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Minimum number of observations for exoplanet orbit determination
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Paper Abstract

Accurate characterization of exoplanet orbits requires multiple observations made over one or more orbital periods. We use a rejection sampling algorithm to study how uncertainty in the observation data manifests in the computed orbital parameters and how this uncertainty depends on the number and spacing of observations. We find that 3 observations equally spaced over at least one half of an orbital period robustly reduces the uncertainty in the semi-major axis and eccentricity to below 10%. We also study modifications of this revisit strategy in the presence of a central obscuration and show how null observations may still be leveraged to constrain a detected exoplanets orbital parameters. Finally, we suggest a method for incorporating photometric data into the rejection sampling framework to break degeneracy in the orbit fitting procedure and further constrain the orbital parameters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2019
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171C (16 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2529741
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew Horning, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Rhonda Morgan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eric Nielson, Stanford Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11117:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX
Stuart B. Shaklan, Editor(s)

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