TESS activities at AAS

News article posted on by Knicole Colon

The TESS team is looking forward to attending the upcoming winter AAS meeting in Honolulu next month. There will be many new science results presented from the prime mission, and we will share plans for the first extended mission.

The TESS team will be there staffing a booth all week and serving as a live helpdesk for all your TESS-related questions. In addition, be sure to join us during our evening splinter session on Monday, January 6 starting at 5:30pm, which will feature new science results from the prime mission and a preview of the extended mission. You are also invited to attend our two special sessions taking place on Sunday, January 5 at 2:00pm and Wednesday, January 8 at 2:00pm to hear even more about the latest science from TESS. In addition, you can stop by the NASA traveling Hyperwall on Tuesday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 8, when team members will present additional science highlights from TESS. There will also be a press panel focusing on new science results from TESS, as well as lots of other contributed talks on TESS science taking place during the conference.

We hope you can join us at one or more of these activities! A summary of the TESS activities at AAS 235 is below.

Sunday, January 5

Special Session 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm (Room 318A)

157. Transient Science with TESS

Owing to its unique observing strategy, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has the potential to open new windows on transient science. This session will highlight recent results of TESS data used to study transients, and discuss synergies of TESS with current and future time domain surveys.

  • 2:00-2:10pm Michael Fausnaugh (MIT) - TESS and Transients Discovered from the Ground
  • 2:10-2:20pm Thomas Prince (Caltech) - The ZTF survey of the TESS fields
  • 2:20-2:30pm V. Ashley Villar (Harvard) - Constraining Type Ia Supernova Progenitors Through High-Cadence, Optical Light Curves
  • 2:30-2:40pm Anna Payne (IfA) - TESS and AGN multi-wavelength variability
  • 2:40-2:50pm Soichiro Hattori (NYU Abu Dhabi) - TESS-CPM: A Python package for Background-Corrected Difference Imaging with TESS Full Frame Images
  • 2:50-3:00pm Patrick Vallely (OSU) - Using TESS and SALT to Understand the Unusual Type Ia ASASSN-18tb
  • 3:00-3:10pm Thomas Holoien (Carnegie Observatories) - ASASSN-19bt: The First Tidal Disruption Event Observed with TESS
  • 3:10-3:20pm Elias Aydi (MSU) - Novae observations with TESS might change our understanding of explosive transients
  • 3:20-3:30pm Dheeraj Pasham (MIT) - Blind searches for rapid transients in TESS FFIs

Monday, January 6

Splinter Session 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm (Room 306AB)

NASA's TESS Mission- Exoplanets, Time Domain Astronomy and Astrophysics from the Prime Mission, and Extended Mission Preview

NASA’s TESS mission launched in 2018, is now well more than halfway through its prime science program, surveying most of the sky, searching for transiting exoplanets orbiting bright, nearby stars. The team has identified well over one thousand promising planet candidates, and an active follow-up program has led to the confirmation of dozens of planets. While the main science goal is measuring the masses of fifty planets smaller than 4 Earth radii, the high-precision long-timeline, high-cadence photometry provided by the TESS cameras allows a wealth of additional astrophysics investigations. A robust Guest Investigator Program complements the exoplanet investigation underway by the TESS Science Team. This splinter session will present mission status, early science results, and future plans for the TESS extended mission, which begins in July 2020. Come join TESS project staff, who will be on hand to answer questions and chat in the informal reception to follow a few brief talks.

Tuesday, January 7

Hyperwall Talks (NASA/SMD booth)

  • 9:40-9:55am Natalia Guerrero (MIT) - Exploring New Planets with TESS
  • 1:45-2:00pm TBD - TBD

Wednesday, January 8

Hyperwall Talks (NASA/SMD booth)

  • 9:25-9:40am Laura Vega (NASA GSFC/Vanderbilt University) - Astrophysics with TESS

Wednesday, January 8

Special Session 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm (Room 323B)

445. TESS and the Mass/Radius Diagram for Exoplanets

A striking result from the Kepler mission is that the population of planets orbiting solar-type stars is dominated by planets smaller than 4 Earth radii, with a dip in the occurrence rate near 1.8 Earth Radii, often referred to as the radius gap. Are the planets below the gap rocky like the Earth, while the ones above the gap are more like Neptune? One of the primary goals of the TESS mission is to determine masses and radii for at least 50 planets smaller than 4 Earth radii, thus providing bulk densities and surface gravities needed to address this issue. In this Special Session we will highlight the progress towards this goal.

  • 2:00-2:12pm David Latham (CfA | Harvard & Smithsonian) - The Legacy of Kepler
  • 2:12-2:24pm Li Zeng (CfA | Harvard & Smithsonian) - Theoretical Models on the Mass/Radius Diagram
  • 2:24-2:36pm Andrew Howard (Caltech) - HIRES Masses for TESS Planets
  • 2:36-2:48pm Stéphane Udry (Geneva Observatory) - Masses of Small Planets from HARPS and ESPRESSO
  • 2:48-3:00pm Johanna Teske (Carnegie Observatories) - Mass-Radius Updates from the TESS-Magellan PFS Consortium
  • 3:00-3:12pm Ryan Cloutier (CfA | Harvard & Smithsonian) - Masses for Planets Transiting M Dwarfs
  • 3:12-3:24pm Samuel Quinn (CfA | Harvard & Smithsonian) - Summary and Future Directions