Photospheric phosphorus in the FUSE spectra of GD71 and two similar da white dwarfs

P. D. Dobbie, M. A. Barstow, Ivan - Hubeny, J. B. Holberg, M. R. Burleigh, A. E. Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the detection, from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data, of phosphorus in the atmospheres of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs. This is the first detection of a trace metal in the photosphere of the spectrophotometric standard star GD71. Collectively, these objects represent the coolest DA white dwarfs in which photospheric phosphorus has been observed. We use a grid of homogeneous non-local thermodynamic equilibrium synthetic spectra to measure abundances of [P/H] = -8.57 -0.13, +0.09 -8-70 -0.37 0.23and -8.36 -0.19 +0.14 in GD71, RE J1918+595 and RE J0605-482 respectively. At the observed level we find that phosphorus has no significant impact on the overall energy distribution of GD71. We explore possible mechanisms responsible for the presence of this element in these stars, concluding that the most likely is an interplay between radiative levitation and gravitational settling, possibly modified by weak mass loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-768
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume363
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

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phosphorus
stars
levitation
settling
thermodynamic equilibrium
photosphere
trace metal
energy distribution
thermodynamics
grids
atmospheres
atmosphere
metals
energy
detection
loss
distribution

Keywords

  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: individual: GD71
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Photospheric phosphorus in the FUSE spectra of GD71 and two similar da white dwarfs. / Dobbie, P. D.; Barstow, M. A.; Hubeny, Ivan -; Holberg, J. B.; Burleigh, M. R.; Forbes, A. E.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 363, No. 3, 01.11.2005, p. 763-768.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dobbie, P. D. ; Barstow, M. A. ; Hubeny, Ivan - ; Holberg, J. B. ; Burleigh, M. R. ; Forbes, A. E. / Photospheric phosphorus in the FUSE spectra of GD71 and two similar da white dwarfs. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2005 ; Vol. 363, No. 3. pp. 763-768.
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AU - Hubeny, Ivan -

AU - Holberg, J. B.

AU - Burleigh, M. R.

AU - Forbes, A. E.

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N2 - We report the detection, from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data, of phosphorus in the atmospheres of GD71 and two similar DA white dwarfs. This is the first detection of a trace metal in the photosphere of the spectrophotometric standard star GD71. Collectively, these objects represent the coolest DA white dwarfs in which photospheric phosphorus has been observed. We use a grid of homogeneous non-local thermodynamic equilibrium synthetic spectra to measure abundances of [P/H] = -8.57 -0.13, +0.09 -8-70 -0.37 0.23and -8.36 -0.19 +0.14 in GD71, RE J1918+595 and RE J0605-482 respectively. At the observed level we find that phosphorus has no significant impact on the overall energy distribution of GD71. We explore possible mechanisms responsible for the presence of this element in these stars, concluding that the most likely is an interplay between radiative levitation and gravitational settling, possibly modified by weak mass loss.

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