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Astrophysical False Positives Encountered in Wide-Field Transit Searches

Charbonneau, David and Brown, Timothy M. and Dunham, Edward W. and Latham, David W. and Looper, Dagny L. and Mandushev, Georgi (2004) Astrophysical False Positives Encountered in Wide-Field Transit Searches. In: The Search for Other Worlds: Fourteenth Astrophysics Conference, College Park, MD, 13-14 October 2003. AIP Conference Proceedings. No.713. American Institute of Physics , Melville, NY, pp. 151-160. ISBN 0-7354-0190-X.

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Wide-field photometric transit surveys for Jupiter-sized planets are inundated by astrophysical false positives, namely systems that contain an eclipsing binary and mimic the desired photometric signature. We discuss several examples of such false alarms. These systems were initially identified as candidates by the PSST instrument at Lowell Observatory. For three of the examples, we present follow-up spectroscopy that demonstrates that these systems consist of (1) an M-dwarf in eclipse in front of a larger star, (2) two main-sequence stars presenting grazing-incidence eclipses, and (3) the blend of an eclipsing binary with the light of a third, brighter star. For an additional candidate, we present multi-color follow-up photometry during a subsequent time of eclipse, which reveals that this candidate consists of a blend of an eclipsing binary and a physically unassociated star. We discuss a couple indicators from publicly-available catalogs that can be used to identify which candidates are likely giant stars, a large source of the contaminants in such surveys.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Charbonneau, David0000-0002-9003-484X
Brown, Timothy M.0000-0002-1793-9968
Latham, David W.0000-0001-9911-7388
Additional Information:© 2004 American Institute of Physics. Issue Date: June 24, 2004.
Subject Keywords:extrasolar planets, eclipsing binary stars, dwarf stars, astronomical photometry, spectroscopy, astronomical catalogues, transits
Series Name:AIP Conference Proceedings
Issue or Number:713
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:CHAaipcp04
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9921
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:27 Mar 2008
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 21:03

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