Herschel observations of debris discs orbiting planet-hosting subgiants

Amy Bonsor, Grant M. Kennedy, Mark C. Wyatt, John A. Johnson, Bruce Sibthorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Debris discs are commonly detected orbiting main-sequence stars, yet little is known regarding their fate as the star evolves to become a giant. Recent observations of radial velocity detected planets orbiting giant stars highlight this population and its importance for probing, for example, the population of planetary systems orbiting intermediate mass stars. Our Herschel survey observed a subset of the Johnson et al program subgiants, finding that 4/36 exhibit excess emission thought to indicate debris, of which 3/19 are planet-hosting stars and 1/17 are stars with no current planet detections. Given the small numbers involved, there is no evidence that the disc detection rate around stars with planets is different to that around stars without planets. Our detections provide a clear indication that large quantities of dusty material can survive the stars' main-sequence lifetime and be detected on the subgiant branch, with important implications for the evolution of planetary systems and observations of polluted or dusty white dwarfs. Our detection rates also provide an important constraint that can be included in models of debris disc evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3288-3297
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date12 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

12 pages, MNRAS, accepted


  • astro-ph.EP


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