Journal Article

Photometric variability of candidate white dwarf binary systems from Palomar Transient Factory archival data

Wil Kao, David L. Kaplan, Thomas A. Prince, Sumin Tang, Irina Ene, Kyu Bin Kim, David Levitan, Shrinivas R. Kulkarni and Russ R. Laher

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 461, issue 3, pages 2747-2761
ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2016 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw1434
Photometric variability of candidate white dwarf binary systems from Palomar Transient Factory archival data

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We present a sample of 59 periodic variables from the Palomar Transient Factory, selected from published catalogues of white dwarf (WD) candidates. The variability can likely be attributed to ellipsoidal variation of the tidally distorted companion induced by the gravity of the primary (WD or hot subdwarf) or to the reflection of hot emission by a cooler companion. We searched 11 311 spectroscopically or photometrically selected WD candidates from three hot star/WD catalogues, using the Lomb–Scargle periodogram to single out promising sources. We present period estimates for the candidates, 45 of which were not previously identified as periodic variables, and find that most have a period shorter than a few days. Additionally, we discuss the eclipsing systems in our sample and present spectroscopic data on selected sources.

Keywords: binaries: close; binaries: eclipsing; white dwarfs

Journal Article.  7478 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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