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News from the exoplanet hunt with TESS [01/24/2022]


In the meantime I have finished searching sectors 44 and 45 on Planet Hunters TESS (PHT) (manually, transit method) and validated my discoveries. PHT is a community of approximately 30,000 dedicated volunteers, led by Nora Eisner, searching for exoplanets. The data for this come from the TESS space telescope (successor to Kepler).
In this search I was able to find 6 new planet candidates. Also possible protoplanets around the YSO star TIC 6553831. YSO (Young Stellar Object) are very young stars which can have dust disks around them, in which planets will later form. This star shows corresponding changes in its light curve, which are as big as planets.
However, so far not only exoplanets but also many eclipsing binaries have been identified by the project. In a January publication this year, 6,699 candidate eclipsing binaries are attributed to the project.

All 6 planet candidates are listed below. In half of these, only 1 single transit could be observed so far, which means that the orbital period can only be estimated very imprecisely (for details see PHT Results and Discussions). Some of these stars are observed again in sector 46, so there is a chance to observe a transit again.
exoplanet candidate identifierearth radiusorbit in daysspektral type + luminosity classconstellation
TIC 443616612.0110.5 - 10.73 (0.933 - 0.96 Rjup)755 - 1636K7VLeo
TIC 27064468.014.95.461F8Leo
TIC 337385330.011.7415.54K8 ?Gemini
TIC 91287873.012.826.69K7.5VGemini
TIC 59490344.013.373 - 223G0Gemini
TIC 393546540.013.122 - 48G5Sextans

The possible Jupiter-like planet around TIC 443616612 is particularly interesting because the confirmed planets K2-43 b and c are already known around this star.
The candidate around TIC 337385330 is also exciting because the planet should have a solid surface and is inside of the Hycean Habitable Zone. The surface temperature is around 403 Kelvin (130 °C). That sounds hostile to life at first, but according to the latest studies, such planets could perhaps still be home to life.
The last two candidates orbit sun-like stars (our sun = G2V). For comparison, our Mercury has an orbital period of about 88 days and Venus has 225 days.

All candidates have been recognized by astronomers and have now received a CTOI entry. This means that these stars are prioritized for further observation by TESS. These are not yet confirmed exoplanets. Despite intensive validating, one or the other could later turn out to be a false-positive (false detection).
I would like to thank the PHT users mase22 and mhuten who diligently supported me in validating my findings. And of course also Nora for the final reviews and that she made this possible with her project in the first place. Great team work!

The 6 exoplanet candidates from sector 44 and 45 in the star map (screenshot from Planetensuche):



new Planetensuche update [10/31/2021]


  • the new version 6.13 is now available



  • My contribution on Planet Hunters TESS [10/30/2021]


  • At this week I have started to validate my findings on Planet Hunters TESS project. The results will be tracked here



  • The history of the exoplanet hunt [10/23/2021]


  • you can find a short history overview on this place



  • new Planetensuche update [05/16/2021]


  • the new version 6.12 is now available



  • How many planets exists in the Milky Way? [05/08/2021]


    In the current Planetensuche version 6.11, the question of how many planets could be in our Milky Way is answered. To do this, I extrapolated the current confirmed exoplanets to the Milky Way. The basic assumptions made are described in the diagram. Interesting is not only the bare (gigantic) number of possible planets, but also how many of them could be Earth-like. With the NASA database from April 2021, 61 million rocky planets, which orbit sun-like stars and within the habitable zone, are forecast! This huge number of potentially habitable planets shows that Earth does not seem to be a lucky one-off. Given millions of worlds with possible (intelligent?) life, utopias like Star Trek or Star Wars seem scientifically possible. Only that we unfortunately still lack the fast drives to be able to get an impression on site (e.g. from Gliese 581 c). For now, we only have the option to analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets from the distance (see e.g. the detection of water vapor around HD 209458 b).

    When it comes to the question of life, moons around gas planets would also be interesting if they are in the habitable zone (e.g. perhaps around gas planet Taphao Thong). The extrapolation also allows to be better estimated the possible values ​​of the variables Fp and Ne of the Drake equation / Green-Bank formula (see also Formulas module - other formulas - Green-Bank formula).

