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Title: On the detectability of transiting planets orbiting white dwarfs using LSST
ABSTRACT White dwarfs are one of the few types of stellar object for which we have yet to confirm the existence of companion planets. Recent evidence for metal contaminated atmospheres, circumstellar debris discs, and transiting planetary debris all indicates that planets may be likely. However, white dwarf transit surveys are challenging due to the intrinsic faintness of such objects, the short time-scale of the transits, and the low transit probabilities due to their compact radii. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) offers a remedy to these problems as a deep, half-sky survey with fast exposures encompassing approximately 10 million white dwarfs with r < 24.5 apparent magnitude (mr). We simulate LSST photometric observations of 3.5 million white dwarfs over a 10 yr period and calculate the detectability of companion planets with P < 10 d via transits. We find typical detection rates in the range of 5 × 10−6 to 4 × 10−4 for Ceres-sized bodies to Earth-sized worlds, yielding ∼50–$4000$ detections for a 100 per cent occurrence rate of each. For terrestrial planets in the continuously habitable zone, we find detection rates of ∼10−3 indicating that LSST would reveal hundreds of such worlds for occurrence rates in the range of 1–10 per cent.
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1742716
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10174389
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
488
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1695 to 1703
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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