27 September 2012 New Exoplanet Surveys in the Canadian High Arctic at 80 Degrees North
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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.
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Nicholas M. Law, Suresh Sivanandam, Richard Murowinski, Raymond Carlberg, Wayne Ngan, Pegah Salbi, Aida Ahmadi, Eric Steinbring, Mark Halman, James Graham, "New Exoplanet Surveys in the Canadian High Arctic at 80 Degrees North", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84445C (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926338; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926338
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