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Photometric Detection of Extra-Solar PlanetsThis NASA Origins Program grant supported the TEMPEST Texas McDonald Photometric Extrasolar Search for Transits) program at McDonald Observatory, which searches for transits of extrasolar planets across the disks of their parent stars. The basic approach is to use a wide-field ground-based telescope (in our case the McDonald Observatory 0.76m telescope and it s Prime Focus Corrector) to search for transits of short period (1-15 day orbits) of close-in hot-Jupiter planets in orbit around a large sample of field stars. The next task is to search these data streams for possible transit events. We collected our first set of test data for this program using the 0.76 m PFC in the summer of 1998. From those data, we developed the optimal observing procedures, including tailoring the stellar density, exposure times, and filters to best-suit the instrument and project. In the summer of 1999, we obtained the first partial season of data on a dedicated field in the constellation Cygnus. These data were used to develop and refine the reduction and analysis procedures to produce high-precision photometry and search for transits in the resulting light curves. The TeMPEST project subsequently obtained three full seasons of data on six different fields using the McDonald Observatory 0.76m PFC.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor or Grantee Report
Hatzes, Artie P. (McDonald Observatory TX, United States)
Cochran, William D. (McDonald Observatory TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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