Metallicities of planet-hosting stars: A sample of giants and subgiants

L. Ghezzi, K. Cunha, S. C. Schuler, V. V. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This work presents a homogeneous derivation of atmospheric parameters and iron abundances for a sample of giant and subgiant stars which host giant planets, as well as a control sample of subgiant stars not known to host giant planets. The analysis is done using the same technique as for our previous analysis of a large sample of planet-hosting and control sample dwarf stars. A comparison between the distributions of [Fe/H] in planet-hosting main-sequence (MS) stars, subgiants, and giants within these samples finds that the MS stars and subgiants have the same mean metallicity of ([Fe/H]) ≃ +0.11 dex, while the giant sample is typically more metal poor, having an average metallicity of [Fe/H] = -0.06 dex. The fact that the subgiants have the same average metallicities as the dwarfs indicates that significant accretion of solid metal-rich material onto the planet-hosting stars has not taken place, as such material would be diluted in the evolution from dwarf to subgiant. The lower metallicity found for the planet-hosting giant stars in comparison with the planet-hosting dwarfs and subgiants is interpreted as being related to the underlying stellar mass, with giants having larger masses and thus, on average, larger-mass protoplanetary disks. In core accretion models of planet formation, larger disk masses can contain the critical amount of metals necessary to form giant planets even at lower metallicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-733
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: formation
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: atmospheres
  • Stars: fundamental parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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