X ray photospheres
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X-ray Photospheres. Klaus Werner Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Tübingen, Germany. Outline. Introduction: Thermal soft X-ray emission from stellar photospheres

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X ray photospheres

X-ray Photospheres

Klaus Werner

Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Tübingen, Germany

X-ray Grating Spectroscopy

Cambridge, USA


Outline

Outline

  • Introduction: Thermal soft X-ray emission from stellar photospheres

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the hot DA white dwarf LB1919: Implications for vertical chemical stratification in WDs

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the PG1159 star PG1520+525: Constraining the GW Vir instability strip in the HRD

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the naked C/O stellar core H1504+65: The hottest known and chemically most extreme white dwarf

X-ray Grating Spectroscopy

Cambridge, USA


Introduction

Introduction

  • Only evolved compact stars are hot enough to be able to emit thermal (soft) X-radiation from their photosphere:

  • Neutron stars (not covered in this talk)

  • (Pre-) white dwarfs (WDs), (some are central stars of PNe)

  • WDs come in two flavors:

  • Hydrogen-rich (DA WDs)

  • Helium and/or C-O-rich (non-DAs),

  • relevant here: PG1159 stars, the hottest non-DA WDs


Introduction1

Introduction

  • Hydrogen-rich WDs:

  • Photospheres of hot DAs are almost completely ionized, hence, very low opacity. Observed X-rays stem from very deep, hot layers.

  • Soft X-rays are detected from objects with Teff >30,000 K

  • Famous example: Sirius B

  • He-C-O-rich (non-DA) WDs:

  • Opacities of He and metals prevent leakage of X-rays from deep hot layers, except for hottest objects, where these species are highly ionised and more transparent:

  • Soft X-rays are detected from objects with Teff >140,000 K

  • Famous example: H1504+65


Outline1

Outline

  • Introduction: Thermal soft X-ray emission from stellar photospheres

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the hot DA white dwarf LB1919: Implications for vertical chemical stratification in WDs

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the PG1159 star PG1520+525: Constraining the GW Vir instability strip in the HRD

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the naked C/O stellar core H1504+65: The hottest known and chemically most extreme white dwarf


Metals as sensitive regulators of x rays from da white dwarfs

Metals as sensitive regulators of X-rays from DA white dwarfs

  • Hydrogen in hot DAs almost completely ionized, EUV/soft X-ray opacity strongly reduced → DAs with Teff >30,000 K can emit thermal soft X-rays from deep hot layers

  • However, ROSAT All-Sky Survey revealed that X-ray emission is the exception rather than the rule → additional absorbers present

  • ROSAT and EUVE revealed that metals are the origin, EUV spectra are strongly determined by Fe and Ni through large number of absorption lines

  • Radiative levitation keeps traces of metals in the atmosphere (e.g. Chayer et al. 1995): Generally, metal abundances increase with increasing Teff.

  • Consequently, only very few DAs with Teff>60,000 K were detected in EUVE and ROSAT All-Sky Surveys.


X ray photospheres

  • Breakthrough in understanding DA atmospheres: development of self-consistent models for equilibrium of gravitational settling / radiative levitation, yield vertical abundance stratification

  • Generally, good agreement between observed and computed EUV flux distributions (e.g. Schuh et al. 2002)

  • However, several exceptions are known. Some DAs show much larger metal abundances than expected from theory, reason: ISM accretion or wind-accretion from unseen companion

  • More difficult to explain: objects with metallicitysmallerthan expected


The problem of metal poor da white dwarfs

The problem of metal-poor DA white dwarfs

  • Prominent example: HZ43 (Teff = 49,000 K), virtually metal free, shows no EUV or X-ray absorption features

  • Even more surprising: low metallicity of two DAs with even higher Teff. Two of hottest known DAs have extraordinarily low metal abundances: LB1919 (69,000 K) & MCT0027-6341 (60,000 K)

  • These stars could hold the key to understanding metal-poor DAs as a class

  • We concentrate on LB1919, it is brighter in EUV/X-rays

  • LB1919: hottest of the 90 DAs detected in EUVE all-sky survey (Vennes et al. 1997). Hottest of the 20 DAs whose EUVE spectra were analyzed in detail by Wolff et al. (1998)

  • Chemical composition unknown: EUVE resolution insufficient to resolve individual lines; metallicity of fainter DAs usually determined relative to G191-B2B (56,000 K) that is well studied by UV spectroscopy.


The problem of metal poor da white dwarfs1

The problem of metal-poor DA white dwarfs

  • Our stratified models successfully describe the EUV spectrum of G191-B2B. EUVE spectra of other DAs could also be fitted by simply scaling G191´s relative metal abundance pattern.

  • But: the EUV spectrum of LB1919 cannot be described by chemically homogeneous models scaled to G191 relative abundances. Also, radiatively stratified models fail spectacularly.


