Taking a Census of the Local White Dwarf Population
United States Naval Observatory - Flagstaff Station
White dwarfs (WDs), or stellar embers, hold keys to unlocking a number of cosmic secrets. The vast majority of stars will become WDs and thus, they represent tracers of what was in our Galaxy. The local sample of WDs are the brightest and most easily studied of this intrinsically faint class of objects. I will present a census of WDs within 25 parsecs of the Sun, including the latest results from two astrometric WD surveys - CTIOPI and the USNO parallax program. I will outline a recent effort, known as the SOAR & SMARTS White Dwarf Survey (SSSWDS), to better complete this sample via new WD discovery using astrometry, photometry and, spectroscopy. Lastly, I will highlight additional data for a few exceptional WDs that have surfaced as a result of these ongoing surveys.
Date: Thursday, 21 March 2013 Time: 11:30 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460 Contact: Pierre Bergeron