Chemical Abundances of Stars With Brown Dwarf Companions

By Keith Cowing
April 4, 2014
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Chemical Abundances of Stars With Brown Dwarf Companions

It is well-known that stars with giant planets are on average more metal-rich than stars without giant planets, whereas stars with detected low-mass planets do not need to be metal-rich.

With the aim of studying the weak boundary that separates giant planets and brown dwarfs (BDs) and their formation mechanism, we analyze the spectra of a sample of stars with already confirmed BD companions both by radial velocity and astrometry. We employ standard and automatic tools to perform an EW-based analysis and to derive chemical abundances from CORALIE spectra of stars with BD companions.

We compare these abundances with those of stars without detected planets and with low-mass and giant-mass planets. We find that stars with BDs do not have metallicities and chemical abundances similar to those of giant-planet hosts but they resemble the composition of stars with low-mass planets. The distribution of mean abundances of α -elements and iron peak elements of stars with BDs exhibit a peak at about solar abundance whereas for stars with low-mass and high-mass planets the [X α /H] and [XFe /H] peak abundances remain at ∼−0.1 ~dex and ∼+0.15 ~dex, respectively.

We display these element abundances for stars with low-mass and high-mass planets, and BDs versus the minimum mass, m C sini , of the most-massive substellar companion in each system, and we find a maximum in α -element as well as Fe-peak abundances at m C sini∼1.35±0.20 jupiter masses. We discuss the implication of these results in the context of the formation scenario of BDs in comparison with that of giant planets.

D. Mata Sánchez, J. I. González Hernández, G. Israelian, N. C. Santos, J. Sahlmann, S. Udry (Submitted on 3 Apr 2014)

Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Cite as: arXiv:1404.0824 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1404.0824v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Jonay I. Gonzalez Hernandez [v1] Thu, 3 Apr 2014 10:06:43 GMT (498kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