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Session 70 - Searching for Other Planetary Systems.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[70.20] Large Area Search for Photometric Transits by Extra-Solar Planets

S. B. Howell (PSI/Astrophysics Group), B. Koehn, E. Bowell (Lowell Observatory)

Many techniques are available to search for planets in orbit around other stars. One of the most straightforward is that of performing a photometric search for transits by these planets. This technique has the large advantage that photometric signals of transits are quite large compared to modern day differential photometric precisions obtainable. To make such a search practical, large areas of the sky must be observed and analyzed in order to beat the odds in this statistical game of which star has planets and of those which are properly inclined.

The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Asteroid Search (LONEOS) project will provide such a database. Surveying about fifteen thousand square degrees of the sky each month, this CCD mosaic based Schmidt telescope will provide data allowing photometric transits of jupiter-like bodies to be discovered or will place firm limits upon their small numbers. In order to obtain precise measures of the position and magnitude of point sources and possible transit events from CCD data taken with a wide-field camera, we have developed new methods for working with high to low S/N data in an undersampled environment.

Program listing for Wednesday