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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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We report the discovery of excess K-band radiation from the massive DAZ white dwarf star GD 362. Combining infrared photometric and spectroscopic observations, we show that the excess radiation cannot be explained by a stellar or substellar companion, and is likely to be caused by a debris disk. This would be only the second such system known, discovered 18 years after G29-38, the only single white dwarf currently known to be orbited by circumstellar dust. Both of these systems favor a model with accretion from a surrounding debris disk to explain the metal abundances observed in DAZ white dwarfs. Nevertheless, observations of more DAZs in the mid-infrared are required to test if this model can explain all DAZs.

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal Letters


Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.

Additional Information

Dr. von Hippel was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.