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Title:
Comparative performance of selected variability detection techniques in photometric time series data
Authors:
Sokolovsky, K. V.; Gavras, P.; Karampelas, A.; Antipin, S. V.; Bellas-Velidis, I.; Benni, P.; Bonanos, A. Z.; Burdanov, A. Y.; Derlopa, S.; Hatzidimitriou, D.; Khokhryakova, A. D.; Kolesnikova, D. M.; Korotkiy, S. A.; Lapukhin, E. G.; Moretti, M. I.; Popov, A. A.; Pouliasis, E.; Samus, N. N.; Spetsieri, Z.; Veselkov, S. A.; Volkov, K. V.; Yang, M.; Zubareva, A. M.
Affiliation:
AA(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece; Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Universitetskii pr. 13, 119992 Moscow, Russia; Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, Profsoyuznaya Str. 84/32, 117997 Moscow, Russia ), AB(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece), AC(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece), AD(Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Universitetskii pr. 13, 119992 Moscow, Russia; Institute of Astronomy (Russian Academy of Sciences), Pyatnitskaya Str. 48, 119017 Moscow, Russia), AE(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece), AF(Acton Sky Portal, 3 Concetta Circle, Acton, MA 01720, USA), AG(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece), AH(Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University, Mira Str. 19, 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russia; Institut d'Astrophysique et Géophysique, Université de Liège, allée du 6 Août 17, B-4000 Liège, Belgium), AI(Department of Physics, University of Patras, 26500 Patra, Greece), AJ(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece; Department of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, 15783 Athens, Greece), AK(Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University, Mira Str. 19, 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russia), AL(Institute of Astronomy (Russian Academy of Sciences), Pyatnitskaya Str. 48, 119017 Moscow, Russia), AM(Ka-Dar astronomy foundation, Kuzminki, PO Box 82, 142717 Moscow region, Russia), AN(Reshetnev Siberian State Aerospace University, Krasnoyarsky Rabochy Av. 31, 660037 Krasnoyarsk, Russia), AO(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece), AP(Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University, Mira Str. 19, 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russia), AQ(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece; Department of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, 15783 Athens, Greece), AR(Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Universitetskii pr. 13, 119992 Moscow, Russia; Institute of Astronomy (Russian Academy of Sciences), Pyatnitskaya Str. 48, 119017 Moscow, Russia), AS(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece; Department of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, 15783 Athens, Greece), AT(Reshetnev Siberian State Aerospace University, Krasnoyarsky Rabochy Av. 31, 660037 Krasnoyarsk, Russia), AU(Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University, Mira Str. 19, 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russia), AV(IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Penteli, Greece), AW(Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Universitetskii pr. 13, 119992 Moscow, Russia; Institute of Astronomy (Russian Academy of Sciences), Pyatnitskaya Str. 48, 119017 Moscow, Russia)
Publication:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 464, Issue 1, p.274-292 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
01/2017
Origin:
CROSSREF; OUP
Astronomy Keywords:
methods: data analysis, methods: statistical, stars: variables: general
Abstract Copyright:
2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.1093/mnras/stw2262
Bibliographic Code:
2017MNRAS.464..274S

Abstract

Photometric measurements are prone to systematic errors presenting a challenge to low-amplitude variability detection. In search for a general-purpose variability detection technique able to recover a broad range of variability types including currently unknown ones, we test 18 statistical characteristics quantifying scatter and/or correlation between brightness measurements. We compare their performance in identifying variable objects in seven time series data sets obtained with telescopes ranging in size from a telephoto lens to 1 m-class and probing variability on time-scales from minutes to decades. The test data sets together include light curves of 127 539 objects, among them 1251 variable stars of various types and represent a range of observing conditions often found in ground-based variability surveys. The real data are complemented by simulations. We propose a combination of two indices that together recover a broad range of variability types from photometric data characterized by a wide variety of sampling patterns, photometric accuracies and percentages of outlier measurements. The first index is the interquartile range (IQR) of magnitude measurements, sensitive to variability irrespective of a time-scale and resistant to outliers. It can be complemented by the ratio of the light-curve variance to the mean square successive difference, 1/eta, which is efficient in detecting variability on time-scales longer than the typical time interval between observations. Variable objects have larger 1/eta and/or IQR values than non-variable objects of similar brightness. Another approach to variability detection is to combine many variability indices using principal component analysis. We present 124 previously unknown variable stars found in the test data.
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