Main-belt asteroids in the k2 engineering field of view

R. Szabó, K. Sárneczky, G. M. Szabó, A. Pál, Cs P. Kiss, B. Csák, L. Illés, G. Rácz, L. L. Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Unlike NASA's original Kepler Discovery Mission, the renewed K2 Mission will target the plane of the Ecliptic, observing each field for approximately 75 days. This will bring new opportunities and challenges, in particular the presence of a large number of main-belt asteroids that will contaminate the photometry. The large pixel size makes K2 data susceptible to the effects of apparent minor planet encounters. Here, we investigate the effects of asteroid encounters on photometric precision using a subsample of the K2 engineering data taken in 2014 February. We show examples of asteroid contamination to facilitate their recognition and distinguish these events from other error sources. We conclude that main-belt asteroids will have considerable effects on K2 photometry of a large number of photometric targets during the Mission that will have to be taken into account. These results will be readily applicable for future space photometric missions applying large-format CCDs, such as TESS and PLATO.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015



  • astrometry
  • methods: observational
  • minor planets asteroids: general
  • minor planets asteroids: individual ((732) Tjilaki (120934) 1998 SE149 013 OE)
  • techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Szabó, R., Sárneczky, K., Szabó, G. M., Pál, A., Kiss, C. P., Csák, B., Illés, L., Rácz, G., & Kiss, L. L. (2015). Main-belt asteroids in the k2 engineering field of view. Astronomical Journal, 149(3), [112].