Elemental Abundances of Kepler Objects of Interest in APOGEE. I. Two Distinct Orbital Period Regimes Inferred from Host Star Iron Abundances [EPA]


The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) has observed $\sim$600 transiting exoplanets and exoplanet candidates from \textit{Kepler} (Kepler Objects of Interest, KOIs), most with $\geq$18 epochs. The combined multi-epoch spectra are of high signal-to-noise (typically $\geq$100) and yield precise stellar parameters and chemical abundances. We first confirm the ability of the APOGEE abundance pipeline, ASPCAP, to derive reliable [Fe/H] and effective temperatures for FGK dwarf stars — the primary \textit{Kepler} host stellar type — by comparing the ASPCAP-derived stellar parameters to those from independent high-resolution spectroscopic characterizations for 221 dwarf stars in the literature. With a sample of 282 close-in ($P<100$ days) KOIs observed in the APOGEE KOI goal program, we find a correlation between orbital period and host star [Fe/H] characterized by a critical period, $P_\mathrm{crit}$= $8.3^{+0.1}{-4.1}$ days, below which small exoplanets orbit statistically more metal-enriched host stars. This effect may trace a metallicity dependence of the protoplanetary disk inner-radius at the time of planet formation or may be a result of rocky planet ingestion driven by inward planetary migration. We also consider that this may trace a metallicity dependence of the dust sublimation radius, but find no statistically significant correlation with host $T\mathrm{eff}$ and orbital period to support such a claim.

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R. Wilson, J. Teske, S. Majewski, et. al.
Tue, 5 Dec 17

Comments: 18 Pages, Accepted to AJ