Volume 530, June 2011
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||27 April 2011|
Non-LTE models for the gaseous metal component of circumstellar discs around white dwarfs
Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Kepler Center for Astro and
Particle Physics, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen,
Received: 1 February 2011
Accepted: 8 March 2011
Context. Gaseous metal discs around single white dwarfs have been discovered recently. They are thought to develop from disrupted planetary bodies.
Aims. Spectroscopic analyses will allow us to study the composition of extrasolar planetary material. We investigate in detail the first object for which a gas disc was discovered (SDSS J122859.93+104032.9).
Methods. We perform non-LTE modelling of viscous gas discs by computing the detailed vertical structure and line spectra. The models are composed of carbon, oxygen, magnesium, silicon, calcium, and hydrogen with chemical abundances typical for Solar System asteroids. Line asymmetries are modelled by assuming spiral-arm and eccentric disc structures as suggested by hydrodynamical simulations.
Results. The observed infrared Ca ii emission triplet can be modelled with a hydrogen-deficient metal gas disc located inside of the tidal disruption radius, with Teff ≈ 6000 K and a surface mass density of Σ ≈ 0.3 g/cm2. The inner radius is well constrained at about 0.64 R⊙. The line profile asymmetry can be reproduced by either a spiral-arm structure or an eccentric disc, the latter being favoured by its time variability behaviour. Such structures, reaching from 0.64 to 1.5 R⊙, contain a mass of about 3−6 × 1021 g, the latter equivalent to the mass of a 135-km diameter Solar System asteroid.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / stars: individual: SDSS J122859.93+104032.9 / white dwarfs
© ESO, 2011
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.