Volume 391, Number 1, August III 2002
|Page(s)||369 - 377|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||29 July 2002|
A box-fitting algorithm in the search for periodic transits
Konkoly Observatory, PO Box 67, 1525, Budapest, Hungary
2 Wise Observatory, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Corresponding author: G. Kovács, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 April 2002
We study the statistical characteristics of a box-fitting algorithm to analyze stellar photometric time series in the search for periodic transits by extrasolar planets. The algorithm searches for signals characterized by a periodic alternation between two discrete levels, with much less time spent at the lower level. We present numerical as well as analytical results to predict the possible detection significance at various signal parameters. It is shown that the crucial parameter is the effective signal-to-noise ratio – the expected depth of the transit divided by the standard deviation of the measured photometric average within the transit. When this parameter exceeds the value of 6 we can expect a significant detection of the transit. We show that the box-fitting algorithm performs better than other methods available in the astronomical literature, especially for low signal-to-noise ratios.
Key words: methods: data analysis / stars: variables: general / stars: planetary systems / occultations
© ESO, 2002
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