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Proceedings Paper

Ground-based search for the brightest transiting planets with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: MASCARA
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Paper Abstract

The Multi-site All-sky CAmeRA MASCARA is an instrument concept consisting of several stations across the globe, with each station containing a battery of low-cost cameras to monitor the near-entire sky at each location. Once all stations have been installed, MASCARA will be able to provide a nearly 24-hr coverage of the complete dark sky, down to magnitude 8, at sub-minute cadence. Its purpose is to find the brightest transiting exoplanet systems, expected in the V=4-8 magnitude range - currently not probed by space- or ground-based surveys. The bright/nearby transiting planet systems, which MASCARA will discover, will be the key targets for detailed planet atmosphere observations. We present studies on the initial design of a MASCARA station, including the camera housing, domes, and computer equipment, and on the photometric stability of low-cost cameras showing that a precision of 0.3-1% per hour can be readily achieved. We plan to roll out the first MASCARA station before the end of 2013. A 5-station MASCARA can within two years discover up to a dozen of the brightest transiting planet systems in the sky.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84440I (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925178
Show Author Affiliations
Ignas A. G. Snellen, Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Remko Stuik, Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Ramon Navarro, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Felix Bettonvil, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Matthew Kenworthy, Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Ernst de Mooij, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Gilles Otten, Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Rik ter Horst, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Rudolf le Poole, Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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