More TESS Data and More Planets Waiting to be Found

Planet Hunters TESS is back with brand new data!  The Sector 3 lightcurves have just been released and we are ready to find the planets hidden within them. This new data set consists of brightness measurements of 16 thousand bright stars that were observed by TESS between 22 September to 17 October, 2018.

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Artists impression of a Distant Alien World. Photocredit: Nora Eisner

You may notice some difference between this data release and the last one. During the Sector 3 observations TESS underwent some test in order to improve the data quality. This meant that the data collected during the first four and the last three days of the scheduled observations are not usable, leaving us with around 21 days, as opposed to the usual 28 days, of data. These tests are necessary as they give the amazing TESS system engineers and scientist the opportunity to learn more about how the satellite operates, allowing them to advance the system and improve the pointing stability. Due to this the TESS data will improve with every new sector. Each 21 day lightcurve has been split into three sections, providing you with higher resolution data and making it easier to spot even the smallest dips in brightness.

There are sure to be many planets hidden within this data, ranging from Earth-sized rocky planets to Jupiter-like gas giants orbiting around various different types of stars. What kind of planet will you find?

We hope you enjoy the new TESS data. Happy Planet Hunting!

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About Nora Eisner

I'm a PhD Student at the University of Oxford working on citizen-powered exoplanet discoveries with TESS under the supervision of Chris Lintott and Suzanne Aigrain.

One response to “More TESS Data and More Planets Waiting to be Found”

  1. George Kountouris says :

    I’m very curious to see those curves. I’m going to use some data on the exoplanets seminar where I’ll teach on Feb 26, 2019, I like to thank you very much, Nora.

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