The WIRED Survey. I. A Bright IR Excess due to Dust Around the Heavily Polluted White Dwarf Galex J193156.8+011745

March 2011 • 2011ApJ...729....4D

Authors • Debes, John H. • Hoard, D. W. • Kilic, Mukremin • Wachter, Stefanie • Leisawitz, David T. • Cohen, Martin • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy • Griffith, Roger L.

Abstract • With the launch of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a new era of detecting planetary debris around white dwarfs (WDs) has begun with the WISE InfraRed Excesses around Degenerates (WIRED) Survey. The WIRED survey will be sensitive to substellar objects and dusty debris around WDs out to distances exceeding 100 pc, well beyond the completeness level of local WDs and covering a large fraction of known WDs detected with the SDSS DR4 WD catalog. In this paper, we report an initial result of the WIRED survey, the detection of the heavily polluted hydrogen WD (spectral type DAZ) GALEX J193156.8+011745 at 3.35 and 4.6 μm. We find that the excess is consistent with either a narrow dusty ring with an inner radius of 29 R WD, outer radius of 40 R WD, and a face-on inclination, or a disk with an inclination of 70°, an inner radius of 23 R WD, and an outer radius of 80 R WD. We also report initial optical spectroscopic monitoring of several metal lines present in the photosphere and find no variability in the line strengths or radial velocities of the lines. We rule out all but planetary mass companions to GALEX1931 out to 0.5 AU.

Based on data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.


IPAC Authors


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist