The frequency of planets in multiple systems*
INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Italy
Accepted: 5 March 2007
Context.The frequency of planets in binaries is an important issue in the field of extrasolar planet studies, because of its relevance in estimating of the global planet population of our Galaxy and the clues it can give to our understanding of planet formation and evolution. However, only preliminary estimates are available in the literature.
Aims. We analyze and compare the frequency of planets in multiple systems to the frequency of planets orbiting single stars. We also try to highlight possible connections between the frequency of planets and the orbital parameters of the binaries (such as the periastron and mass ratio.)
Methods. A literature search was performed for binaries and multiple systems among the stars of the sample with uniform planet detectability defined by Fischer & Valenti (2005, ApJ, 622, 1102), and 202 of the 850 stars of the sample turned out to be binaries, allowing a statistical comparison of the frequency of planets in binaries and single stars and a study of the run of the planet frequency as a function of the binary separation.
Results.We found that the global frequency of planets in the binaries of the sample is not statistically different from that of planets in single stars. Even conservatively taking the probable incompleteness of binary detection in our sample into account, we estimate that the frequency of planets in binaries can be no more than a factor of three lower than that of planets in single stars. There is no significant dependence of planet frequency on the binary separation, except for a lower value of frequency for close binaries. However, this is probably not as low as required to explain the presence of planets in close binaries only as the result of modifications of the binary orbit after the planet formation.
Key words: stars: planetary systems / stars: binaries: general
© ESO, 2007