Journal Article

Post-common-envelope binaries from SDSS – V. Four eclipsing white dwarf main-sequence binaries

S. Pyrzas, B. T. Gänsicke, T. R. Marsh, A. Aungwerojwit, A. Rebassa-Mansergas, P. Rodríguez-Gil, J. Southworth, M. R. Schreiber, A. Nebot Gomez-Moran and D. Koester

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 2, pages 978-994
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Post-common-envelope binaries from SDSS – V. Four eclipsing white dwarf main-sequence binaries

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We identify SDSS 011009.09+132616.1, SDSS 030308.35+005444.1, SDSS 143547.87+ 373338.5 and SDSS 154846.00+405728.8 as four eclipsing white dwarf plus main-sequence (WDMS) binaries from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and report on follow-up observations of these systems. SDSS 0110+1326, SDSS 1435+3733 and SDSS 1548+4057 contain DA white dwarfs, while SDSS 0303+0054 contains a cool DC white dwarf. Orbital periods and ephemerides have been established from multiseason photometry. SDSS 1435+3733, with Porb= 3 h has the shortest orbital period of all known eclipsing WDMS binaries. As for the other systems, SDSS 0110+1326 has Porb= 8 h, SDSS 0303+0054 has Porb= 3.2 h and SDSS 1548+4057 has Porb= 4.4 h. Time-resolved spectroscopic observations have been obtained and the Hα and Ca ii λλ8498.02, 8542.09, 8662.14 triplet emission lines, as well as the Na i λλ8183.27, 8194.81 absorption doublet were used to measure the radial velocities of the secondary stars in all four systems. A spectral decomposition/fitting technique was then employed to isolate the contribution of each of the components to the total spectrum, and to determine the white dwarf effective temperatures and surface gravities, as well as the spectral types of the companion stars. We used a light-curve modelling code for close binary systems to fit the eclipse profiles and the ellipsoidal modulation/reflection effect in the light curves, to further constrain the masses and radii of the components in all systems. All three DA white dwarfs have masses of MWD∼ 0.4–0.6 M, in line with the expectations from close binary evolution. The DC white dwarf in SDSS 0303+0054 has a mass of MWD≳ 0.85 M, making it unusually massive for a post-common-envelope system. The companion stars in all four systems are M dwarfs of spectral type M4 and later. Our new additions raise the number of known eclipsing WDMS binaries to 14, and we find that the average white dwarf mass in this sample is 〈MWD〉=0.57 ± 0.16 M, only slightly lower than the average mass of single white dwarfs. The majority of all eclipsing WDMS binaries contain low-mass (<0.6 M) secondary stars, and will eventually provide valuable observational input for the calibration of the mass–radius relations of low-mass main-sequence stars and of white dwarfs.

Keywords: binaries: close; binaries: eclipsing; stars: fundamental parameters; stars: late-type; white dwarfs

Journal Article.  11203 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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