Authors: Christopher Wegg, E. Sterl Phinney
Date: 5 Jun 2012
Abstract: We have investigated the relationship between the kinematics and mass of young (<3x10ˆ8 years) white dwarfs using proper motions. Our sample is taken from the colour selected catalogues of SDSS (Eisenstein et al. 2006) and the Palomar-Green Survey (Liebert, Bergeron & Holberg 2005), both of which have spectroscopic temperature and gravity determinations. We find that the dispersion decreases with increasing white dwarf mass. This can be explained as a result of less scattering by objects in the Galactic disk during the shorter lifetime of their more massive progenitors. A direct result of this is that white dwarfs with high mass have a reduced scale height, and hence their local density is enhanced over their less massive counterparts. In addition, we have investigated whether the kinematics of the highest mass white dwarfs (>0.95Msun) are consistent with the expected relative contributions of single star evolution and mergers. We find that the kinematics are consistent with the majority of high-mass white dwarfs being formed through single star evolution.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis