Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-31-2009

Abstract

We present an analysis of ∼5 years of Lick Observatory radial velocity measurements targeting a uniform sample of 31 intermediate-mass (IM) subgiants (1.5 ≲ M*/M☉≲ 2.0) with the goal of measuring the occurrence rate of Jovian planets around (evolved) A-type stars and comparing the distributions of their orbital and physical characteristics to those of planets around Sun-like stars. We provide updated orbital solutions incorporating new radial velocity measurements for five known planet-hosting stars in our sample; uncertainties in the fitted parameters are assessed using a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo method. The frequency of Jovian planets interior to 3 AU is 26+9−8%, which is significantly higher than the 5%–10% frequency observed around solar-mass stars. The median detection threshold for our sample includes minimum masses down to {0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.6, 1.3} MJup within {0.1, 0.3, 0.6, 1.0, 3.0} AU. To compare the properties of planets around IM stars to those around solar-mass stars we synthesize a population of planets based on the parametric relationship dN ∝  MαPβdlnMdlnP, the observed planet frequency, and the detection limits we derived. We find that the values of α and β for planets around solar-type stars from Cumming et al. fail to reproduce the observed properties of planets in our sample at the 4σ level, even when accounting for the different planet occurrence rates. Thus, the properties of planets around A stars are markedly different than those around Sun-like stars, suggesting that only a small (∼50%) increase in stellar mass has a large influence on the formation and orbital evolution of planets.

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