Time-series Spectroscopy of Two Candidate Double Degenerates in the Open Cluster NGC 6633
The Astronomical Journal
SNe Ia are heavily used tools in precision cosmology, yet we still are not certain what the progenitor systems are. General plausibility arguments suggest there is potential for identifying double degenerate SN Ia progenitors in intermediate-age open star clusters. We present time-resolved high-resolution spectroscopy of two white dwarfs (WDs) in the field of the open cluster NGC 6633 that had previously been identified as candidate double degenerates in the cluster. However, three hours of continuous observations of each candidate failed to detect any significant radial velocity variations at the ≳10 km s−1 level, making it highly unlikely that either WD is a double degenerate that will merge within a Hubble Time. The WD LAWDS NGC 6633 4 has a radial velocity inconsistent with cluster membership at the 2.5σ level, while the radial velocity of LAWDS NGC 6633 7 is consistent with cluster membership. We conservatively conclude that LAWDS 7 is a viable massive double degenerate candidate, though unlikely to be a Type Ia progenitor. Astrometric data from GAIA will likely be needed to determine if either WD is truly a cluster member.The data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.
Physics and Astronomy
Williams, Kurtis A.; Serna-Grey, Donald; Chakraborty, Subho; and Gianninas, A., "Time-series Spectroscopy of Two Candidate Double Degenerates in the Open Cluster NGC 6633" (2015). Faculty Publications. 112.