[1109.6339] SDSS J163030.58 423305.8: A 40 minute Orbital Period Detached White Dwarf Binary

Authors: Mukremin Kilic, Warren R. Brown, J. J. Hermes, Carlos Allende Prieto, S. J. Kenyon, D. E. Winget, K. I. Winget

Date: 28 Sep 2011

Abstract: We report the discovery of a new detached, double white dwarf system with an orbital period of 39.8 min. We targeted SDSS J163030.58+423305.8 (hereafter J1630) as part of our radial velocity program to search for companions around low-mass white dwarfs using the 6.5m MMT. We detect peak-to-peak radial velocity variations of 576 km/s. The mass function and optical photometry rule out main-sequence companions. In addition, no milli-second pulsar companions are detected in radio observations. Thus the invisible companion is most likely another white dwarf. Unlike the other 39 min binary SDSS J010657.39-100003.3, follow-up high speed photometric observations of J1630 obtained at the McDonald 2.1m telescope do not show significant ellipsoidal variations, indicating a higher primary mass and smaller radius. The absence of eclipses constrain the inclination angle to <82deg. J1630 contains a pair of white dwarfs, 0.3 Msun primary + >0.3 Msun invisible secondary, at a separation of >0.32 Rsun. The two white dwarfs will merge in less than 31 Myr. Depending on the core composition of the companion, the merger will form either a single core-He burning subdwarf star or a rapidly rotating massive white dwarf. The gravitational wave strain from J1630 is detectable by instruments like the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) within the first year of operation.

abs pdf

Sep 30, 2011

1109.6339 (/preprints)
2011-09-30, 11:47 [edit]

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