Stargazing Efficient Follow-Up of Exoplanet Transits Using Small Telescopes

  • Thread starter wolram
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Would it not be cool to find an exoplanet from your back lawn.

This paper is to introduce an online tool1 for the prediction of exoplanet transit light curves. Small telescopes can readily capture exoplanet transits under good weather conditions when the combination of a bright star and a large transiting exoplanet results in a significant depth of transit. However, in reality there are many considerations that need to be made in order to obtain useful measurements. This paper and accompanying website layout a procedure based on differential time-series photometry that has been successfully employed using 0.4m aperture telescopes to predict the expected precision for a whole light curve. This enables robust planning to decide whether the observation of a particular exoplanet transit should be attempted and in particular to be able to readily see when it should not be attempted. This may result in a significant increase in the number of transit observations captured by non-specialists. The technique and website are also appropriate for planning a variety of variable star observations where a prediction of the light curve can be made.

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