The Effects of Cadence of Astronomical Time-Series Observations

Dr. Eric G. Hintz
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Brigham Young University

The study of light variations in astrophysical objects has become a major research area over the last decade.  With the current success of the Kepler satellite in finding extra-solar planets there is a major interest in high quality light curves.  This extends beyond the study of extra-solar planets and will be a major factor in the success of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope which will come online in 2020.   However, in all time-series research one must be careful to understand the cadence of the observations.   The Kepler satellite had 1 minute and 30 minute cadence options.   The LSST will have a cadence of about 1 week.  This will dictate the astrophysical phenomenon that we can study with these systems.   We will discuss cadence as it impacts the study of high-mass x-ray binary systems, pulsating variable stars, and other astrophysical systems.