Limits On Planets Around Pulsating White Dwarf Stars




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

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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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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.