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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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We present Spitzer 5-15 μm spectroscopy of one cool white dwarf and 3.6-8 μm photometry of 51 cool white dwarfs with T eff < 6000 K. The majority of our targets have accurate BVRIJHKphotometry and trigonometric parallax measurements available, which enables us to perform a detailed model atmosphere analysis using their optical, near- and mid-infrared photometry with state-of-the-art model atmospheres. We demonstrate that the optical and infrared spectral energy distributions of cool white dwarfs are well reproduced by our grid of models. Our best-fit models are consistent with the observations within 5% in all filters except the IRAC 8 μm band, which has the lowest signal-to-noise ratio photometry. Excluding the ultracool white dwarfs, none of the stars in our sample show significant mid-infrared flux deficits or excesses. The nondetection of mid-infrared excess flux around our ≈2-9 Gyr old targets constrain the fraction of cool white dwarfs with warm debris disks to 0.8+1.5 –0.8 %.

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal



Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.

Additional Information

Dr. von Hippel was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.