Periodic Reporting for period 3 - WD3D (Evolution of white dwarfs with 3D model atmospheres)
Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2020-11-30
More than 300 simulations of white dwarfs in three-dimensions were calculated, enhancing by a factor of nearly ten the number of such realistic calculations. Most of our simulations have been focused on helium atmosphere and magnetic white dwarfs, which were modeled in 3D for the first time. Our set of accurate theoretical tools vastly improve the framework to analyse most of the 260.000 white dwarfs detected from Gaia. We have started this task, deriving white dwarf parameters (mass, temperature, age) by combining our models, Gaia data, and external independent spectroscopic observations. This has resulted in unexpected discoveries that will be published next year.
A significant fraction of white dwarfs are hosts to evolved planetary systems, and many of them are currently accreting disrupted minor planets. These systems inform us of the fate of planetary systems and provide accurate insight into the bulk rocky composition of exo-planetary systems that is otherwise inaccessible. We have directly simulated in 3D some of these accretion events, and found that the mass of the accreted material could be orders of magnitude larger than previously thought, suggesting that some white dwarfs could have had a meal of moon-sized planets.