Predicting the Yield of Potential Venus Analogs from TESS and Their Potential for Atmospheric Characterization
The transit method is biased toward short orbital period planets that are interior to their host star’s habitable zone. These planets are particularly interesting from the perspective of exploring runaway greenhouse scenarios and the possibility of potential Venus analogs. Here, we conduct an analysis of predicted Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) planet yield estimates produced by Huang et al., as well as the TESS Object of Interest (TOI) list resulting from the observations of sectors 1-13 during Cycle 1 of the TESS primary mission. In our analysis we consider potential terrestrial planets that lie within their host star’s Venus zone. These requirements are then applied to a predicted planetary yield from the TESS primary mission and the TOI list, which results in an estimated 259 Venus analogs by the end of the TESS primary mission, and 46 Venus analogs in the TOI list for sectors 1-13. We also calculate the estimated transmission spectroscopy signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) for Venus analogs from the predicted yield and TOI list if they were to be observed by the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph on the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as update the S/N cutoff values determined by Kempton et al. Our findings show that the best estimated Venus analogs and TOI Venus analogs with R p < 1.5 R ☉ have an estimated transmission spectroscopy S/N > 40 while planets with radii 2 R ⊕ < R p < 4 R ⊕ can achieve S/N > 100.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- November 2019
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 10 pages, 6 figures, 1 table, Accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal