A search for Jovian planets around hot white dwarfs

You Hua Chu, Bryan C. Dunne, Robert A. Gruendl, Wolfgang Brandner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current searches for extrasolar planets have concentrated on observing the reflex Doppler shift of solar-type stars. Little is known, however, about planetary systems around nonsolar-type stars. We suggest a new method to extend planetary searches to hot white dwarfs. Near a hot white dwarf, the atmosphere of a Jovian planet will be photoionized and will emit hydrogen recombination lines, which may be detected by high-dispersion spectroscopic observations. Multiepoch monitoring can be used to distinguish between non-LTE stellar emission and planetary emission and to establish the orbital parameters of the detected planets. In the future, high-precision astrometric measurements of the hot white dwarf will allow the masses of the detected planets to be determined. Searches for Jovian planets around hot white dwarfs will provide invaluable new insight on the development of planetary systems around stars more massive than the Sun and on how stellar evolution affects these systems. We present high-dispersion spectroscopic observations of the white dwarf Feige 34 to demonstrate the complexity and feasibility of the search method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L61-L64
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume546
Issue number1 PART 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Methods: observational
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: individual (Feige 34)
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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