New close binary systems from the SDSS-I (Data Release Five) and the search for magnetic white dwarfs in cataclysmic variable progenitor systems

Nicole M. Silvestri, Mara P. Lemagie, Suzanne L. Hawley, Andrew A. West, Gary D. Schmidt, James Liebert, Paula Szkody, Lee Mannikko, Michael A. Wolfe, J. C. Barentine, Howard J. Brewington, Michael Harvanek, Jurik Krzesinski, Dan Long, Donald P. Schneider, Stephanie A. Snedden

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49 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the latest catalog of more than 1200 spectroscopically selected close binary systems observed with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey through Data Release Five. We use the catalog to search for magnetic white dwarfs in cataclysmic variable progenitor systems. Given that approximately 25% of cataclysmic variables contain a magnetic white dwarf, and that our large sample of close binary systems should contain many progenitors of cataclysmic variables, it is quite surprising that we find only two potential magnetic white dwarfs in this sample. The candidate magnetic white dwarfs, if confirmed, would possess relatively low magnetic field strengths (BWD < 10 MG) that are similar to those of intermediate Polars but are much less than the average field strength of the current Polar population. Additional observations of these systems are required to definitively cast the white dwarfs as magnetic. Even if these two systems prove to be the first evidence of detached magnetic white dwarf+ M dwarf binaries, there is still a large disparity between the properties of the presently known cataclysmic variable population and the presumed close binary progenitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-748
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Silvestri, N. M., Lemagie, M. P., Hawley, S. L., West, A. A., Schmidt, G. D., Liebert, J., Szkody, P., Mannikko, L., Wolfe, M. A., Barentine, J. C., Brewington, H. J., Harvanek, M., Krzesinski, J., Long, D., Schneider, D. P., & Snedden, S. A. (2007). New close binary systems from the SDSS-I (Data Release Five) and the search for magnetic white dwarfs in cataclysmic variable progenitor systems. Astronomical Journal, 134(2), 741-748. https://doi.org/10.1086/519242