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27 September 2012 Ground-based search for the brightest transiting planets with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: MASCARA
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The Multi-site All-sky CAmeRA MASCARA is an instrument concept consisting of several stations across the globe, with each station containing a battery of low-cost cameras to monitor the near-entire sky at each location. Once all stations have been installed, MASCARA will be able to provide a nearly 24-hr coverage of the complete dark sky, down to magnitude 8, at sub-minute cadence. Its purpose is to find the brightest transiting exoplanet systems, expected in the V=4-8 magnitude range - currently not probed by space- or ground-based surveys. The bright/nearby transiting planet systems, which MASCARA will discover, will be the key targets for detailed planet atmosphere observations. We present studies on the initial design of a MASCARA station, including the camera housing, domes, and computer equipment, and on the photometric stability of low-cost cameras showing that a precision of 0.3-1% per hour can be readily achieved. We plan to roll out the first MASCARA station before the end of 2013. A 5-station MASCARA can within two years discover up to a dozen of the brightest transiting planet systems in the sky.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ignas A. G. Snellen, Remko Stuik, Ramon Navarro, Felix Bettonvil, Matthew Kenworthy, Ernst de Mooij, Gilles Otten, Rik ter Horst, and Rudolf le Poole "Ground-based search for the brightest transiting planets with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: MASCARA", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84440I (27 September 2012);


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