The problem of metal poor da white dwarfs2

The problem of metal-poor DA white dwarfs

  • Four processes can disturb equilibrium between gravitation and levitation; potentially responsible for metal-poor hot DAs:

  • Mass-loss tends to homogenize chemical stratification. However, M-dot drops below critical limit (10-16 M/yr) for Teff<70,000 K (Unglaub & Bues 1998). So, LB1919 should not be affected.

  • Wind-accretion calculations (MacDonald 1992) show that ISM accretion is prevented for LB1919 since its L>1L. Instead, mass-loss rate of 10-18 M/yr will be sustained

  • Convection not expected in LB1919

  • Rotation could lead to meridional mixing, however, WDs are generally slow rotators. In particular, LB1919 shows sharp Lyman line cores (FUSE), ruling out high rotation rate.

  • Currently there is no explanation for the low metallicity in LB1919 and similar DAs


Chandra observation of lb1919

Chandra observation of LB1919

  • Aim: Empirical determination of abundance stratification using individual lines of different ionization stages of Fe, Ni ...

  • IF metals are stratified, then they are in diffusion/levitation equilibrium. The low metallicity might originate in earlier evolutionary phases (selective radiation driven wind?)

  • IF metals are homogeneous, then one of the above mechanisms is at work, contrary to our understanding


Simulated chandra observations of lb1919 letg hrc s 120 ksec

Simulated Chandra observations of LB1919LETG+HRC-S, 120 ksec

  • Parameters of LB1919:

  • Teff=70,000 K logg=8.2 Fe/H=7.5∙10-7 Ni/H=5∙10-8

  • (EUVE analysis of Wolff et al. 1998 with homogeneous models)

  • Two models shown:

  • a) nickel enhanced by 1 dex (black line)

  • b) iron and nickel enhanced by 1 dex (red line)

  • Strong sensitivity of the spectrum against abundance variations


Chandra observation of lb19191

Chandra observation of LB1919

  • Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG+HRC-S)

  • Integration time 111 ksec, Feb. 02, 2006


Chandra observation of lb19192

Chandra observation of LB1919

  • Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG+HRC-S)

  • Integration time 111 ksec, Feb. 02, 2006

  • Line features in model too strong, analysis is on-going, no results yet


Outline2

Outline

  • Introduction: Thermal soft X-ray emission from stellar photospheres

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the hot DA white dwarf LB1919: Implications for vertical chemical stratification in WDs

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the PG1159 star PG1520+525: Constraining the GW Vir instability strip in the HRD

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the naked C/O stellar core H1504+65: The hottest known and chemically most extreme white dwarf


X ray photospheres

  • The PG1159 spectroscopic class, a group of 40 stars

  • Very hot hydrogen-deficient (pre-) WDs

  • Teff= 75,000 – 200,000 K

  • log g= 5.5 – 8

  • M/M= 0.51 – 0.89 (mean: 0.62)

  • log L/L= 1.1 – 4.2

  • Atmospheres dominated by C, He, O, and Ne, e.g. prototype PG1159-035:

  • He=33%, C=48%, O=17%, Ne=2% (mass fractions)

  • = chemistry of material between H and He burning shells in AGB-stars (intershell abundances)


X ray photospheres

late He-shell flash

causes return to AGB

Evolutionary tracks for a 2 M star. Born-again track offset for clarity.

(Werner & Herwig 2006)


X ray photospheres

  • Loss of H-rich envelope consequence of (very)late thermal pulse during post-AGB phase (LTP) or WD cooling phase (VLTP) (like Sakurai’s object and FG Sge)

  • Hydrogen envelope (thickness 10-4 M) is ingested and burned (VLTP) or diluted (LTP) in He-rich intershell (thickness 10-2 M)

  • In any case, composition of He/C/O-rich intershell region dominates complete envelope on top of stellar C/O core


X ray photospheres

Late He-shell flash

10-4 M

10-2 M

+CO core material

(dredged up)


X ray photospheres

Pulsating (filled circles) and non-pulsating PG1159 stars

PG1159-035

PG1520+525

0.6 M track

(Wood & Faulkner 1986)

Blue (Gautschy et al. 2005) and red (Quirion et al. 2004)

edges of GW Vir instability strip


The pulsator non pulsator pair pg 1159 035 and pg 1520 525

The pulsator/non-pulsator pair PG 1159-035 and PG 1520+525

  • Do both stars confine the blue edge of the instability strip?

  • To what accuracy is their Teff known?

  • PG1159-035:140,000 +/- 5,000 K

  • from HST/STIS high-resolution UV spectrum,Jahn et al. (2007)

  • PG1520+525:150,000 +/- 15,000 K

  • from HST/GHRS medium-resolution UV spectrum,Dreizler & Heber (1998)

  • Need a more precise Teff estimate for PG1520+525

  • Try soft X-ray region; PG1520+525 is the soft X-ray brightest PG1159 star after H1504+65.

