Observing strategies for the detection of Jupiter analogs

Robert A. Wittenmyer, C. G. Tinney, J. Horner, R. P. Butler, H. R A Jones, S. J. O'Toole, J. Bailey, B. D. Carter, G. S. Salter, D. Wright

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    To understand the frequency, and thus the formation and evolution, of planetary systems like our own solar system, it is critical to detect Jupiter-like planets in Jupiter-like orbits. For long-term radial-velocity monitoring, it is useful to estimate the observational effort required to reliably detect such objects, particularly in light of severe competition for limited telescope time. We perform detailed simulations of observational campaigns, maximizing the realism of the sampling of a set of simulated observations.We then compute the detection limits for each campaign to quantify the effect of increasing the number of observational epochs and varying their time coverage. We show that once there is sufficient time baseline to detect a given orbital period, it becomes less effective to add further time coverage-rather, the detectability of a planet scales roughly as the square root of the number of observations, independently of the number of orbital cycles included in the data string. We also show that no noise floor is reached, with a continuing improvement in detectability at the maximum number of observations N = 500 tested here.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)351-356
    Number of pages6
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    Issue number926
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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