Spitzer surveys of IR excesses of white dwarfs

You Hua Chu, Robert A. Gruendl, Jana Bilíková, Andrew Riddle, Kate Y.L. Su

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


IR excesses of white dwarfs (WDs) can be used to diagnose the presence of low-mass companions, planets, and circumstellar dust. Using different combinations of wavelengths and WD temperatures, circumstellar dust at different radial distances can be surveyed. The Spitzer Space Telescope has been used to search for IR excesses of white dwarfs. Two types of circumstellar dust disks have been found: (1) small disks around cool WDs with Teff < 20,000 K, and (2) large disks around hot WDs with Teff > 100,000 K. The small dust disks are within the Roche limit, and are commonly accepted to have originated from tidally crushed asteroids. The large dust disks, at tens of AU from the central WDs, have been suggested to be produced by increased collisions among Kuiper Belt-like objects. In this paper, we discuss Spitzer IRAC surveys of small dust disks around cool WDs, a MIPS survey of large dust disks around hot WDs, and an archival Spitzer survey of IR excesses of WDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlanetary Systems Beyond the Main Sequence - Proceedings of the International Conference "Planetary Systems Beyond the Main Sequence"
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference "Planetary Systems Beyond the Main Sequence" - Bamberg, Germany
Duration: Aug 11 2010Aug 14 2010

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherInternational Conference "Planetary Systems Beyond the Main Sequence"


  • IR excess
  • circumstellar dust
  • white dwarf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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