The Link Between Dusty White Dwarfs and Planets

John Debes

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

The direct imaging of planets around white dwarfs would provide a unique window into how planetary systems evolve during post main sequence evolution as well as a population of planets with reasonably well known ages. Given the technical challenges of detecting such planets, focused surveys need to be conducted. Fortunately, a significant fraction of white dwarfs might bear the markers of planetary systems -- either through polluted white dwarfs that show absorption lines due to metals (types DAZ, DBZ, and DZ) or through IR excesses due to compact dusty disks. Physical mechanisms for creating these observable phenomena are scarce as are the statistics necessary to draw firm constraints on any model. I will present my new theoretical framework for creating dusty and polluted white dwarfs from relic planetary systems and show what new strides can be accomplished observationally with the work I've been doing on the NASA WISE IR Excesses around Degenerates (WIRED) Survey.

Date: Jeudi, le 18 novembre 2010
Heure: 11:30
Lieu: Université de Montréal
  Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460
Contact: Patrick Dufour