NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0521

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Proposal Information for 2013B-0521


PI: Bart H. Dunlap, UNC Chapel Hill, bhdunlap@physics.unc.edu
Address: Physics Department, Phillips Hall, CB 3255, 120 E. Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

CoI: Brad N. Barlow, The Pennsylvania State University
CoI: Pierre F. L. Maxted, Keele University
CoI: Andrea Miglio, University of Birmingham
CoI: Imre B. Biro, Baja Astronomical Observatory
CoI: Janos Nuspl, Konkoly Observatory
CoI: Ulrich Heber, Dr. Karl Remeis-Observatory
CoI: Tom R. Marsh, University of Warwick
CoI: Vik S. Dhillon, University of Sheffield
CoI: Stuart V. Littlefair, University of Sheffield
CoI: Chris Copperwheat, University of Warwick
CoI: Marc-Antoine Dupret, Universite de Liege
CoI: Valerie Van Grootel, Universite de Liege

Title: Asteroseismology of the Pulsating Precursor to an Extremely Low Mass White Dwarf

Abstract: Extremely low mass white dwarfs are observed as companions to milli- second pulsars and in other extreme environments where red giant stars are destroyed. We have recently discovered non-radial pulsations in the precursor to an extremely low mass white dwarf (ELMWD) in an eclipsing binary system. This is a completely new type of variable star. The mass and radius of the star have been measured precisely, and we have good estimates for its initial composition. These properties make this star a great target for detailed asteroseismology. This will enable us to answer key questions about the formation and evolution of ELMWDs such as whether they can be used to test spin-down ages for milli-second pulsars. We propose to obtain high signal-to-noise time-series photometry with the SOAR telescope to properly measure its pulsation frequencies. This will be the first step in a project to use asteroseismology to study in detail the interior of this extremely unusual star.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0521

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