Transiting extra-solar planets in the field of open cluster NGC 7789
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We present results from 30 nights of observations of the intermediate-age Solar-metallicity open cluster NGC 7789 with the WFC camera on the INT telescope in La Palma. From ~900 epochs, we obtained lightcurves and Sloan r' - i' colours for ~33000 stars, with ~2400 stars with better than 1% precision. We find 24 transit candidates, 14 of which we can assign a period. We rule out the transiting planet model for 21 of these candidates using various robust arguments. For 2 candidates we are unable to decide on their nature, although it seems most likely that they are eclipsing binaries as well. We have one candidate exhibiting a single eclipse for which we derive a radius of 1.81+/0.09- Three candidates remain that require follow-up observations in order to determine their nature. Monte Carlo simulations reveal that we expected to detect ~2 transiting 3d to 5d hot Jupiter planets from all the stars in our sample if 1% of stars host such a companion and that a typical hot Jupiter radius is similar to that of HD 209458b. Our failure to find good transiting hot Jupiter candidates allows us to place an upper limit on the 3d to 5d hot Jupiter fraction of 2.6% for all stars at the 1% significance level, and similar useful limits on the hot Jupiter fraction of the different star types in our sample.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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