Volume 646, February 2021
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||05 February 2021|
The pulsational properties of ultra-massive DB white dwarfs with carbon-oxygen cores coming from single-star evolution
Grupo de Evolución Estelar y Pulsaciones. Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina
2 CCT – CONICET, La Plata, Argentina
3 Departament de Física, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades 5, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
4 Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, c/Gran Capita 2–4, Edif. Nexus 104, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Accepted: 20 December 2020
Context. Ultra-massive white dwarfs are relevant for many reasons: their role as type Ia supernova progenitors, the occurrence of physical processes in the asymptotic giant branch phase, the existence of high-field magnetic white dwarfs, and the occurrence of double white dwarf mergers. Some hydrogen-rich ultra-massive white dwarfs are pulsating stars and, as such, they offer the possibility of studying their interiors through asteroseismology. On the other hand, pulsating helium-rich ultra-massive white dwarfs could be even more attractive objects for asteroseismology if they were found, as they should be hotter and less crystallized than pulsating hydrogen-rich white dwarfs, something that would pave the way for probing their deep interiors.
Aims. We explore the pulsational properties of ultra-massive helium-rich white dwarfs with carbon-oxygen and oxygen-neon cores resulting from single stellar evolution. Our goal is to provide a theoretical basis that could eventually help to discern the core composition of ultra-massive white dwarfs and the scenario of their formation through asteroseismology, anticipating the possible future detection of pulsations in helium-rich ultra-massive white dwarfs.
Methods. We focus on three scenarios for the formation of helium-rich ultra-massive white dwarfs. First, we consider stellar models coming from two recently proposed single-star evolution scenarios for the formation of ultra-massive white dwarfs with carbon-oxygen cores that involve the rotation of the degenerate core after core helium burning and reduced mass-loss rates in massive asymptotic giant branch stars. Finally, we contemplate ultra-massive oxygen-neon core white-dwarf models resulting from standard single-star evolution. We compute the adiabatic pulsation gravity-mode periods for models in a range of effective temperatures, embracing the instability strip of average-mass pulsating helium-rich white dwarfs, and we compare the characteristics of the mode-trapping properties for models of different formation scenarios through the analysis of the period spacing.
Results. Given that the white dwarf models coming from the three scenarios considered are characterized by distinct core chemical profiles, we find that their pulsation properties are also different, thus leading to distinctive signatures in the period-spacing and mode-trapping properties.
Conclusions. Our results indicate that in the case of an eventual detection of pulsating ultra-massive helium-rich white dwarfs, it would be possible to derive valuable information encrypted in the core of these stars in connection with the origin of such exotic objects. This is of the utmost importance regarding recent evidence for the existence of a population of ultra-massive white dwarfs with carbon-oxygen cores. There will soon be many opportunities to detect pulsations in these stars through observations collected with ongoing space missions.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: interiors / white dwarfs / asteroseismology / stars: oscillations / dense matter
© ESO 2021
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