Down and Dirty in the Data

by Paul Gilster on April 26, 2008

astroENGINE.com hosts the 51st Carnival of Space, a lengthy compilation indeed, from which I’ll draw Ian Musgrave’s interesting post on a possible transit at 83 Leonis as the feature of the week. If you want to find out what it’s like to get your hands dirty juggling the data, trying to sift out signal from noise and working with all the imponderables that go into spotting the signature of a transiting world, have a look. Ian finds a noisy 83 Leonis but one that just might show a transit. A self-described ‘mathematically challenged biologist,’ this is a writer whose work is always worth watching. In this case, what he’s doing reflects the broadening participation of amateurs in exoplanet projects, an idea Greg Laughlin has championed, so it’s no surprise to see that Ian has drawn from Laughlin’s expertise in his current work.

{ 1 comment }

ljk May 16, 2008 at 8:39

Characterizing Long-Period Transiting Planets Observed by Kepler

Authors: Jennifer C. Yee, B. Scott Gaudi

(Submitted on 14 May 2008)

Abstract: Kepler will monitor a sufficient number of stars that it is likely to detect single transits of planets with periods longer than the mission lifetime. We show that by combining the exquisite Kepler photometry of such transits with precise radial velocity observations taken over a reasonable timescale (~ 6 months) after the transits, and assuming circular orbits, it is possible to estimate the periods of these transiting planets to better than 20%, for planets with radii greater than that of Neptune, and the masses to within a factor of 2, for planets with masses larger than or about equal to the mass of Jupiter.

Using a Fisher matrix analysis, we derive analytic estimates for the uncertainties in the velocity of the planet and the acceleration of the star at the time of transit, which we then use to derive the uncertainties for the planet mass, radius, period, semimajor axis, and orbital inclination. Finally, we explore the impact of orbital eccentricity on the estimates of these quantities.

Comments: 28 pages, 7 figures

Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)

Cite as: arXiv:0805.1936v1 [astro-ph]

Submission history

From: Jennifer Yee [view email]

[v1] Wed, 14 May 2008 19:05:01 GMT (57kb)

http://arxiv.org/abs/0805.1936

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