GD 362 is a white dwarf approximately 150 light years from Earth. In 2004, spectroscopic observations showed that it had a relatively high concentration of metals in its atmosphere. Since the high gravitational field of white dwarfs quickly forces heavy elements to settle towa...
Direct Distance Measurement to the Dusty White Dwarf GD 362
- Citation data:
The Astrophysical Journal, ISSN: 0004-637X, Vol: 689, Issue: 1, Page: L45-L47
- Publication Year:
- Physics and Astronomy; Earth and Planetary Sciences; astrophysics; Astrophysics and Astronomy; Physical Sciences and Mathematics; Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy
We present trigonometric parallax observations of GD 362 obtained over seven epochs using the MDM 2.4 m Hiltner Telescope. The existence of a dust disk around this possibly massive white dwarf makes it an interesting target for parallax observations. The measured parallax for GD 362 places it at a distance of 50.6+/-pc, which implies that its radius and mass are ≈0.0106 R&o. and 0.71 M&o., respectively. GD 362 is not as massive as initially thought (1.2 M&o.). Our results are entirely consistent with the distance and mass estimates (52.2 pc and 0.73 M&o.) by Zuckerman et al., who demonstrated that GD 362 has a helium-dominated atmosphere. Dropping GD 362 from the list of massive white dwarfs, there are no white dwarfs with M > 0.9 M&o. that are known to host circumstellar dust disks. © 2008. The American Astronomical Society.