NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002B-0014

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Program Information for 2002B-0014


PI: Gabriela Mallen-Ornelas, Princeton U., gmalleno@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: Peyton Hall - Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544 USA

CoI: Sara Seager, Institute for Advanced Study
CoI: Howard K C Yee, University of Toronto
CoI: Timothy Brown, HAO
CoI: Michael D Gladders, Carnegie Institution of Washington
CoI: Laurent Eyer, Princeton U.
CoI: Kaspar Von Braun, U. of Michigan
CoI: Cullen Blake, Princeton U.
CoI: Brian Lee, University of Toronto
CoI: Sara L. Ellison, ESO
CoI: Guillermo M Mallen-Fullerton, Universidad Iberoamericana

Title: The EXPLORE Project: A Deep Search for Transiting Extrasolar Planets

Abstract: We propose a search for transiting short-period extrasolar planets using the MOSAIC wide-field imagers on the KPNO 4m and CTIO 4m telescopes. Our goal is to detect transiting planets and to derive statistics of planet frequency, radius, and mass for stars ranging from types early G to late K. Planet transits will be detected via 1% photometric precision lightcurves with 3-minute time sampling spanning 18 nights per run. Transit searches will mark a new era in planetary discovery and characterization. Planet radii, which provide constraints on composition, evolution, and migration history, can only be measured for transiting planets. In addition absolute planet mass can be determined with follow-up radial velocity measurements. Our 2001 search with the CTIO 4m has demonstrated our technique: we have reached a relative photometric precision of 0.2--1% on 37,000 stars. Our lightcurve database will have unprecedented time sampling and very high photometric precision for hundreds of thousands of stars, enabling new research on variable and binary stars, short microlensing events, and moving objects such as asteroids.

Program Type: Survey

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2002B):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 18n on Oct 12 - Oct 29 2002
Run 2 (2003A):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 18n on Jun 07 - Jun 24 2003


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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