Population Study of Astrophysical False Positive Detections in the Southern PLATO field

Bray, J.; Kolb, U.; Rowden, P.; Farmer, Robert; Börner, A. and Kozhura, O. (2023). Population Study of Astrophysical False Positive Detections in the Southern PLATO field. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 518(3) pp. 3637–3652.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac3262


For the upcoming PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars (PLATO) satellite mission, a large number of target stars are required to yield a statistically significant number of planet transits. Locating the centres of the long duration observational phase (LOP) fields closer to the Galactic plane will increase the target star numbers but also the astrophysical false positives (FPs) from blended eclipsing binary systems. We utilise the Binary Stellar Evolution and Population Synthesis (biseps) code, to create a complete synthetic stellar and planetary population for the proposed southern LOP field (LOPS0), as well as for a representative portion of the northern LOP field (LOPN-sub). For LOPS0 we find an overall low FP rate for planets smaller than Neptunes. The FP rate generally shows little variation with Galactic longitude (l), and a modest increase with decreasing Galactic latitude (|b|). The location of the LOPS field centre within the current allowed region is not strongly constrained by FPs. Analysis of LOPN-sub suggests a markedly increased number of FPs across the full range of planet radii at low |b| resulting in approximately twice the percentage of FP detection rate in the LOPN-sub compared to the corresponding southern field segment in the planet radius range −0.2 < log (R/R) ≤ 0.4. However, only a few percent of fully eclipsing FPs in LOPS0 in this radius range have periods between 180 and 1,000 days so the vast majority of FPs are expected to be outside the period range of interest for PLATO.

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