AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

The Confirmation of Three Faint Variable Stars and the Observation of Eleven Others in the Vicinity of Kepler-8b by the Lookout Observatory

Volume 49 number 1 (2021)

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Neil Thomas
Department of Astronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840; neil.thomas@afacademy.af.edu
Margaret Paczkowski
Department of Astronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840

Abstract

A commissioning survey of the Lookout Observatory has observed fourteen faint (V ~ 13 to 17) variables in the region of the exoplanet Kepler-8b. Three of these are variable star candidates discovered by the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) and confirmed here. The ATLAS survey identified 315,000 probable variables within its wide-field survey in 2018. The faintness (down to r ~ 18) and small amplitudes (down to 0.02 mag) included in these candidates makes external validation difficult. The confirmation of this handful of variable stars lends credibility to the ATLAS catalog. Lastly, the agreement between various surveys and this new one validates the use of this instrument for variable star and exoplanet research.