A. Gianninas - University of Oklahoma

A. Gianninas
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A. Gianninas
University of Oklahoma
United States

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (47)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (13)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (2)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By A. Gianninas

We address the physical nature of subdwarf A-type (sdA) stars and their possible link to extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarfs (WDs). The two classes of objects are confused in low-resolution spectroscopy. However, colors and proper motions indicate that sdA stars are cooler and more luminous, and thus larger in radius, than published ELM WDs. Read More

We assess the photometric variability of nine stars with spectroscopic Teff and log(g) values from the ELM Survey that locate them near the empirical extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarf instability strip. We discover three new pulsating stars: SDSS J135512.34+195645. Read More

A catalog of 8472 white dwarf (WD) candidates is presented, selected using reduced proper motions from the deep proper motion catalog of Munn et al. 2014. Candidates are selected in the magnitude range 16 < r < 21. Read More

We exploit the recent discovery of pulsations in mixed-atmosphere (He/H), extremely low-mass white dwarf precursors (ELM proto-WDs) to test the proposition that rotational mixing is a fundamental process in the formation and evolution of low-mass helium core white dwarfs. Rotational mixing has been shown to be a mechanism able to compete efficiently against gravitational settling, thus accounting naturally for the presence of He, as well as traces of metals such as Mg and Ca, typically found in the atmospheres of ELM proto-WDs. Here we investigate whether rotational mixing can maintain a sufficient amount of He in the deeper driving region of the star, such that it can fuel, through HeII-HeIII ionization, the observed pulsations in this type of stars. Read More

We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 57 faint ($g= 19-22$) high proper motion white dwarfs identified through repeat imaging of $\approx3100$ square degrees of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey footprint by Munn et al. (2014). We use $ugriz$ and $JH$ photometry to perform a model atmosphere analysis, and identify ten ultracool white dwarfs with $T_{\rm eff}<4000$ K, including the coolest pure H atmosphere white dwarf currently known, J1657+2638, with $T_{\rm eff}= 3550 \pm 100$K. Read More

We present the first results from a minute cadence survey of a three square degree field obtained with the Dark Energy Camera. We imaged part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey area over eight half-nights. We use the stacked images to identify 111 high proper motion white dwarf candidates with g $\leq24. Read More

The unprecedented extent of coverage provided by Kepler observations recently revealed outbursts in two hydrogen-atmosphere pulsating white dwarfs (DAVs) that cause hours-long increases in the overall mean flux of up to 14%. We have identified two new outbursting pulsating white dwarfs in K2, bringing the total number of known outbursting white dwarfs to four. EPIC 211629697, with T_eff = 10,780 +/- 140 K and log(g) = 7. Read More

For sufficiently wide orbital separations {\it a}, the two members of a stellar binary evolve independently. This implies that in a wide double white dwarf (DWD), the more massive WD should always be produced first, when its more massive progenitor ends its main-sequence life, and should therefore be older and cooler than its companion. The bound, wide DWD HS 2220$+$2146 ($a\approx500$ AU) does not conform to this picture: the more massive WD is the younger, hotter of the pair. Read More

We present Chandra and Swift X-ray observations of four extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarfs with massive companions. We place stringent limits on X-ray emission from all four systems, indicating that neutron star companions are extremely unlikely and that the companions are almost certainly white dwarfs. Given the observed orbital periods and radial velocity amplitudes, the total masses of these binaries are greater than 1. Read More

We present the discovery of 15 extremely low mass (5 < log{g} < 7) white dwarf candidates, 9 of which are in ultra-compact double-degenerate binaries. Our targeted ELM Survey sample now includes 76 binaries. The sample has a lognormal distribution of orbital periods with a median period of 5. Read More

We report the discovery of pulsations in three mixed-atmosphere, extremely low-mass white dwarf (ELM WD, M $\leqslant$ 0.3 M$_{\odot}$) precursors. Following the recent discoveries of pulsations in both ELM and pre-ELM WDs, we targeted pre-ELM WDs with mixed H/He atmospheres with high-speed photometry. Read More

We estimate the merger rate of double degenerate binaries containing extremely low mass (ELM) <0.3 Msun white dwarfs in the Galaxy. Such white dwarfs are detectable for timescales of 0. Read More

We present the serendipitous discovery of eclipse-like events around the massive white dwarf SDSS J152934.98+292801.9 (hereafter J1529+2928). Read More

Type Ia supernovae are heavily used tools in precision cosmology, yet we still are not certain what the progenitor systems are. General plausibility arguments suggest there is potential for identifying double degenerate Type Ia supernova progenitors in intermediate-age open star clusters. We present time-resolved high-resolution spectroscopy of two white dwarfs in the field of the open cluster NGC 6633 that had previously been identified as candidate double degenerates in the cluster. Read More

We present observational constraints on the initial-final mass relation (IFMR) using wide double white dwarfs (DWDs). We identify 65 new candidate wide DWDs within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, bringing the number of candidate wide DWDs to 142. We then engage in a spectroscopic follow-up campaign and collect existing spectra for these objects; using these spectra, we derive masses and cooling ages for 54 hydrogen (DA) WDs in DWDs. Read More

