Poster Abstracts

Name/Affiliation:  Sarah Ballard (University of Washington)

Title:  Multiplicity of Planets Among the Kepler M Dwarfs

The Kepler data set has furnished more than 130 exoplanetary candidates orbiting M dwarf hosts, nearly half of which reside in multiply transiting systems. I investigate the proposition of self-similarity in this sample, first posited by Swift et al. (2013) for the analysis of the 5-planet system Kepler-32. If we compare the predictions of a single mode of planet multiplicity and coplanarity to the Kepler sample, we find that the population of systems with two planets or more is well-replicated. However, the number of singly-transiting systems remains too high to be consistent with this proposition, even accounting for a higher false positive rate among systems exhibiting only one periodic transit. I investigate astrophysical explanations for this feature of Kepler's multiple planet population orbiting small stars, and explore whether the data set supports two distinct modes of planet formation around M dwarfs. I discuss the relative unlikelihood of select bias or unusually high false positive rates as an explanation, in contrast.