Limits On Planets Around Pulsating White Dwarf Stars

Date

2008-03

Authors

Mullally, Fergal
Winget, D. E.
Degennaro, Steven
Jeffery, Elizabeth
Thompson, Susan E.
Chandler, Dean
Kepler, S. O.

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Abstract

We present limits on planetary companions to pulsating white dwarf stars. A subset of these stars exhibit extreme stability in the period and phase of some of their pulsation modes; a planet can be detected around such a star by searching for periodic variations in the arrival time of these pulsations. We present limits on companions greater than a few Jupiter masses around a sample of 15 white dwarf stars as part of an ongoing survey. One star shows a variation in arrival time consistent with a 2M(J) planet in a 4.5 yr orbit. We discuss other possible explanations for the observed signal and conclude that a planet is the most plausible explanation based on the data available.

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Citation

Mullally, Fergal, Donald Earl Winget, Steven Degennaro, Elizabeth Jeffery, S. E. Thompson, Dean Chandler, and Souza Oliveira Kepler. "Limits on planets around pulsating white dwarf stars." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 676, No. 1 (Mar., 2008): 573.