Volume 379, Number 3, December I 2001
|Page(s)||992 - 998|
|Published online||15 December 2001|
The distribution of exoplanet masses
Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, CP 226, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
2 Observatoire de Genève, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland e-mail: Michel.Mayor, Stephane.Udry@obs.unige.ch
Corresponding author: A. Jorissen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 September 2001
The present study derives the distribution of secondary masses M2 for the 67 exoplanets and very low-mass brown-dwarf companions of solar-type stars, known as of April 4, 2001. This distribution is related to the distribution of through an integral equation of Abel's type. Although a formal solution exists for this equation, it is known to be ill-conditioned, and is thus very sensitive to the statistical noise present in the input distribution. To overcome this difficulty, we present two robust, independent approaches: (i) the formal solution of the integral equation is numerically computed after performing an optimal smoothing of the input distribution and (ii) the Lucy-Richardson algorithm is used to invert the integral equation. Both approaches give consistent results. The resulting statistical distribution of exoplanet true masses reveals that there is no reason to ascribe the transition between giant planets and brown dwarfs to the threshold mass for deuterium ignition (about 13.6 MJ). The M2 distribution shows instead that most of the objects have , but there is a small tail with a few heavier candidates around 15 MJ.
Key words: methods: numerical / stars: planetary systems
© ESO, 2001
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