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Opacities along the line of sight to and in the atmosphere of the white dwarf in the close detached DAO+dM binary RE J0720-318


Dobbie, PD and Barstow, MA and Burleigh, MR and Hubeny, I, Opacities along the line of sight to and in the atmosphere of the white dwarf in the close detached DAO+dM binary RE J0720-318, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 346, (1) pp. 163-174. ISSN 0004-6361 (1999) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 1999 Astronomy and Astrophysics

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We present the results from a multi-wavelength study of the mixed H+He composition DAO white dwarf RE J0720-318. A detailed analysis of UV and EUV spectroscopic data with state-of-the-art non-LTE photospheric models demonstrates that the observed opacity to EUV radiation probably results from a more complex structure than a simple H+He, chemically layered atmosphere. Instead, EUV photometry and phase resolved EUV spectroscopy indicate a likely spatial non-uniformity in the surface distribution of helium, which is consistent with a model in which material is accreted from the wind of the dM secondary. The rotational modulation of the spatially inhomogeneous EUV opacity allows us to estimate the rotation period of the white dwarf ([FORMULA] days). We have also reviewed two plausible origins proposed by Burleigh et al. (1997) and Dupuis et al. (1997a) to account for the unusual N(HI)/N(HeI) ~ 1 along this line of sight. We conclude that it is probably due to the presence of a cloud of ionized gas along this line of sight, rather than a circumbinary disk. The cloud, residing between 123-170 pc distant in the direction of the CMa ISM tunnel, may be ≳ 40 pc in length.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:stars: abundances – stars: atmospheres – stars: binaries: close – stars: individual: RE J0720-318
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:81191
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-11-26
Last Modified:2013-06-26

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