star or white dwarf in a close orbit with the CO white dwarf. We measure gravitational wave–driven orbital inspiral with ∼51σsignificance, which yields a joint constraint on the component masses and mass transfer rate. While the accretion disk in the system is dominated by ionized helium emission, the donor exhibits a mixture of hydrogen and helium absorption lines. Phase-resolved spectroscopy yields a donor radial velocity semiamplitude of 771 ± 27 km s−1, and high-speed photometry reveals that the system is eclipsing. We detect a Chandra X-ray counterpart withLX∼ 3 × 1031erg s−1. Depending on the mass transfer rate, the system will likely either evolve into a stably mass-transferring helium cataclysmic variable, merge to become an R CrB star, or explode as a Type Ia supernova in the next million years. We predict that the Laser Space Interferometer Antenna (LISA) will detect the source with a signal-to-noise ratio of 24 ± 6 after 4 yr of observations. The system is the first LISA-loud mass-transferring binary with an intrinsically luminous donor, a class of sources that provide the opportunity to leverage the synergy between optical and infrared time domain surveys, X-ray facilities, and gravitational-wave observatories to probe general relativity, accretion physics, and binary evolution.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    A promising progenitor scenario for Type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) is the thermonuclear detonation of a white dwarf in a close binary system with another white dwarf. After the primary star explodes, the surviving donor can be spontaneously released as a hypervelocity runaway. One such runaway donor candidate is LP 398-9, whose orbital trajectory traces back ≈105 yr to a known supernova remnant. Here, we report the discovery of carbon-rich circumstellar material around LP 398-9, revealed by a strong infrared excess and analysed with follow-up spectroscopy. The circumstellar material is most plausibly composed of inflated layers from the star itself, mechanically and radioactively heated by the past companion’s supernova. We also detect a 15.4 h periodic signal in the UV and optical light curves of LP 398-9, which we interpret as surface rotation. The rotation rate is consistent with theoretical predictions from this supernova mechanism, and the brightness variations could originate from surface inhomogeneity deposited by the supernova itself. Our observations strengthen the case for this double-degenerate SNIa progenitor channel, and motivate the search for more runaway SNIa donors.

     
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