A Framework for Prioritizing the TESS Planetary Candidates Most Amenable to Atmospheric Characterization

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    Eliza M.-R., Grinnell Coll, Dept Phys, Jacob L. Bean, Univ Chicago, University of Chicago, Dept Astron & Astrophys, Dana R. Louie, Univ Maryland, University System of Maryland, University of Maryland College Park, Dept Astron, Drake Deming, Univ Maryland, University System of Maryland, University of Maryland College Park, Dept Astron, Daniel D. B. Koll, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dept Earth Atmospher & Planetary Sci, Megan Mansfield, Univ Chicago, University of Chicago, Dept Geophys Sci, Jessie L. Christiansen, NASA, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), California Institute of Technology, Exoplanet Sci Inst, IPAC, CALTECH, Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Harvard Smithsonian Ctr Astrophys, Harvard University, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Smithsonian Institution, Mark R. Swain, CALTECH, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), Jet Prop Lab, Robert T. Zellem, CALTECH, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), Jet Prop Lab, Sarah Ballard, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kavli Inst Astrophys & Space Res, Thomas Barclay, Univ Maryland Baltimore Cty, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University System of Maryland, Joanna K. Barstow, UCL, University of London, University College London, Dept Phys & Astron, Natasha E. Batalha, Space Telescope Sci Inst, Space Telescope Science Institute, Thomas G. Beatty, Penn State Univ, Penn State University, Pennsylvania Commonwealth System of Higher Education (PCSHE), Ctr Exoplanets & Habitable Worlds, Zach Berta-Thompson, Univ Colorado, University of Colorado System, University of Colorado Boulder, Dept Astrophys & Planetary Sci, Ctr Astrophys & Space Astron, Jayne Birkby, Univ Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, Astron Inst Anton Pannekoek, Lars A. Buchhave, Tech Univ Denmark, Technical University of Denmark, DTU Space, Natl Space Inst, Dept Math & Computat Geosci, David Charbonneau, Harvard Smithsonian Ctr Astrophys, Harvard University, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Smithsonian Institution, Nicolas B. Cowan, McGill Univ, McGill University, Dept Earth & Planetary Sci, Dept Phys, Ian Crossfield, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kavli Inst Astrophys & Space Res, Miguel de Val-Borro, Catholic Univ Amer, Catholic University of America, Dept Phys, Rene Doyon, Univ Montreal, University of Montreal, Dept Phys, Inst Rech Exoplanetes, iREx, Diana Dragomir, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kavli Inst Astrophys & Space Res, Eric Gaidos, Univ Hawaii Manoa, University of Hawaii Manoa, University of Hawaii System, Dept Geol & Geophys, Kevin Heng, Univ Bern, University of Bern, Ctr Space & Habitabil, Renyu Hu, CALTECH, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), Jet Prop Lab, Stephen R. Kane, Univ Calif Riverside, University of California Riverside, University of California System, Dept Earth Sci, Laura Kreidberg, Harvard Soc Fellows, Harvard University, Matthias Mallonn, Leibniz Inst Astrophys Potsdam AIP, Leibniz Institut fur Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), Caroline V. Morley, Harvard Univ, Harvard University, Dept Astron, Norio Narita, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Valerio Nascimbeni, Univ Padua, University of Padua, Dipartimento Fis & Astron Galileo Galilei, Enric Palle, ULL, Universidad de la Laguna, Dept Astrofis, Elisa V. Quintana, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Emily Rauscher, Univ Michigan, University of Michigan, University of Michigan System, Dept Astron, Sara Seager, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dept Phys, Evgenya L. Shkolnik, Arizona State Univ, Arizona State University, Sch Earth & Space Explorat, David K. Sing, Univ Exeter, University of Exeter, Astrophys Grp, Alessandro Sozzetti, INAF Osservatorio Astrofis Torino, Keivan G. Stassun, Vanderbilt Univ, Vanderbilt University, Dept Phys & Astron, Jeff A. Valenti, Space Telescope Sci Inst, Space Telescope Science Institute,
  • Carolina von Essen

A key legacy of the recently launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission will be to provide the astronomical community with many of the best transiting exoplanet targets for atmospheric characterization. However, time is of the essence to take full advantage of this opportunity. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), although delayed, will still complete its nominal five year mission on a timeline that motivates rapid identification, confirmation, and mass measurement of the top atmospheric characterization targets from TESS. Beyond JWST, future dedicated missions for atmospheric studies such as the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) require the discovery and confirmation of several hundred additional sub-Jovian size planets (R-p <10 R circle plus) orbiting bright stars, beyond those known today, to ensure a successful statistical census of exoplanet atmospheres. Ground-based extremely large telescopes (ELTs) will also contribute to surveying the atmospheres of the transiting planets discovered by TESS. Here we present a set of two straightforward analytic metrics, quantifying the expected signal-to-noise in transmission and thermal emission spectroscopy for a given planet, that will allow the top atmospheric characterization targets to be readily identified among the TESS planet candidates. Targets that meet our proposed threshold values for these metrics would be encouraged for rapid follow-up and confirmation via radial velocity mass measurements. Based on the catalog of simulated TESS detections by Sullivan et al., we determine appropriate cutoff values of the metrics, such that the TESS mission will ultimately yield a sample of similar to 300 high-quality atmospheric characterization targets across a range of planet size bins, extending down to Earth-size, potentially habitable worlds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114401
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume130
Issue number993
Number of pages14
ISSN0004-6280
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

    Research areas

  • planets and satellites: atmospheres, planets and satellites: detection, WEBB-SPACE-TELESCOPE, TEMPERATE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS, MIDINFRARED INSTRUMENT, ROCKY, STAR, EXOPLANETS, JWST

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