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Feb 9, 2022

SETI Live: 5,000 Exoplanet Candidates and Counting!

Posted by in category: space

The NASA TESS mission hit a milestone of 5,000 exoplanet candidates or TOIs (TESS Object of Interest). The TESS catalog has been growing steadily since the start of the mission in 2018, and the batch of TOIs boosting the catalog to over 5,000 comes primarily from the Faint Star Search led by MIT postdoc Michelle Kunimoto. Now in its extended mission, TESS is observing the Northern Hemisphere and ecliptic plane, including regions of the sky previously observed by the Kepler and K2 missions, so we can expect more discoveries until 2025.

To discuss this achievement, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Franck Marchis is joined by Dr. Kunimoto, TESS postdoctoral associate at MIT Kavli Institute. Dr. Kunimoto focuses her work on detecting transiting exoplanets and the statistical determination of exoplanet demographics. She will tell us how astronomers worldwide will study each of these TOIs to confirm whether they are bonafide planets and what we can expect from this complicated task.

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