ExoClock Project. II. A Large-scale Integrated Study with 180 Updated Exoplanet Ephemerides

credit: ExoClock


The ExoClock project is an inclusive, integrated, and interactive platform that was developed to monitor the ephemerides of the Ariel targets to increase the mission efficiency. The project makes the best use of all available resources, i.e., observations from ground telescopes, mid-time values from the literature and finally, observations from space instruments. Currently, the ExoClock network includes 280 participants with telescopes capable of observing 85% of the currently known Ariel candidate targets. This work includes the results of ∼1600 observations obtained up to the 31st of December 2020 from the ExoClock network. These data in combination with ∼2350 mid-time values collected from the literature are used to update the ephemerides of 180 planets. The analysis shows that 40% of the updated ephemerides will have an impact on future scheduling as either they have a significantly improved precision, or they have revealed biases in the old ephemerides. With the new observations, the observing coverage and rate for half of the planets in the sample has been doubled or more. Finally, from a population perspective, we identify that the differences in the 2028 predictions between the old and the new ephemerides have an STD that is double what is expected from gaussian uncertainties. These findings have implications for planning future observations, where we will need to account for drifts potentially greater than the prediction uncertainties. The updated ephemerides are open and accessible to the wider exoplanet community both from our Open Science Framework (OSF) repository and our website.

The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Leon Bewersdorff
Leon Bewersdorff
Computer Science Student at RWTH Aachen University, Engineering/Operations at OurSky