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Upping the Ante: The TESS Mission Shortens Full Frame Images to 10 Minutes and Introduces a Twenty-Second Data Collection Mode

Presentation #134.01 in the session “Exoplanets with TESS”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Upping the Ante: The TESS Mission Shortens Full Frame Images to 10 Minutes and Introduces a Twenty-Second Data Collection Mode

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) recently completed its initial two-year, near all-sky survey, identifying over 79 exoplanets and over 2000 exoplanet candidates. The mission is well on its way to find 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 has unveiled a plethora of exciting non-exoplanet astrophysics results, such as 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 1000 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 five-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 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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