The occurrence and mass distribution of close-in super-Earths, Neptunes, and Jupiters

Andrew W. Howard, Geoffrey W. Marcy, John Asher Johnson, Debra A. Fischer, Jason T. Wright, Howard Isaacson, Jeff A. Valenti, Jay Anderson, Doug N.C. Lin, Shigeru Ida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

480 Scopus citations


The questions of how planets form and how common Earth-like planets are can be addressed by measuring the distribution of exoplanet masses and orbital periods. We report the occurrence rate of close-in planets (with orbital periods less than 50 days), based on precise Doppler measurements of 166 Sun-like stars. We measured increasing planet occurrence with decreasing planet mass (M). Extrapolation of a power-law mass distribution fitted to our measurements, df/dlogM = 0.39 M-0.48, predicts that 23% of stars harbor a close-in Earth-mass planet (ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 Earth masses). Theoretical models of planet formation predict a deficit of planets in the domain from 5 to 30 Earth masses and with orbital periods less than 50 days. This region of parameter space is in fact well populated, implying that such models need substantial revision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-655
Number of pages3
Issue number6004
StatePublished - Oct 29 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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