On the survival of brown dwarfs and planets engulfed by their giant host star

Jean Claude Passy*, Mordecai Mark Mac Low, Orsola De Marco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


The recent discovery of two Earth-mass planets in close orbits around an evolved star has raised questions as to whether substellar companions can survive encounters with their host stars. We consider whether these companions could have been stripped of significant amounts of mass during the phase when they orbited through the dense inner envelopes of the giant. We apply the criterion derived by Murray et al. for disruption of gravitationally bound objects by ram pressure to determine whether mass loss may have played a role in the histories of these and other recently discovered low-mass companions to evolved stars. We find that the brown dwarf and Jovian-mass objects circling WD0137-349, SDSSJ08205+0008, and HIP 13044 are most unlikely to have lost significant mass during the common envelope phase. However, the Earth-mass planets found around KIC05807616 could well be the remnants of one or two Jovian-mass planets that lost extensive mass during the common envelope phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL30
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2012

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'On the survival of brown dwarfs and planets engulfed by their giant host star'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this