Jennifer Burt (JPL): "Advancing TESS' level one science goal with precision RV mass measurements"


Title: Advancing TESS' level one science goal with precision RV mass measurements

Abstract: The level one science goal of NASA's TESS mission is to measure the masses of fifty small exoplanets, an objective that requires the collaboration of numerous ground based facilities. I will discuss the flow down from TESS Object of Interest (TOI) to confirmed planet through the lens of two recent confirmations. The first, TOI-824 b, is a hot, sub-Neptune planet orbiting a K4V star that sits in a crowded section of the night sky. Follow up efforts revealed an incorrect initial TESS radius estimate due to biased background estimates, demonstrating the importance of higher resolution ground based photometric follow up. The second, TOI-1231 b, is a temperate, Neptune-sized planet orbiting a nearby M3V star. Exhibiting only one transit per sector of TESS monitoring, the planet is one of the coolest small planets detected in the primary mission. Models of atmospheric observations suggest that it will be possible to detect spectral features in an atmosphere similar to that of K2-18 b enabling the first comparative planetology in the 250-350 Kelvin temperature range. Both of these new planets offer exciting atmospheric follow up possibilities and move TESS two steps closer to accomplishing its level one science goal.