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) 425 - 429
Section Astronomical instrumentation
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200911885
Published online 16 April 2009
A&A 506, 425-429 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911885

Noise properties of the CoRoT data

A planet-finding perspective
S. Aigrain1, F. Pont1, F. Fressin2, A. Alapini1, R. Alonso3, M. Auvergne4, M. Barbieri3, P. Barge3, P. Bordé5, F. Bouchy6, H. Deeg7, R. De la Reza8, M. Deleuil3, R. Dvorak9, A. Erikson10, M. Fridlund11, P. Gondoin11, P. Guterman3, L. Jorda3, H. Lammer12, A. Léger5, A. Llebaria3, P. Magain13, T. Mazeh14, C. Moutou3, M. Ollivier5, M. Pätzold15, D. Queloz16, H. Rauer10, 17, D. Rouan4, J. Schneider18, G. Wuchter19, and S. Zucker20

1  School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QL, UK
    e-mail: suz@astro.ex.ac.uk
2  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, US
3  LAM, Université de Provence, 13388 Marseille, France
4  LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon, France
5  IAS, Université Paris XI, 91405 Orsay, France
6  Observatoire de Haute-Provence, 04870 St Michel l'Observatoire, France
7  IAC, 38205 La Laguna, Spain
8  ON/MCT, 20921-030, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
9  IfA, University of Vienna, 1180 Vienna, Austria
10  Institute of Planetary Research, DLR, 12489 Berlin, Germany
11  RSSD, ESA/ESTEC, 2200 Noordwijk, The Netherlands
12  IWF, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 8042 Graz, Austria
13  IAG, Université de Liège, Liège 1, Belgium
14  Sch. Physics & Astronomy, Tel Aviv Univ., Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
15  RIU, Universität zu Köln, 50931 Köln, Germany
16  Observatoire de Genève, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
17  ZAA, TU Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
18  LUTH, Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon, France
19  Thüringer Landessternwarte, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
20  Dept. Geophysics & Planetary Sciences, Tel Aviv Univ., Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

Received 19 February 2009 / Accepted 9 March 2009

In this short paper, we study the photometric precision of stellar light curves obtained by the CoRoT satellite in its planet-finding channel, with a particular emphasis on the time scales characteristic of planetary transits. Together with other articles in the same issue of this journal, it forms an attempt to provide the building blocks for a statistical interpretation of the CoRoT planet and eclipsing binary catch to date. After pre-processing the light curves so as to minimise long-term variations and outliers, we measure the scatter of the light curves in the first three CoRoT runs lasting more than 1 month, using an iterative non-linear filter to isolate signal on the time scales of interest. The behaviour of the noise on 2 h time scales is described well by a power-law with index 0.25 in R-magnitude, ranging from 0.1 mmag at R=11.5 to 1 mmag at R=16, which is close to the pre-launch specification, though still a factor 2-3 above the photon noise due to residual jitter noise and hot pixel events. There is evidence of slight degradation in the performance over time. We find clear evidence of enhanced variability on hour time scales (at the level of 0.5 mmag) in stars identified as likely giants from their R magnitude and B-V colour, which represent approximately 60 and 20% of the observed population in the directions of Aquila and Monoceros, respectively. On the other hand, median correlated noise levels over 2 h for dwarf stars are extremely low, reaching 0.05 mmag at the bright end.

Key words: methods: data analysis -- techniques: photometric -- stars: planetary systems

© ESO 2009

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