AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 122. Instruments for Observing Transient Events
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[122.01] Stellar Variability Observations with MOTESS, a GNAT System Prototype

E.R. Craine (WRC/GNAT), M.S. Giampapa (NSO), A.L. Kraus (UKans), R.A. Tucker (GP Obs), W. Scharlach (GNAT)

The Moving Object Transient Event Search System (MOTESS) is a three telescope, scan-mode system developed initially for near-Earth asteroid detection, and since adopted as a prototype for a Global Network of Astronomical Telescopes (GNAT) system. In this paper we summarize photometric characteristics of the prototype telescope network and discuss initial results of measurements of stellar variability using data obtained during the first full year of operation of the system. In the initial data set, 173 known variable stars were observed, of which 19 exceeded the useful upper brightness limits of the images. The remaining stars ranged down to about 17.5 mag with the brightness distribution peak at about 14.5 mag. The most frequently occurring types are Mira variables (52), eclipsing systems (33), and semi-regulars (25); with the remainder distributed over a wide range of variable types. We give examples of data for known variables, discuss the likely discovery of new variables and outline a strategy for using these data in screening stellar observations suggestive of possible planetary transits.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ercraine@wrc-inc.com

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