Fraction of stars with planets?

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Fraction of stars with planets?

Post by forest on 16th February 2011, 7:12 am


Infrared observations of circumstellar disks indicate that ~80% of stars are born with enough material (gas, dust, and water) to produce at least several low planets. High precision radial velocity searches for extrasolar planets tell us that ~10% of solar type stars have at least one planet down to Saturn-mass orbiting in 2000 days or less. Extrapolations and long term trends in these surveys indicate that another 5-10% of these stars may have planets down to Saturn mass out to 20 A.U. The data on smaller planets has remained sparse until very recently--that is, until the Kepler mission started finding smaller planets in high numbers. Specifically, Kepler (with more observation time remaining and a possible extended mission) has told that 34% of stars have at least one planet within 0.5 A.U. By the time this incredible mission is finished, it will tell us that X% of stars have at least one planet within 1-2 A.U. However, it is unclear how many more planets will turn up in future generations of searches. What will the X in X% be?

My question to viewers is this: In light of all of the data existing thus far on extrasolar planets, what fraction of stars do you think will turn out to have at least one planet?

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Re: Fraction of stars with planets?

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 21st March 2011, 5:00 am

I'll be optimistic and say 70 +/- 10 %.

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Re: Fraction of stars with planets?

Post by Lazarus on 25th March 2011, 1:37 pm

This may be relevant - unfortunately it is behind a paywall.
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Re: Fraction of stars with planets?

Post by forest on 27th March 2011, 6:10 am

Nice find Lazarus. Correct me if I am wrong, but based on the information presented in the abstract regarding left over dust, it looks as though the fraction of stars with planets may indeed be close to Sirius_Alpha's above projection of 70+/-10%.

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