Wide-Field Millimagnitude Photometry with the HAT: A Tool for Extrasolar Planet Detection

G. Bakos, R. W. Noyes, G. Kovács, K. Z. Stanek, D. D. Sasselov, I. Domsa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

448 Scopus citations


We discuss the system requirements for obtaining millimagnitude photometric precision over a wide field using small-aperture, short focal length telescope systems such as those being developed by a number of research groups to search for transiting extrasolar planets. We describe a Hungarian Automated Telescope (HAT) system, which attempts to meet these requirements. The attainable precision of HAT has been significantly improved by a technique in which the telescope is made to execute small pointing steps during each exposure so as to broaden the effective point-spread function (PSF) of the system to a value more compatible with the pixel size of our CCD detector. Experiments during a preliminary survey (spring 2003) of two star fields with the HAT-5 instrument allowed us to optimize the HAT photometric precision using this method of PSF broadening; in this way we have been able to achieve a precision as good as 2 mmag on brighter stars. We briefly describe development of a network of longitudinally spaced HAT telescopes (HATNet).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-277
Number of pages12
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number817
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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