Silvia Toonen

Silvia Toonen
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Silvia Toonen

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (7)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (5)
Astrophysics (3)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (2)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (1)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Silvia Toonen

We consider the formation of binary black hole mergers through the evolution of field massive triple stars. In this scenario, favorable conditions for the inspiral of a black hole binary are initiated by its gravitational interaction with a distant companion, rather than by a common-envelope phase invoked in standard binary evolution models. We use a code that follows self-consistently the evolution of massive triple stars, combining the secular triple dynamics (Lidov-Kozai cycles) with stellar evolution. Read More

Double white dwarf (DWD) binaries are expected to be very common in the Milky Way, but their intrinsic faintness challenges the detection of these systems. Currently, only a few tens of detached DWDs are know. Such systems offer the best chance of extracting the physical properties that would allow us to address a wealth of outstanding questions ranging from the nature of white dwarfs, over stellar and binary evolution to mapping the Galaxy. Read More

Binary mass transfer is at the forefront of some of the most exciting puzzles of modern astrophysics, including Type Ia supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and the formation of most observed exotic stellar populations. Typically, the evolution is assumed to proceed in isolation, even in dense stellar environments such as star clusters. In this paper, we test the validity of this assumption via the analysis of a large grid of binary evolution models simulated with the SeBa code. Read More

Aims: We study single and binary white dwarfs in the inner halo of the Milky Way in order to learn more about the conditions under which the population of halo stars was born, such as the initial mass function (IMF), the star formation history, or the binary fraction. Methods: We simulate the evolution of low-metallicity halo stars at distances up to ~ 3 kpc using the binary population synthesis code SeBa. We use two different white dwarf cooling models to predict the present-day luminosities of halo white dwarfs. Read More

White dwarfs (WDs) can increase their mass by accretion from companion stars, provided the mass-accretion rate is high enough to avoid nova eruptions. The accretion regimes that allow growth of the WDs are usually calculated assuming constant mass-transfer rates. However, it is possible that these systems are influenced by effects that cause the rate to fluctuate on various timescales. Read More

Context: The nature of the progenitors of type Ia supernova (SN) progenitors remains unclear. While it is usually agreed that single-degenerate progenitor systems would be luminous supersoft X-ray sources (SSSs), it was recently suggested that double-degenerate progenitors might also go through a SSS phase. Aims: We aim to examine the possibility of double-degenerate progenitor systems being SSSs, and place stringent upper limits on the maximally possible durations of any SSS phases and expected number of these systems in a galactic population. Read More

Context. An important ingredient in binary evolution is the common-envelope (CE) phase. Although this phase is believed to be responsible for the formation of many close binaries, the process is not well understood. Read More

The study of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) has lead to greatly improved insights into many fields in astrophysics, however a theoretical explanation of the origin of these events is still lacking. We investigate the potential contribution to the SNIa rate from the population of merging double carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. We aim to develope a model that fits the observed SNIa progenitors as well as the observed close double white dwarf population. Read More

We briefly discuss the method of population synthesis to calculate theoretical delay time distributions of type Ia supernova progenitors. We also compare the results of the different research groups and conclude that although one of the main differences in the results for single degenerate progenitors is the retention efficiency with which accreted hydrogen is added to the white dwarf core, this cannot explain all the differences. Read More

An update is presented to the software package SeBa for simulating single star and binary evolution in which new stellar evolution tracks have been implemented. SeBa is applied to study the population of close double white dwarf and the delay time distribution of double white dwarf mergers that may lead to Supernovae Type Ia. Read More

Stars on eccentric orbits around a massive black hole (MBH) emit bursts of gravitational waves (GWs) at periapse. Such events may be directly resolvable in the Galactic centre. However, if the star does not spiral in, the emitted GWs are not resolvable for extra-galactic MBHs, but constitute a source of background noise. Read More

The Fabry-Perot interferometer FaNTOmM was used at the 3.6m Canada France Hawaii Telescope and the 1.6m Mont Megantic Telescope to obtain data cubes in H-alpha of 9 nearby spiral galaxies from which maps in integrated intensity, velocity, and velocity dispersion were derived. Read More

We study the two-dimensional kinematics of the H-alpha-emitting gas in the nearby barred Scd galaxy, NGC 6946, in order to determine the pattern speed of the primary m=2 perturbation mode. The pattern speed is a crucial parameter for constraining the internal dynamics, estimating the impact velocities of the gravitational perturbation at the resonance radii, and to set up an evolutionary scenario for NGC 6946. Our data allows us to derive the best fitting kinematic position angle and the geometry of the underlying gaseous disk, which we use to derive the pattern speed using the Tremaine-Weinberg method. Read More

We study the kinematics of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 6946 by investigating the velocity field from H-alpha Fabry-Perot observations, determined the pattern speed of the bar by using the Tremaine-Weinberg method, and find a main pattern speed of 21.7 (+4.0,-0. Read More