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The DODO Survey II: A Gemini Direct Imaging Search for Substellar and Planetary Mass Companions around Nearby Equatorial and Northern Hemisphere White Dwarfs  [PDF]
E. Hogan,M. R. Burleigh,F. J. Clarke
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14565.x
Abstract: The aim of the Degenerate Objects around Degenerate Objects (DODO) survey is to search for very low mass brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets in wide orbits around white dwarfs via direct imaging. The direct detection of such companions would allow the spectroscopic investigation of objects with temperatures much lower (< 500 K) than the coolest brown dwarfs currently observed. These ultra-low mass substellar objects would have spectral types > T8.5 and so could belong to the proposed Y dwarf spectral sequence. The detection of a planet around a white dwarf would prove that such objects can survive the final stages of stellar evolution and place constraints on the frequency of planetary systems around their progenitors (with masses between 1.5 - 8 solar masses, i.e., early B to mid F). This paper presents the results of a multi-epoch J band common proper motion survey of 23 nearby equatorial and northern hemisphere white dwarfs. We rule out the presence of any common proper motion companions, with limiting masses determined from the completeness limit of each observation, to 18 white dwarfs. For the remaining five targets, the motion of the white dwarf is not sufficiently separated from the non-moving background objects in each field. These targets require additional observations to conclusively rule out the presence of any common proper motion companions. From our completeness limits, we tentatively suggest that < 5% of white dwarfs have substellar companions with effective temperatures > 500 K between projected physical separations of 60 - 200 AU.
Imaging planets around nearby white dwarfs  [PDF]
M. R. Burleigh,F. J. Clarke,S. T. Hodgkin
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05417.x
Abstract: We suggest that Jovian planets will survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and that white dwarfs will retain planetary systems in wide orbits (>5AU). Utilising evolutionary models for Jovian planets, we show that infra-red imaging with 8m class telescopes of suitable nearby white dwarfs should allow us to resolve and detect companions >3Mjup. Detection of massive planetary companions to nearby white dwarfs would prove that such objects can survive the final stages of stellar evolution, place constraints on the frequency of main sequence stars with planetary systems dynamically similar to our own and allow direct spectroscopic investigation of their composition and structure.
A Search for Jovian Planets around Hot White Dwarfs  [PDF]
Y. -H. Chu,B. C. Dunne,R. A. Gruendl,W. Brandner
Physics , 2000, DOI: 10.1086/318058
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 non-solar-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 emit hydrogen recombination lines, which may be detected by high- dispersion spectroscopic observations. Multi-epoch 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.
Could the planets around HR 8799 be brown dwarfs?  [PDF]
Amaya Moro-Martin,George H. Rieke,Kate Y. L. Su
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/721/2/L199
Abstract: We consider the limiting case for orbital stability of the companions to HR 8799. This case is only consistent with ages for the system of ~100 Myr, not with the 1 Gyr age proposed from astroseismology. The discrepancy probably arises because the inclination of the star is smaller than assumed in analyzing the astroseismology data. Given this young age, the best estimates of the companion masses place them by a small margin on the planet side of the division between planets and brown dwarfs.
Tidal evolution of planets around brown dwarfs  [PDF]
Emeline Bolmont,Sean N. Raymond,Jérémy Leconte
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201117734
Abstract: The tidal evolution of planets orbiting brown dwarfs (BDs) presents an interesting case study because BDs' terrestrial planet forming region is located extremely close-in. In fact, the habitable zones of BDs range from roughly 0.001 to 0.03 AU and for the lowest-mass BDs are located interior to the Roche limit. In contrast with stars, BDs spin up as they age. Thus, the corotation distance moves inward. This has important implications for the tidal evolution of planets around BDs. We used a standard equilibrium tidal model to compute the orbital evolution of a large ensemble of planet-BD systems. We tested the effect of numerous parameters such as the initial semi-major axis and eccentricity, the rotation period of the BD, the masses of both the BD and planet, and the tidal dissipation factors. We find that all planets that form at or beyond the corotation distance and with initial eccentricities smaller than \sim 0.1 are repelled from the BD. Some planets initially interior to corotation can survive if their inward tidal evolution is slower than the BD's spin evolution, but most initially close-in planets fall onto the BD. We find that the most important parameter for the tidal evolution is the initial orbital distance with respect to the corotation distance. Some planets can survive in the habitable zone for Gyr timescales, although in many cases the habitable zone moves inward past the planet's orbit in just tens to hundreds of Myr. Surviving planets can have orbital periods of less than 10 days (as small as 10 hrs), so they could be observable by transit.
Habitable Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs: The Perils of a Cooling Primary  [PDF]
Rory Barnes,Rene Heller
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1089/ast.2012.0867
Abstract: White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time, and hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water, and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10^-6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons as their surface temperatures are over 10^4 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable.
