Small Planets in the Galactic Context: Host Star Kinematics, Iron, and Alpha-element Enhancement

Dolev Bashi, Shay Zucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explored the occurrence rate of small close-in planets among Kepler target stars as a function of the iron abundance and the stellar total velocity . We estimated the occurrence rate of those planets by combining information from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the California-Kepler Survey and found that iron-poor stars exhibit an increase in the occurrence with from f < 0.2 planets per star at < 30 to f ∼ 1.2 at > 90 . We suggest this planetary profusion may be a result of a higher abundance of α elements associated with iron-poor, high-velocity stars. Furthermore, we have identified an increase in small-planet occurrence with iron abundance, particularly for the slower stars (< 30), where the occurrence increased to f ∼ 1.1 planets per star in the iron-rich domain. Our results suggest there are two regions in the ([Fe/H], [α/Fe]) plane in which stars tend to form and maintain small planets. We argue that analysis of the effect of overall metal content on planet occurrence is incomplete without including information on both iron and α-element enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • methods: statistical
  • planets and satellites: general
  • stars: abundances
  • stars: fundamental parameters
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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