The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Alexander Mustill. Profile picture.

Alexander Mustill

Researcher

Alexander Mustill. Profile picture.

Do instabilities in high-multiplicity systems explain the existence of close-in white dwarf planets?

Author

  • R. F. Maldonado
  • E. Villaver
  • A. J. Mustill
  • M. Chávez
  • E. Bertone

Summary, in English

We investigate the origin of close-in planets and related phenomena orbiting white dwarfs (WDs), which are thought to originate from orbits more distant from the star. We use the planetary architectures of the 75 multiple-planet systems (four, five, and six planets) detected orbiting main-sequence stars to build 750 dynamically analogous templates that we evolve to the WD phase. Our exploration of parameter space, although not exhaustive, is guided and restricted by observations and we find that the higher the multiplicity of the planetary system, the more likely it is to have a dynamical instability (losing planets, orbit crossing, and scattering), that eventually will send a planet (or small object) through a close periastron passage. Indeed, the fraction of unstable four- to six-planet simulations is comparable to the 25-50 per cent fraction of WDs having atmospheric pollution. Additionally, the onset of instability in the four- to six-planet configurations peaks in the first Gyr of the WD cooling time, decreasing thereafter. Planetary multiplicity is a natural condition to explain the presence of close-in planets to WDs, without having to invoke the specific architectures of the system or their migration through the von Zeipel-Lidov-Kozai effects from binary companions or their survival through the common envelope phase.

Department/s

  • Lund Observatory

Publishing year

2021

Language

English

Pages

43-48

Publication/Series

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Volume

501

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Topic

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Keywords

  • circumstellar matter
  • Kuiper Belt: general
  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
  • stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • white dwarfs

Status

Published

Project

  • A unified picture of white dwarf planetary systems

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1745-3925