White Dwarfs, Planets, and Disks
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Compared to solar-type stars, the significant gain in contrast make white dwarfs excellent targets for direct imaging searches for planetary companions. However, no such companion has been detected so far. I will discuss a new approach for finding planets around white dwarfs, and present the first results from our Spitzer search for planets around both low mass and high mass white dwarfs. In addition, I will present an overview of recent discoveries of half a dozen short period white dwarf binaries that will merge within a few hundred million years. I will discuss the merger rate for these systems and the implications for Type Ia supernovae rates and other merger products.
Date: Thursday, 1 April 2010 Time: 11:30 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, Local D-460 Contact: Pierre Bergeron