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Title: INVESTIGATION OF SYSTEMATIC EFFECTS IN KEPLER DATA: SEASONAL VARIATIONS IN THE LIGHT CURVE OF HAT-P-7b

With years of Kepler data currently available, the measurement of variations in planetary transit depths over time can now be attempted. To do so, it is of primary importance to understand which systematic effects may affect the measurement of transits. We aim to measure the stability of Kepler measurements over years of observations. We present a study of the depth of about 500 transit events of the Hot Jupiter HAT-P-7b, using 14 quarters (Q0-Q13) of data from the Kepler satellite. We find a systematic variation in the depth of the primary transit, related to quarters of data and recurring yearly. These seasonal variations are about 1%. Within seasons, we find no evidence for trends. We speculate that the cause of the seasonal variations could be unknown field crowding or instrumental artifacts. Our results show that care must be taken when combining transits throughout different quarters of Kepler data. Measuring the relative planetary radius of HAT-P-7b without taking these systematic effects into account leads to unrealistically low error estimates. This effect could be present in all Kepler targets. If so, relative radius measurements of all Hot Jupiters to a precision much better than 1% are unrealistic.
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22136526
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 774; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCURACY; DIAGRAMS; PLANETS; SATELLITES; SEASONAL VARIATIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION