The detection of dust around NN Ser

Adam Hardy, Matthias R. Schreiber, Steven G. Parsons, Claudio Caceres, Carolyn Brinkworth, Dimitri Veras, Boris T. Gänsicke, Thomas R. Marsh, Lucas Cieza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Eclipse timing variations observed from the post-common-envelope binary (PCEB) NN Ser offer strong evidence in favour of circumbinary planets existing around PCEBs. If real, these planets may be accompanied by a disc of dust. We here present the ALMA detection of flux at 1.3 mm from NN Ser, which is likely due to thermal emission from a dust disc of mass ~0.8 ± 0.2 M. We performed simulations of the history of NN Ser to determine possible origins of this dust, and conclude that the most likely origin is, in fact, common-envelope material which was not expelled from the system and instead formed a circumbinary disc. These discs have been predicted by theory but previously remained undetected. While the presence of this dust does not prove the existence of planets around NN Ser, it adds credibility to the possibility of planets forming from common-envelope material in a 'second-generation' scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4518-4526
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016


  • Binaries: close
  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Protoplanetary discs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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