SIMBAD references

2015ApJ...801...41R - Astrophys. J., 801, 41 (2015/March-1)

Most 1.6 Earth-radius planets are not rocky.


Abstract (from CDS):

The Kepler mission, combined with ground-based radial velocity (RV) follow-up and dynamical analyses of transit timing variations, has revolutionized the observational constraints on sub-Neptune-sized planet compositions. The results of an extensive Kepler follow-up program including multiple Doppler measurements for 22 planet-hosting stars more than doubles the population of sub-Neptune-sized transiting planets that have RV mass constraints. This unprecedentedly large and homogeneous sample of planets with both mass and radius constraints opens the possibility of a statistical study of the underlying population of planet compositions. We focus on the intriguing transition between rocky exoplanets (comprised of iron and silicates) and planets with voluminous layers of volatiles (H/He and astrophysical ices). Applying a hierarchical Bayesian statistical approach to the sample of Kepler transiting sub-Neptune planets with Keck RV follow-up, we constrain the fraction of close-in planets (with orbital periods less than ∼50 days) that are sufficiently dense to be rocky, as a function of planet radius. We show that the majority of 1.6 R planets have too low density to be comprised of Fe and silicates alone. At larger radii, the constraints on the fraction of rocky planets are even more stringent. These insights into the size demographics of rocky and volatile-rich planets offer empirical constraints to planet formation theories, and guide the range of planet radii to be considered in studies of the occurrence rate of "Earth-like" planets, η.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): methods: data analysis - methods: statistical - planetary systems - planets and satellites: composition - techniques: photometric - techniques: radial velocities

Simbad objects: 52

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