A Revised Exoplanet Yield from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
Published 2018-04-13Version 1
The MIT-led Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has a goal of detecting terrestrial-mass planets orbiting stars bright enough for mass determination via ground-based radial velocity observations. Here we present estimates of how many exoplanets the TESS mission will detect, physical properties of the detected planets, and the properties of the stars that those planets orbit. This work uses stars drawn from the TESS Input Catalog Candidate Target List and revises yields from prior studies that were based on Galactic models. We model the TESS observing strategy to select approximately 200,000 stars at 2-minute cadence, while the remaining stars are observed at 30-min cadence in full-frame image data. We place zero or more planets in orbit around each star, with physical properties following measured exoplanet occurrence rates, and use the TESS noise model to predict the derived properties of the detected exoplanets. In the TESS 2-minute cadence mode we estimate that TESS will find 1250+/-70 exoplanets (90% confidence), including 250 smaller than 2 Earth-radii. Furthermore, we predict an additional 3200 planets will be found in full-frame image data orbiting bright dwarf stars and more than 10,000 around fainter stars. We predict that TESS will find 500 planets orbiting M-dwarfs, but the majority of planets will orbit stars larger than the Sun. Our simulated sample of planets contains hundreds of small planets amenable to radial velocity follow-up, potentially more than tripling the number of planets smaller than 4 Earth-radii with mass measurements. This sample of simulated planets is available for use in planning follow-up observations and analyses.