excess noise in-transit?

Bekki Dawson (Berkeley) showed up for a few days, in which she will work with Foreman-Mackey and Angus and me and also give our astro seminar. We discussed her observation (not new) that the photometric noise in a star light curve is often higher in transit than out of transit. This is explained by there being strong surface features on the star that get selectively blocked by the planet but affect the out-of-transit lightcurve only in an integrated way. Dawson's concern is that this excess noise is not being incorporated in completeness and sensitivity tests with the Kepler data; that is, we might be being over-optimistic about our small-planet samples. We made a plan to test this, and, if necessary, make more realistic artificial planet injections for better completeness and sensitivity studies.

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