EDP Sciences
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Volume 474, Number 1, October IV 2007
Page(s) 293 - 299
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077068

A&A 474, 293-299 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077068

The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets

X. A m sin i = 11 $M_\oplus$ planet around the nearby spotted M dwarf GJ 674
X. Bonfils1, M. Mayor2, X. Delfosse3, T. Forveille3, M. Gillon2, C. Perrier3, S. Udry2, F. Bouchy4, C. Lovis2, F. Pepe2, D. Queloz2, N. C. Santos1, 2, 5, and J.-L. Bertaux6

1  Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa, Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa, Portugal
    e-mail: xavier.bonfils@oal.ul.pt
2  Observatoire de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
3  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, Université J. Fourier, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble, Cedex 9, France
4  Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 98bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
5  Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
6  Service d'Aéronomie du CNRS, BP 3, 91371 Verrières-le-Buisson, France

(Received 9 January 2007 / Accepted 18 April 2007)

Context.How planet properties depend on stellar mass is a key diagnostic of planetary formation mechanisms.
Aims.This motivates planet searches around stars that are significantly more massive or less massive than the Sun, and in particular our radial velocity search for planets around very low-mass stars.
Methods. As part of that program, we obtained measurements of GJ 674 , an M 2.5 dwarf at d = 4.5 pc. These measurements have dispersion much in excess of their internal errors. An intensive observing campaign demonstrates that the excess dispersion is due to two superimposed coherent signals, with periods of 4.69 and 35 days.
Results.These data are described well by a 2-planet Keplerian model where each planet has a ~11 $M_\oplus$ minimum mass. A careful analysis of the (low-level) magnetic activity of GJ 674 , however, demonstrates that the 35-day period coincides with the stellar rotation period. This signal therefore originates in a spot inhomogeneity modulated by stellar rotation. The 4.69-day signal, on the other hand, is caused by a bona-fide planet, GJ 674b .
Conclusions.Its detection adds to the growing number of Neptune-mass planets around M-dwarfs and reinforces the emerging conclusion that this mass domain is much more populated than the Jovian mass range. We discuss the metallicity distributions of M dwarf with and without planets and find a low 11% probability that they are drawn from the same parent distribution. Moreover, we find tentative evidence that the host star metallicity correlates with the total mass of their planetary system.

Key words: stars: individual: GJ 674 -- stars: planetary systems -- stars: late-type -- techniques: radial velocities

© ESO 2007

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