TESS to observe bright stars at 2-min cadence

News article posted on by Tom Barclay

The TESS team has been working together to plan how to merge lists of targets are that are to be observed at two-minute cadence. As a result of these discussions the mission is committing to observing at two-minute cadence all stars that fall into the TESS field of view that are (a) brighter than 6th magnitude in the TESS bandpass, and (b) but are not too bright that their saturation bleed cannot be captured fully with a pixel mask. For Cycle-1 this accounts for approximately 6,000 stars.

We have made a slight modification to the list of targets that should not be included in TESS Cycle 1 GI proposals to search for transiting exoplanets using two-minute cadence data. This list now includes these 6,000 bright stars. This change is unlikely to significantly impact any proposals because these the majority of these bright stars are large (M-giants, B-stars, etc.). This makes detecting transiting planets challenging, and the detectability is unlikely to be improved with two-minute cadence over the full-frame image data.