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The dynamical history of the evaporating or disrupted ice giant planet around white dwarf WD J0914+1914

Veras, Dimitri and Fuller, Jim (2020) The dynamical history of the evaporating or disrupted ice giant planet around white dwarf WD J0914+1914. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492 (4). pp. 6059-6066. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa309.

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Robust evidence of an ice giant planet shedding its atmosphere around the white dwarf WD J0914+1914 represents a milestone in exoplanetary science, allowing us to finally supplement our knowledge of white dwarf metal pollution, debris discs, and minor planets with the presence of a major planet. Here, we discuss the possible dynamical origins of this planet, WD J0914+1914 b. The very young cooling age of the host white dwarf (13 Myr) combined with the currently estimated planet–star separation of about 0.07 au imposes particularly intriguing and restrictive coupled constraints on its current orbit and its tidal dissipation characteristics. The planet must have been scattered from a distance of at least a few au to its current location, requiring the current or former presence of at least one more major planet in the system in the absence of a hidden binary companion. We show that WD J0914+1914 b could not have subsequently shrunk its orbit through chaotic f-mode tidal excitation (characteristic of such highly eccentric orbits) unless the planet was or is highly inflated and possibly had partially thermally self-disrupted from mode-based energy release. We also demonstrate that if the planet is currently assumed to reside on a near-circular orbit at 0.07 au, then non-chaotic equilibrium tides impose unrealistic values for the planet’s tidal quality factor. We conclude that WD J0914+1914 b either (i) actually resides interior to 0.07 au, (ii) resembles a disrupted ‘Super-Puff’ whose remains reside on a circular orbit, or (iii) resembles a larger or denser ice giant on a currently eccentric orbit. Distinguishing these three possibilities strongly motivates follow-up observations.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Veras, Dimitri0000-0001-8014-6162
Fuller, Jim0000-0002-4544-0750
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Received: 04 December 2019; Revision received: 27 January 2020; Accepted: 29 January 2020; Published: 03 February 2020. We thank the referee for helpful comments which have improved the manuscript, and also thank Uri Malamud and Alexander Stephan for useful discussions. DV gratefully acknowledges the support of the STFC via an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship (grant ST/P003850/1). JF acknowledges support from an Innovator Grant from The Rose Hills Foundation and the Sloan Foundation through grant FG-2018-10515.
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P003850/1
Rose Hills FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationFG-2018-10515
Subject Keywords:methods: numerical, celestial mechanics, planets and satellites: detection, planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability, planet–star interactions, white dwarfs
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200326-131604280
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Official Citation:Dimitri Veras, Jim Fuller, The dynamical history of the evaporating or disrupted ice giant planet around white dwarf WD J0914+1914, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 492, Issue 4, March 2020, Pages 6059–6066,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102125
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Mar 2020 03:08
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:09

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