Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey: The first data release

Gary D. Schmidt, Hugh C. Harris, James Liebert, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Scott F. Anderson, J. Brinkmann, Patrick B. Hall, Michael Harvanek, Suzanne Hawley, S. J. Kleinman, Gillian R. Knapp, Jurek Krzesinski, Don Q. Lamb, Dan Long, Jeffrey A. Munn, Eric H. Neilsen, Peter R. Newman, Atsuko Nitta, David J. Schlegel, Donald P. SchneiderNicole M. Silvestri, J. Allyn Smith, Stephanie A. Snedden, Paula Szkody, Dan Vanden Berk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Beyond its goals related to the extragalactic universe, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is an effective tool for identifying stellar objects with unusual spectral energy distributions. Here we report on the 53 new magnetic white dwarfs discovered during the first two years of the survey, including 38 whose data are made public in the 1500 deg2 First Data Release. Discoveries span the magnitude range 16.3 ≤ g ≤ 20.5, and based on the recovery rate for previously known magnetic white dwarfs, the completeness of the SDSS appears to be high for reasonably hot stars with B ≳ 3 MG and g ≳ 15. The new objects nearly double the total number of known magnetic white dwarfs and include examples with polar field strengths Bp > 500 MG, as well as several with exotic atmospheric compositions. The improved sample statistics and uniformity indicate that the distribution of magnetic white dwarfs has a broad peak in the range ∼5-30 MG and a tail extending to nearly 109 G. Degenerates with polar fields Bp ≳ 50 MG are consistent with being descendents of magnetic Ap/Bp main-sequence stars, but low- and moderate-field magnetic white dwarfs appear to imply another origin. Yet-undetected magnetic F-type stars with convective envelopes that destroy the ordered underlying field are attractive candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1113
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume595
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

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atmospheric composition
hot stars
main sequence stars
completeness
spectral energy distribution
field strength
envelopes
universe
recovery
statistics
stars
magnetic fields
magnetic field
energy
distribution
rate
public

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Schmidt, G. D., Harris, H. C., Liebert, J., Eisenstein, D. J., Anderson, S. F., Brinkmann, J., ... Berk, D. V. (2003). Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey: The first data release. Astrophysical Journal, 595(2 I), 1101-1113. https://doi.org/10.1086/377476
Schmidt, Gary D. ; Harris, Hugh C. ; Liebert, James ; Eisenstein, Daniel J. ; Anderson, Scott F. ; Brinkmann, J. ; Hall, Patrick B. ; Harvanek, Michael ; Hawley, Suzanne ; Kleinman, S. J. ; Knapp, Gillian R. ; Krzesinski, Jurek ; Lamb, Don Q. ; Long, Dan ; Munn, Jeffrey A. ; Neilsen, Eric H. ; Newman, Peter R. ; Nitta, Atsuko ; Schlegel, David J. ; Schneider, Donald P. ; Silvestri, Nicole M. ; Smith, J. Allyn ; Snedden, Stephanie A. ; Szkody, Paula ; Berk, Dan Vanden. / Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey : The first data release. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2003 ; Vol. 595, No. 2 I. pp. 1101-1113.
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Schmidt, GD, Harris, HC, Liebert, J, Eisenstein, DJ, Anderson, SF, Brinkmann, J, Hall, PB, Harvanek, M, Hawley, S, Kleinman, SJ, Knapp, GR, Krzesinski, J, Lamb, DQ, Long, D, Munn, JA, Neilsen, EH, Newman, PR, Nitta, A, Schlegel, DJ, Schneider, DP, Silvestri, NM, Smith, JA, Snedden, SA, Szkody, P & Berk, DV 2003, 'Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey: The first data release', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 595, no. 2 I, pp. 1101-1113. https://doi.org/10.1086/377476

Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey : The first data release. / Schmidt, Gary D.; Harris, Hugh C.; Liebert, James; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Anderson, Scott F.; Brinkmann, J.; Hall, Patrick B.; Harvanek, Michael; Hawley, Suzanne; Kleinman, S. J.; Knapp, Gillian R.; Krzesinski, Jurek; Lamb, Don Q.; Long, Dan; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Neilsen, Eric H.; Newman, Peter R.; Nitta, Atsuko; Schlegel, David J.; Schneider, Donald P.; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Smith, J. Allyn; Snedden, Stephanie A.; Szkody, Paula; Berk, Dan Vanden.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 595, No. 2 I, 01.10.2003, p. 1101-1113.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T1 - Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey

T2 - The first data release

AU - Schmidt, Gary D.

