Saturday, February 1, 2014

Analysis of Selected Kepler Light Curves Turns up Discrepancies

Analysis of selected Kepler Mission planetary light curves


Rhodes et al


We have modified the graphical user interfaced close binary system analysis program CurveFit to the form WinKepler and applied it to 16 representative planetary candidate light curves found in the NASA Exoplanet Archive (NEA) at the Caltech website this http URL, with an aim to compare different analytical approaches. WinKepler has parameter options for a realistic physical model, including gravity-brightening and structural parameters derived from the relevant Radau equation. We tested our best-fitting parameter-sets for formal determinacy and adequacy.

A primary aim is to compare our parameters with those listed in the NEA. Although there are trends of agreement, small differences in the main parameter values are found in some cases, and there may be some relative bias towards a 90 degrees value for the NEA inclinations. These are assessed against realistic error estimates.

Photometric variability from causes other than planetary transits affects at least 6 of the data-sets studied; with small pulsational behaviour found in 3 of those. For the false positive KOI 4.01, we found that the eclipses could be modelled by a faint background classical Algol as effectively as by a transiting exoplanet. Our empirical checks of limb-darkening, in the cases of KOI 1.01 and 12.01, revealed that the assigned stellar temperatures are probably incorrect. For KOI 13.01, our empirical mass-ratio differs by about 7% from that of Mislis and Hodgkin (2012), who neglected structural effects and higher order terms in the tidal distortion. Such detailed parameter evaluation, additional to the usual main geometric ones, provides an additional objective for this work.


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