Ground-based transit observations of the super-earth 55 Cnc e

E. J.W. De Mooij, M. López-Morales, R. Karjalainen, M. Hrudkova, Ray Jayawardhana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We report the first ground-based detections of the shallow transit of the super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cnc e using a 2 m class telescope. Using differential spectrophotometry, we observed one transit in 2013 and another in 2014, with average spectral resolutions of 700 and 250, spanning the Johnson BVR photometric bands. We find a white light planet-to-star radius ratio of 0.0190 from the 2013 observations and 0.0200 from the 2014 observations. The two data sets combined result in a radius ratio of 0.0198. These values are all in agreement with previous space-based results. Scintillation noise in the data prevents us from placing strong constraints on the presence of an extended hydrogen-rich atmosphere. Nevertheless, our detections of 55 Cnc e in transit demonstrate that moderate-sized telescopes on the ground will be capable of routine follow-up observations of super-Earth candidates discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite around bright stars. We expect it also will be possible to place constraints on the atmospheric characteristics of those planets by devising observational strategies to minimize scintillation noise.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL21
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (55 Cnc)
  • techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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