Author(s): , ,
Institution(s): 1. University of Arizona
The Kepler Space Telescope has monitored stars from spectral type M to A for transiting exoplanets, covering a factor four in planet host star mass. We take advantage of this large coverage in stellar masses to establish what are the key processes in the formation and evolution of planetary systems.
We derive planet occurrence rates for a range of orbital periods and planet sizes, taking into account the different observational biases that exist for stars of different mass, size, and luminosity. This uniform approach allows us to compare planet populations directly and identify scaling relations with stellar mass. We identify three trends:
First, planets around lower mass stars are found closer to their hosts stars. The inner edges of the planet populations match the inner edges of the gas disks where planets halt their migration. Second, the size of the largest planets decreases with stellar mass, indicating formation in less massive disks. Third, the 3-4 times higher occurrence rate of small (1-3 earth radii) planets around M dwarfs with respect to sunlike stars indicates an increased planet migration efficiency and is inconsistent with in-situ formation models.
Our findings demonstrate how exoplanet studies around stars of very different masses can pin down specific physical processes shaping the final architecture of planetary systems. We will conclude by exploring how the yield from the Kepler extended mission -- with a large number of M stars but a different detection bias -- can further our knowledge of planet formation and evolution.
Mulders et al. 2015
Mulders et al. in prep