Journal Article

Maximum-likelihood method for estimating the mass and period distributions of extrasolar planets

Serge Tabachnik and Scott Tremaine

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 335, issue 1, pages 151-158
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05610.x
Maximum-likelihood method for estimating the mass and period distributions of extrasolar planets

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Abstract

We investigate the distribution of mass M and orbital period P of extrasolar planets, taking account of selection effects caused by the limited velocity precision and duration of existing surveys. We fit the data on 72 planets to a power-law distribution of the form dn=CM−αP−β(dM/M)(dP/P), and find α= 0.11 ± 0.10, β=−0.27 ± 0.06 for M≲ 10 MJ, where MJ is the mass of Jupiter. The correlation coefficient between these two exponents is −0.31, indicating that uncertainties in the two distributions are coupled. We estimate that 4 per cent of solar-type stars have companions in the range 1 MJ < M < 10 MJ, 2d < P < 10 yr.

Keywords: planetary systems; planetary systems: formation; planetary systems: protoplanetary discs

Journal Article.  3682 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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