Searching for transits in the WTS with difference imaging light curves

The Wide Field Camera Transit Survey is a pioneer program aimed to search for extra-solar planets in the near-infrared. The standard data reduction pipeline of the program uses aperture photometry to construct the light curves. We alternatively apply the difference imaging method for the most complete field in the survey and carry out a quantitative comparison between the photometric precision of both methods for objects with J<18. We also report an implementation on the box-fitting detection algorithm, which performs a trapezoid-fit to the folded light curve. Subsequently a set of selection criteria are optimized and applied to the light curves to search for transit candidates, incorporating a parameter to characterize the shape of the transit. We carry out a detailed analysis in the 18 best detections and classify them as transiting planet and eclipsing binary candidates. One planet candidate orbiting a late G-type star is reported. No planet candidate around M-stars has been found, which enabled us to set an upper limit on the occurrence rate of short period giant planets around M-dwarfs in the survey of 1.1%. Furthermore we report the detection of five faint extremely-short period eclipsing binary systems with periods shorter than 0.23 days and three candidate M-dwarf/M-dwarf eclipsing binaries. The detections demonstrate the benefits of using the difference imaging light curves especially when going to fainter magnitudes.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13