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Filling the Gaps: The TESS Mission Commences its First Extended Mission and Offers New Data Products

Presentation #207.03 in the session “Exoplanets and Systems: Data and Analysis Techniques”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Filling the Gaps: The TESS Mission Commences its First Extended Mission and Offers New Data Products

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched 18 April 2018 to conduct a two-year, near all-sky survey in search of at least 50 small, nearby exoplanets for which masses can be ascertained and whose atmospheres can be characterized by ground- and space-based follow-on observations. TESS completed its initial survey on 5 July 2020, covering ~85% of the sky, identifying 66 new planets, and over 2000 additional candidate exoplanets as of 12 August 2020. TESS has also unveiled a plethora of exciting non-exoplanet astrophysics results including asteroseismology, asteroids, and supernova. In the extended mission, TESS is collecting full frame images (FFIs) at 10-minute intervals rather than at 30-minute intervals, as was the case for the two-year primary mission. TESS is also collecting and providing photometry for up to 600 20-sec targets in addition to the 20,000 target star postage stamps collected at 2-min intervals. The extended mission will also feature a 4-month interval in which the 24°x96° field of view (FOV) will be rotated by 90° from its normal North-South orientation to observe a swath of the ecliptic plane. The FOVs for the remainder of the extended mission will also be offset in latitude from those of the prime mission to help fill in the gaps in the full sky coverage. We discuss the performance and behavior of the data products generated by the TESS Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) at NASA Ames Research Center and highlight the new 20-sec data mode and the 10-min FFIs. The TESS Mission is funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate as an Astrophysics Explorer Mission.


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