Site Map
Contacts
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter YouTube channel
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Enhanced lithium depletion in Sun-like stars with orbiting planets

G. Israelian, E. Mena, N. C. Santos, S. G. Sousa, M. Mayor, S. Udry, C. Domínguez Cerdeña, R. Rebolo López, S. Randich

Abstract
The surface abundance of lithium on the Sun is 140 times less than the protosolar value, yet the temperature at the base of the surface convective zone is not hot enough to burn—and hence deplete—Li (refs 2, 3). A large range of Li abundances is observed in solar-type stars of the same age, mass and metallicity as the Sun, but such a range is theoretically difficult to understand. An earlier suggestion that Li is more depleted in stars with planets was weakened by the lack of a proper comparison sample of stars without detected planets. Here we report Li abundances for an unbiased sample of solar-analogue stars with and without detected planets. We find that the planet-bearing stars have less than one per cent of the primordial Li abundance, while about 50 per cent of the solar analogues without detected planets have on average ten times more Li. The presence of planets may increase the amount of mixing and deepen the convective zone to such an extent that the Li can be burned.

Nature
Volume 462, Page 189
November 2009

>> PDF>> ADS>> DOI

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

Proceed on CAUP's website|Go to IA website