AU - Harris, Hugh C.

AU - Liebert, James

AU - Eisenstein, Daniel J.

AU - Anderson, Scott F.

AU - Brinkmann, J.

AU - Hall, Patrick B.

AU - Harvanek, Michael

AU - Hawley, Suzanne

AU - Kleinman, S. J.

AU - Knapp, Gillian R.

AU - Krzesinski, Jurek

AU - Lamb, Don Q.

AU - Long, Dan

AU - Munn, Jeffrey A.

AU - Neilsen, Eric H.

AU - Newman, Peter R.

AU - Nitta, Atsuko

AU - Schlegel, David J.

AU - Schneider, Donald P.

AU - Silvestri, Nicole M.

AU - Smith, J. Allyn

AU - Snedden, Stephanie A.

AU - Szkody, Paula

AU - Berk, Dan Vanden

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N2 - Beyond its goals related to the extragalactic universe, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is an effective tool for identifying stellar objects with unusual spectral energy distributions. Here we report on the 53 new magnetic white dwarfs discovered during the first two years of the survey, including 38 whose data are made public in the 1500 deg2 First Data Release. Discoveries span the magnitude range 16.3 ≤ g ≤ 20.5, and based on the recovery rate for previously known magnetic white dwarfs, the completeness of the SDSS appears to be high for reasonably hot stars with B ≳ 3 MG and g ≳ 15. The new objects nearly double the total number of known magnetic white dwarfs and include examples with polar field strengths Bp > 500 MG, as well as several with exotic atmospheric compositions. The improved sample statistics and uniformity indicate that the distribution of magnetic white dwarfs has a broad peak in the range ∼5-30 MG and a tail extending to nearly 109 G. Degenerates with polar fields Bp ≳ 50 MG are consistent with being descendents of magnetic Ap/Bp main-sequence stars, but low- and moderate-field magnetic white dwarfs appear to imply another origin. Yet-undetected magnetic F-type stars with convective envelopes that destroy the ordered underlying field are attractive candidates.

AB - Beyond its goals related to the extragalactic universe, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is an effective tool for identifying stellar objects with unusual spectral energy distributions. Here we report on the 53 new magnetic white dwarfs discovered during the first two years of the survey, including 38 whose data are made public in the 1500 deg2 First Data Release. Discoveries span the magnitude range 16.3 ≤ g ≤ 20.5, and based on the recovery rate for previously known magnetic white dwarfs, the completeness of the SDSS appears to be high for reasonably hot stars with B ≳ 3 MG and g ≳ 15. The new objects nearly double the total number of known magnetic white dwarfs and include examples with polar field strengths Bp > 500 MG, as well as several with exotic atmospheric compositions. The improved sample statistics and uniformity indicate that the distribution of magnetic white dwarfs has a broad peak in the range ∼5-30 MG and a tail extending to nearly 109 G. Degenerates with polar fields Bp ≳ 50 MG are consistent with being descendents of magnetic Ap/Bp main-sequence stars, but low- and moderate-field magnetic white dwarfs appear to imply another origin. Yet-undetected magnetic F-type stars with convective envelopes that destroy the ordered underlying field are attractive candidates.

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Schmidt GD, Harris HC, Liebert J, Eisenstein DJ, Anderson SF, Brinkmann J et al. Magnetic white dwarfs from the sloan digital sky survey: The first data release. Astrophysical Journal. 2003 Oct 1;595(2 I):1101-1113. https://doi.org/10.1086/377476