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An Efficient Automated Validation Procedure for Exoplanet Transit Candidates

Morton, Timothy D. (2012) An Efficient Automated Validation Procedure for Exoplanet Transit Candidates. Astrophysical Journal, 761 (1). Art. No. 6. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/761/1/6.

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Surveys searching for transiting exoplanets have found many more candidates than they have been able to confirm as true planets. This situation is especially acute with the Kepler survey, which has found over 2300 candidates but has to date confirmed only a small fraction of them as planets. I present here a general procedure that can quickly be applied to any planet candidate to calculate its false positive probability. This procedure takes into account the period, depth, duration, and shape of the signal; the colors of the target star; arbitrary spectroscopic or imaging follow-up observations; and informed assumptions about the populations and distributions of field stars and multiple-star properties. Applying these methods to a sample of known Kepler planets, I demonstrate that many signals can be validated with very limited follow-up observations: in most cases with only a spectrum and an adaptive optics image. Additionally, I demonstrate that this procedure can reliably identify false positive signals. Because of the computational efficiency of this analysis, it is feasible to apply it to all Kepler planet candidates in the near future, and it will streamline the follow-up efforts for Kepler and other current and future transit surveys.

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Morton, Timothy D.0000-0002-8537-5711
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 June 6; accepted 2012 October 2; published 2012 November 19. T.D.M. acknowledges helpful discussions with John Johnson, Erik Petigura, Jason Eastman, Justin Crepp, Jon Swift, John Carpenter, Steve Bryson, and many Kepler team members throughout the course of this research. He also thanks the referee Scott Gaudi, who waived anonymity, and whose suggestions led to substantial improvements to this manuscript.
Subject Keywords:planetary systems; stars: statistics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130108-090931841
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Official Citation:An Efficient Automated Validation Procedure for Exoplanet Transit Candidates Timothy D. Morton 2012 ApJ 761 6
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36227
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:08 Jan 2013 17:18
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:20

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