A mass function constraint on extrasolar giant planet evaporation rates

W. B. Hubbard, M. F. Hattori, Adam S. Burrows, I. Hubeny

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The observed mass function for all known extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) varies approximately as M-1 for mass M between ∼0.2 Jupiter masses (MJ) and ∼5 MJ. In order to study evaporation effects for highly irradiated EGPs in this mass range, we have constructed an observational mass function for a subset of EGPs in the same mass range but with orbital radii <0.07 AU. Surprisingly, the mass function for such highly irradiated EGPs agrees quantitatively with the M-1 law, implying that the mass function for EGPs is preserved despite migration to small orbital radii. Unless there is a remarkable compensation of mass-dependent orbital migration for massdependent evaporation, this result places a constraint on orbital migration models and rules out the most extreme mass-loss rates in the literature. A theory that predicts more moderate mass loss gives a mass function that is closer to observed statistics but still disagrees for M < 1 M J.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L59-L62
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Mar 20 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Molecular processes
  • Planetary systems


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