Part I / Galactic X-ray Astronomy Section I: STellar Coronae and Isolated White Dwarfs

Space Science Reviews

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 79-90

X-ray emission from isolated hot white dwarfs

  • John HeiseAffiliated withLaboratory for Space Research, Utrecht

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Hot white dwarfs are objects that copiously emit in the Extreme Ultraviolet and soft X-ray range. They are the brightest sources seen in the Low Energy Telescope of EXOSAT, with countrates up to 25 cnts/s. in contrast to their optical and UV spectrum the total flux and spectral distribution at soft X-ray energies are highly sensitive to the effective temperature, structure and elemental composition of the dwarf's atmosphere. The imaging soft X-ray experiments onboard EXOSAT cover with large sensitivity the spectral region where the peak of emission of hot white dwarfs is expected to occur.

I here review some of the (preliminary) results obtained so far with broadband X-ray photometry on a dozen or so white dwarfs, and some of the high-resolution spectra obtained for three white dwarfs with the grating spectrometers.