A Photometric Analysis of ZZ Ceti Stars: A Parameter-Free Temperature Indicator?
NAVAL OBSERVATORY FLAGSTAFF AZ
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We present a model atmosphere analysis of optical V RI and infrared JHK photometric data of about two dozen ZZ Ceti stars. We first show from a theoretical point of view that the resulting energy distributions are not particularly sensitive to surface gravity or to the assumed convective efficiency, a result which suggests a parameter-free effective temperature indicator for ZZ Ceti stars. We then fit the observed energy distributions with our grid of model atmospheres and compare the photometric effective temperatures with the spectroscopic values obtained from fits to the hydrogen line profiles. Our results are finally discussed in the context of the determination of the empirical boundaries of the ZZ Ceti instability strip.