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2020MNRAS.491.3613G - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 491, 3613-3623 (2020/January-3)

Cool white dwarfs as standards for infrared observations.


Abstract (from CDS):

In the era of modern digital sky surveys, uncertainties in the flux of stellar standards are commonly the dominant systematic error in photometric calibration and can often affect the results of higher level experiments. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spectrophotometry, which is based on computed model atmospheres for three hot (Teff > 30 000 K) pure hydrogen (DA) white dwarfs, is currently considered the most reliable and internally consistent flux calibration. However, many next-generation facilities (e.g. Harmoni on E-ELT, Euclid, and JWST) will focus on IR observations, a regime in which white dwarf calibration has not yet been robustly tested. Cool DA white dwarfs have energy distributions that peak close to the optical or near-infrared, do not have shortcomings from UV metal line blanketing, and have a reasonably large sky density (≃4 deg-2 at G < 20), making them, potentially, excellent calibrators. Here, we present a pilot study based on STIS + WFC3 observations of two bright DA white dwarfs to test whether targets cooler than current hot primary standards (Teff < 20 000 K) are consistent with the HST flux scale. We also test the robustness of white dwarf models in the IR regime from an X-shooter analysis of Paschen lines and by cross-matching our previously derived Gaia white dwarf catalogue with observations obtained with 2MASS, UKIDSS, VHS, and WISE.

Abstract Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): line: profiles - stars: fundamental parameters - stars: individual: WD1327-083 - stars: individual: WD2341+322 - white dwarfs - infrared: general

Simbad objects: 15

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