EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 491, Number 3, December I 2008
Page(s) 899 - 906
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810741
Published online 01 October 2008

A&A 491, 899-906 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810741

Stellar wobble caused by a binary system: Can it really be mistaken as an extra-solar planet?

M. H. M. Morais1 and A. C. M. Correia2, 3

1  Centro de Física Computacional, Universidade de Coimbra, 3004-516 Coimbra, Portugal
    e-mail: hmorais@mat.uc.pt
2  Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
    e-mail: correia@ua.pt
3  IMCCE, CNRS-UMR8028, Observatoire de Paris, UPMC, 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France

Received 4 August 2008 / Accepted 25 September 2008

The traditional method for detecting extra-solar planets relies on measuring a small stellar wobble which is assumed to be caused by a planet orbiting the star. Recently, it has been suggested that a similar stellar wobble could be caused by a close binary system. Here we show that, although the effect of a close binary system can at first sight be mistaken as a planetary companion to the star, more careful analysis of the observational data should allow us to distinguish between the two effects.

Key words: techniques: radial velocities -- methods: observational -- celestial mechanics -- stars: planetary systems -- stars: binaries: general

© ESO 2008