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Finding the Brightest Exoplanet Hosts with MASCARA

10 Jul 2017, 14:48 UTC
Finding the Brightest Exoplanet Hosts with MASCARA
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Title: MASCARA-2 b: A hot Jupiter transiting a mV=7.6 A-starAuthors: G.J.J. Talens, A. B. Justesen, S. Albrecht, et al.First Author’s Institution: Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, the NetherlandsStatus: Submitted to A&A, open accessBefore we start: the system discussed in this astrobite was discovered separately by two teams and presented simultaneously. The other paper, by the KELT team, can be found here. This astrobite will focus on the results of the MASCARA team.Figure 1: The MASCARA instrument on La Palma. Source: http://mascara.strw.leidenuniv.nl/technical/It’s clear that there are a lot of exoplanets out there. While large surveys like K2 continue to bring in hundreds of new planets, other projects are filling in the gaps that these surveys miss. The relatively new project MASCARA intends to find planets around the brightest host stars yet. They are targeting stars with magnitudes less than 8.4 (remember that fainter stars have higher magnitudes). For comparison, that’s still fainter than the human eye can see (magnitude 6 or less), but it’s a fair bit brighter than the Kepler space telescope can see (Kepler saturates on stars brighter than about 11th magnitude). There are currently only 14 exoplanet host stars known that are brighter than 8.4th magnitude, with the brightest ...

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