630 research outputs found

    Heavy metal rules. I. Exoplanet incidence and metallicity

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    Discovery of only handful of exoplanets required to establish a correlation between giant planet occurrence and metallicity of their host stars. More than 20 years have already passed from that discovery, however, many questions are still under lively debate: What is the origin of that relation? what is the exact functional form of the giant planet -- metallicity relation (in the metal-poor regime)?, does such a relation exist for terrestrial planets? All these question are very important for our understanding of the formation and evolution of (exo)planets of different types around different types of stars and are subject of the present manuscript. Besides making a comprehensive literature review about the role of metallicity on the formation of exoplanets, I also revisited most of the planet -- metallicity related correlations reported in the literature using a large and homogeneous data provided by the SWEET-Cat catalog. This study lead to several new results and conclusions, two of which I believe deserve to be highlighted in the abstract: i) The hosts of sub-Jupiter mass planets (∼\sim0.6 -- 0.9~M_{\jupiter}) are systematically less metallic than the hosts of Jupiter-mass planets. This result might be related to the longer disk lifetime and higher amount of planet building materials available at high metallicities, which allow a formation of more massive Jupiter-like planets. ii) Contrary to the previous claims, our data and results do not support the existence of a breakpoint planetary mass at 4~M_{\jupiter} above and below which planet formation channels are different. However, the results also suggest that planets of the same (high) mass can be formed through different channels depending on the (disk) stellar mass i.e. environmental conditions.Comment: Invited review, to appear in Geoscience

    Exoplanets: Gaia and the importance of ground based spectroscopy follow-up

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    The search for extrasolar planets has developed rapidly and, today, more than 1700 planets have been found orbiting stars. Thanks to Gaia, we will collect high-accuracy astrometric orbits of thousands of new low-mass celestial objects, such as extra-solar planets and brown dwarfs. These measurements in combination with spectroscopy and with present day and future extrasolar planet search programs (like HARPS, ESPRESSO) will have a crucial contribution to several aspects of planetary astrophysics (formation theories, dynamical evolution, etc.). Moreover, Gaia will have a strong contribution on the stellar chemical and kinematic characterisation studies. In this paper we present a short overview of the importance of Gaia in the context of exoplanet research. As preparatory work for Gaia, we will then present a study where we derived stellar parameters for a sample of field giant stars

    Revisiting the correlation between stellar activity and planetary surface gravity

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    Aims: We re-evaluate the correlation between planetary surface gravity and stellar host activity as measured by the index log(RHK′R'_{HK}). This correlation, previously identified by Hartman (2010), is now analyzed in light of an extended measurements dataset, roughly 3 times larger than the original one. Methods: We calculated the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient between the two quantities and its associated p-value. The correlation coefficient was calculated for both the full dataset and the star-planet pairs that follow the conditions proposed by Hartman (2010). In order to do so, we considered effective temperatures both as collected from the literature and from the SWEET-Cat catalog, which provides a more homogeneous and accurate effective temperature determination. Results: The analysis delivers significant correlation coefficients, but with a lower value than those obtained by Hartman (2010). Yet, the two datasets are compatible, and we show that a correlation coefficient as large as previously published can arise naturally from a small-number statistics analysis of the current dataset. The correlation is recovered for star-planet pairs selected using the different conditions proposed by Hartman (2010). Remarkably, the usage of SWEET-Cat temperatures leads to larger correlation coefficient values. We highlight and discuss the role of the correlation betwen different parameters such as effective temperature and activity index. Several additional effects on top of those discussed previously were considered, but none fully explains the detected correlation. In light of the complex issue discussed here, we encourage the different follow-up teams to publish their activity index values in the form of log(RHK′R'_{HK}) index so that a comparison across stars and instruments can be pursued.Comment: 11 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    ARES v2 - new features and improved performance

