Journal Article

A new method to detect solar-like oscillations at very low S/N using statistical significance testing

Mikkel N. Lund, William J. Chaplin and Hans Kjeldsen

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 427, issue 2, pages 1784-1792
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.22098.x
A new method to detect solar-like oscillations at very low S/N using statistical significance testing

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We introduce a new method to detect solar-like oscillations in frequency power spectra of stellar observations, under conditions of very low signal-to-noise ratio. The Moving-Windowed-Power-Search (MWPS) searches the power spectrum for signatures of excess power, over and above slowly varying (in frequency) background contributions from stellar granulation and shot or instrumental noise. We adopt a false-alarm approach to ascertain whether flagged excess power, which is consistent with the excess expected from solar-like oscillations, is hard to explain by chance alone (and hence a candidate detection).

We apply the method to solar photometry data, whose quality was systematically degraded to test the performance of the MWPS at low signal-to-noise ratios. We also compare the performance of the MWPS against the frequently applied power-spectrum-of-power-spectrum (PS⊗PS) detection method. The MWPS is found to outperform the PS⊗PS method.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; methods: statistical; stars: oscillations; stars: solar-type

Journal Article.  6977 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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