Abstract by Ian Clark
Physics and Astronomy
Searching for Exoplanets with KELT
The main tools used in the search for exoplanets are the kilodegree extremely little telescopes (KELT), based out of the Ohio State and Vanderbilt Universities. There are two of these such telescopes, KELT North in Arizona and KELT South in South Africa. To search for exoplanets, these telescopes measure the brightness of a certain number of stars for three to four months. A fast Fourier transform is then performed on the data to search for variations in the brightness of the observed stars. If a period is found, the KELT team will phase it to the data taken. This helps predict the ingress and egress of a potential exoplanet transit and the amount of light blocked by it. The task of confirming this preliminary data produced by the KELT team falls to the KELT follow up network (KELT-FUN), of which BYU is a part. We observe the targets ensure that the transit depth, ingress, and egress are as predicted. When we have performed the data and confirmed whether or not the target was an exoplanet, we will send that data back to the KELT team.