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    Aims: We present a new upgraded version of ARES. The new version includes a series of interesting new features such as automatic radial velocity correction, a fully automatic continuum determination, and an estimation of the errors for the equivalent widths. Methods: The automatic correction of the radial velocity is achieved with a simple cross-correlation function, and the automatic continuum determination, as well as the estimation of the errors, relies on a new approach to evaluating the spectral noise at the continuum level. Results: ARES v2 is totally compatible with its predecessor. We show that the fully automatic continuum determination is consistent with the previous methods applied for this task. It also presents a significant improvement on its performance thanks to the implementation of a parallel computation using the OpenMP library.Comment: 4 pages, 2 Figures; accepted in A&A; ARES Webpage: www.astro.up.pt/~sousasag/are

    CNO behaviour in planet-harbouring stars. II. Carbon abundances in stars with and without planets using the CH band

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    Context. Carbon, oxygen and nitrogen (CNO) are key elements in stellar formation and evolution, and their abundances should also have a significant impact on planetary formation and evolution. Aims. We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 1110 solar-type stars, 143 of which are known to have planetary companions. We have determined the carbon abundances of these stars and investigate a possible connection between C and the presence of planetary companions. Methods. We used the HARPS spectrograph to obtain high-resolution optical spectra of our targets. Spectral synthesis of the CH band at 4300\AA was performed with the spectral synthesis codes MOOG and FITTING. Results. We have studied carbon in several reliable spectral windows and have obtained abundances and distributions that show that planet host stars are carbon rich when compared to single stars, a signature caused by the known metal-rich nature of stars with planets. We find no different behaviour when separating the stars by the mass of the planetary companion. Conclusions. We conclude that reliable carbon abundances can be derived for solar-type stars from the CH band at 4300\AA. We confirm two different slope trends for [C/Fe] with [Fe/H] because the behaviour is opposite for stars above and below solar values. We observe a flat distribution of the [C/Fe] ratio for all planetary masses, a finding that apparently excludes any clear connection between the [C/Fe] abundance ratio and planetary mass.Comment: 10 pages, 10 figures. Accepted to A&

    Chemical abundances of 1111 FGK stars from the HARPS GTO planet search program II: Cu, Zn, Sr, Y, Zr, Ba, Ce, Nd and Eu

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    To understand the formation and evolution of the different stellar populations within our Galaxy it is essential to combine detailed kinematical and chemical information for large samples of stars. We derive chemical abundances of Cu, Zn, Sr, Y, Zr, Ba, Ce, Nd and Eu for a large sample of more than 1000 FGK dwarf stars with high-resolution (R∼R \sim\,115000) and high-quality spectra from the HARPS-GTO program. The abundances are derived by a standard Local Thermodinamyc Equilibrium (LTE) analysis using measured Equivalent Widths (EWs) injected to the code MOOG and a grid of Kurucz ATLAS9 atmospheres. We find that thick disk stars are chemically disjunct for Zn and Eu and also show on average higher Zr but lower Ba and Y when compared to the thin disk stars. We also discovered that the previously identified high-α\alpha metal-rich population is also enhanced in Cu, Zn, Nd and Eu with respect to the thin disk but presents Ba and Y abundances lower on average, following the trend of thick disk stars towards higher metallities and further supporting the different chemical composition of this population. The ratio of heavy-s to light-s elements of thin disk stars presents the expected behaviour (increasing towards lower metallicities) and can be explained by a major contribution of low-mass AGB stars for s-process production at disk metallicities. However, the opposite trend found for thick disk stars suggests that intermediate-mass AGB stars played an important role in the enrichment of the gas from where these stars formed. Previous works in the literature also point to a possible primary production of light-s elements at low metallicities to explain this trend. Finally, we also find an enhancement of light-s elements in the thin disk at super solar metallicities which could be caused by the contribution of metal-rich AGB stars. (short version)Comment: 20 pages, 19 figures, accepted by A&

    Searching for solar siblings among the HARPS data

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    The search for the solar siblings has been particularly fruitful in the last few years. Until now, there are four plausible candidates pointed out in the literature: HIP21158, HIP87382, HIP47399, and HIP92831. In this study we conduct a search for solar siblings among the HARPS high-resolution FGK dwarfs sample, which includes precise chemical abundances and kinematics for 1111 stars. Using a new approach based on chemical abundance trends with the condensation temperature, kinematics, and ages we found one (additional) potential solar sibling candidate: HIP97507.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures, 1 table. Accepted in A&
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