The MOST instrument is optimised to perform high precision photometry in the
Continous Viewing Zone (CVZ). In order for a star to ever enter the MOST CVZ
its declination has to fall in the range from -19º to +36º. The period
in a given year when a star is in the CVZ depends in first order on its right
ascension. As a reference, a star with a right ascension of ~ 6h 40m and a
declination of +9º will be at the center of the CVZ on January 1st each year.
The maximum dwell time for a star in the MOST CVZ is 58 days (8.2 weeks).
The MOST spacecraft faces an annual 'eclipse season' where the satellite is in the
Earth's shadow for up to twelve minutes every orbit and hence is subject to large thermal
changes. This phase starts around May 19th and lasts until about July 24th of each year.
During this period it is expected that MOST's photometric quality will deteriorate slightly from
its nominal specification. Objects with a right ascension in the range of 16-18h are
affected. During this period science programs will be chosen with relaxed
instrumental stability requirements.
Five primary science target types have been proposed for the MOST mission:
Other object types are also under consideration as primary or secondary targets.
- Sun-like stars
- Metal-poor subdwarfs
- Rapidly oscillating Ap (roAp) stars
- Extrasolar planetary systems
- Wolf-Rayet stars
Selection of target stars and observation scheduling decisions are made exclusively by the
MOST Science Team.
The MOST Science Data are subject to a one year proprietary period, after which
they will be released to the astronomy science community. Exceptions to shorten
that period on an object-to-object basis can be proposed to the Science Team
by contacting the Mission Scientist and Project PI,
Prof. Jaymie Matthews.