Early data taken during commissioning of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have resulted in the discovery of a very cool white dwarf. It appears to have stronger collision-induced absorption from molecular hydrogen than any other known white dwarf, suggesting it has a cooler temperature than any other. While its distance is presently unknown, it has a surprisingly small proper motion, making it unlikely to be a halo star. An analysis of white dwarf cooling times suggests that this object may be a low-mass star with a helium core. The SDSS imaging and spectroscopy also recovered LHS 3250, the coolest previously known white dwarf, indicating that the SDSS will be an effective tool for identifying these extreme objects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science