Transit Method Analysis for Exoplanet Detection Validation Observations for TESS Object of Interest 3553.01




Singh, Jayarsh

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George Mason University

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The goal of this observational research was to further develop a conclusion for the confirmation of TIC 239628993 (TOI 3553.01) as an exoplanet, originally detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). We used the transit method to measure the light emitted from a system's host star and plotted data values throughout the exoplanet's transit. To increase the effectiveness of the transit method, we used image calibration, stack editing, image stabilization/alignment, interactive macro settings, multi-aperture photometry, and differential photometry, all supplied via the software AstroImageJ. Using the features of AstroImageJ, we compared the emitted light of the target star to those of numerous surrounding stars, and generated light curves consisting of normalized and best-fit data. Based on the best-fit modeled light curve, TIC 239628993 (TOI 3553.01) was classified as an exoplanet However, the light curve showed that the host star's brightness consistently decreased towards the end of the data set, not showing the returning increase of brightness. The decrease in emitted light was deemed sufficient to further support the classification of TIC 239628993 as an exoplanet, but based on these tentative results, the transit of the exoplanet as it passed in front of its host star was rendered an incomplete (partial) transit.