Radial Velocity Modelling

By far the most successful way of detecting exoplanets to date has been through doppler spectroscopy, also known as radial velocity.  By watching the host star very carefully we can detect slight wobbles in its motion induced by a companion planet.

After detecting this wobbles, one must decide how many planets there are, what masses they have and what orbital characteristics they possess.  These problems are incredibly difficult to solve by hand but here at UCL we have developed a computer program which can reveal the most probable solution through a sophisticated technique known as Bayesian evidence.

Much of this work was possible through UCL’s expertise in cosmology which often faces similar kinds of problems in choosing the correct solution from a myriad of options.  As a result, we are able to wield the years of experience in this field to that of exoplanetology.  Sree Balan and Ofer Lahav have now made their computer program, known as ExoFit, publicly available, so feel free to get the journal publication and computer code yourself.

Page last modified on 16 jul 10 14:22 by Fabrizio Sidoli