Colloquium on 14 November 2013
The polluted atmosphere of white dwarfs and the demise of planetary systems

Details

Title: The polluted atmosphere of white dwarfs and the demise of planetary systems
Speaker: Stephane Vennes
Date: Thursday, 14 November 2013
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Venue: SAAO Auditorium

Abstract

Planet host stars are common. If, as indicated by the Kepler mission,  at
least 20% of FGK stars harbour a planetary system, we should expect that
the remnants  of ancient systems should pollute the environment of their
present-day post-AGB  descendants, the white dwarfs. In fact, infrared
data reveal the presence of debris  material around a substantial fraction
of white dwarfs. Moreover,  white dwarf  abundance analyses also show that
this material is eventually accreted onto their  surface.  I will present
our recent investigation of this phenomenon with the VLT/X-shooter
spectrograph and our model atmosphere analysis of these accreting white
dwarfs.
Stephane Vennes
Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

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