    The diagram is located in the Simulation module in the menu under Statistics - Number of planets in the Milky Way. The forecast adjusts automatically after every exoplanet update (Database module in the menu Database - Online-Exoplanet-Update).




    new Planetensuche update [05/05/2021]


  • the new version 6.11 is now available



  • new Planetensuche update [01/24/2021]


  • the new version 6.10 is now available



  • new Planetensuche update [01/17/2021]


  • the new version 6.09 is now available



  • new Planetensuche update [11/01/2020]


  • the new version 6.08 is now available



  • new Planetensuche update [10/25/2020]


  • the new version 6.07 and 6.06 is now available

  • This version imports all stars from the HIP catalog including the Gaia parallaxes. For technical reasons, the data import had to be separated from the performance optimizations (6.06).


    new Planetensuche update [08/02/2020]


  • the new version 6.05 is now available



  • new Planetensuche update [07/19/2020]


  • the new version 6.04 is now available


  • This version contains all missing Bayer and Flamsteed names. Additionally this star names can be shown in the star map for a better orientation. Also the constellation twins was redesined, like on the screenshot:



    new Planetensuche update [06/10/2020]


  • the new version 6.03 is now available


  • The new version has a new chart. It shows exoplanets and the types of planets. Because of missing data, only around the half of the known exoplanets could be classified. But it shows however that a lot of exoplanets are part of 2 types, that we have not found in our own solar system. The one type are "hot Jupiters" and the other one are super earths. The traditional model about the origin of the planet system could not explain why we haven't this type of planets. For this reason, there are various new hypotheses / theories about the formation of our solar system that may never have existed without such discoveries.
    The first hot Jupiter to be discovered was Tau Bootis b. This gas gigant has around the 6 times of the mass of our Jupiter, orbit his star in only 3,3 days and because of this his mean surface temperature is 1762°C. Literally a hot Jupiter. The discovery succeeded in 1996 by the team around Geoffrey W. Marcy.

    The screenshot show the new chart in Planetensuche:



    TESS is finding more and more exoplanets and super earths [2020/06/06]


    The space telescope TESS, which was launched in April 2018, is the successor to the Kepler space telescope. Like Kepler, TESS uses the transit method to search for exoplanets. After more than 2 years of searching, the yield can already be seen. As of today, 51 exoplanets have been confirmed and 1913 potential exoplanets are still awaiting confirmation. TESS is now more successful than the European CoRoT exoplanet mission (33 exoplanets). I hope that TESS will provide as much data as Kepler, that have found over 2700 confirmed exoplanets.

    One of the super earths that TESS has discovered so far is GJ 357 b. The star GJ 357 (K0) have 3 known exoplanets. One of the planets (GJ 357 b) is a super earth with 1.8 earth masses and 1.2 earth diameters. The calculated average surface temperature is 252 degrees Celsius and the planet needs just 4 days to orbit its central star. The other two planets (not discovered by TESS) have slightly wide orbits, which means that their estimated surface temperatures of 128 °C (GJ 357 c) and -53 °C (GJ 357 d) are significantly lower. GJ 357 d has a mass of 6.1 earth masses and GJ 357 c has 3.4 earth masses (edit: minimum masses). Since the eccentricity of the orbits is not yet known, it would be possible that the outer planet could also get more solar radiation at times, if the planet comes closer to his sun.

    The star of the planetary system is in the Hydra (water snake), see star map:



    new Planetensuche update [05/19/2020]


  • the new version 6.02 is now available



  • new Planetensuche update [04/11/2020]


  • the new version 6.01 is now available
  • The previous version 6.0 did not working properly. Please download the new version manually, because there is an bug in the update function.



  • new Planetensuche update [01/05/2020]


  • the new version 6.0 is now available
  • This version requires Java 11. I suggest to install Java 11 and this new Planetensuche version.



  • new Planetensuche update [01/05/2020]


  • the new version 5.21 is now available
  • This is the latest version for Planetensuche 5 and Java 8.



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    Gerd Gühne
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    04347 Leipzig