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The remarkable solar twin HIP 56948: a prime target in the quest for other Earths

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Melendez, J. [1] ; Bergemann, M. [2] ; Cohen, J. G. [3] ; Endl, M. [4] ; Karakas, A. I. [5] ; Ramirez, I. [4, 6] ; Cochran, W. D. [4] ; Yong, D. [5] ; MacQueen, P. J. [4] ; Kobayashi, C. [5] ; Asplund, M. [5]
Número total de Autores: 11
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Astron IAG USP, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Max Planck Inst Astrophys, D-85741 Garching - Germany
[3] CALTECH, Palomar Observ, Pasadena, CA 91125 - USA
[4] Univ Texas Austin, McDonald Observ, Austin, TX 78712 - USA
[5] Australian Natl Univ, Res Sch Astron & Astrophys, Weston, ACT 2611 - Australia
[6] Observ Carnegie Inst Sci, Pasadena, CA 91101 - USA
Número total de Afiliações: 6
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: Astronomy & Astrophysics; v. 543, JUL 2012.
Citações Web of Science: 73

Context. The Sun shows abundance anomalies relative to most solar twins. If the abundance peculiarities are due to the formation of inner rocky planets, that would mean that only a small fraction of solar type stars may host terrestrial planets. Aims. In this work we study HIP 56948, the best solar twin known to date, to determine with an unparalleled precision how similar it is to the Sun in its physical properties, chemical composition and planet architecture. We explore whether the abundances anomalies may be due to pollution from stellar ejecta or to terrestrial planet formation. Methods. We perform a differential abundance analysis (both in LTE and NLTE) using high resolution (R similar to 100 000) high S/N (600-650) Keck HIRES spectra of the Sun (as reflected from the asteroid Ceres) and HIP 56948. We use precise radial velocity data from the McDonald and Keck observatories to search for planets around this star. Results. We achieve a precision of sigma less than or similar to 0.003 dex for several elements. Including errors in stellar parameters the total uncertainty is as low as sigma similar or equal to 0.005 dex (1%), which is unprecedented in elemental abundance studies. The similarities between HIP 56948 and the Sun are astonishing. HIP 56948 is only 17 +/- 7 K hotter than the Sun, and log g, {[}Fe/H] and microturbulence velocity are only +0.02 +/- 0.02 dex, +0.02 +/- 0.01 dex and +0.01 +/- 0.01 km s(-1) higher than solar, respectively. Our precise stellar parameters and a differential isochrone analysis shows that HIP 56948 has a mass of 1.02 +/- 0.02 M-circle dot and that it is similar to 1 Gyr younger than the Sun, as constrained by isochrones, chromospheric activity, Li and rotation. Both stars show a chemical abundance pattern that differs from most solar twins, but the refractory elements (those with condensation temperature T-cond greater than or similar to 1000 K) are slightly (similar to 0.01 dex) more depleted in the Sun than in HIP 56948. The trend with T-cond in differential abundances (twins -HIP 56948) can be reproduced very well by adding similar to 3 M-circle plus of a mix of Earth and meteoritic material, to the convection zone of HIP 56948. The element-to-element scatter of the Earth/meteoritic mix for the case of hypothetical rocky planets around HIP 56948 is only 0.0047 dex. From our radial velocity monitoring we find no indications of giant planets interior to or within the habitable zone of HIP 56948. Conclusions. We conclude that HIP 56948 is an excellent candidate to host a planetary system like our own, including the possible presence of inner terrestrial planets. Its striking similarity to the Sun and its mature age makes HIP 56948 a prime target in the quest for other Earths and SETI endeavors. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 10/17510-3 - Influência da formação de planetas na composição química de estrelas do tipo solar
Beneficiário:Jorge Luis Melendez Moreno
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Regular