Alpha Centauri

Water Content Trends In K2-138 And Other Low-mass Multiplanetary Systems

By Keith Cowing
January 28, 2022
Filed under
Water Content Trends In K2-138 And Other Low-mass Multiplanetary Systems
Results of the analysis of α Cen B (left panels) and K2-138 (right panels) using the various iron line lists. The colour coding for each line list is indicated in the upper left panel. The parameters of K2-138 determined by Christiansen et al. (2018) are shown in the right panels. The grey shaded areas for α Cen B delimit the interferometric Teff and seismic log g values (±1 σ; see Sect. 2.1 for details).

Super-Earths and sub-Neptunes have been found simultaneously in multiplanetary systems, suggesting that they are appropriate to study composition and formation within the same environment. We perform a homogeneous interior structure analysis of five multiplanetary systems to explore the compositional trends and its relation with planet formation.

For K2-138, we present revised masses and stellar host chemical abundances to improve the constraints on the planetary interior. We conduct a line-by-line differential spectroscopic analysis on the stellar spectra to obtain its chemical abundances and the planetary parameters.

We select multiplanetary systems with five or more low-mass planets that have both mass and radius data available. We carry out a homogeneous interior structure analysis on the systems K2-138, TOI-178, Kepler-11, Kepler-102 and Kepler-80 and estimate the volatile mass fraction of their planets assuming a volatile layer constituted of water in steam and supercritical phases.

Our interior-atmosphere model takes into account the effects of irradiation on the surface conditions. K2-138 inner planets present an increasing volatile mass fraction with distance from its host star, while the outer planets present an approximately constant water content. This is similar to the trend observed in TRAPPIST-1 in a previous analysis with the same interior-atmosphere model.

The Kepler-102 system could potentially present this trend. In all multiplanetary systems, the low volatile mass fraction of the inner planets could be due to atmospheric escape while the higher volatile mass fraction of the outer planets can be the result of accretion of ice-rich material in the vicinity of the ice line with later inward migration. Kepler-102 and Kepler-80 present inner planets with high core mass fractions which could be due to mantle evaporation, impacts or formation in the vicinity of rocklines.

Lorena Acuña, Theo Lopez, Thierry Morel, Magali Deleuil, Olivier Mousis, Artyom Aguichine, Emmanuel Marcq, Alexandre Santerne

Comments: 15 pages, 4 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2201.11532 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2201.11532v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Lorena Acuña
[v1] Thu, 27 Jan 2022 14:11:33 UTC (1,420 KB)

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) 🖖🏻