Habitable Planets Around White Dwarfs: an Alternate Mission for the Kepler Spacecraft  [PDF]
Mukremin Kilic,Eric Agol,Abraham Loeb,Dan Maoz,Jeffrey A. Munn,Alexandros Gianninas,Paul Canton,Sara D. Barber
Physics , 2013,
Abstract: A large fraction of white dwarfs (WDs) may host planets in their habitable zones. These planets may provide our best chance to detect bio-markers on a transiting exoplanet, thanks to the diminished contrast ratio between the Earth-sized WD and its Earth-sized planets. The JWST is capable of obtaining the first spectroscopic measurements of such planets, yet there are no known planets around WDs. Here we propose to take advantage of the unique capability of the Kepler spacecraft in the 2-Wheels mode to perform a transit survey that is capable of identifying the first planets in the habitable zone of a WD. We propose to obtain Kepler time-series photometry of 10,000 WDs in the SDSS imaging area to search for planets in the habitable zone. Thanks to the large field of view of Kepler, for the first time in history, a large number of WDs can be observed at the same time, which is essential for discovering transits. Our proposed survey requires a total of 200 days of observing time, and will find up to 100 planets in the WD habitable zone. This survey will maintain Kepler's spirit of searching for habitable Earths, but near new hosts. With few-day observations and minute-cadences per field, it will also open up a completely unexplored discovery space. In addition to planets, this survey is sensitive to pulsating WDs, as well as eclipsing short period stellar and substellar companions. These have important implications for constraining the double WD merger rate and their contribution to Type Ia supernovae and the gravitational wave foreground. Given the relatively low number density of our targets, this program can be combined with other projects that would benefit from high cadence and many-fields observations with Kepler, e.g. a transit survey of a magnitude-limited, complete sample of nearby M dwarfs or asteroseismology of variable stars (e.g. RR Lyrae) in the same fields.
Detectable close-in planets around white dwarfs through late unpacking  [PDF]
Dimitri Veras,Boris T. Gaensicke
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2475
Abstract: Although 25%-50% of white dwarfs (WDs) display evidence for remnant planetary systems, their orbital architectures and overall sizes remain unknown. Vibrant close-in (~1 Solar radius) circumstellar activity is detected at WDs spanning many Gyrs in age, suggestive of planets further away. Here we demonstrate how systems with 4 and 10 closely-packed planets that remain stable and ordered on the main sequence can become unpacked when the star evolves into a WD and experience pervasive inward planetary incursions throughout WD cooling. Our full-lifetime simulations run for the age of the Universe and adopt main sequence stellar masses of 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 Solar masses, which correspond to the mass range occupied by the progenitors of typical present-day WDs. These results provide (i) a natural way to generate an ever-changing dynamical architecture in post-main-sequence planetary systems, (ii) an avenue for planets to achieve temporary close-in orbits that are potentially detectable by transit photometry, and (iii) a dynamical explanation for how residual asteroids might pollute particularly old WDs.
Pan-Planets: Searching for hot Jupiters around cool dwarfs  [PDF]
C. Obermeier,J. Koppenhoefer,R. P. Saglia,Th. Henning,R. Bender,M. Kodric,N. Deacon,A. Riffeser,W. Burgett,K. C. Chambers,P. W. Draper,H. Flewelling,K. W. Hodapp,N. Kaiser,R. -P. Kudritzki,E. A. Magnier,N. Metcalfe,P. A. Price,W. Sweeney,R. J. Wainscoat,C. Waters
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: The Pan-Planets survey observed an area of 42 sq deg. in the galactic disk for about 165 hours. The main scientific goal of the project is the detection of transiting planets around M dwarfs. We establish an efficient procedure for determining the stellar parameters $T_{eff}$ and log$g$ of all sources using a method based on SED fitting, utilizing a three-dimensional dust map and proper motion information. In this way we identify more than 60000 M dwarfs, which is by far the largest sample of low-mass stars observed in a transit survey to date. We present several planet candidates around M dwarfs and hotter stars that are currently being followed up. Using Monte-Carlo simulations we calculate the detection efficiency of the Pan-Planets survey for different stellar and planetary populations. We expect to find $3.0^{+3.3}_{-1.6}$ hot Jupiters around F, G, and K dwarfs with periods lower than 10 days based on the planet occurrence rates derived in previous surveys. For M dwarfs, the percentage of stars with a hot Jupiter is under debate. Theoretical models expect a lower occurrence rate than for larger main sequence stars. However, radial velocity surveys find upper limits of about 1\% due to their small sample, while the Kepler survey finds a occurrence rate that we estimate to be at least $0.17(^{+0.67}_{-0.04})$%, making it even higher than the determined fraction from OGLE-III for F, G and K stellar types, $0.14(^{+0.15}_{-0.076})\%$. With the large sample size of Pan-Planets, we are able to determine an occurrence rate of $0.11(^{+0.37}_{-0.02})$% in case one of our candidates turns out to be a real detection. If, however, none of our candidates turn out to be true planets, we are able to put an upper limit of 0.34% with a 95% confidence on the hot Jupiter occurrence rate of M dwarfs. Therefore we cannot yet confirm the theoretical prediction of a lower occurrence rate for cool stars.
Is it possible to detect planets around young active G and K dwarfs?  [PDF]
S. V. Jeffers,J. R. Barnes,H. R. A. Jones,A. Reiners,D. J. Pinfield,S. C. Marsden
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1950
Abstract: Theoretical predictions suggest that the distribution of planets in very young stars could be very different to that typically observed in Gyr old systems that are the current focus of radial velocity surveys. However, the detection of planets around young stars is hampered by the increased stellar activity associated with young stars, the signatures of which can bias the detection of planets. In this paper we place realistic limitations on the possibilities for detecting planets around young active G and K dwarfs. The models of stellar activity based on tomographic imaging of the G dwarf HD 141943 and the K1 dwarf AB Dor and also include contributions from plage and many small random starspots. Our results show that the increased stellar activity levels present on young Solar-type stars strongly impacts the detection of Earth-mass and Jupiter mass planets and that the degree of activity jitter is directly correlated with stellar \vsinis. We also show that for G and K dwarfs, the distribution of activity in individual stars is more important than the differences in induced radial velocities as a function of spectral type. We conclude that Jupiter mass planets can be detected close-in around fast-rotating young active stars, Neptune-mass planets around moderate rotators and that Super-Earths are only detectable around very slowly rotating stars. The effects of an increase in stellar activity jitter by observing younger stars can be compensated for by extending the observational base-line to at least 100 epochs.
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