Journal Article

Precision astrometry of the exoplanet host candidate GD 66

J. Farihi, J. P. Subasavage, E. P. Nelan, H. C. Harris, C. C. Dahn, J. Nordhaus and D. S. Spiegel

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 424, issue 1, pages 519-523
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Precision astrometry of the exoplanet host candidate GD 66

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The potential existence of a giant planet orbiting within a few au of a stellar remnant has profound implications for both the survival and possible regeneration of planets during post-main-sequence stellar evolution. This paper reports Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor and US Naval Observatory relative astrometry of GD 66, a white dwarf thought to harbour a giant planet between 2 and 3 au based on stellar pulsation arrival times. Combined with existing infrared data, the precision measurements here rule out all stellar-mass and brown dwarf companions, implying that only a planet remains plausible, if orbital motion is indeed the cause of the variations in pulsation timing.

Keywords: stars: individual: GD 66; planetary systems; white dwarfs

Journal Article.  3889 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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