Volume 630, October 2019
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||25 September 2019|
Multicolour photometry for exoplanet candidate validation★
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC),
38200 La Laguna,
2 Department Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3 Bøggildsvej 14, 8530 Hjortshøj, Denmark
4 Department of Astronomy, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
5 Astrobiology Center, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
6 Japan Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
7 National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
8 Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
9 Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division, National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
10 Department of Astronomical Science, SOKENDAI (The Graduate University of Advanced Studies), Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
11 Department of Physics, Kyoto Sangyo University, Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8555, Japan
12 European Space Agency, European Space Research and Technology Centre, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Accepted: 22 July 2019
Context. The TESS and PLATO missions are expected to find vast numbers of new transiting planet candidates. However, only a fraction of these candidates will be legitimate planets, and the candidate validation will require a significant amount of follow-up resources. Radial velocity (RV) follow-up study can be carried out only for the most promising candidates around bright, slowly rotating, stars. Thus, before devoting RV resources to candidates, they need to be vetted using cheaper methods, and, in the cases for which an RV confirmation is not feasible, the candidate’s true nature needs to be determined based on these alternative methods alone.
Aims. We study the applicability of multicolour transit photometry in the validation of transiting planet candidates when the candidate signal arises from a real astrophysical source (transiting planet, eclipsing binary, etc.), and not from an instrumental artefact. Particularly, we aim to answer how securely we can estimate the true uncontaminated star-planet radius ratio when the light curve may contain contamination from unresolved light sources inside the photometry aperture when combining multicolour transit observations with a physics-based contamination model in a Bayesian parameter estimation setting. More generally, we study how the contamination level, colour differences between the planet host and contaminant stars, transit signal-to-noise ratio, and available prior information affect the contamination and true radius ratio estimates.
Methods. The study is based on simulations and ground-based multicolour transit observations. The contamination analyses were carried out with a contamination model integrated into the PYTRANSIT v2 transit modelling package, and the observations were carried out with the MuSCAT2 multicolour imager installed in the 1.5 m Telescopio Carlos Sanchez in the Teide Observatory, in Tenerife.
Results. We show that multicolour transit photometry can be used to estimate the amount of flux contamination and the true radius ratio. Combining the true radius ratio with an estimate for the stellar radius yields the true absolute radius of the transiting object, which is a valuable quantity in statistical candidate validation, and enough in itself to validate a candidate whose radius falls below the theoretical lower limit for a brown dwarf.
Key words: planetary systems / planets and satellites: detection / methods: statistical / methods: numerical / methods: data analysis / techniques: photometric
The MuSCAT lightcurve data are also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/630/A89
© ESO 2019
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