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Prized results from HARPS. Low-mass/habitable/transiting planets orbiting M dwarfs

X. Bonfils, F. Bouchy, X. Delfosse, T. Forveille, M. Gillon, C. Lovis, M. Mayor, V. Neves, F. Pepe, C. Perrier, D. Queloz, N. C. Santos, D. Ségransan, S. Udry

Searching for planets around stars with different masses probes the outcome of planetary formation for different initial conditions. The low-mass M dwarfs are also the most frequent stars in our Galaxy and potentially therefore, the most frequent planet hosts. This has motivated our search for planets around M dwarfs with HARPS. That observing program has now run for almost a decade and detected most of the known low-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs (m sin i < 20 M), including the least massive (GJ581e, msini = 1.9 M) and the first potentially habitable planets (GJ581c&d GJ667Cc, GJ163c). This proceeding shortly reviews the detections made with HARPS, reports on the occurrence of planets around M dwarfs and how they mesh up with planet formation theory. It also highlights our sensitivity to low-mass habitable planets, the first direct measure of η, and the recent detection of a transiting planet the size of Uranus.

Hot Planets and Cool Stars
R. Saglia

EDP Sciences
Volume 47, Page 05004
2013 April

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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