Arts and Sciences
Physics and Astronomy
White dwarfs are the final stage of stellar evolution for most stars–those less than about eight times the mass of the Sun. In these cases the star has ejected its outer layers, leaving a superheated core behind to cool. White dwarfs that are part of a binary system, or have a companion star, lead to many interesting astrophysical situations, and so are important objects to understand. In this study, we look specifically at binary white dwarf systems where the second object is a main sequence star. After the discovery of a binary system, it is necessary to create a working model to better understand the physical characteristics of the system. This is accomplished using data about the changing brightness of the system and measures of the speed of the stars toward and away from us as they orbit one another. We built preliminary models for two white dwarf binary systems–WD1136+667 and Gaia-DR2-3150–which we describe in this presentation. Both of these systems are part of a larger Hubble Space Telescope program studying very hot white dwarfs.
Wood, Hunter, "Modeling White Dwarf Binary Systems - A Hubble Space Telescope Project" (2023). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 164.