Orbital Decay in a 20 Minute Orbital Period Detached Binary with a Hydrogen-poor Low-mass White Dwarf

Kevin B. Burdge, Jim Fuller, E. Sterl Phinney, Jan Van Roestel, Antonio Claret, Elena Cukanovaite, Nicola Pietro Gentile Fusillo, Michael W. Coughlin, David L. Kaplan, Thomas Kupfer, Pier Emmanuel Tremblay, Richard G. Dekany, Dmitry A. Duev, Michael Feeney, Reed Riddle, S. R. Kulkarni, Thomas A. Prince

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Abstract

We report the discovery of a detached double white dwarf binary with an orbital period of ≈20.6 minutes, PTF J053332.05+020911.6. The visible object in this binary, PTF J0533+0209B, is a ≈0.17 M o mass white dwarf with a helium-dominated atmosphere containing traces of hydrogen. This object exhibits ellipsoidal variations due to tidal deformation, and is the visible component in a single-lined spectroscopic binary with a velocity semi-amplitude of K B = 618.7 6.9 km s-1. We have detected significant orbital decay due to the emission of gravitational radiation, and we expect that the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will detect this system with a signal to noise of 8.4 +4.2 -3.1after four years of operation. Because this system already has a well-determined orbital period, radial velocity semi-amplitude, temperature, atmospheric composition, surface gravity, and orbital decay rate, a LISA signal will help fully constrain the properties of this system by providing a direct measurement of its inclination. Thus, this binary demonstrates the synergy between electromagnetic and gravitational radiation for constraining the physical properties of an astrophysical object.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL12
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume886
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Kevin B. Burdge Jim Fuller E. Sterl Phinney Jan van Roestel Antonio Claret Elena Cukanovaite Nicola Pietro Gentile Fusillo Michael W. Coughlin David L. Kaplan Thomas Kupfer Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay Richard G. Dekany Dmitry A. Duev Michael Feeney Reed Riddle S. R. Kulkarni Thomas A. Prince Kevin B. Burdge Jim Fuller E. Sterl Phinney Jan van Roestel Antonio Claret Elena Cukanovaite Nicola Pietro Gentile Fusillo Michael W. Coughlin David L. Kaplan Thomas Kupfer Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay Richard G. Dekany Dmitry A. Duev Michael Feeney Reed Riddle S. R. Kulkarni Thomas A. Prince Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA E-91125, USA Instituto de Astrof�sica de Andaluc�a, CSIC, Apartado 3004, E-18080 Granada, Spain Dept. F�sica Te�rica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva s/n, E-10871, Granada, Spain Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California Santa-Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA Kevin B. Burdge, Jim Fuller, E. Sterl Phinney, Jan van Roestel, Antonio Claret, Elena Cukanovaite, Nicola Pietro Gentile Fusillo, Michael W. Coughlin, David L. Kaplan, Thomas Kupfer, Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay, Richard G. Dekany, Dmitry A. Duev, Michael Feeney, Reed Riddle, S. R. Kulkarni and Thomas A. Prince 2019-11-20 2019-11-15 13:25:44 cgi/release: Article released bin/incoming: New from .zip Heising-Simons Foundation 1254310 NASA-LISA 80NSSC19K0325 The Rose Hills Foundation and the Sloan Foundation FG-2018-10515 European Research Council 677706 yes We report the discovery of a detached double white dwarf binary with an orbital period of ≈20.6 minutes, PTF J053332.05+020911.6. The visible object in this binary, PTF J0533+0209B, is a ≈0.17 M ⊙ mass white dwarf with a helium-dominated atmosphere containing traces of hydrogen. This object exhibits ellipsoidal variations due to tidal deformation, and is the visible component in a single-lined spectroscopic binary with a velocity semi-amplitude of K B �=�618.7���6.9 km s −1 . We have detected significant orbital decay due to the emission of gravitational radiation, and we expect that the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna ( LISA ) will detect this system with a signal to noise of after four years of operation. 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