A Search for Planetary Eclipses of White Dwarfs in the Pan-STARRS1 Medium-deep Fields

December 2014 • 2014ApJ...796..114F

Authors • Fulton, B. J. • Tonry, J. L. • Flewelling, H. • Burgett, W. S. • Chambers, K. C. • Hodapp, K. W. • Huber, M. E. • Kaiser, N. • Wainscoat, R. J. • Waters, C.

Abstract • We present a search for eclipses of ~1700 white dwarfs (WDs) in the Pan-STARRS1 medium-deep fields. Candidate eclipse events are selected by identifying low outliers in over 4.3 million light curve measurements. We find no short-duration eclipses consistent with being caused by a planetary size companion. This large data set enables us to place strong constraints on the close-in planet occurrence rates around WDs for planets as small as 2 R . Our results indicate that gas giant planets orbiting just outside the Roche limit are rare, occurring around less than 0.5% of WDs. Habitable-zone super-Earths and hot super-Earths are less abundant than similar classes of planets around main-sequence stars. These constraints provide important insight into the ultimate fate of the large population of exoplanets orbiting main-sequence stars.


IPAC Authors


Benjamin Fulton

Assistant Scientist