  • First attempt with EUVE suggested Teff around 150,000 K, however, poor-S/N spectrum


X ray photospheres

Werner et al. (1996)


Soft x ray spectral modeling of pg 1520 525

Soft X-ray spectral modeling of PG 1520+525

  • Grid of non-LTE models (hydrostatic, radiative equilibrium)

  • Ions included: He I-III, C III-V, O IV-VII, Ne IV-IX, Mg IV-IX

  • Particular model shown here tailored to PG1520+525

  • For comparison with Chandra observation: model flux used to simulate Chandra count rate spectrum including expected S/N


Chandra observation of pg 1520 525

Chandra observation of PG 1520+525

  • Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG+HRC-S)

  • Integration time 142 ksec, April 04-06, 2006


Chandra observation of pg 1520 5251

Chandra observation of PG 1520+525

  • Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG+HRC-S)

  • Integration time 142 ksec, April 04-06, 2006


X ray photospheres

Detail of PG 1520+525 Chandra spectrum, 100-123 Å

model

observation


X ray photospheres

Detail of PG 1520+525 Chandra spectrum, 100-123 Å

NeVII OVI

OVI

NeVI

model

observation

NeVII NeVI

Identification of OVI and NeVI / VII lines


X ray photospheres

140,000 K model too cool, good fit with 150,000 K model.


X ray photospheres

Pulsating (filled circles) and non-pulsating PG1159 stars

PG1159-035

PG1520+525

0.6 M track

(Wood & Faulkner 1986)

PG1159-035 and PG1520+525 indeed confine

the blue edge of the GW Vir instability strip


Outline3

Outline

  • Introduction: Thermal soft X-ray emission from stellar photospheres

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the hot DA white dwarf LB1919: Implications for vertical chemical stratification in WDs

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the PG1159 star PG1520+525: Constraining the GW Vir instability strip in the HRD

  • Chandra spectroscopy of the naked C/O stellar core H1504+65: The hottest known and chemically most extreme white dwarf


Properties of h1504 65

Properties of H1504+65

  • 1983 – H1504 is the 7th brightest X-ray source in the 0.25 keV band (HEAO1 survey, Nugent et al.)

  • 1986 – Optical identification: Extremely hot white dwarf, lacking H and He lines (Nousek et al.)

  • 1991 – NLTE analysis of optical spectra (Werner):

  • It is the hottest WD known (Teff close to 200 000 K)

  • H1504 is devoid of hydrogen and helium

  • Dominant photospheric species: C and O (50:50)

  • 1999 – Analysis of EUVE & Keck data (Werner & Wolff)

  • High neon abundance: 2-5% (>20 times solar)

  • H1504 is an extreme member of the PG1159 spectroscopic class


X ray photospheres

  • Chandra LETG+HRC-S observation of H1504+65:

  • Sept. 27, 2000, integration time 7 hours

  • Richest absorption line spectrum ever recorded from a stellar photosphere

  • (Werner et al. 2004, A&A 421, 1169)

  • Examples for spectral fitting:


X ray photospheres

Model fit to H1504+65 Chandra spectrum 80-110 Å

Relative flux

Wavelength / Å


X ray photospheres

Model fit to H1504+65 Chandra spectrum 80-110 Å

Relative flux

Wavelength / Å


X ray photospheres

Model fit to H1504+65 Chandra spectrum 80-110 Å

Relative flux

Wavelength / Å


X ray photospheres

Model fit to H1504+65 Chandra spectrum 110-140 Å

Relative flux

Wavelength / Å


X ray photospheres

Model fit to H1504+65 Chandra spectrum 110-140 Å

Relative flux

Wavelength / Å


X ray photospheres

Model fit to H1504+65 Chandra spectrum 110-140 Å

Relative flux

Wavelength / Å


X ray photospheres

  • Origin of unique C/O/Ne surface composition of H1504 remains unknown. Obviously, H1504 is a bare C/O core of a former AGB giant.

  • Detection of Mg2% in Chandra spectrum even suggests:

  • H1504 could be a bare O/Ne/Mg white dwarf, i.e. first observational proof for existence of such objects

  • Approved HST UV-spectroscopy (2005): Search for Na, but:

  • failure of STIS just before observations should be done


Summary

Summary

  • Hottest WDs have detectable photospheric soft X-ray emission

  • X-ray grating spectroscopy important (and often essential) to derive stellar parameters and details of photospheric processes

  • Results are relevant for our understanding of late phases of stellar evolution

  • In detail: Chandra spectroscopy of a hot DA white dwarfandof two PG1159 stars

  • Analysis of LB1919 will provide clues to answer the question why some hot DAs show a lower metallicity than expected from radiative levitation theory

  • PG1520+525 confines the blue edge of the GW Vir instability strip (Teff=140,000—150,000 at logg=7)

  • H1504+65 could turn out to be the first definitive proof for the existence of (single) O/Ne/Mg white dwarfs


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