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Astron. Astrophys. 230, L57-L59 (1997)

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Letter to the Editor

Metals in the variable DA G29-38 *

D. Koester 1, J. Provencal 2 and H.L. Shipman 2

1 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Kiel, D-24098 Kiel, Germany
2 University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA

Received 20 February 1997 / Accepted 10 March 1997


We report the detection of the heavy elements Ca, Mg, Fe in the atmosphere of the variable DA white dwarf G29-38. The abundance of Ca can be understood only if accretion from interstellar matter is going on currently at a high rate. This lends support also to the interpretation of the observed infrared excess as due to heated circumstellar material, from which the accretion onto the star takes place.

Key words: stars: white dwarfs – - stars: abundances – - stars: G29-38

* Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and on observations obtained at the DSAZ Calar Alto

Send offprint requests to: D. Koester

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998