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Title: Transit detection limits for sub-stellar and terrestrial companions to white dwarfs
Authors: Faedi, F.
West, Richard
Burleigh, Matthew R.
Goad, Michael R.
Hebb, L.
First Published: 1-Jan-2009
Presented at: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop, Barcelona, SPAIN
Start Date: 30-Jun-2008
End Date: 4-Jul-2008
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Citation: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 172 (2009) 012057
Abstract: The SuperWASP project is a ground-based ultra wide angle search for extra-solar planetary transits that has successfully detected 15 previously unknown planets in the last two years. We have used SuperWASP photometric data to investigate the transit characteristics of and detection limits for brown dwarfs, gas giants and terrestrial companions in orbit around white dwarfs. The relatively small size of a white dwarf host star (approximately 1 Earth radius), implies that any sub-stellar or gas giant companion will completely eclipse it, while terrestrial bodies smaller than the Moon will produce relatively large (> 1%) transits, detectable in good S/N light-curves. We performed extensive simulations using SuperWASP photometric data and we found that for Gaussian random noise we are sensitive to companions as small as the Moon. Our sensitivity drops in the presence of co-variant noise structure, nevertheless Earth-size bodies remain readily detectable in relatively low S/N data. We searched for eclipses and transit signals in a sample of 174 WASP targets, resulting from a cross-correlation of the McCook & Sion catalogue and the SuperWASP data archive. This study found no evidence for sub-stellar or planetary companions in close orbits around our sample of white dwarfs.
DOI Link: 10.1088/1742-6596/172/1/012057
ISSN: 1742-6588
eISSN: 1742-6596
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Conference Paper
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers & Presentations, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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