Massperiod distribution

The existence of 'Hot Jupiters' implied the possible presence of massive planets close to their host stars. Since the RV technique is mostly sensitive to short periods and massive planets, we expect to find a dense population in this part of the mass-period diagram. However, this is not the case, as was shown by Zucker and Mazeh (2002), Udry et al. (2002), and Patzold and Rauer (2002). This may hint that the planetary migration process is less effective for very massive planets (Nelson et al., 2000; Trilling et al., 2002). Alternatively, it could mean that at very short distances the planet 'spills over' part of its mass onto the host star (Trilling et al., 1998).

Fig. 1.4. The mass distribution of companions to solar-type stars. Note the dearth of planets at masses between 0.02 and 0.08 solar masses - 'the Brown-Dwarf Desert'. From Udry et al. (2004).

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