First Light of Engineered Diffusers at the Nordic Optical Telescope Reveal Time Variability in the Optical Eclipse Depth of WASP-12b

von Essen, C.; Stefansson, G.; Mallonn, M.; Pursimo, T.; Djupvik, A. A.; Mahadevan, S.; Kjeldsen, H.; Freudenthal, J.; Dreizler, S.
eprint arXiv:1904.05362


We present the characterization of two engineered diffusers mounted on the 2.5 meter Nordic Optical Telescope, located at Roque de Los Muchachos, Spain. To assess the reliability and the efficiency of the diffusers, we carried out several test observations of two photometric standard stars, along with observations of one primary transit observation of TrES-3b in the red (R-band), one of CoRoT-1b in the blue (B-band), and three secondary eclipses of WASP-12b in V-band. The achieved photometric precision is in all cases within the sub-millimagnitude level for exposures between 25 and 180 seconds. Along a detailed analysis of the functionality of the diffusers, we add a new transit depth measurement in the blue (B-band) to the already observed transmission spectrum of CoRoT-1b, disfavouring a Rayleigh slope. We also report variability of the eclipse depth of WASP-12b in the V-band. For the WASP-12b secondary eclipses, we observe a secondary-depth deviation of about 5-sigma, and a difference of 6-sigma and 2.5-sigma when compared to the values reported by other authors in similar wavelength range determined from Hubble Space Telescope data. We further speculate about the potential physical processes or causes responsible for this observed variability.