NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0057

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Program Information for 2016A-0057


PI: Mukremin Kilic, U. of Oklahoma, kilic@ou.edu
Address: USA

CoI: Warren Brown, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Brandon Curd, U. of Oklahoma
CoI: Alexandros Gianninas, U. of Oklahoma

Title: The Shortest Period Binary White Dwarfs in SDSS DR10

Abstract: A new discovery space for short period binary white dwarfs has been opened up with the availability of SDSS Data Release 10 spectroscopy. We recently fit all of the SDSS DR10 stellar spectra to identify relatively hot ELM white dwarfs with M < 0.35 Msun. Based on our previous observations, all 39 of these objects should be in binary systems with P<1 day orbits, and 43% should be in P<0.1 d systems. Here we propose to obtain follow-up Gemini spectroscopic observations of these 39 white dwarfs. Our two major science goals are to discover detached gravitational wave sources for fundamental tests of general relativity, and to constrain the formation rate and space density of merging white dwarfs. The latter is important for constraining the contribution of double degenerates to Type Ia and underluminous supernovae.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-NQ/GMOSN -- 22.45hrs band 2 (GN-2016A-Q-54)
Run 2 (2016A):  GEM-SQ/GMOSS -- 3.2hrs band 2 (GS-2016A-Q-58)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0057

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