Bridging the Planet Radius Valley: Stellar Clustering as a Key Driver for Turning Sub-Neptunes into Super-Earths

  title={Bridging the Planet Radius Valley: Stellar Clustering as a Key Driver for Turning Sub-Neptunes into Super-Earths},
  author={J. M. Diederik Kruijssen and Steven N. Longmore and M{\'e}lanie Chevance},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal Letters},
Extrasolar planets with sizes between that of the Earth and Neptune (Rp = 1–4 R⊕) have a bimodal radius distribution. This “planet radius valley” separates compact, rocky super-Earths (Rp = 1.0–1.8 R⊕) from larger sub-Neptunes (Rp = 1.8–3.5 R⊕) hosting a gaseous hydrogen–helium envelope around their rocky core. Various hypotheses for this radius valley have been put forward, which all rely on physics internal to the planetary system: photoevaporation by the host star, long-term mass loss driven… 

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