Monday, July 8, 2013

1307.1649 (Eike W. Guenther et al.)

The Densities of Planets and the Masses of Host Stars    [PDF]

Eike W. Guenther, CoRoT-Team
Studies of transiting extra-solar planets are of key importance for understanding the nature of planets outside our Solar System, because their densities can be determined, constraining of what the planets are made of. Using the data obtained by the CoRoT space telescope we study the relation between the density of planets, their mass, and the mass of their host stars. Although planets of the same mass can have different densities, we still find some trends. Planets with more than 1000 MEarth (about 3 MJup have densities larger than 6 gcm-3, and are preferentially found in stars that are more massive than the Sun. All known planets in the mass-range between 15 and 600 MEarth (about 0.05 to 2 MJup) have densities of less than 3 gcm-3. When going further down in the mass of the planets, the density increases steadily, and there is no sudden transition from gaseous to rocky planets. Based on the current sample, we do not find any difference for planets at different galactocentric distances.
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