With the 500 and 1000 l/mm transmission gratings aboard the European x-ray Observatory SATellite (EXOSAT) we have measured medium-resolution (Δλ
5 A at 100 A) spectra of some ten objects of various categories such as isolated white dwarfs, cool stars with convective mantles, cataclysmic variables (e.g. AM Her) and a high-luminosity X-ray source (Sco X-1).
The Instrument configuration was mostly such that one low-energy telescope was used as a photometer, while the other telescope was used as a spectrometer with the 500 l/mm grating inserted.
The white dwarf spectra were measured between about 60 and 300 A. They show a continuum with no clear evidence of aborption and emission lines except for the He II absorption edge at 227 A in the spectrum of Feige 24. For the cooler (28 000 K) white dwarf Sirius B the emission is peaked between about 100 and 160 A and limited to about 200 A. which can be expected from atmospheric model spectra of DA white dwarfs. The soft X-ray emission of the hotter (> 60 000 K) DA white dwarfs (HZ43. Feige 24) is also interpreted in terms of photospheric emission. In the HZ43 spectrum the absorption edge is apparently absent which sets a stringent upper limit to the abundance ratio He/H of about 10−5. On the other hand the spectrum of Feige 24 shows a dominant absorption edge, implying He/H > 10−3. Moreover, here the shape of the continuum may be indicative of a stratification of element abundances in the outer atmosphere.