Detecting planets in planetary nebulae

Noam Soker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We examine the possibility of detecting signatures of surviving Uranus/Neptune-like planets inside planetary nebulae. Planets that are not too close to the stars (orbital separation larger than ∼5 au) are likely to survive the entire evolution of the star. As the star turns into a planetary nebula, it has a fast wind and strong ionizing radiation. The interaction of the radiation and wind with a planet may lead to the formation of a compact condensation or tail inside the planetary nebula, which emits strongly in Hα, but not in [O III]. The position of the condensation (or tail) will change over a time-scale of ∼10yr. Such condensations might be detected with currently existing telescopes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-808
Number of pages3
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 11 Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Planetary nebulae: general
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB

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