STRW local: Student Colloqia
The Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: Finding transiting exoplanets around the brightest stars
Exoplanets transiting bright stars make ideal candidates for atmospheric characterization studies using ground- and space-based telescopes. Nevertheless, the brightest stars have not been previously targeted by transit surveys as they quickly saturate detectors and are sparsely distributed across the sky, requiring short exposure times and a large Field-of-View. The Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA (MASCARA) is a transit survey aimed at finding planets around these bright stars at 4<V<8. MASCARA consists of two stations, located in the northern hemisphere at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos and in the southern hemisphere at La Silla observatory, respectively. Each station observes the entire local sky down to airmass 3, obtaining photometry of over 70,000 bright stars. A sister survey, bRing, allows for continuous coverage for dec<-40 degrees. In my colloquium I will describe the design and operations of MASCARA, discuss the data calibration methods developed for MASCARA and bRing, and finally present the confirmed and candidate planets that have been found to date.