AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 205 White Dwarfs
Oral, Thursday, 2:00-3:30pm, January 12, 2006, Salon 1

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[205.01] How Degenerate Stars Came to be Known as White Dwarfs

J. B. Holberg (LPL)

Sirius B is widely regarded as the first white dwarf to have been ``discovered", in 1862. Arguably, this honor belongs to 40 Eridani B, whose subluminous nature was recognized in 1910. Sirius B joined 40 Eridani B in the lower left hand corner of the H-R diagram in 1915; only after Walter Adams obtained the first spectra of the famous companion of Sirius. The term ``white dwarf" was coined in 1922 by Willem Luyten and subsequently popularized by Arthur Eddington in 1924.

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