AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 68 Extra-Solar Planets II: Current Searches, Properties and Analysis
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[68.18] Direct Metallicity Measurements of M Dwarf Planet Hosts

J. Bean, G. F. Benedict, M. Endl, C. Sneden (University of Texas, Austin)

The large number of extrasolar planetary systems discovered recently has allowed meaningful statistical studies to be done. One of the most interesting observed trends is the strong correlation of host star metallicity and the frequency of detected planets. Most extrasolar planet surveys have focused on solar-type stars and therefore these are the stellar types that populate the statistics. As some surveys are now focusing on M dwarfs and planets are found to orbit stars of this type we ask the question, does the trend for higher frequency of planet detections around high metallicity stars continue for M dwarfs? Here we first present an accurate technique for direct measurement of M dwarf compositions via spectral modeling. We show that our method using the most current model atmospheres and molecular data allows high precision abundance determinations consistent with the techniques applied to warmer stars. We present preliminary results from our abundance analysis of the M dwarf planet hosts Gl 876, 431, and 581. We also discuss our work to place these results in a broader context by analyzing all the M dwarfs in the ongoing planet search program at McDonald Observatory.

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