Volume 551, March 2013
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||19 February 2013|
Bayesian inference for orbital eccentricities
Astrophysics Group, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Received: 14 June 2012
Accepted: 21 December 2012
Highest posterior density intervals (HPDIs) are derived for the true eccentricities ε of spectroscopic binaries with measured values e ≈ 0. These yield upper limits when e is below the detection threshold eth and seamlessly transform to upper and lower bounds when e > eth. In the main text, HPDIs are computed with an informative eccentricity prior representing orbital decay due to tidal dissipation. In an appendix, the corresponding HPDIs are computed with a uniform prior and are the basis for a revised version of the Lucy-Sweeney test, with the previous outcome ε = 0 now replaced by an upper limit εU. Sampling experiments with known prior confirm the validity of the HPDIs.
Key words: binaries: spectroscopic / methods: statistical / methods: data analysis
© ESO, 2013
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