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The MIRI Exoplanets Orbiting White Dwarfs (MEOW) Survey: Early Results and Planet Candidates

Presentation #302.03 in the session Planets Around White Dwarfs.

Published onApr 03, 2024
The MIRI Exoplanets Orbiting White Dwarfs (MEOW) Survey: Early Results and Planet Candidates

Most stars in the Milky Way will end their lives as small, dense remnants called white dwarfs, but little is known about the ultimate fates of their planetary systems. Using mid-infrared JWST observations, we are searching for giant planets orbiting white dwarfs with separations from ~0.01 to ~1000 AU and masses as low as Saturn’s. We probe close-in planets (like the known transiting planet WD 1856+534 b that must have migrated inwards) by looking for thermal infrared excess and we search for widely-separated planets with direct imaging (to identify planets in locations where they could have survived the star’s expansion during the red giant phase in place). Ultimately, these observations will enable a population comparison between main-sequence and white dwarf systems, revealing how post-main-sequence evolution changes and sculpts planetary systems. We will present the first planet candidates from the survey and discuss prospects for confirming these detections.

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