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The Dependence of Signal-To-Noise Ratio (S/N) Between Star Brightness and Background on the Filter Used in Images Taken by the Vulcan Photometric Planet Search CameraThe Vulcan Photometric Planet Search is the ground-based counterpart of Kepler Mission Proposal. The Kepler Proposal calls for the launch of telescope to look intently at a small patch of sky for four year. The mission is designed to look for extra-solar planets that transit sun-like stars. The Kepler Mission should be able to detect Earth-size planets. This goal requires an instrument and software capable of detecting photometric changes of several parts per hundred thousand in the flux of a star. The goal also requires the continuous monitoring of about a hundred thousand stars. The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Class proposal similar in cost to the Lunar Prospector. The Vulcan Search is also a NASA project but based at Lick Observatory. A small wide-field telescope monitors various star fields successively during the year. Dozens of images, each containing tens of thousands of stars, are taken any night that weather permits. The images are then monitored for photometric changes of the order of one part in a thousand. These changes would reveal the transit of an inner-orbit Jupiter-size planet similar to those discovered recently in spectroscopic searches. In order to achieve a one part in one thousand photometric precision even the choice of a filter used in taking an exposure can be critical. The ultimate purpose of an filter is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of one's observation. Ideally, filters reduce the sky glow cause by street lights and, thereby, make the star images more distinct. The higher the S/N, the higher is the chance to observe a transit signal that indicates the presence of a new planet. It is, therefore, important to select the filter that maximizes the S/N.
Document ID
Document Type
Mena-Werth, Jose (Nebraska Univ. Kearney, NE United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1998
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19990021025Analytic Primary1998 NASA-ASEE-Stanford Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
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