CoRoT Symposium 3, Kepler KASC-7 joint meeting
6-11 Jul 2014 Toulouse (France)

Abstracts > Ricker George

Wednesday 9
Session 3 - Present and future ground-based and space projects
Marie-Jo Goupil (chair)
› 8:30 - 9:00 (30min)
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission
George Ricker  1@  
1 : Massachusetts Institute of technology [Cambridge]  (MIT)  -  Website
Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02142 -  United States

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.

TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for several million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 1 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.

TESS will serve as the “People's Telescope,” with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations.

TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

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