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Preprint H/05

Structure and evolution of white dwarfs and their interaction with the local interstellar medium

M.A. Barstow (1), K. Werner (2)

(1) Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
(2) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Tübingen, Germany

To be published in: Astrophysics and Space Science

Abstract. The development of far-UV astronomy has been particularly important for the study of hot white dwarf stars. A significant fraction of their emergent flux appears in the far-UV and traces of elements heavier than hydrogen or helium are, in general, only detected in this waveband or at shorter wavelengths that are also only accessible from space. Although white dwarfs have been studied in the far-UV throughout the past ~25 years, since the launch of IUE, only a few tens of objects have been studied in great detail and a much larger sample is required to gain a detailed understanding of the evolution of hot white dwarfs and the physical processes that determine their appearance. We review here the current knowledge regarding hot white dwarfs and outline what work needs to be carried out by future far-UV observatories.

Key words: ultraviolet astronomy; space missions; white dwarfs

Preprint (476 kb PDF file including figures)

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