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Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics


Sarah Yost


Since 1995 exoplanet research has increase dramatically, as a result it is more important than ever to precisely know the dates and times of future transits for repeated observations of a target. NASA’s Exoplanet Watch database and accompanying light curve producing code EXOTIC have the goal of allowing small observatories across the world help find future transits. Under these objective observations of known exoplanet transits where made, using the Saint John’s University observatory, to find the transit midpoint, the ratio of the planet radius and the solar radius, and the period. Using these values, the confirmation that a transit happened can be made, known periods may have their uncertainties reduced, and transit midpoints reported in BJD (Barycentric Julian Date) can be used to predict future transits most accurately. Additionally, the flat fielding done natively in EXOTIC was compared to an external custom flat fielding program to see if improvements in the above-mentioned values could be made. Of five observed transits two had midpoints that could be used for predicting future transits. The other values calculated had larger uncertainties than the current accepted values making them in significant. Comparisons of the native EXOTIC flat fielding and the external flat fielding showed that neither performed better, suggesting that there are improvements that could be made to EXOTIC.