TY - GEN

T1 - Observational biases in determining extrasolar planet eccentricities

AU - Pan, M.

AU - Zakamska, N. L.

AU - Ford, E. B.

N1 - Copyright:
Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - We investigate biases in the measurement of exoplanet orbital parameters - especially eccentricity - from radial velocity (RV) observations. In this contribution we consider single-planet systems. We create a mock catalog of RV data, choosing planet masses and orbital periods, and observing patterns to mimic those of actual RV surveys. Using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations, we generate a posterior sample for each mock data set, calculate best-fit orbital parameters for each data set, and compare these to the true values. We find that the precision of our derived eccentricities is most closely related to the effective signal-to-noise ratio, K√N/σ, where K is the velocity amplitude, cr is the effective single-measurement precision, and N is the number of observations. We also find that eccentricities of planets on nearly circular (e < 0.05) orbits are preferentially overestimated. While the Butler et al. (2006) catalog reports e < 0.05 for just 20% of its planets, we estimate that the true fraction of e < 0.05 orbits is about 50%. We investigate the accuracy, precision, and bias of alternative sets of summary statistics and find that the median values of h = esinω and k = ecosω (where ω is the longitude of periapse) of the posterior sample typically provide more accurate, more precise, and less biased estimates of eccentricity than traditional measures.

AB - We investigate biases in the measurement of exoplanet orbital parameters - especially eccentricity - from radial velocity (RV) observations. In this contribution we consider single-planet systems. We create a mock catalog of RV data, choosing planet masses and orbital periods, and observing patterns to mimic those of actual RV surveys. Using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations, we generate a posterior sample for each mock data set, calculate best-fit orbital parameters for each data set, and compare these to the true values. We find that the precision of our derived eccentricities is most closely related to the effective signal-to-noise ratio, K√N/σ, where K is the velocity amplitude, cr is the effective single-measurement precision, and N is the number of observations. We also find that eccentricities of planets on nearly circular (e < 0.05) orbits are preferentially overestimated. While the Butler et al. (2006) catalog reports e < 0.05 for just 20% of its planets, we estimate that the true fraction of e < 0.05 orbits is about 50%. We investigate the accuracy, precision, and bias of alternative sets of summary statistics and find that the median values of h = esinω and k = ecosω (where ω is the longitude of periapse) of the posterior sample typically provide more accurate, more precise, and less biased estimates of eccentricity than traditional measures.

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U2 - 10.1051/eas/1042018

DO - 10.1051/eas/1042018

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:78751668100

SN - 9782759804856

T3 - EAS Publications Series

SP - 169

EP - 173

BT - Extrasolar Planets in Multi-Body Systems

T2 - International Conference Eztrasolar Planets in Multi-Body Systems: Theory and Observations

Y2 - 25 August 2008 through 29 August 2008

ER -