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Towards the characterization of the hot Neptune/super-Earth population around nearby bright stars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2008

C. Lovis
Affiliation:
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny, Switzerland email: christophe.lovis@obs.unige.ch
M. Mayor
Affiliation:
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny, Switzerland email: christophe.lovis@obs.unige.ch
F. Bouchy
Affiliation:
Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
F. Pepe
Affiliation:
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny, Switzerland email: christophe.lovis@obs.unige.ch
D. Queloz
Affiliation:
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny, Switzerland email: christophe.lovis@obs.unige.ch
S. Udry
Affiliation:
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny, Switzerland email: christophe.lovis@obs.unige.ch
W. Benz
Affiliation:
Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
C. Mordasini
Affiliation:
Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Corresponding
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Abstract

The HARPS search for low-mass extrasolar planets has been ongoing for more than 4 years, targeting originally about 400 bright FGK dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood. The published low-mass planetary systems coming from this survey are fully confirmed by subsequent observations, which demonstrate the sub-m/s long-term stability reached by HARPS. The complex RV curves of these systems have led us to focus on a smaller sample of stars, accumulating more data points per star. We perform a global search in our data to assess the existence of the large population of ice giants and super-Earths predicted by numerical simulations of planet formation. We indeed detect about 45 candidates having minimum masses below 30 M and orbital periods below 50 days. These numbers are preliminary since the existence of these objects has to be confirmed by subsequent observations. However, they indicate that about 30% of solar-type stars may have such close-in, low-mass planets. Some emerging properties of this low-mass population are presented. We finally discuss the prospects for finding transiting objects among these candidates, which may possibly yield the first nearby, transiting super-Earth.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2009

References

Bouchy, F., Mayor, M., Lovis, C., Udry, S., Benz, W., Bertaux, J.-L., Delfosse, X., Mordasini, C., Pepe, F., & Queloz, D. 2008, A&A, in prep.Google Scholar
Lovis, C., Mayor, M., Pepe, F., Alibert, Y., Benz, W., Bouchy, F., Correia, A. C. M., Laskar, J., Mordasini, C., Queloz, D., Santos, N. C., Udry, S., Bertaux, J.-L., & Sivan, J.-P. 2006, Nature, 441, 305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayor, M., Udry, S., Lovis, C., Pepe, F., Queloz, D., Benz, W., Bertaux, J.-L., Bouchy, F., Mordasini, C., & Ségransan, D. 2008, A&A, submitted (arXiv:0806.4587)Google Scholar
Mordasini, C., Alibert, Y., & Benz, W. 2008, A&A, submittedGoogle Scholar
Pepe, F., Correia, A. C. M., Mayor, M., Tamuz, O., Couetdic, J., Benz, W., Bertaux, J.-L., Bouchy, F., Laskar, J., Lovis, C., Naef, D., Queloz, D., Santos, N. C., Sivan, J.-P., Sosnowska, D., & Udry, S. 2007, A&A, 462, 769Google Scholar
Santos, N. C., Bouchy, F., Mayor, M., Pepe, F., Queloz, D., Udry, S., Lovis, C., Bazot, M., Benz, W., Bertaux, J.-L., Lo Curto, G., Delfosse, X., Mordasini, C., Naef, D., Sivan, J.-P., & Vauclair, S. 2004, A&A, 426, L19Google Scholar
Udry, S., Mayor, M., Benz, W., Bertaux, J.-L., Bouchy, F., Lovis, C., Mordasini, C., Pepe, F., Queloz, D., & Sivan, J.-P. 2006, A&A, 447, 361Google Scholar

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