Monday, January 21, 2013

1301.4264 (Paul J. Green)

Innocent Bystanders: Carbon Stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey    [PDF]

Paul J. Green
Among stars showing carbon molecular bands (C stars), the main sequence dwarfs, likely in post-mass transfer binaries, are numerically dominant in the Galaxy. Via spectroscopic selection from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we retrieve 1220 C stars, ~5 times more than previously known, including a wider variety than past techniques such as color or grism selection have netted, and additionally yielding 167 DQ white dwarfs. Of the C stars with proper motion measurements, we 69% as clearly dwarfs (dCs), while ~7% are giants. The dCs likely span absolute magnitudes M_i from ~6.5 to 10.5. "G-type" dC stars with weak CN and relatively blue colors are probably the most massive dCs still cool enough to show C_2 bands. We report Balmer emission in 22 dCs, none of which are G-types. We find 8 new DA/dC stars in composite spectrum binaries, quadrupling the total sample of these "smoking guns" for AGB binary mass transfer. Eleven very red C stars with strong red CN bands appear to be "N"-type AGB stars at large Galactocentric distances, one likely a new discovery in the dIrr galaxy Leo A. Two such stars within 30arcmin, of each other may trace a previously unidentified dwarf galaxy or tidal stream at ~40 kpc. We explore the multiwavelength properties of the sample and report the first X-ray detection of a dC star, which shows strong Balmer emission. Our own spectroscopic survey additionally provides the dC surface density from a complete sample of dwarfs limited by magnitude, color, and proper-motion.
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