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The Spitzer-Kepler Survey (SpiKeS): Precision Warm Spitzer Photometry of the Kepler Field

Published onJun 01, 2020
The Spitzer-Kepler Survey (SpiKeS): Precision Warm Spitzer Photometry of the Kepler Field

The ~200,000 stars monitored for photometric variability during the Kepler prime mission are the best-studied stars in the sky, due to both the extensive time history provided by Kepler and to the substantial amounts of ancillary data provided by other investigators. To enhance this wealth of data, we have surveyed the entire Kepler field using the 3.6 and 4.5 micron bands of Warm Spitzer. Our primary objective was to search for infrared excesses due to warm dust or cool companions. Because the Kepler targets are bright by Spitzer standards, we had to develop new techniques for data reduction. Based on two independent observations of one Kepler tile, we achieved internal photometric precision ranging from ~1.5% for brighter stars down to ~2.3% for the faintest stars studied by Kepler. Our data base includes photometry with this precision in both bands for over 170,000 stars. We use distances obtained from Gaia to create an instructive HR diagram for these stars. Separately, the agreement of our data with stellar models validates the 2.4% calibration uncertainty reported for Spitzer observations at these wavelengths by the Spitzer Science Center.. Although large infrared excesses at these wavelengths are rare, we show examples for several stars. The data on these stars resulting from this work will be available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive, tabulated with appropriate data from other catalogs. Separately, the agreement of our data with stellar models validates the 2.4% calibration uncertainty reported for Spitzer observations at these wavelengths by the Spitzer Science Center.This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA

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