We present the discovery of 11 new double degenerate systems containing extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM WDs). Our radial velocity observations confirm that all of the targets have orbital periods $\leq$ 1 day. We perform spectroscopic fits and provide a complete set of physical and binary parameters. Read More

We report the discovery of the sixth known eclipsing double white dwarf (WD) system, SDSS J1152+0248, with a 2.3968 +/- 0.0003 h orbital period, in data from the Kepler Mission's K2 continuation. Read More

We present an extended grid of mean three-dimensional (3D) spectra for low-mass, pure-hydrogen atmosphere DA white dwarfs (WDs). We use CO5BOLD radiation-hydrodynamics 3D simulations covering Teff = 6000-11,500 K and logg = 5-6.5 (cgs units) to derive analytical functions to convert spectroscopically determined 1D temperatures and surface gravities to 3D atmospheric parameters. Read More

We present an analysis of the binary and physical parameters of a unique pulsating white dwarf with a main-sequence companion, SDSS J1136+0409, observed for more than 77 d during the first pointing of the extended Kepler mission: K2 Campaign 1. Using new ground-based spectroscopy, we show that this post-common-envelope binary has an orbital period of 6.89760103(60) hr, which is also seen in the photometry as a result of Doppler beaming and ellipsoidal variations of the secondary. Read More

We present parallax observations and a detailed model atmosphere analysis of 54 cool and ultracool ($T_{\rm eff}$ < 4000 K) white dwarfs (WDs) in the solar neighbourhood. For the first time, a large number of cool and ultracool WDs have distance and tangential velocities measurements available. Our targets have distances ranging from 21 pc to >100 pc, and include five stars within 30 pc. Read More

We present high-speed photometric observations of ZZ Ceti white dwarf candidates drawn from the spectroscopic survey of bright DA stars from the Villanova White Dwarf Catalog by Gianninas et al., and from the recent spectroscopic survey of white dwarfs within 40 parsecs of the Sun by Limoges et al. We report the discovery of six new ZZ Ceti pulsators from these surveys, and several photometrically constant DA white dwarfs, which we then use to refine the location of the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Read More

In wide double white dwarf (DWD) binaries, in which the co-eval WDs evolve independently, the more massive, faster-evolving WD can be used to obtain a main-sequence lifetime for the less-massive WD. By converting this lifetime into an initial mass for the less-massive WD, and combining it with the spectroscopically derived mass for this WD, one can constrain the initial-final mass relation (IFMR). However, the number of known and well-characterized DWDs is small, severely limiting their usefulness for this analysis. Read More

We report the discovery of the first millisecond pulsar with a pulsating white dwarf companion. Following the recent discoveries of pulsations in extremely low-mass (ELM, <0.3 Msol) white dwarfs (WDs), we targeted ELM WD companions to two millisecond pulsars with high-speed Gemini photometry. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Oklahoma, 2Université de Montréal, 3University of Oklahoma, 4Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 5Université de Montréal, 6University of Warwick

We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 61 low mass white dwarfs and provide precise atmospheric parameters, masses, and updated binary system parameters based on our new model atmosphere grids and the most recent evolutionary model calculations. For the first time, we measure systematic abundances of He, Ca and Mg for metal-rich extremely low mass white dwarfs and examine the distribution of these abundances as a function of effective temperature and mass. Based on our preliminary results, we discuss the possibility that shell flashes may be responsible for the presence of the observed He and metals. Read More

While the near-infrared wavelength regime is becoming more and more important for astrophysics there is a marked lack of spectrophotometric standard star data that would allow the flux calibration of such data. Furthermore, flux calibrating medium- to high-resolution \'echelle spectroscopy data is challenging even in the optical wavelength range, because the available flux standard data are often too coarsely sampled. We will provide standard star reference data that allow users to derive response curves from 300nm to 2500nm for spectroscopic data of medium to high resolution, including those taken with \'echelle spectrographs. Read More

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we detail the first abundance analysis enabled by far-ultraviolet spectroscopy of a low-mass (~0.19 Msun) white dwarf (WD), GALEX J1717+6757, which is in a 5.9-hr binary with a fainter, more-massive companion. Read More

We carry out high-speed photometry on 20 of the shortest-period, detached white dwarf binaries known and discover systems with eclipses, ellipsoidal variations (due to tidal deformations of the visible white dwarf), and Doppler beaming. All of the binaries contain low-mass white dwarfs with orbital periods less than 4 hr. Our observations identify the first eight tidally distorted white dwarfs, four of which are reported for the first time here, which we use to put empirical constraints on the mass-radius relationship for extremely low-mass (<0. Read More

We report the discovery of a detached 20 min orbital period binary white dwarf. WD0931+444 (SDSS J093506.93+441106. Read More

A recent cross-correlation between the SDSS DR7 White Dwarf Catalog with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer ($WISE$) all-sky photometry at 3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 microns performed by Debes et al. Read More

We present new observations of the faint "Sirius-like" companion discovered to orbit HD 114174. Previous attempts to image HD 114174 B at mid-infrared wavelengths using NIRC2 at Keck have resulted in a non-detection. Our new L'-band observations taken with the Large Binocular Telescope and LMIRCam recover the companion ($\Delta L$ = 10. Read More

