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Precursor to a Low-Mass Helium White Dwarf

1 Aug 2014, 22:00 UTC
Precursor to a Low-Mass Helium White Dwarf ESO/L. Calcada
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The Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) program has led to the discovery of several dozen transiting exoplanets. In addition to detecting transiting exoplanets, the unique capabilities of the WASP program also allows it to observe various other astrophysical phenomena such as eclipsing binary star systems where two stars in a binary star system periodically eclipse one another. An eclipsing binary star system known as WASP 1628+10 is one such example that was identified from the WASP database. WASP 1628+10 consists of an A-type star (WASP 1628+10A) and the remnant of a disrupted red giant star (WASP 1628+10B). Both components circle around each other in a tight orbit with an orbital period of 0.72 days.Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a white dwarf. Image credit: ESO/L. Calcada.Figure 2: Radial velocities of WASP 1628+10A induced by the gravitational “tugging” from WASP 1628+10B. The radial velocity half-amplitude is 23 km/s. Pierre F. L. Maxted et al. (2014).A paper by Pierre F. L. Maxted et al. (2014) presents new spectroscopic observations of WASP 1628+10. These observations allowed the physical parameters of WASP 1628+10A and WASP 1628+10B to be measured. WASP 1628+10A has 1.36 ± 0.05 times the Sun’s mass, 1.57 ± 0.02 times the ...

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