Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1307.7279 (P. Figueira et al.)

Line-profile variations in radial-velocity measurements: Two alternative indicators for planetary searches    [PDF]

P. Figueira, N. C. Santos, F. Pepe, C. Lovis, N. Nardetto
Aims. We introduce two methods to identify false-positive planetary signals in the context of radial-velocity exoplanet searches. The first is the bi-Gaussian cross-correlation function fitting, and the second is the measurement of asymmetry in radial-velocity spectral line information content, Vasy. Methods. We make a systematic analysis of the most used common line profile diagnosis, Bisector Inverse Slope and Velocity Span, along with the two proposed ones. We evaluate all these diagnosis methods following a set of well-defined common criteria and using both simulated and real data. We apply them to simulated cross-correlation functions created with the program SOAP and which are affected by the presence of stellar spots, and to real cross-correlation functions, calculated from HARPS spectra, for stars with a signal originating both in activity and created by a planet. Results. We demonstrate that the bi-Gaussian method allows a more precise characterization of the deformation of line profiles than the standard bisector inverse slope. The calculation of the deformation indicator is simpler and its interpretation more straightforward. More importantly, its amplitude can be up to 30% larger than that of the bisector span, allowing the detection of smaller-amplitude correlations with radial-velocity variations. However, a particular parametrization of the bisector inverse slope is shown to be more efficient on high-signal-to-noise data than both the standard bisector and the bi-Gaussian. The results of the Vasy method show that this indicator is more effective than any of the previous ones, being correlated with the radial-velocity with more significance for signals resulting from a line deformation. Moreover, it provides a qualitative advantage over the bisector, showing significant correlations with RV for active stars for which bisector analysis is inconclusive. (abridged)
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.7279

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