Journal Article

An algorithm for photometric identification of transiting circumbinary planets

A. Ofir

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 4, pages 1597-1604
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13336.x
An algorithm for photometric identification of transiting circumbinary planets

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Transiting planets manifest themselves by a periodic dimming of their host star by a fixed amount. On the other hand, light curves of transiting circumbinary (CB) planets are expected to be neither periodic nor to have a single depth while in transit. These propertied make the popular transit-finding algorithm Box Least Squares (BLS) almost ineffective so a modified version of BLS for the identification of CB planets was developed – CB-BLS. We show that using this algorithm it is possible to find CB planets in the residuals of light curves of eclipsing binaries that have noise levels of 1 per cent and more – quality that is routinely achieved by current ground-based transit surveys. Previous searches for CB planets using variation in eclipse times minima of CM Dra and elsewhere are more closely related to radial velocity than to transit searches and so are quite distinct from CB-BLS. Detecting CB planets is expected to have significant impact on our understanding of exoplanets in general, and exoplanet formation in particular. Using CB-BLS will allow to easily harness the massive ground- and space-based photometric surveys in operation to look for these hard-to-find objects.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; binaries: close; binaries: eclipsing; planetary systems

Journal Article.  6535 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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