A Ground-Based Search for Transit Timing Variations from the Apache Point Observatory
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The following dissertation presents work done as part of a ground-based transit follow-up program designed to look for transit timing variations in well-known transiting systems called, the Apache Point Survey of Transit Lightcurves of Exoplanets (APOSTLE). I outline the observing strategy, data reduction and analysis of data for the objects GJ 1214b, XO-2b and TrES-3b. The results of our analysis show general agreement with previously measured properties for these systems, and in some cases we are able to place tighter constraints on system parameters. We were able to detect a low-energy stellar flare, and three spot-crossing events with our observations of GJ 1214b. Our transit timing data do not show strong signs of timing variations and hence we are unable to claim detections of additional planets. Even though the results of this study do not present any new discoveries, the topics outlined in this dissertation are a useful synthesis of techniques used to execute a high-precision ground-based transit follow-up project.
- Astronomy