Institute of Astronomy

Using polluted white dwarfs to understand the bulk composition of exo-planetary material

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Laura Rogers10 November 2021Institute of Astronomy Seminars


Exoplanets are ubiquitous in the Milky Way across a wide variety of spectral types, including white dwarfs. At least 30% of white dwarfs are observed with signatures of swallowed exoplanetary material in their atmospheres. From these 'polluted' white dwarfs we infer the bulk composition of the parent body that was accreted. With over 1000 known polluted white dwarfs we can make powerful conclusions about exoplanetary composition and geology. We present VLT/X-shooter and KECK/HIRES observations of 7 'heavily' polluted white dwarf systems. What is the composition of the planetary material that has 'polluted' the white dwarfs? What can the composition tell us about exoplanetary material and geological processes in exoplanetary systems?


Presentation unavailable