The detailed chemical composition of the terrestrial planet host Kepler-10

F. Liu, D. Yong, M. Asplund, I. Ramírez, J. Meléndez, B. Gustafsson, L. M. Howes, I. U. Roederer, D. L. Lambert, T. Bensby

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Chemical abundance studies of the Sun and solar twins have demonstrated that the solar composition of refractory elements is depleted when compared to volatile elements, which could be due to the formation of terrestrial planets. In order to further examine this scenario, we conducted a line-by-line differential chemical abundance analysis of the terrestrial planet host Kepler-10 and 14 of its stellar twins. Stellar parameters and elemental abundances ofKepler-10 and its stellar twins were obtained with very high precision using a strictly differential analysis of high quality Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Hobby-Eberly Telescope and Magellan spectra. When compared to the majority of thick disc twins, Kepler-10 shows a depletion in the refractory elements relative to the volatile elements, which could be due to the formation of terrestrial planets in the Kepler-10 system. The average abundance pattern corresponds to ~13 Earth masses, while the two known planets in Kepler-10 system have a combined ~20 Earth masses. For two of the eight thick disc twins, however, no depletion patterns are found. Although our results demonstrate that several factors [e.g. planet signature, stellar age, stellar birth location and Galactic chemical evolution (GCE)] could lead to or affect abundance trends with condensation temperature, we find that the trends give further support for the planetary signature hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2636-2646
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Planets and satellites: formation
  • Planets and satellites: terrestrial planets
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: individual: Kepler-10

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