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Proceedings Paper

New Exoplanet Surveys in the Canadian High Arctic at 80 Degrees North
Author(s): Nicholas M. Law; Suresh Sivanandam; Richard Murowinski; Raymond Carlberg; Wayne Ngan; Pegah Salbi; Aida Ahmadi; Eric Steinbring; Mark Halman; James Graham
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Paper Abstract

Observations from near the Eureka station on Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian High Arctic at 80° North, benefit from 24-hour darkness combined with dark skies and long cloud-free periods during the winter. Our first astronomical surveys conducted at the site are aimed at transiting exoplanets; compared to mid-latitude sites, the continuous darkness during the Arctic winter greatly improves the survey’s detection effciency for longer-period transiting planets. We detail the design, construction, and testing of the first two instruments: a robotic telescope, and a set of very wide-field imaging cameras. The 0.5m Dunlap Institute Arctic Telescope has a 0.8-square-degree field of view and is designed to search for potentially habitable exoplanets around low-mass stars. The very wide field cameras have several-hundred-square-degree fields of view pointed at Polaris, are designed to search for transiting planets around bright stars, and were tested at the site in February 2012. Finally, we present a conceptual design for the Compound Arctic Telescope Survey (CATS), a multiplexed transient and transit search system which can produce a 10,000-square-degree snapshot image every few minutes throughout the Arctic winter.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84445C (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926338
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas M. Law, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Suresh Sivanandam, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Richard Murowinski, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Raymond Carlberg, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Wayne Ngan, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Pegah Salbi, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Aida Ahmadi, Univ. of Calgary (Canada)
Eric Steinbring, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Mark Halman, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
James Graham, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)


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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