eCite Digital Repository

A Jovian analogue orbiting a white dwarf star


Blackman, JW and Beaulieu, JP and Bennett, DP and Danielski, C and Alard, C and Cole, AA and Vandorou, A and Ranc, C and Terry, SK and Bhattacharya, A and Bond, I and Bachelet, E and Veras, D and Koshimoto, N and Batista, V and Marquette, JB, A Jovian analogue orbiting a white dwarf star, Nature, 598 pp. 272-275. ISSN 0028-0836 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 the authors

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41586-021-03869-6


Studies have shown that the remnants of destroyed planets and debris-disk planetesimals can survive the volatile evolution of their host stars into white dwarfs, but few intact planetary bodies around white dwarfs have been detected. Simulations predict that planets in Jupiter-like orbits around stars of ≲8 M☉ (solar mass) avoid being destroyed by the strong tidal forces of their stellar host, but as yet, there has been no observational confirmation of such a survivor. Here we report the non-detection of a main-sequence lens star in the microlensing event MOA-2010-BLG-477Lb12 using near-infrared observations from the Keck Observatory. We determine that this system contains a 0.53 ± 0.11 M☉ white-dwarf host orbited by a 1.4 ± 0.3 Jupiter-mass planet with a separation on the plane of the sky of 2.8 ± 0.5 astronomical units, which implies a semi-major axis larger than this. This system is evidence that planets around white dwarfs can survive the giant and asymptotic giant phases of their host’s evolution, and supports the prediction that more than half of white dwarfs have Jovian planetary companions. Located at approximately 2.0 kiloparsecs towards the centre of our Galaxy, it is likely to represent an analogue to the end stages of the Sun and Jupiter in our own Solar System.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gravitational microlensing, exoplanets, white dwarfs
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Blackman, JW (Mr Joshua Blackman)
UTAS Author:Beaulieu, JP (Dr Jean-Philippe Beaulieu)
UTAS Author:Cole, AA (Professor Andrew Cole)
UTAS Author:Vandorou, A ( Aikaterini Vandorou)
ID Code:148943
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP200101909)
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-02-24
Last Modified:2022-05-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page