Exoplanets from the arctic: The first wide-field survey at 80°N

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-6256/145/3/58
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TypeArticle
Journal titleAstronomical Journal
ISSN0004-6256
Volume145
Issue3
Article number58
AbstractLocated within 10° of the North Pole, northern Ellesmere Island offers continuous darkness in the winter months. This capability can greatly enhance the detection efficiency of planetary transit surveys and other time domain astronomy programs. We deployed two wide-field cameras at 80°N, near Eureka, Nunavut, for a 152 hr observing campaign in 2012 February. The 16 megapixel camera systems were based on commercial f/1.2 lenses with 70 mm and 42 mm apertures, and they continuously imaged 504 and 1295 deg2, respectively. In total, the cameras took over 44,000 images and produced better than 1% precision light curves for approximately 10,000 stars. We describe a new high-speed astrometric and photometric data reduction pipeline designed for the systems, test several methods for the precision flat fielding of images from very-wide-angle cameras, and evaluate the cameras' image qualities. We achieved a scintillation-limited photometric precision of 1%-2% in each 10 s exposure. Binning the short exposures into 10 minute chunks provided a photometric stability of 2-3 mmag, sufficient for the detection of transiting exoplanets around the bright stars targeted by our survey. We estimate that the cameras, when operated over the full Arctic winter, will be capable of discovering several transiting exoplanets around bright (mV < 9.5) stars. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); National Science Infrastructure (NSI-ISN)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269943
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Record identifier38e7268f-99bb-4bee-9410-4d6d7c08dc0f
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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