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Astronomy Seminar Series artwork
September 7, 202011:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Tales from Old Friends: Single and Double White Dwarfs in the Gaia Era


Mukremin Kilic (University of Oklahoma)


Stephanie Ho

Event Details

ESA's Gaia mission has finally revealed the population of faint white dwarf stars in the solar neighborhood. We use this dataset to answer fundamental questions about the nature of white dwarfs, including their mass distribution, cooling physics (crystallization), and ultracool white dwarfs. We also use the same dataset to search for short period binary white dwarfs. Merging white dwarfs are predicted to be strong gravitational wave sources and are one of the proposed channels for the formation of type Ia supernovae. We are performing a targeted survey to find merging white dwarf systems. Our recent discoveries include the first double Helium white dwarf LISA verification source. I will discuss the characteristics of this sample, their merger rate, and likely outcomes from these mergers.

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