Vol 12, No 6

The silicate and carbon-rich models of CoRoT-7b, Kepler-9d and Kepler-10b

Yan-Xiang Gong, Ji-Lin Zhou


Abstract Possible bulk compositions of the super-Earth exoplanets CoRoT-7b, Kepler-9d, and Kepler-10b are investigated by applying a commonly used silicate model and a non-standard carbon model. Their internal structures are deduced using a suitable equation of state for the materials. The degeneracy problems of their compositions can be partly overcome, based on the fact that all three planets are extremely close to their host stars. By analyzing the numerical results, we conclude: 1) the iron core of CoRoT-7b is not more than 27% of its total mass within 1σ mass-radius error bars, so an Earth-like composition is less likely, but its carbon rich model can be compatible with an Earth-like core/mantle mass fraction; 2) Kepler-10b is more likely to have a Mercury-like composition, with its old age implying that its high iron content may be a result of strong solar wind or giant impact; 3) the transiting-only super-Earth Kepler-9d is also discussed. Combining its possible composition with the formation theory, we can place some constraints on its mass and bulk composition.


Keywords planets and satellites: general — methods: numerical — planets and satellites: individual(CoRoT-7b,Kepler-9d,Kepler-10b)

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