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Exoplanets Host Star Mass Distribution

Histogram of the exoplanets host star mass distribution

A histogram showing the distribution of the host-star masses associated with the confirmed exoplanets in a subset of the sample that had measured stellar masses at the time the snapshot was taken (on 5 August, 2012). Plotted is the percentage of the subsample of exoplanets in each mass interval. The stellar masses are shown in units of the mass of our Sun (i.e., solar mass units). Data are from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia.

Although the stellar mass distribution shown ranges from 0.02 to 4.5 to solar masses, it can be seen that the distribution is strongly peaked around 1 solar mass. This is not a coincidence and is obviously affected by selection effects (such as the desire to seek exoplanets around sunlike stars). For the particular snapshot sample shown in the plot above, over 83% of the host stars that had mass measurements, had a mass in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 solar masses.

Read more about exoplanets with Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems, which includes comprehensive references to the scientific literature, and discussion of selection effects.

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Note: There are 605 exoplanets that contribute to the histogram, taken from a snapshot when there were 692 confirmed exoplanets in total (residing in 570 alien solar systems, 81 of which harbored more than one exoplanet).
File under: What are the masses of the host stars associated with exoplanets? What is the host-star mass distribution of alien solar systems harboring exoplanets? What is the range in the exoplanet host-star masses?

© Tahir Yaqoob 2011.