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Paper: Large-Catalogue Optimisation of Quasar Differential Photometry Fields by Grid Computing
Volume: 434, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIX
Page: 505
Authors: Creaner, O.; Hickey, E.; Nolan, K.; Briain, Ta.; Smith, N.
Abstract: Ground-based studies of quasar variability on timescales of minutes have the potential to examine the smallest-scale structures. Since rapid variability in quasars results in millimagnitude variations it is imperative that the photometry be very precise. The standard approach is to use differential photometry, where the magnitude of the quasar is compared to that of selected reference stars in the instruments field-of-view. In such cases, the choice of reference star becomes important. Our work enables, for a given target, the development of software capable of making decisions about the best choice of reference stars for differential photometry. The aptness of targets is determined, generating a figure of merit. Grid computing allows for large catalogues to be analysed in this way; and also allows for a ranking of potential targets to be constructed. This will result in the discovery of quasars that serendipitously reside within fields of view most suitable for high precision differential photometry.
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