White Dwarf Binaries across the H-R Diagram

Borja Anguiano, Steven R. Majewski, Keivan G. Stassun, Carles Badenes, Christine Mazzola Daher, Don Dixon, Carlos Allende Prieto, Donald P. Schneider, Adrian M. Price-Whelan, Rachael L. Beaton

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4 Scopus citations


We created the APOGEE-GALEX-Gaia catalog to study white dwarf (WD) binaries. This database aims to create a minimally biased sample of WD binary systems identified from a combination of GALEX, Gaia, and APOGEE data to increase the number of WD binaries with orbital parameters and chemical compositions. We identify 3414 sources as WD binary candidates, with nondegenerate companions of spectral types between F and M, including main-sequence stars, main-sequence binaries, subgiants, sub-subgiants, red giants, and red clump stars. Among our findings are (a) a total of 1806 systems having inferred WD radii R < 25 R ⊕, which constitute a more reliable group of WD binary candidates within the main sample; (b) a difference in the metallicity distribution function between WD binary candidates and the control sample of most luminous giants (M H < -3.0); (c) the existence of a population of sub-subgiants with WD companions; (d) evidence for shorter periods in binaries that contain WDs compared to those that do not, as shown by the cumulative distributions of APOGEE radial velocity shifts; (e) evidence for systemic orbital evolution in a sample of 252 WD binaries with orbital periods, based on differences in the period distribution between systems with red clump, main-sequence binary, and sub-subgiant companions and systems with main-sequence or red giant companions; and (f) evidence for chemical enrichment during common envelope (CE) evolution, shown by lower metallicities in wide WD binary candidates (P > 100 days) compared to post-CE (P < 100 days) WD binary candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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