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Photospheric phosphorus in the FUSE spectra of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs


Dobbie, PD and Barstow, MA and Hubeny, I and Holberg, JB and Burleigh, MR and Forbes, AE, Photospheric phosphorus in the FUSE spectra of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 363, (3) pp. 763-768. ISSN 0035-8711 (2005) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2002 RAS

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09589.x


We report the detection, from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data, of phosphorus in the atmospheres of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs. This is the first detection of a trace metal in the photosphere of the spectrophotometric standard star GD71. Collectively, these objects represent the coolest DA white dwarfs in which photospheric phosphorus has been observed. We use a grid of homogeneous non-local thermodynamic equilibrium synthetic spectra to measure abundances of [P/H]=−8.57+0.09−0.13, −8.70+0.23−0.37 and −8.36+0.14−0.19 in GD71, RE J1918+595 and RE J0605−482 respectively. At the observed level we find that phosphorus has no significant impact on the overall energy distribution of GD71. We explore possible mechanisms responsible for the presence of this element in these stars, concluding that the most likely is an interplay between radiative levitation and gravitational settling, possibly modified by weak mass loss.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:stars: abundances; stars: individual: GD71; white dwarfs
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dobbie, PD (Dr Paul Dobbie)
ID Code:81100
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-11-22
Last Modified:2013-06-27

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