We present ULTRACAM photometry and X-Shooter spectroscopy of the eclipsing double white dwarf binary CSS 41177, the only such system that is also a double-lined spectroscopic binary. Combined modelling of the light curves and radial velocities yield masses and radii for both white dwarfs without the need to assume mass-radius relations. We find that the primary white dwarf has a mass of M1 = 0. Read More

We present the discovery of an unusual, tidally-distorted extremely low mass white dwarf (WD) with nearly solar metallicity. Radial velocity measurements confirm that this is a compact binary with an orbital period of 2.6975 hrs and a velocity semi-amplitude of K = 108. Read More

We present optical and X-ray observations of two tidally distorted, extremely low-mass white dwarfs (WDs) with massive companions. There is no evidence of neutron stars in our Chandra and XMM observations of these objects. SDSS J075141. Read More

A large fraction of white dwarfs (WDs) may host planets in their habitable zones. These planets may provide our best chance to detect bio-markers on a transiting exoplanet, thanks to the diminished contrast ratio between the Earth-sized WD and its Earth-sized planets. The JWST is capable of obtaining the first spectroscopic measurements of such planets, yet there are no known planets around WDs. Read More

Current scenarios for the evolution of interacting close binaries - such as cataclysmic variables (CVs) - rely mainly on our understanding of low-mass star angular momentum loss (AML) mechanisms. The coupling of stellar wind with its magnetic field, i.e. Read More

We identify proper motion objects in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF) using the optical data from the original UDF program in 2004 and the near-infrared data from the 128-orbit UDF 2012 campaign. There are 12 sources brighter than I=27 mag that display >3sigma significant proper motions. We do not find any proper motion objects fainter than this magnitude limit. Read More

We present optical spectroscopy, astrometry, radio, and X-ray observations of the runaway binary LP 400-22. We refine the orbital parameters of the system based on our new radial velocity observations. Our parallax data indicate that LP 400-22 is significantly more distant (3 sigma lower limit of 840 pc) than initially predicted. Read More

We announce the discovery of the most massive pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere (DA) white dwarf (WD) ever discovered, GD 518. Model atmosphere fits to the optical spectrum of this star show it is a 12,030 +/- 210 K WD with a log(g) = 9.08 +/- 0. Read More

The nearby Sun-like star HD 114174 exhibits a strong and persistent Doppler acceleration indicating the presence of an unseen distant companion. We have acquired high-contrast imaging observations of this star using NIRC2 at Keck and report the direct detection of the body responsible for causing the "trend". HD 114174 B has a projected separation of 692+/-9 mas (18. Read More

EGB 6 is an ancient, low-surface-brightness planetary nebula. The central star, also cataloged as PG 0950+139, is a very hot DAOZ white dwarf (WD) with an apparent M dwarf companion, unresolved from the ground but detected initially through excesses in the JHK bands. Its kinematics indicates membership in the Galactic disk population. Read More

We present the discovery of 17 low mass white dwarfs (WDs) in short-period P<1 day binaries. Our sample includes four objects with remarkable log(g)~5 surface gravities and orbital solutions that require them to be double degenerate binaries. All of the lowest surface gravity WDs have metal lines in their spectra implying long gravitational settling times or on-going accretion. Read More

We present extensive calculations of linear and non-linear limb-darkening coefficients as well as complete intensity profiles appropriate for modeling the light-curves of eclipsing white dwarfs. We compute limb-darkening coefficients in the Johnson-Kron-Cousins UBVRI photometric system as well as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) ugrizy system using the most up-to-date model atmospheres available. In all, we provide the coefficients for seven different limb-darkening laws. Read More

We have conducted a spectroscopic survey of over 1300 bright (V < 17.5), hydrogen-rich white dwarfs based largely on the last published version of the McCook & Sion catalog. The complete results from our survey, including the spectroscopic analysis of over 1100 DA white dwarfs, are presented. Read More

We present a detailed analysis of 108 helium-line (DB) white dwarfs based on model atmosphere fits to high signal-to-noise optical spectroscopy. We derive a mean mass of 0.67 Mo for our sample, with a dispersion of only 0. Read More

We present an improved spectroscopic and photometric analysis of hydrogen-line DA white dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 based on model atmospheres that include improved Stark broadening profiles with non-ideal gas effects. We also perform a careful visual inspection of all spectroscopic fits with high signal-to-noise ratios (S/N > 12) and present improved atmospheric parameters (Teff and log g) for each white dwarf. Through a comparison of spectroscopic and photometric temperatures, we report the discovery of 35 DA+DB/DC double degenerate candidates and 2 helium-rich DA stars. Read More

We present the discovery of the first T dwarf + white dwarf binary system LSPM 1459+0857AB, confirmed through common proper motion and spectroscopy. The white dwarf is a high proper motion object from the LSPM catalogue that we confirm spectroscopically to be a relatively cool (Teff=5535+\-45K) and magnetic (B~2MG) hydrogen-rich white dwarf, with an age of at least 4.8Gyrs. Read More