Institute of Astronomy

A search for transits on cool white dwarfs

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Roi Alonso28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


We know of indirect evidences for remnants of planetary systems around white dwarfs (WDs), and the first Earth-mass objects outside our Solar System were found around a pulsar back in 1992. The small size of cool white dwarfs and their close-in ""habitable zones"" would make a transiting planet a unique laboratory to test the capabilities of the transmission spectroscopy technique to characterize exo-atmospheres. It has been suggested (Loeb & Maoz 2013) that a transiting planet around a WD could be searched for biomarkers using JWST. We have started a search for transiting planets around cool WDs (<7000K) using several 1-m class telescopes in summer 2013. Our goal is to observe for at least 8h a sample of 500-700 WDs before the JWST launch. We will present the current status of the survey and our sensitivity limits.