The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be conducting a nearly all-sky photometric survey over two years, with a core mission goal to discover small transiting exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars. It will obtain 30 minute cadence observations of all objects in the TESS fields of view, along with two-minute cadence observations of 200,000-400,000 selected stars. The choice of which stars to observe at the two-minute cadence is driven by the need to detect small transiting planets, which leads to the selection of primarily bright, cool dwarfs. We describe the catalogs assembled and the algorithms used to populate the TESS Input Catalog (TIC), including plans to update the TIC with the incorporation of the Gaia second data release in the near future. We also describe a ranking system for prioritizing stars according to the smallest transiting planet detectable, and assemble a Candidate Target List (CTL) using that ranking. We discuss additional factors that affect the ability to photometrically detect and dynamically confirm small planets, and we note additional stellar populations of interest that may be added to the final target list. The TIC is available on the STScI MAST server, and an enhanced CTL is available through the Filtergraph data visualization portal system at the URL http://filtergraph.com/tess_ctl.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- September 2018
- stars: fundamental parameters;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- Published in The Astronomical Journal, 56 pages, 24 figures, 6 appendices. This is the definitive version of the documentation for the TIC and CTL as of TESS launch. This updated version includes a correction to Figure 5 and associated text as an erratum on the first page (erratum will also appear in AJ)