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Using Gaia to Search for Planetary Engulfment Sites

Presentation #301.06 in the session “How Gaia Reveals the Galaxy’s Secrets: Results Local to the Sun”.

Published onJun 01, 2021
Using Gaia to Search for Planetary Engulfment Sites

Stellar clusters are invaluable systems to explore open questions addressing a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. While many stars within these systems are well-described by standard stellar evolutionary models, rotational and chemical outliers present a rare opportunity to investigate important divergences from this framework. Such divergences may be induced by the ingestion of substellar companions, which have been shown to impart changes to the angular momentum and chemical abundance of these cannibal hosts. The detection of planetary engulfment sites within an open cluster would offer an invaluable opportunity to probe the bulk composition of substellar companions, providing much-needed insight into the formation of these systems. In our observational search for planetary engulfment sites, we collate data from a wide number of surveys, including the Gaia mission. In this talk, I share the invaluable role that Gaia plays in our efforts to discover an unambiguous planetary engulfment site within a stellar cluster.

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