Pushing the limits of ground-based photometric precision: Submillimagnitude time-series photometry of the open cluster NGC 6791

J. D. Hartman, K. Z. Stanek, B. S. Gaudi, M. J. Holman, B. A. McLeod

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the results from a three-night, time-series study of the open cluster NGC 6791 using the Megacam wide-field mosaic CCD camera on the 6.5 m MMT telescope. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the ability to obtain very high precision photometry for a large number of stars. We achieved better than 1 % precision for more than 8000 stars with 14.3 < R < 20.1 and submillimagnitude (as low as 0.36 mmag) precision for over 300 stars with 14.6 < R < 16.3 in the field of this cluster. We also discovered 10 new variable stars, including a possible 6 Scuti variable with an amplitude of 2%, eight likely W UMa contact binaries, and a possible RS CVn star, and we identified seven suspected low-amplitude variables, including one star with an amplitude of 4 mmag. We comment on the implications of this study for a ground-based survey for transiting planets as small as Neptune.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2251
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume130
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • δ Scuti
  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Stars: variables: other
  • Techniques: photometric

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