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2020MNRAS.499..932P - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 499, 932-947 (2020/November-3)

Chemical fingerprints of formation in rocky super-Earths' data.


Abstract (from CDS):

The composition of rocky exoplanets in the context of stars' composition provides important constraints to formation theories. In this study, we select a sample of exoplanets with mass and radius measurements with an uncertainty < 25 per cent and obtain their interior structure. We calculate compositional markers, ratios of iron to magnesium and silicon, as well as core mass fractions (CMFs) that fit the planetary parameters, and compare them to the stars. We find four key results that successful planet formation theories need to predict: (1) In a population sense, the composition of rocky planets spans a wider range than stars. The stars' Fe/Si distribution is close to a Gaussian distribution 1.63+0.91–0.85, while the planets' distribution peaks at lower values and has a longer tail, 1.15+1.43–0.76. It is easier to see the discrepancy in CMF space, where primordial stellar composition is 0.32+0.14–0.12, while rocky planets follow a broader distribution 0.24+0.33–0.18. (2) We introduce uncompressed density ( at reference pressure/temperature) as a metric to compare compositions. With this, we find what seems to be the maximum iron enrichment that rocky planets attain during formation (∼6 and CMF ∼0.8). (3) Highly irradiated planets exhibit a large range of compositions. If these planets are the result of atmospheric evaporation, iron enrichment and perhaps depletion must happen before gas dispersal. And, (4) We identify a group of highly irradiated planets that, if rocky, would be twofold depleted in Fe/Si with respect to the stars. Without a reliable theory for forming iron-depleted planets, these are interesting targets for follow-up.

Abstract Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): methods: numerical - planets and satellites: interiors - planets and satellites: terrestrial planets

Simbad objects: 40

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