4,735 research outputs found

    Evidence for a merger of binary white dwarfs: the case of GD 362

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    GD 362 is a massive white dwarf with a spectrum suggesting a H-rich atmosphere which also shows very high abundances of Ca, Mg, Fe and other metals. However, for pure H-atmospheres the diffusion timescales are so short that very extreme assumptions have to be made to account for the observed abundances of metals. The most favored hypothesis is that the metals are accreted from either a dusty disk or from an asteroid belt. Here we propose that the envelope of GD 362 is dominated by He, which at these effective temperatures is almost completely invisible in the spectrum. This assumption strongly alleviates the problem, since the diffusion timescales are much larger for He-dominated atmospheres. We also propose that the He-dominated atmosphere of GD 362 is likely to be the result of the merger of a binary white dwarf.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letter

    A Characterization of the Brightness Oscillations During Thermonuclear Bursts From 4U 1636-536

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    The discovery of nearly coherent brightness oscillations during thermonuclear X-ray bursts from six neutron-star low-mass X-ray binaries has opened up a new way to study the propagation of thermonuclear burning, and may ultimately lead to greater understanding of thermonuclear propagation in other astrophysical contexts, such as in Type Ia supernovae. Here we report detailed analyses of the ~580 Hz brightness oscillations during bursts from 4U 1636-536. We investigate the bursts as a whole and, in more detail, the initial portions of the bursts. We analyze the ~580 Hz oscillations in the initial 0.75 seconds of the five bursts that were used in a previous search for a brightness oscillation at the expected ~290 Hz spin frequency, and find that if the same frequency model describes all five bursts there is insufficient data to require more than a constant frequency or, possibly, a frequency plus a frequency derivative. Therefore, although it is appropriate to use an arbitrarily complicated model of the ~580 Hz oscillations to generate a candidate waveform for the ~290 Hz oscillations, models with more than two parameters are not required by the data. For the bursts as a whole we show that the characteristics of the brightness oscillations vary greatly from burst to burst. We find, however, that in at least one of the bursts, and possibly in three of the four that have strong brightness oscillations throughout the burst, the oscillation frequency reaches a maximum several seconds into the burst and then decreases. This behavior has not been reported previously for burst brightness oscillations, and it poses a challenge to the standard burning layer expansion explanation for the frequency changes.Comment: 18 pages including three figures, uses aaspp4.sty, submitted to The Astrophysical Journal on April

    The Formation of Cataclysmic Variables with Brown Dwarf Secondaries

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    The present-day formation of cataclysmic variables (CVs) with brown dwarf (BD) secondaries (0.013 M_sun < M_sec < 0.075 M_sun) is investigated using a population synthesis technique. Results from the latest, detailed models for BDs have been incorporated into the population synthesis code. For our models, we find that ZACVs with BD secondaries have orbital periods in the range 46 min to 2.5 hrs. We also find that ZACVs with BD secondaries comprise 18% of the total, present-day ZACV population. In addition, we find that 80% of ZACVs with BD secondaries have orbital periods < 78 minutes. This implies that 15% of the present-day ZACV population should have orbital periods shorter than the observed orbital period minimum for CVs. We also investigate the dependence of the present-day formation rate of CVs with BD secondaries on the assumed value of the common envelope efficiency parameter, alpha_CE, for three different assumed mass ratio distributions in ZAMS binaries. Surprisingly, we find that the common envelope process must be extremely inefficient (alpha_CE < 0.1) in order for CVs with BD secondaries not to be formed. Finally, we find that the progenitor binaries of ZACVs with BD secondaries have ZAMS orbital separations < 3 AU and ZAMS primary masses between ~1-10 M_sun, with ~75% of the primary masses less than ~1.6 M_sun. Interestingly, these ranges in orbital separation and primary mass place the majority of the progenitor binaries within the so-called ``brown dwarf desert.''Comment: preprint 27 pages 4 figures; to appear in ApJ April 1, 200

    Prevalence and distribution of endodontic treatments and apical periodontitis in an Italian population sample

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    This study was undertaken to investigate for the first time the distribution and prevalence of apical periodontitis and its determinants in an Italian population. A total of 312 participants (191 women, 121 men) received free clinical examination and full-mouth digital X-ray. Data regarding the oral health status of the patients were collected such as the reason for the visit and the incidence of lesions. We examined 8101 teeth, 6.59% of which had been submitted to endodontic treatment and 15.02% of which were lower molars. Lower molars were reported missing more frequently, in detail 16.24%. Moreover 3.89% of the lower molars had developed an apical lesion, whereas only 0.08% of the lower incisors. Periapical lesions were present in 0.29% of not endodontically treated teeth, while in endodontically treated teeth lesions were present in 17.04%. Additionally, 15.65% of the endodontically treated teeth showed incongruous (long or short) seals. A prevalence of women (61.21%) over men (38.78%) was reported indicating that women attend to their oral health more. Endodontic treatment success and failure in over- or under-filled teeth was evaluated with success being verified in 97% of appropriately treated teeth; the success rate decreases in inappropriately treated teeth (by 72.73% in over-filled and 77.71% under-filled teeth). The prevalence of teeth with periapical lesions amounted to 1.35%. Finally, endodontically treated teeth with periapical lesions amounted to 17.04%. Successful treatment can be achieved when disease is intercepted at an early stage while prevention still remains better than cur
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