Journal Article

The Monitor project: the search for transits in the open cluster NGC 2362

Adam A. Miller, Jonathan Irwin, Suzanne Aigrain, Simon Hodgkin and Leslie Hebb

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 1, pages 349-363
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The Monitor project: the search for transits in the open cluster NGC 2362

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We present the results of a systematic search for transiting planets in a ∼5 Myr open cluster, NGC 2362. We observed ∼1200 candidate cluster members, of which ∼475 are believed to be genuine cluster members, for a total of ∼100 h. We identify 15 light curves with reductions in flux that pass all our detection criteria, and six of the candidates have occultation depths compatible with a planetary companion. The variability in these six light curves would require very large planets to reproduce the observed transit depth. If we assume that none of our candidates are, in fact, planets then we can place upper limits on the fraction of stars with hot Jupiters (HJs) in NGC 2362. We obtain 99 per cent confidence upper limits of 0.22 and 0.70 on the fraction of stars with HJs (fp) for 1–3 and 3–10 d orbits, respectively, assuming all HJs have a planetary radius of 1.5RJup. These upper limits represent observational constraints on the number of stars with HJs at an age ≲10 Myr, when the vast majority of stars are thought to have lost their protoplanetary discs. Finally, we extend our results to the entire Monitor project, a survey searching young, open clusters for planetary transits, and find that the survey as currently designed should be capable of placing upper limits on fp near the observed values of fp in the solar neighbourhood.

Keywords: techniques: photometric; surveys; occultations; planetary systems; open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 2362

Journal Article.  13321 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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