The TESS Mission Target Selection Procedure

Fausnaugh, Michael and Morgan, Ed and Vanderspek, Roland and Pepper, Joshua and Burke, Christopher J. and Levine, Alan M. and Rudat, Alexander and Villasenor, Jesus Noel S. and Vezie, Michael and Goeke, Robert F. and Ricker, George R. and Latham, David W. and Seager, S. and Winn, Joshua N. and Jenkins, Jon M. and Bakos, G. A. and Barclay, Thomas and Berta-Thompson, Zachory K. and Bouma, Luke G. and Boyd, Patricia T. and Brasseur, C. E. and Burt, Jennifer and Caldwell, Douglas A. and Charbonneau, David and Christensen-Dalsgaard, J. and Clampin, Mark and Collins, Karen A. and Colon, Knicole D. and De Lee, Nathan and Dunham, Edward and Fleming, Scott W. and Fong, William and Soto, Aylin Garcia and Gaudi, B. Scott and Guerrero, Natalia M. and Hesse, Katharine and Holman, Matthew J. and Huang, Chelsea X. ORCID: and Kaltenegger, Lisa and Lissauer, Jack J. and McDermott, Scott and McLean, Brian and Mireles, Ismael and Mullally, Susan E. and Oelkers, Ryan J. and Paegert, Martin and Pal, Andras and Quintana, Elisa V. and Rinehart, S. A. and Rodriguez, David R. and Rose, Mark and Sasselov, Dimitar D. and Schlieder, Joshua E. and Sha, Lizhou and Shporer, Avi and Smith, Jeffrey C. and Stassun, Keivan G. and Tenenbaum, Peter and Ting, Eric B. and Torres, Guillermo and Twicken, Joseph D. and Vanderburg, Andrew and Wohler, Bill and Yu, Liang (2021) The TESS Mission Target Selection Procedure. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 133 (095002). pp. 1-15. ISSN 0004-6280


We describe the target selection procedure by which stars are selected for 2 minute and 20 s observations by TESS. We first list the technical requirements of the TESS instrument and ground systems processing that limit the total number of target slots. We then describe algorithms used by the TESS Payload Operation Center (POC) to merge candidate targets requested by the various TESS mission elements (the Target Selection Working Group, TESS Asteroseismic Science Consortium, and Guest Investigator office). Lastly, we summarize the properties of the observed TESS targets over the two-year primary TESS mission. We find that the POC target selection algorithm results in 2.1-3.4 times as many observed targets as target slots allocated for each mission element. We also find that the sky distribution of observed targets is different from the sky distributions of candidate targets due to technical constraints that require a relatively even distribution of targets across the TESS fields of view. We caution researchers exploring statistical analyses of TESS planet-host stars that the population of observed targets cannot be characterized by any simple set of criteria applied to the properties of the input Candidate Target Lists.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 04:21
Last Modified: 30 May 2022 23:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transit instruments (1708); Exoplanets (498); Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5101 Astronomical sciences > 510109 Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
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