TERRA – Optimized for Small Planets

Removing systematic errors from Kepler photometry with TERRA. Top: sixty days of raw photometry from Kepler. Bottom: calibrated photometry after removing systematic errors found in a large ensemble of stars. Brightness variations measured in parts per thousand.

Removing systematic errors from Kepler photometry with TERRA. Top: sixty days of raw photometry from Kepler. Bottom: calibrated photometry after removing systematic errors found in a large ensemble of stars. Brightness variations measured in parts per thousand.

Our interest in Earth-size planets has lead Geoff Marcy and me to develop our own transit search pipeline called “TERRA.” When we designed TERRA, we looked at every aspect of a transit search pipeline and asked, “how can we optimize this for small planets?” For example, TERRA identifies systematic noise modes in the time domain shared by a large number of stars, and removes them from each light curve photometry.

Paper in PASP