EDP Sciences
The CoRoT space mission: early results
Free access
Volume 506, Number 1, October IV 2009
The CoRoT space mission: early results
Page(s) 445 - 453
Section Astronomical instrumentation
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200911861
Published online 27 May 2009
A&A 506, 445-453 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911861

Searching for transiting circumbinary planets in CoRoT and ground-based data using CB-BLS

A. Ofir1, H. J. Deeg2, and C. H. S. Lacy3

1  School of Physics and Astronomy, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    e-mail: avivofir@wise.tau.ac.il
2  Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, C. via Lactea S/N, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3  Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA

Received 17 February 2009 / Accepted 20 May 2009

Aims. Already from the initial discoveries of extrasolar planets it was apparent that their population and environments are far more diverse than initially postulated. Discovering circumbinary (CB) planets will have many implications, and in this context it will again substantially diversify the environments that produce and sustain planets. We search for transiting CB planets around eclipsing binaries (EBs).
Methods. CB-BLS is a recently-introduced algorithm for the detection of transiting CB planets around EBs. We describe progress in search sensitivity, generality and capability of CB-BLS, and detection tests of CB-BLS on simulated data. We also describe an analytical approach for the determination of CB-BLS detection limits, and a method for the correct detrending of intrinsically-variable stars.
Results. We present some blind-tests with simulated planets injected to real CoRoT data. The presented upgrades to CB-BLS allowed it to detect all the blind tests successfully, and these detections were in line with the detection limits analysis. We also correctly detrend bright eclipsing binaries from observations by the TrES planet search, and present some of the first results of applying CB-BLS to multiple real light curves from a wide-field survey.
Conclusions. CB-BLS is now mature enough for its application to real data, and the presented processing scheme will serve as the template for our future applications of CB-BLS to data from wide-field surveys such as CoRoT. Being able to put constraints even on non-detection will help to determine the correct frequency of CB planets, contributing to the understanding of planet formation in general. Still, searching for transiting CB planets is still a learning experience, similarly to the state of transiting planets around single stars only a few years ago. The recent rapid progress in this front, coupled with the exquisite quality of space-based photometry, allows to realistically expect that if transiting CB planets exist – then they will soon be found.

Key words: methods: data analysis -- stars: variables: general -- stars: planetary systems -- occultations -- binaries: eclipsing

© ESO 2009