Truly eccentric - II. When can two circular planets mimic a single eccentric orbit?

Wittenmyer, Robert A. and Bergmann, Christoph and Horner, Jonathan and Clark, Jake and Kane, Stephen R. (2019) Truly eccentric - II. When can two circular planets mimic a single eccentric orbit? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484. pp. 4230-4238. ISSN 0035-8711

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When, in the course of searching for exoplanets, sparse sampling and noisy data make it necessary to disentangle possible solutions to the observations, one must consider the possibility that what appears to be a single eccentric Keplerian signal may in reality be attributed to two planets in near-circular orbits. There is precedent in the literature for such outcomes, whereby further data or new analysis techniques reveal hitherto occulted signals. Here, we perform suites of simulations to explore the range of possible two-planet configurations that can result in such confusion. We find that a single Keplerian orbit with e ? 0.5 can virtually never be mimicked by such deceptive system architectures. This result adds credibility to the most eccentric planets that have been found to date, and suggests that it could well be worth revisiting the catalogue of moderately eccentric 'confirmed' exoplanets in the coming years, as more data become available, to determine whether any such deceptive couplets are hidden in the observational data.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 04:44
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2019 05:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: numerical methods; radial velocities; planets and satellites; detection; astrophysics; Earth; planetary astrophysics
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz236

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