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Can TESS detect microlensing planets?

Presentation #312.09 in the session Extrasolar Planets I.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Can TESS detect microlensing planets?

Over the past five years, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has expanded the field of extrasolar planet detection through its discovering of countless transiting exoplanets around nearby bright stars. Yet to be explored, however, is TESS’s potential to probe another population of planets through the recovery and detection of gravitational microlensing events. The microlensing detection method currently represents the best opportunity to find small and distant exoplanets, though it is currently responsible for <4% of confirmed planets. The upcoming NASA flagship mission, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, is anticipated to greatly increase this sample. By searching for microlensing detections in TESS observations, we can prepare for Roman by 1) determining if the lens parallax (an essential parameter to calculate planet mass) can be measured from satellite orbital motion alone and 2) analyzing how the shorter sampling times (compared to most microlensing surveys) used by TESS and Roman affect the the precision of planet detection and increase the number of free-floating planets found by microlensing. I will report on the current state of this work, including any microlensing events discovered or recovered by TESS to date.

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