We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Atmospheric scintillation noise in ground-based exoplanet photometry.

Föhring, D and Wilson, R W and Osborn, J and Dhillon, V S (2019) 'Atmospheric scintillation noise in ground-based exoplanet photometry.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 489 (4). pp. 5098-5108.


Atmospheric scintillation caused by optical turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere can be the dominant source of noise in ground-based photometric observations of bright targets, which is a particular concern for ground-based exoplanet transit photometry. We demonstrate the implications of atmospheric scintillation for exoplanet transit photometry through contemporaneous turbulence profiling and transit observations. We find a strong correlation between measured intensity variations and scintillation determined through optical turbulence profiling. This correlation indicates that turbulence profiling can be used to accurately model the amount of scintillation noise present in photometric observations on another telescope at the same site. We examine the conditions under which scintillation correction would be beneficial for transit photometry through turbulence profiling, and find that for the atmosphere of La Palma, scintillation dominates for bright targets of magnitude above V ∼ 10.1 mag for a 0.5 m telescope, and at V ∼ 11.7 mag for a 4.2 m telescope under median atmospheric conditions. Through Markov-chain Monte Carlo methods we examine the effect of scintillation noise on the uncertainty of the measured exoplanet parameters, and determine the regimes where scintillation correction is especially beneficial. The ability to model the amount of noise in observations due to scintillation, given an understanding of the atmosphere, is a crucial test for our understanding of scintillation and the overall noise budget of our observations.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2019 The Royal Astronomical Society. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:22 August 2019
Date deposited:28 October 2019
Date of first online publication:19 September 2019
Date first made open access:28 October 2019

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar