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Systemic Jr. Fit Drive

March 24th, 2007

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A big thank-you to everyone who’s been participating in the drive to characterize and study the catalog of synthetic “Systemic Jr.” planetary systems on the Systemic Backend. There’s now enough data to indicate that the analysis is going to be very informative. We’re looking forward to revealing the properties of the underlying planetary systems that were used to generate the data. In the meantime, we need your help to adequately characterize all 520 systems. Data in need of better characterization are marked by flags:

Our backend server is now swarming with various hard-working software robots that Stefano has assembled. The 100-year stability bot is rousted out of bed and set to work whenever a new fit is submitted. It reports a quick initial assessment of orbital stability. Planetary systems that pass through the 100-year stability screen are then put in a queue to wait for the attentions of the 1000-year stability bots. Systems that make it through 1000 years with less than a 1% change in semi-major axis of their planets are awarded a snazzy green flag:

Occasionally, systems that are in mean-motion resonance can show periodic semi-major axis variations of more than 1% while still remaining indefinitely stable. A resonance bot that will go through the fits and check for these special cases is currently being readied.

Systems that pass the minimum stability requirement are handed to a bootstrap bot which uses the bootstrap method to estimate uncertainties on the planetary orbital parameters for each stable fit. We’re currently running the bootstrap bot under the assumption that the orbits are pure Keplerian ellipses, and so the calculations are usually quite rapid. Very shortly, the error estimates for the parameters in submitted fits to the real systems and the Systemic Jr. systems will be showing up on the back-end data pages.

Finally, an “F-bot” has been activated which performs successive F-tests on submitted multiple-planet systems. Using its results, we’ll have a better idea of when the addition of a planet to a system is warranted.

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