Volume 492, Number 3, December IV 2008
|Page(s)||L43 - L47|
|Published online||20 November 2008|
Letter to the Editor
Discovery of photospheric Ca X emission lines in the far-UV spectrum of the hottest known white dwarf (KPD 0005+5106) *
Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Kepler Center for Astro and Particle Physics, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Accepted: 6 November 2008
For the first time, we have identified photospheric emission lines in the far-UV spectrum of a white dwarf. They were discovered in the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer spectrum of the hot ( ≈ 200 000 K) DO white dwarf KPD 0005+5106 and they stem from extremely highly ionized calcium ( 1137, 1159 Å). Their photospheric origin is confirmed by non-LTE line-formation calculations. This is the highest ionisation stage of any element ever observed in a stellar photosphere. Calcium has never been detected before in any hot white dwarf or central star of planetary nebula. The calcium abundance determination for KPD 0005+5106 (1–10 times solar) is difficult, because the line strengths are rather sensitive to current uncertainties in the knowledge of effective temperature and surface gravity. We discuss the possibility that the calcium abundance is much lower than expected from diffusion/levitation equilibrium theory. The same emission lines are exhibited by the [WCE]-type central star NGC 2371. Another line pair ( 1461, 1504 Å) is probably present in a Hubble Space Telescope spectrum of the PG 1159-type central star NGC 246.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: atmospheres / stars: evolution / stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: white dwarfs
© ESO, 2008
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