Polluted white dwarfs reveal exotic mantle rock types on exoplanets in our solar neighborhood

  title={Polluted white dwarfs reveal exotic mantle rock types on exoplanets in our solar neighborhood},
  author={Keith D Putirka and Siyi Xu},
  journal={Nature Communications},
Prior studies have hypothesized that some polluted white dwarfs record continent-like granitic crust—which is abundant on Earth and perhaps uniquely indicative of plate tectonics. But these inferences derive from only a few elements, none of which define rock type. We thus present the first estimates of rock types on exoplanets that once orbited polluted white dwarfs—stars whose atmospheric compositions record the infall of formerly orbiting planetary objects—examining cases where Mg, Si, Ca… 
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  • S. TurnerM. Wyatt
  • Geology, Physics
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • 2019
The accretion of planetesimals onto white dwarf atmospheres allows determination of the composition of this polluting material. This composition is usually inferred from observed pollution levels