The Kepler Space Telescope has detected thousands of candidate exoplanets by observing transit signals in a sample of more than 190,000 stars. Many of these transit signals are false positives, defined as a transit-like signal that is not due to a planet orbiting the target star (or a bound companion if the target is a multiple-star system). Astrophysical causes of false positives include background eclipsing binaries, planetary transits not associated with the target star, and non-planetary eclipses of the target star by stellar companions. The fraction of Kepler planet candidates that are false positives ranges from about 10% at high Galactic latitudes to 40% at low Galactic latitudes. Creating a high-reliability planet candidate catalog for statistical studies such as occurrence rate calculations requires removing clearly identified false positives.The Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) catalog at the NExScI NASA Exoplanet Archive flags false positives, and will soon provide a high-level classification of false positives, but lacks detailed description of why a KOI was determined to be a false positive. The Kepler False Positive Working Group (FPWG) examines each false positive in detail to certify that it is correctly identified as a false positive, and determines the primary reason(s) a KOI is classified as a false positive. The work of the FPWG will be published as the Kepler False Positive Table, hosted at the NExScI NASA Exoplanet Archive.The Kepler False Positive Table provides detailed information on the evidence for background binaries, transits caused by stellar companions, and false alarms. In addition to providing insight into the Kepler false positive population, the false positive table gives information about the background binary population and other areas of astrophysical interest. Because a planet around a star not associated with the target star is considered a false positive, the false positive table likely contains further planet candidates. This poster describes the creation of the false positive table, how false positives are certified, and the logical relationship between the various types of evidence and the final false positive determination.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #225
- Pub Date:
- January 2015