Selection Effect in Semimajor Axes of Orbits of Extrasolar Planets
Abstract
We present a detailed analysis of the distribution of semimajor axes of orbits of extrasolar planets detected by the method of radial velocity measurements. The relation obtained enables one to calculate the probability of the discovery of a planet at a distance r from a star, knowing the masses of the star and the planet and the threshold radial velocity. The selection effect is manifested in the transformation of the distribution functions. A relation is found between the true and observable distributions of the quantity r. The ``domain of detectability'' of extrasolar planets is examined under various assumptions about the form of the distribution functions. The available statistical data on observable extrasolar systems are shown to be inadequate to draw detailed conclusions about their structure. Although substantial differences are found between the structures of all detected planetary systems and that of the Solar System, it would be premature to assert the uniqueness of the latter.
 Publication:

Solar System Research
 Pub Date:
 November 2002
 Bibcode:
 2002SoSyR..36..466K