First results from the swarms survey. SDSS 1257+5428: A nearby, massive white dwarf binary with a likely neutron star or black hole companion

Carles Badenes, Fergal Mullally, Susan E. Thompson, Robert H. Lupton

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Abstract

We present the first results from the SWARMS survey, an ongoing project to identify compact white dwarf (WD) binaries in the spectroscopic catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The first object identified by SWARMS, SDSS 1257+5428, is a single-lined spectroscopic binary in a circular orbit with a period of 4.56 hr and a semiamplitude of 322.7 ± 6.3 km s-1. From the spectrum and photometry, we estimate a WD mass of 0.92+0.28 -0.32 M . Together with the orbital parameters of the binary, this implies that the unseen companion must be more massive than 1.62+0.20 -0.25 M , and is in all likelihood either a neutron star or a black hole. At an estimated distance of 48+10 -19 pc, this would be the closest known stellar remnant of a supernova explosion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-978
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume707
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Binaries: close
  • Binaries: spectroscopic
  • Supernovae: general
  • White dwarfs

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