The mass-radius relationship from solar-type stars to terrestrial planets: A review

G. Chabrier, I. Baraffe, J. Leconte, J. Gallardo, T. Barman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


In this review, we summarize our present knowledge of the behaviour of the mass-radius relationship from solar-type stars down to terrestrial planets, across the regime of substellar objects, brown dwarfs and giant planets. Particular attention is paid to the identification of the main physical properties or mechanisms responsible for this behaviour. Indeed, understanding the mechanical structure of an object provides valuable information about its internal structure, composition and heat content as well as its formation history. Although the general description of these properties is reasonably well mastered, disagreement between theory and observation in certain cases points to some missing physics in our present modelling of at least some of these objects. The mass-radius relationship in the overlaping domain between giant planets and low-mass brown dwarfs is shown to represent a powerful diagnostic to distinguish between these two different populations and shows once again that the present IAU distinction between these two populations at a given mass has no valid foundation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event15th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun - St. Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 21 2008Jul 25 2008


  • Brown dwarfs
  • Close
  • Eclipsing
  • Formation - binary
  • Fundamental parameters
  • General
  • Low-mass
  • Planetary systems
  • Visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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