Journal Article

The great escape: how exoplanets and smaller bodies desert dying stars

Dimitri Veras, Mark C. Wyatt, Alexander J. Mustill, Amy Bonsor and John J. Eldridge

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 417, issue 3, pages 2104-2123
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The great escape: how exoplanets and smaller bodies desert dying stars

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Mounting discoveries of extrasolar planets orbiting post-main-sequence stars motivate studies to understand the fate of these planets. In the traditional ‘adiabatic’ approximation, a secondary’s eccentricity remains constant during stellar mass-loss. Here, we remove this approximation, investigate the full two-body point-mass problem with isotropic mass-loss, and illustrate the resulting dynamical evolution. The magnitude and duration of a star’s mass-loss combined with a secondary’s initial orbital characteristics might provoke ejection, modest eccentricity pumping, or even circularization of the orbit. We conclude that Oort Clouds and wide-separation planets may be dynamically ejected from 1–7 M parent stars during AGB evolution. The vast majority of planetary material that survives a supernova from a 7–20 M progenitor will be dynamically ejected from the system, placing limits on the existence of first-generation pulsar planets. Planets around >20 M black hole progenitors may easily survive or readily be ejected depending on the core collapse and superwind models applied. Material ejected during stellar evolution might contribute significantly to the free-floating planetary population.

Keywords: Oort Cloud; planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability; planet–star interactions; stars: AGB and post-AGB; stars: evolution; supernovae: general

Journal Article.  15370 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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