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The NASA EPOXI mission of opportunity to gather ultraprecise photometry of known transiting exoplanets

Abstract

The NASA Discovery mission EPOXI, utilizing the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft, comprises two phases: EPOCh (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization) and DIXI (Deep Impact eXtended Investigation). With EPOCh, we use the 30-cm high resolution visible imager to obtain ultraprecise photometric light curves of known transiting planet systems. We will analyze these data for evidence of additional planets, via transit timing variations or transits; for planetary moons or rings; for detection of secondary eclipses and the constraint of geometric planetary albedos; and for refinement of the system parameters. Over a period of four months, EPOCh observed four known transiting planet systems, with each system observed continuously for several weeks. Here we present an overview of EPOCh, including the spacecraft and science goals, and preliminary photometry results.

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The NASA EPOXI mission of opportunity to gather ultraprecise photometry of known transiting exoplanets

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