The dust cloud around the white dwarf G29-38

William T. Reach, Marc J. Kuchner, Ted Von Hippel, Adam S. Burrows, Fergal Mullally, Mukremin Kilic, D. E. Winget

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154 Scopus citations


We present new observations of the white dwarf G29-38 with the camera (4.5 and 8 μm), photometer (24 μm), and spectrograph (5.5-14 μm) of the Spitzer Space Telescope. This star has an exceptionally large infrared excess, amounting to 3% of the bolometric luminosity. The spectral energy distribution (SED) has a continuum peak around 4.5 μm and a 9-11 μm emission feature 1.25 times brighter than the continuum. A mixture of amorphous olivine and a small amount of forsterite in an emitting region 1-5 R from the star can reproduce the shape of the 9-11 μm feature. The SED also appears to require amorphous carbon to explain the hot continuum. Our new measurements support the idea that a relatively recent disruption of a comet or asteroid created the cloud.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L161-L164
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Dec 20 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Infrared: stars
  • Stars: individual (G29-38, WD 2326+049)
  • White dwarfs


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