Volume 650, June 2021
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||16 June 2021|
A proto-helium white dwarf stripped by a substellar companion via common-envelope ejection
Uncovering the true nature of a candidate hypervelocity B-type star⋆
Dr. Karl Remeis-Observatory & ECAP, Astronomical Institute, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
2 Institut für Physik und Astronomie, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24/25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
3 Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
4 Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Astrophysics Center, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
5 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Accepted: 2 July 2020
In the past, SDSS J160429.12+100002.2 wass spectroscopically classified as a blue horizontal branch (BHB) star. Assuming a luminosity that is characteristic of BHB stars, the object’s radial velocity and proper motions from Gaia Early Data Release 3 would imply that its Galactic rest-frame velocity exceeds its local escape velocity. Consequently, the object would be considered a hypervelocity star, which would prove particularly interesting because its Galactic trajectory points in our direction. However, based on the spectroscopic analysis of follow-up observations, we show that the object is actually a short-period (P ≈ 3.4 h) single-lined spectroscopic binary system with a visible B-type star (effective temperature Teff = 15 840 ± 160 K and surface gravity log(g) = 4.86 ± 0.04) that is less luminous than typical BHB stars. Accordingly, the distance of the system is lower than originally thought, which renders its Galactic orbit bound to the Galaxy. Nevertheless, it is still an extreme halo object on a highly retrograde orbit. The abundances of He, C, N, O, Ne, Mg, Al, Si, S, and Ca are subsolar by factors from 3 to more than 100, while Fe is enriched by a factor of about 6. This peculiar chemical composition pattern is most likely caused by atomic diffusion processes. Combining constraints from astrometry, orbital motion, photometry, and spectroscopy, we conclude that the visible component is an unevolved proto-helium white dwarf with a thin hydrogen envelope that was stripped by a substellar companion through common-envelope ejection. Its unique configuration renders the binary system an interesting test bed for stellar binary evolution in general and common-envelope evolution in particular.
Key words: binaries: close / binaries: spectroscopic / brown dwarfs / stars: individual: SDSS J160429.12+100002.2 / stars: chemically peculiar / white dwarfs
The fully reduced and wavelength calibrated ESI and ISIS spectra are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/650/A102
© ESO 2021
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