Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope

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The Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (or KELT) consists of two robotic telescopes that are conducting a survey for transiting exoplanets around bright stars. The project is jointly administered by members of the Ohio State University Department of Astronomy,[1] the Vanderbilt University Department of Physics and Astronomy[2] Astronomy Group,[3] the Lehigh University Department of Physics,[4] and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO).[5]

KELT Telescopes[edit]

KELT consists of two telescopes, KELT-North[6] in Arizona in the United States, and KELT-South[7] at the SAAO observing station near Sutherland, South Africa.

Each KELT telescope consists of a wide field (26 degrees by 26 degrees) medium format telephoto lens with a 4.2 cm aperture, mounted in from of a 4k x 4k Apogee CCD. KELT-North uses an Apogee AP16E camera, while KELT South uses an Apogee U16M. The optical assemblies and cameras are mounted on Paramount ME[8] mounts manufactured by Software Bisque.[9]


KELT-North is located at Winer Observatory in southeastern Arizona, about an hour's drive from Tucson. KELT-North was installed at Winer in 2005, and has been operating continuously since then, with occasional interruptions for equipment failures and poor weather.


KELT-South is located at the Sutherland astronomical observation station owned and operated by SAAO, about 370 kilometers (230 mi) North of Cape Town. KELT-South was deployed at Sutherland in 2009.

Science Goals[edit]

KELT is dedicated to discovering transiting exoplanets orbiting stars in the brightness range of 8 < V < 10 magnitude. This is the regime just fainter than the set of stars comprehensively surveyed for planets by the radial-velocity surveys, but brighter than those typically observed by most transit surveys.


Both KELT telescopes operate by sequentially observing a series of pre-defined fields around the sky all night, every night when the weather is good. All exposures are taken with 150-second exposures, optimized to observe stars in the target magnitude range of KELT.

Exoplanet Discoveries[edit]

KELT has made three exoplanet and one brown dwarf discoveries to date.

Star Constellation Right
Declination App.
Distance (ly) Spectral
Planet Mass


KELT-2A 06h 10m 39s +30° 57′ 26″ 8.77 420 F7V KELT-2Ab 1.486 1.306 4.11379 0.05498 0.185 ± 0.08) 88.5 2012
KELT-3 09h 54m 34.0s +30° 38′ 24″ 9.8 F KELT-3b 1.418 1.333 0.75 2.70339 0.04117 84.32 2012
KELT-6 13h 03m 56s +30° 38′ 24″ 10.38 F KELT-6b 0.43 1.19 0.311 7.84563 0.079 0.22 +0.01

In addition, the survey has discovered brown dwarfs like KELT-1b.


  1. ^ "The Ohio State Department of Astronomy". 
  2. ^ "Vanderbilt Department of Physics and Astronomy". 
  3. ^ "Vanderbilt Astronomy Group". 
  4. ^ "The Lehigh Department of Physics". 
  5. ^ "South African Astronomical Observatory". 
  6. ^ Pepper, Joshua et al. (2007). "The Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT): A Small Robotic Telescope for Large-Area Synoptic Surveys". Astronomical Society of the Pacific 119 (858): 923. doi:10.1086/521836. 
  7. ^ Pepper et al. (1970). "The KELT-South Telescope". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 124 (913): 230–241. arXiv:1202.1826. Bibcode:2012PASP..124..230P. doi:10.1086/665044. 
  8. ^ "Paramount ME". 
  9. ^ "Software Bisque company page". 

External links[edit]