Near-Infrared Variability in the 2MASS Calibration Fields: A Search for Planetary Transit Candidates

March 2008 • 2008ApJS..175..191P

Authors • Plavchan, Peter • Jura, M. • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy • Cutri, Roc M. • Gallagher, S. C.

Abstract • The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) photometric calibration observations cover ~6 square degrees on the sky in 35 "calibration fields", each sampled in nominal photometric conditions between 562 and 3692 times during the 4 years of the 2MASS mission. We compile a catalog of variables from the calibration observations to search for M dwarfs transited by extrasolar planets. We present our methods for measuring periodic and nonperiodic flux variability. From 7554 sources with apparent Ks magnitudes between 5.6 and 16.1, we identify 247 variables, including extragalactic variables and 23 periodic variables. We have discovered three M dwarf eclipsing systems, including two candidates for transiting extrasolar planets.


IPAC Authors

Roc Cutri

IPAC Deputy Director


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist