The California-Kepler Survey. IV. Metal-rich Stars Host a Greater Diversity of Planets [EPA]

Previous studies of Kepler planets examined occurrence rates as a function of radius and period. Here, we present occurrence rates as a function of host star metallicity, planet radius, and orbital period, using the California-Kepler Survey (CKS) dataset. Our occurrence rates leverage the high-purity CKS planet catalog with precise planet radii and host star metallicities. Metallicity M is correlated with planet occurrence for some, but not all, planet sizes and orbital periods. We model the planet-metallicity correlation as $d f \propto 10^{\beta M} d M$, where $\beta$ characterizes the strength of this correlation. For warm super-Earths having orbital periods $P = 10-100$ days and radii $R_P = 1.0-1.7~R_E$, we observe no correlation, with $\beta = -0.3^{+0.2}{-0.2}$. Warm super-Earths may represent a population of planets that form with high efficiency, even in metal-poor disks. The occurrence of planets with larger sizes or shorter orbital periods is correlated with metallicity, and this correlation steepens with decreasing orbital period and increasing planet size. Hot Jupiters are strongly correlated with metallicity, $\beta = +3.4^{+0.9}{-0.8}$. While hot Jupiters are rare, occurring around $0.57^{+0.14}_{-0.12}\%$ of Sun-like stars, they constitute an island in the $P$-$R_P$ plane that is surrounded by a sea of still lower occurrence, suggesting a distinct formation pathway. High metallicities in protoplanetary disks may increase the mass of the largest rocky cores or the speed at which they are assembled, enhancing the production of planets larger than 1.7 $R_E$. The association between high metallicity and short-period planets may reflect disk density profiles that facilitate inward migration of planets or higher rates of planet-planet scattering.

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E. Petigura, G. Marcy, J. Winn, et. al.
Wed, 13 Dec 17

Comments: 31 pages, 15 figures, 8 tables, submitted to AJ