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Social Distancing for Stars: A hidden friend for WD J091405.30+191412.25

Published onAug 03, 2020
Social Distancing for Stars: A hidden friend for WD J091405.30+191412.25

About a third of all White Dwarfs show signs of being actively polluted by rock-forming elements, indicating that post-main sequence star systems undergo rich dynamical processes that bring planetary material onto the White Dwarfs. The recent observation of WD J091405.30+191412.25, a very young White Dwarf showing signs of actively accreting a Neptune-like planet has furthermore indicated that giant planets can also get close to White Dwarfs. However, the young age of the system requires a dynamical process that can bring the planet close to the White Dwarf quickly, while also not destroying the planet during the main-sequence lifetime of the star. Here, I present our work that shows that the Eccentric Kozai-Lidov Mechanism can reliably produce such an outcome, assuming that WD J091405.30+191412.25 has a distant, currently undetected, stellar binary companion, whose orbital and physical characteristics we predict.


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