LSPM J0207+3331

Date of the discovery: 19 Februray 2019

Short Description: This white dwarf was first discovered by myself (Melina Thévenot) in Gaia DR2 and WISE data by chance. It is an old white dwarf, but not the oldest white dwarf known. It shows an infrared excess and it is the oldest white dwarf that shows this kind of excess. The excess is explained by two disks that surround the white dwarf, possibly formed when an asteroid came too close to the white dwarf and was pulverised by the gravity of the white dwarf. But it is challenging to explain this for an white dwarf that is 3 Gigayears (3 Billion years) old.

Volunteer(s): “superusers” Melina Thévenot, Michaela Allen, Dan Caselden

Researchers in the discovery paper: John H. Debes, Melina Thévenot, Marc J. Kuchner, Adam J. Burgasser, Adam C. Schneider, Aaron M. Meisner, Jonathan Gagné, Jacqueline K. Faherty, Jon M. Rees, Michaela Allen, Dan Caselden, Michael Cushing, John Wisniewski, Katelyn Allers, Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Collaboration, The Disk Detective Collaboration

Link to paper in ADS:…872L..25D/abstract

SIMBAD page:

Telescopes involved: WISE, Gaia, Keck

Figure 1 from the paper, showing the infrared excess (data points as “squares” and spectra as the gray wiggly line being higher than the blue line. The blue line is the expected distribution of the spectrum of the white dwarf without any disk):
Other pages:


Press Release:

Project websites: backyard worlds: planet 9, disk detective

Credit for the header image: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott Wiessinger

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