Accretion of a Terrestrial-Like Minor Planet by a White Dwarf
Author(s)Melis, Carl; Farihi, J.; Dufour, P.; Zuckerman, B.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Bergeron, P.; Bochanski, John J.; Simcoe, Robert A.; ... Show more Show less
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We present optical and infrared characterization of the polluted DAZ white dwarf GALEX J193156.8+011745. Imaging and spectroscopy from the ultraviolet to the thermal infrared indicate that this white dwarf hosts excess infrared emission consistent with the presence of an orbiting dusty debris disk. In addition to the five elements previously identified, our optical echelle spectroscopy reveals chromium and manganese and enables restrictive upper limits on several other elements. Synthesis of all detections and upper limits suggests that GALEX J193156.8+011745 has accreted a differentiated parent body. We compare the inferred bulk elemental composition of the accreted parent body to expectations for the bulk composition of an Earth-like planet stripped of its crust and mantle and find relatively good agreement. At least two processes could be important in shaping the final bulk elemental composition of rocky bodies during the late phases of stellar evolution: irradiation and interaction with the dense stellar wind.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Institute of Physics Publishing
Melis, Carl et al. “ACCRETION OF A TERRESTRIAL-LIKE MINOR PLANET BY A WHITE DWARF.” The Astrophysical Journal 732.2 (2011): 90. Web.
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