Volume 622, February 2019
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||24 January 2019|
Chemical composition of planet building blocks as predicted by stellar population synthesis
Institut UTINAM, CNRS UMR6213, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, OSU THETA Franche-Comté-Bourgogne, Observatoire de Besançon, BP 1615, 25010 Besançon Cedex, France
Accepted: 7 November 2018
Context. Future space missions (TESS, CHEOPS, PLATO, and the JWST) will considerably improve our understanding of the formation and history of planetary systems by providing accurate constraints on planetary radius, mass, and atmospheric composition. Currently, observations show that the presence of planetary companions is closely linked to the metallicity and the chemical abundances of the host stars.
Aims. We aim to build an integrated tool for predicting the planet building blocks (PBBs) composition as a function of the stellar populations to interpret ongoing and future large surveys. The different stellar populations we observe in our Galaxy are characterized by different metallicities and α-element abundances. We here investigate the trends of the expected PBBs composition with the chemical abundance of the host star in different parts of the Galaxy.
Methods. We synthesized stellar populations with the Besançon galaxy model, which includes stellar evolutionary tracks that are computed with the stellar evolution code STAREVOL. We integrated a previously published simple stoichiometric model into this code to determine the expected composition of the PBBs.
Results. We determine the expected PBB composition around FGK stars for the four galactic populations (thin and thick disks, halo, and bulge) within the Milky Way. Our solar neighborhood simulations are in good agreement with the recent results obtained with the HARPS survey for firon, fw, and the heavy element mass fraction fZ. We present evidence of a clear dependence of firon and fw on the initial alpha abundances [α/Fe] of the host star. We find that the different initial [α/Fe] distributions in the different galactic populations lead to a bimodal distribution of PBB composition. Our simulations show an iron valley that separates PBBs with high and low iron mass fractions and a water valley that separates PBBs with high and low water mass fractions.
Conclusions. We linked host star abundances and expected PBB composition in an integrated model of the Galaxy. The trends we derive are an important step for statistical analyses of expected planet properties. In particular, internal structure models may use these results to derive statistical trends of rocky planet properties, constrain habitability, and prepare an interpretation of ongoing and future large-scale surveys of exoplanets.
Key words: planets and satellites: composition / stars: abundances
© ESO 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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