System description and first light curves of the Hungarian automated telescope, an autonomous observatory for variability search

G. Á Bakos, J. Lázár, I. Papp, P. Sári, E. M. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

102 Citations (Scopus)


Having been operational at Kitt Peak for more than a year, the prototype (HAT-1) of the Hungarian Automated Telescope (HAT) has been used for an all-sky variability search of the northern hemisphere. This small autonomous observatory is recording the brightness of stars in the range of IC ≈ 6-13 mag with a telephoto lens and its 9° × 9° field of view, yielding a data rate of ∼106 photometric measurements per night. We give brief hardware and software descriptions of the system, controlled by a single PC running Real Time Linux OS. We provide an overview of site-specific details and quantify the astrometric and photometric capabilities of HAT. As a demonstration of system performance, we give a sample of 60 short-period variables in a single selected field, all bright, with I < 13 mag, where only 14 were known before. Depending on the observing strategy, a search for extrasolar planet transits is also a feasible observing program. We conclude with a short discussion on future directions. Further information can be found at the HAT Web page.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-987
Number of pages14
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number799
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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