Friday, March 13, 2015

Creative Destruction Around White Dwarfs may Form new Exoplanets

Planetary systems and real planetary nebulae from planets destruction near white dwarfs


Bear at al


We suggest that tidal destruction of Earth-like and icy planets near a white dwarf (WD) might lead to the formation of one or more low-mass planets in tight orbits around the WD. More massive planets contain hydrogen which will start burning on the surface of the WD and inflate an envelope, part of which be ejected to form a nebula. This nebula will be ionized and be observed as a planetary nebulae. The formation of the WD planetary system starts with a tidal break-up of icy or lower mass planets to planetesimals near their tidal radius of about 1Rsun. Internal stress forces keep the planetesimal from tidal break-up when their radius is less than about 100km. We suggest that the planetesimals then bind together to form new sub-Earth-like planets around the WD at a few solar radii. More massive planets that contain hydrogen will supply the WD with fresh nuclear fuel to reincarnate its stellar-giant phase. Some of the hydrogen will be inflated in a large envelope that will cause the planetesimal formed from the core of the giant planets to be evaporated. In the post-giant phase the hot WD ionizes the gas that was blown in the wind of the stellar-giant envelope, and form a nebula that originated from a planet--a real planetary nebula (RPN).

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