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STRESS - STEREO transiting exoplanet and stellar survey

Sangaralingam, Vinothini (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory - STEREO, is a system of two identical spacecraft in Heliocentric Earth orbit. We use the two Heliospheric Imagers (HI) on board, which are wide angle imagers with multi-baffle systems to do high precision stellar photometry in order to search for exoplanetary transits and understand stellar variables. The cadence (40 min for HI-1 and 2 hrs for HI-2), high precision (< 1% scatter for R < 8 and a few per cent for fainter objects), wide magnitude range (R mag - 4 to 12) and broad sky coverage (nearly 20 percent just for HI-1A and 60 per cent of the sky in the zodiacal region for all the instruments combined) of this instrument marks this in a space left largely devoid by other current projects. This thesis describes the instrument and its capabilities, the semi-automated pipeline devised for the reduction of this data and the general characteristics of the data obtained. This thesis explains the data analysis methods used in identifying exoplanetary transits and stellar variables along with some of the early results. The thesis concludes with a description of the work in progress and also outlines some of the future prospects of this massive STRESS data set.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Stevens, Ian
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3368
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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