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Reed M.D.,Missouri State University | Baran A.,Iowa State University | Baran A.,Pedagogical University of Cracow | Quint A.C.,Missouri State University | And 15 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2011

We investigate the possibility of nearly equally spaced periods in 13 hot subdwarf B (sdB) stars observed with the Kepler spacecraft and one observed with CoRoT. Asymptotic limits for gravity (g-)mode pulsations provide relationships between equal-period spacings of modes with differing degrees ℓ and relationships between periods of the same radial order n but differing degrees ℓ. Period transforms, Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests and linear least-squares fits have been used to detect and determine the significance of equal-period spacings. We have also used Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the likelihood that the detected spacings could be produced randomly. Period transforms for nine of the Kepler stars indicate ℓ= 1 period spacings, with five also showing peaks for ℓ= 2 modes. 12 stars indicate ℓ= 1 modes using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test while another shows solely ℓ= 2 modes. Monte Carlo results indicate that equal-period spacings are significant in 10 stars above 99 per cent confidence, and 13 of the 14 are above 94 per cent confidence. For 12 stars, the various methods find consistent period spacings to within the errors, two others show some inconsistencies, likely caused by binarity, and the last has significant detections but the mode assignment disagrees between the methods. We use asymptotic period spacing relationships to associate observed periods of variability with pulsation modes for ℓ= 1 and 2. From the Kepler first-year survey sample of 13 multiperiodic g-mode pulsators, five stars have several consecutive overtones making period spacings easy to detect, six others have fewer consecutive overtones but period spacings are readily detected, and two stars show marginal indications of equal-period spacings. We also examine a g-mode sdB pulsator observed by CoRoT with a rich pulsation spectrum, and our tests detect regular period spacings. We use Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the significance of the detections in individual stars. From the simulations, it is determined that regular period spacings in 10 of the 14 stars are very unlikely to be random, another two are moderately unlikely to be random and two are mostly unconstrained. We find a common ℓ= 1 period spacing spanning a range from 231 to 272s allowing us to correlate pulsation modes with 222 periodicities and that the ℓ= 2 period spacings are related to the ℓ= 1 spacings by the asymptotic relationship We briefly discuss the impact of equal-period spacings which indicate low-degree modes with a lack of significant mode trappings. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS. Source

Montgomery M.H.,University of Texas at Austin | Montgomery M.H.,Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center | Provencal J.L.,Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center | Provencal J.L.,University of Delaware | And 9 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

Convective driving, the mechanism originally proposed by Brickhill for pulsating white dwarf stars, has gained general acceptance as the generic linear instability mechanism in DAV and DBV white dwarfs. This physical mechanism naturally leads to a nonlinear formulation, reproducing the observed light curves of many pulsating white dwarfs. This numerical model can also provide information on the average depth of a star's convection zone and the inclination angle of its pulsation axis. In this paper, we give two sets of results of nonlinear light curve fits to data on the DBV GD358. Our first fit is based on data gathered in 2006 by the Whole Earth Telescope; this data set was multiperiodic containing at least 12 individual modes. Our second fit utilizes data obtained in 1996, when GD358 underwent a dramatic change in excited frequencies accompanied by a rapid increase in fractional amplitude; during this event it was essentially monoperiodic. We argue that GD358's convection zone was much thinner in 1996 than in 2006, and we interpret this as a result of a short-lived increase in its surface temperature. In addition, we find strong evidence of oblique pulsation using two sets of evenly split triplets in the 2006 data. This marks the first time that oblique pulsation has been identified in a variable white dwarf star. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source

Pihajoki P.,University of Turku | Valtonen M.,University of Turku | Zola S.,Jagiellonian University | Zola S.,Pedagogical University of Cracow | And 20 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

We have studied three most recent precursor flares in the light curve of the blazar OJ 287 while invoking the presence of a precessing binary black hole in the system to explain the nature of these flares. Precursor flare timings from the historical light curves are compared with theoretical predictions from our model that incorporate effects of an accretion disk and post-Newtonian description for the binary black hole orbit. We find that the precursor flares coincide with the secondary black hole descending toward the accretion disk of the primary black hole from the observed side, with a mean z-component of approximately zc = 4000 AU. We use this model of precursor flares to predict that precursor flare of similar nature should happen around 2020.96 before the next major outburst in 2022. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. Source

Mukadam A.S.,University of Washington | Bischoff-Kim A.,Georgia State University | Fraser O.,University of Washington | Corsico A.H.,National University of La Plata | And 22 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

We have finally measured the evolutionary rate of cooling of the pulsating hydrogen atmosphere (DA) white dwarf ZZ Ceti (Ross 548), as reflected by the drift rate of the 213.13260694 s period. Using 41 yr of time-series photometry from 1970 November to 2012 January, we determine the rate of change of this period with time to be dP/dt = (5.2 ± 1.4) × 10-15 s s-1 employing the O-C method and (5.45 ± 0.79) × 10 -15 s s-1 using a direct nonlinear least squares fit to the entire lightcurve. We adopt the dP/dt obtained from the nonlinear least squares program as our final determination, but augment the corresponding uncertainty to a more realistic value, ultimately arriving at the measurement of dP/dt = (5.5 ± 1.0) × 10-15 s s-1. After correcting for proper motion, the evolutionary rate of cooling of ZZ Ceti is computed to be (3.3 ± 1.1) × 10-15 s s-1. This value is consistent within uncertainties with the measurement of (4.19 ± 0.73) × 10-15 s s-1 for another similar pulsating DA white dwarf, G 117-B15A. Measuring the cooling rate of ZZ Ceti helps us refine our stellar structure and evolutionary models, as cooling depends mainly on the core composition and stellar mass. Calibrating white dwarf cooling curves with this measurement will reduce the theoretical uncertainties involved in white dwarf cosmochronometry. Should the 213.13 s period be trapped in the hydrogen envelope, then our determination of its drift rate compared to the expected evolutionary rate suggests an additional source of stellar cooling. Attributing the excess cooling to the emission of axions imposes a constraint on the mass of the hypothetical axion particle. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source

Provencal J.L.,University of Delaware | Provencal J.L.,Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center | Montgomery M.H.,Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center | Montgomery M.H.,University of Texas at Austin | And 64 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

We report on an analysis of 308.3hr of high-speed photometry targeting the pulsating DA white dwarf EC14012-1446. The data were acquired with the Whole Earth Telescope during the 2008 international observing run XCOV26. The Fourier transform of the light curve contains 19 independent frequencies and numerous combination frequencies. The dominant peaks are 1633.907, 1887.404, and 2504.897 μHz. Our analysis of the combination amplitudes reveals that the parent frequencies are consistent with modes of spherical degree l = 1. The combination amplitudes also provide m identifications for the largest amplitude parent frequencies. Our seismology analysis, which includes 2004-2007 archival data, confirms these identifications, provides constraints on additional frequencies, and finds an average period spacing of 41s. Building on this foundation, we present nonlinear fits to high signal-to-noise light curves from the SOAR 4.1m, McDonald 2.1m, and KPNO 2m telescopes. The fits indicate a time-averaged convective response timescale of τ0 = 99.4 ± 17s, a temperature exponent N = 85 ± 6.2, and an inclination angle of θi = 32°.9 ± 3°.2. We present our current empirical map of the convective response timescale across the DA instability strip. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source

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