Astrophys. J., 753, L7 (2012/July-1)
First detection of krypton and xenon in a white dwarf.
WERNER K., RAUCH T., RINGAT E. and KRUK J.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report on the first detection of the noble gases krypton (Z = 36) and xenon (54) in a white dwarf. About 20 Kr VI- VII and Xe VI- VII lines were discovered in the ultraviolet spectrum of the hot DO-type white dwarf RE 0503-289. The observations, performed with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, also reveal highly ionized photospheric lines from other trans-iron group elements, namely Ga (31), Ge (32), As (33), Se (34), Mo (42), Sn (50), Te (52), and I (53), from which gallium and molybdenum are new discoveries in white dwarfs, too. For Kr and Xe, we performed an NLTE analysis and derived mass fractions of log Kr = -4.3±0.5 and log Xe = -4.2±0.6, corresponding to an enrichment by factors of 450 and 3800, respectively, relative to the Sun. The origin of the large overabundances is unclear. We discuss the roles of neutron-capture nucleosynthesis in the precursor star and radiation-driven diffusion. It is possible that diffusion is insignificant and that the observed metal abundances constrain the evolutionary history of the star. Its hydrogen deficiency may be the consequence of a late helium-shell flash or a binary white dwarf merger.
stars: abundances - stars: individual: RE 0503-289 - white dwarfs
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