|Time:||Thursday, February 25, 2021, 09:00am|
|Title:||A Song of Ice and Fire: the Fate of Planetary Systems After Stellar Death|
|Speaker:||Dr. Andrew Vanderburg (WISC)|
S727 & Online via Zoom
In the past 30 years, astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting stars outside the solar system. Most of the exoplanets we know of today orbit stars that will eventually exhaust their nuclear fuel, expand into red giants, shed their outer layers, and contract into dense remnants called white dwarfs. How does the process of stellar death affect any orbiting planets in the system? I will review our knowledge of planets beyond the main sequence and discuss new insights gleaned from our discoveries of two very different systems: a disintegrating minor planet around WD 1145+017 and an intact giant planet candidate around WD 1856+534. I will conclude by discussing the prospects for habitability in white dwarf systems long after the host star's death and how with some luck, we may be able to test these ideas in the next decade.
Dr Andrew Vanderburg is an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Andrew received his PhD from Harvard University in 2017 and was a NASA Sagan postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas before starting his position in Wisconsin in 2020.Andrew's research focuses on studying exoplanets, especially developing cutting-edge techniques and methods to discover new planets outside of our solar system. Eventually, he hopes to help answer questions like "Are the planets orbiting other stars throughout the galaxy anything like the worlds in our Solar system?" and "Could any of these planets be hospitable to life like the Earth?".
Host: Sharon Xuesong Wang