Characterizing transiting extrasolar planets with narrow-band photometry and GTC/OSIRIS

Knicole D. Colón, Eric B. Ford, Brian Lee, Suvrath Mahadevan, Cullen H. Blake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the first extrasolar planet observations from the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), currently the world's largest, fully steerable, single-aperture optical telescope. We used the Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy (OSIRIS) tunable filter imager on the GTC to acquire high-precision, narrow-band photometry of the transits of the giant exoplanets, TrES-2b and TrES-3b. We obtained near-simultaneous observations in two near-infrared wavebands (790.2 and 794.4 ± 2.0 nm) specifically chosen to avoid water vapour absorption and skyglow so as to minimize the atmospheric effects that often limit the precision of ground-based photometry. Our results demonstrate a very-high photometric precision with minimal atmospheric contamination despite relatively poor atmospheric conditions and some technical problems with the telescope. We find the photometric precision for the TrES-2 observations to be 0.343 and 0.412 mmag for the 790.2- and 794.4-nm light curves, and the precision of the TrES-3 observations was found to be 0.470 and 0.424 mmag for the 790.2- and 794.4-nm light curves, respectively. We also discuss how future follow-up observations of transiting planets with this novel technique can contribute to the characterization of Neptune- and super-Earth-size planets to be discovered by space-based missions like CoRoT and Kepler, as well as measure atmospheric properties of giant planets, such as the strength of atmospheric absorption features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1494-1501
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume408
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

Fingerprint

extrasolar planets
photometry
narrowband
planet
spectroscopy
planets
light curve
telescopes
atmospheric effects
atmospheric attenuation
Neptune (planet)
Neptune
tunable filters
meteorology
transit
water vapor
near infrared
contamination
apertures
filter

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

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title = "Characterizing transiting extrasolar planets with narrow-band photometry and GTC/OSIRIS",
abstract = "We report the first extrasolar planet observations from the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), currently the world's largest, fully steerable, single-aperture optical telescope. We used the Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy (OSIRIS) tunable filter imager on the GTC to acquire high-precision, narrow-band photometry of the transits of the giant exoplanets, TrES-2b and TrES-3b. We obtained near-simultaneous observations in two near-infrared wavebands (790.2 and 794.4 ± 2.0 nm) specifically chosen to avoid water vapour absorption and skyglow so as to minimize the atmospheric effects that often limit the precision of ground-based photometry. Our results demonstrate a very-high photometric precision with minimal atmospheric contamination despite relatively poor atmospheric conditions and some technical problems with the telescope. We find the photometric precision for the TrES-2 observations to be 0.343 and 0.412 mmag for the 790.2- and 794.4-nm light curves, and the precision of the TrES-3 observations was found to be 0.470 and 0.424 mmag for the 790.2- and 794.4-nm light curves, respectively. We also discuss how future follow-up observations of transiting planets with this novel technique can contribute to the characterization of Neptune- and super-Earth-size planets to be discovered by space-based missions like CoRoT and Kepler, as well as measure atmospheric properties of giant planets, such as the strength of atmospheric absorption features.",
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Characterizing transiting extrasolar planets with narrow-band photometry and GTC/OSIRIS. / Colón, Knicole D.; Ford, Eric B.; Lee, Brian; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Blake, Cullen H.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 408, No. 3, 01.11.2010, p. 1494-1501.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Characterizing transiting extrasolar planets with narrow-band photometry and GTC/OSIRIS

AU - Colón, Knicole D.

AU - Ford, Eric B.

AU - Lee, Brian

AU - Mahadevan, Suvrath

AU - Blake, Cullen H.

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