Department of Physical Sciences
We present the fractional distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, range and distribution of surface temperatures, and kinematical properties of the white dwarfs (WDs) within 25 pc of the Sun. There is no convincing evidence of halo WDs in the total 25 pc sample of 224 WDs. There is also little to suggest the presence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 25 pc. It appears that the entire 25 pc sample likely belongs to the thin disk. We also find no significant kinematic differences with respect to spectroscopic subtypes. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 25 pc sample is 1.8, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection, which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. We compare this ratio with the results of other studies. We find that at least 11% of the WDs within 25 pc of the Sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that likely originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this interpretation is correct, then it suggests the possibility that a similar percentage have planets, asteroid-like bodies, or debris disks orbiting them. Our volume-limited sample reveals a pileup of DC WDs at the well-known cutoff in DQ WDs at Teff ∼ 6000 K. Mindful of small number statistics, we speculate on its possible evolutionary significance. We find that the incidence of magnetic WDs in the 25 pc sample is at least 8% in our volume-limited sample, dominated by cool WDs. We derive approximate formation rates of DB and DQ degenerates and present a preliminary test of the evolutionary scenario that all cooling DB stars become DQ WDs via helium convective dredge-up with the diffusion tail of carbon extending upward from their cores.
The Astronomical Journal
Scholarly Commons Citation
Sion, E. M., Holberg, J., Oswalt, T. D., McCook, G. P., Wasatonic, R., & Myszka, J. (2014). The White Dwarfs Within 25 pc of the Sun: Kinematics and Spectroscopic Subtypes. The Astronomical Journal, 147(6). https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-6256/147/6/129