The Small Exoplanet Mass-Radius Relation: Quantifying the Astrophysical Scatter

Angie Wolfgang, Leslie A. Rogers, Eric B. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Kepler Mission has discovered thousands of planets with radii <4 R, paving the way for the first statistical studies of super-Earth dynamics, formation, and evolution. These calculations often require planetary masses, and yet the vast majority of Kepler planet candidates do not have theirs measured. A key concern is therefore how to map the measured radii to mass estimates in a size range that lacks Solar System analogs. While previous works have derived one-to-one relationships between radius and mass, a realistic mass-radius (M-R) relation should account for the range of compositions that we expect within the population. This compositional diversity creates astrophysical scatter in the relation, which we quantify here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberA29A
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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