Take the 2-minute tour ×
Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. It's 100% free, no registration required.

According to the NASA website "The strange attraction of Hot Jupiters", one of the main types of exoplanets that have been detected are Hot Jupiters, which are

These are behemoth worlds that orbit close to their parent stars, blocking a fraction of the star’s light when it transits in front.

Planets that are from as large as Saturn through to far larger than Jupiter, orbiting in a matter of days very close to their parent star. Something our solar system does not have.

What proportion of star systems have Hot Jupiters within their systems? Is it a case that Hot-Jupiter-less systems such as our own are unusual?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In 2011, about 20% of the exoplanets found were hot Jupiters. That is a lot, but it is strongly biased simply because there are the easiest planets to detect. You can detect exoplanets by transit (that means that the planet passes in front of its host star which decreases the luminosity of the observed star during the transit), hot Jupiters being closer to their host star and bigger than smaller planets will therefore be easier to detect. You can detect exoplanets by radial velocity, which means that you detect variation of the position of the host star due to planet's gravity. The closer and the heavier the planet is, the larger the variation will be, and therefore the easier to detect.

That's why it is important to say "In 2011"; as our detection techniques (and telescopes) improve, the proportion of hot Jupiters should decreases.

Edit: To put that in perspective, you can read this article from Jason Wright in which he tries to estimate the "real" ratio of hot Jupiters orbiting around "normal" stars (F, G and K type stars). This ratio is actually much smaller than the currently observed ratio, about 1.2%.

share|improve this answer
three-quarters? that's a lot more than I expected. Do you have any references that you can include in your answer? –  user8 Sep 25 '13 at 8:47
Sorry, I got the number wrong (I mistook it with earlier estimates). I putted a more reliable numbers with a good reference; I also add some details about the "real" ratio one should expect. –  MBR Sep 25 '13 at 9:21
No apologies needed - this is an excellent answer and answers both questions I had very nicely. –  user8 Sep 25 '13 at 9:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.