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Finding TESS’s Coldest Planets

Presentation #600.15 in the session Planet Detection - Transits.

Published onApr 03, 2024
Finding TESS’s Coldest Planets

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is optimized to search small, low-mass stars or “M dwarfs” in the solar neighborhood for transiting extrasolar planets. By focusing on these cool stars and observing the whole sky, TESS presents an opportunity to study the demographics of planets in these systems, even out to previously unexplored regions of parameter space. Using TESS data, I am conducting a survey of an unseen population of cold planets orbiting low-mass stars to calculate their occurrence rates and to provide targets for future characterization. To date, only ~25 such M dwarf orbiting planets have been discovered at distances greater than 0.2 AU from their host stars. These planets and their demographics, however, could provide new insight into theories of planet formation and migration around cool stars. To identify these planets in the TESS data, I am developing a pipeline capable of detecting both single- and multiply-transiting planet events using a modified version of the Transit-Least Squared algorithm and the Deep-Transit transit detection algorithm. I will report on the current state of this search, as well as the nature of planets I have found to date.

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