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The frequency of giant planets around metal-poor stars

A. Mortier, N. C. Santos, A. Sozzetti, M. Mayor, D. W. Latham, X. Bonfils, S. Udry

Context. The discovery of about 700 extrasolar planets, so far, has lead to the first statistics concerning extrasolar planets. The presence of giant planets seems to depend on stellar metallicity and mass. For example, they are more frequent around metal-rich stars, with an exponential increase in planet occurrence rates with metallicity.
Aims. We analyzed two samples of metal-poor stars (-2.0 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ 0.0) to see if giant planets are indeed rare around these objects. Radial velocity datasets were obtained with two different spectrographs (HARPS and HIRES). Detection limits for these data, expressed in minimum planetary mass and period, are calculated. These produce trustworthy numbers for the planet frequency.
Methods. A general Lomb Scargle (GLS) periodogram analysis was used together with a bootstrapping method to produce the detection limits. Planet frequencies were calculated based on a binomial distribution function within metallicity bins.
Results. Almost all hot Jupiters and most giant planets should have been found in these data. Hot Jupiters around metal-poor stars have a frequency lower than 1.0% at one sigma. Giant planets with periods up to 1800 days, however, have a higher frequency of ƒp = 2.63+2.5-0.8%. Taking into account the different metallicities of the stars, we show that giant planets appear to be very frequent ( ƒp = 4.48+4.04-1.38%) around stars with [Fe/H] > -0.7, while they are rare around stars with [Fe/H] ≤ -0.7 (≤ 2.36% at one sigma).
Conclusions. Giant planet frequency is indeed a strong function of metallicity, even in the low-metallicity tail. However, the frequencies are most likely higher than previously thought.

techniques: radial velocities – planetary systems – planets and satellites: formation – stars: abundances – stars: statistics

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 543, Number of pages A45_1
2012 July

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia