AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 135 Finding and Measuring Exoplanets
Poster, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[135.05] Fitting Astrometric Data With Markov Chain Monte Carlo: A Tool for Detecting Planetary Signals

P. E. Driscoll (San Francisco State University)

The NASA Space Interferometry Mission will measure the astrometric procession of nearby stars caused by the orbits of unseen planetary companions. The uncertainty in the orbit of a planetary companion is subject to the number, duration, and span of the observations, among other factors, and is best quantified using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. MCMC fits to astrometric data are analogous to those of radial velocity surveys. MCMC allows non-Gaussian parameter distributions, which for some systems can uncover the correlations between orbital parameters, and can be extended to fit for multiple planet systems. MCMC can also project when the most beneficial measurements should be made for each star, providing SIM with the most efficient observation schedule.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: driscoll@stars.sfsu.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.