Query : 2009A&A...498..517K

2009A&A...498..517K - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 498, 517-525 (2009/5-1)

Accretion and diffusion in white dwarfs. New diffusion timescales and applications to GD362 and G29-38.


Abstract (from CDS):

A number of cool white dwarfs with metal traces, of spectral types DAZ, DBZ, and DZ have been found to exhibit infrared excess radiation due to circumstellar dust. The origin of this dust is possibly a tidally disrupted asteroid that formed a debris disk now supplying the matter accreting onto the white dwarf. To reach any clear conclusions from the observed composition of the white dwarf atmosphere to that of the circumstellar matter, we need a detailed understanding of the accretion and diffusion process, in particular the diffusion timescales. We aim to provide data for a wide range of white dwarf parameters and all possible observed chemical elements. Starting from atmosphere models, we calculate the structure of the outer envelopes, obtaining the depth of the convection zone and the physical parameters at the lower boundary. These parameters are used to calculate the diffusion velocities using calculations of diffusion coefficients available in the literature. With a simple example, we demonstrate that the observed element abundances are not identical to the accreted abundances. Reliable conclusions are possible only if we know or can assume that the star has reached a steady state between accretion and diffusion. In this case, most element abundances differ only by factors in the range 2-4 between atmospheric values and the circumstellar matter. Knowing the diffusion timescales, we can also accurately relate the accreted abundances to the observed ones. If accretion has stopped, or if the rates vary by large amounts, we cannot determine the composition of the accreted matter with any certainty.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): stars: white dwarfs - stars: abundances - accretion, accretion disks - diffusion

Simbad objects: 4

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Number of rows : 4
N Identifier Otype ICRS (J2000)
ICRS (J2000)
Mag U Mag B Mag V Mag R Mag I Sp type #ref
1850 - 2023
1 EGGR 168 WD* 02 11 20.8420869594 +39 55 21.516404474   14.80 14.50 14.4   DAZ6.9 107 0
2 GD 358 WD* 16 47 18.3925183824 +32 28 32.862804384 12.511 13.530 13.653 13.752 13.852 DB2 338 0
3 GD 362 WD* 17 31 34.3168718112 +37 05 20.711767812   16.3   16.4   DAZB 166 0
4 V* ZZ Psc WD* 23 28 47.6365087803 +05 14 54.235051503   13.17   13.0   DA4.1 470 0

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