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Title: Refining our knowledge of the white dwarf mass-radius relation with HST observations of Sirius-type binaries
Authors: Barstow, M. A.
Bond, H. E.
Burleigh, M. R.
Casewell, S. L.
Farihi, J.
Holberg, J. B.
Hubeny, I.
First Published: Jun-2015
Presented at: 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs, Proceedings of a conference held at the Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Start Date: 11-Aug-2014
End Date: 15-Aug-2014
Publisher: Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Citation: ASP Conference Series, 2015, 493, p. 307
Abstract: The presence of a white dwarf in a resolved binary system, such as Sirius, provides an opportunity to combine dynamical information about the masses, from astrometry and spectroscopy, with a gravitational red-shift measurement and spectrophotometry of the white dwarf atmosphere to provide a test of theoretical mass-radius relations of unprecedented accuracy. We demonstrated this with the first Balmer line spectrum of Sirius B to be obtained free of contamination from the primary, with STIS on HST. However, we also found an unexplained discrepancy between the spectroscopic and gravitational red-shift mass determinations. With the recovery of STIS, we have been able to revisit our observations of Sirius B with an improved observation strategy designed to reduce systematic errors on the gravitational red-shift measurement. We provide a preliminary report on the refined precision of the Sirius B mass-radius measurements and the extension of this technique to a larger sample of white dwarfs in resolved binaries. Together these data can provide accurate mass and radius determinations capable of testing the theoretical mass-radius relation and distinguishing between possible structural models.
ISSN: 1050-3390
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015, Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers & Presentations, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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