Possible implications of the planet orbiting the red horizontal branch star HIP 13044

Ealeal Bear*, Noam Soker, Amos Harpaz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We propose a scenario to account for the surprising orbital properties of the planet orbiting the metal-poor red horizontal branch star HIP 13044. The orbital period of 16.2 days implies that the planet went through a common envelope phase inside the red giant branch (RGB) stellar progenitor of HIP 13044. The present properties of the star imply that it maintained a substantial envelope mass of 0.3 M, raising the question of how the planet survived the common envelope before the envelope itself was lost? If such a planet enters the envelope of an RGB star, it is expected to spiral-in to the very inner region within ≲ 100 yr, and be evaporated or destroyed by the core. We speculate that the planet was engulfed by the star as a result of the core helium flash that caused this metal-poor star to swell by a factor of 3-4. The evolution following the core helium flash is very rapid, and some of the envelope is lost due to the interaction with the planet, and the rest of the envelope shrinks within about a hundred years. This is about equal to the spiraling-in time, and the planet survived.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL44
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • planetary systems
  • stars: horizontal-branch

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