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

  • C. Lovis (a1), M. Mayor (a1), F. Bouchy (a2), F. Pepe (a1), D. Queloz (a1), S. Udry (a1), W. Benz (a3) and C. Mordasini (a3)...
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.

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References
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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.
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, 305
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)
Mordasini, C., Alibert, Y., & Benz, W. 2008, A&A, submitted
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, 769
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, L19
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, 361
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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