A new look at the pulsating DB white dwarf GD 358: Line-of-sight velocity measurements and constraints on model atmospheres

Rubina Kotak, M.H. Van Kerkwijk, J.C. Clemens, D. Koester

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16 Citations (Scopus)


We report on our findings of the bright, pulsating, helium atmosphere white dwarf GD 358, based on time-resolved optical spectrophotometry. We identify 5 real pulsation modes and at least 6 combination modes at frequencies consistent with those found in previous observations. The measured Doppler shifts from our spectra show variations with amplitudes of up to 5.5 km s-1 at the frequencies inferred from the flux variations. We conclude that these are variations in the line-of-sight velocities associated with the pulsational motion. We use the observed flux and velocity amplitudes and phases to test theoretical predictions within the convective driving framework, and compare these with similar observations of the hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf pulsators (DAVs). The wavelength dependence of the fractional pulsation amplitudes (chromatic amplitudes) allows us to conclude that all five real modes share the same spherical degree, most likely, l=1. This is consistent with previous identifications based solely on photometry. We find that a high signal-to-noise mean spectrum on its own is not enough to determine the atmospheric parameters and that there are small but significant discrepancies between the observations and model atmospheres. The source of these remains to be identified. While we infer Teff =24 kK and log g ~ 8.0 from the mean spectrum, the chromatic amplitudes, which are a measure of the derivative of the flux with respect to the temperature, unambiguously favour a higher effective temperature, 27 kK, which is more in line with independent determinations from ultra-violet spectra.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1055
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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