Citizen-powered exoplanet discovery with TESS

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is the next generation space-based transit survey. Building on the success of the pioneering Kepler mission, TESS will survey nearly the whole sky for mostly shorter-period exoplanets orbiting bright stars. Many of the exoplanets discovered with TESS will be ideal targets for atmospheric characterisation using JWST.

While most planets in transit survey data are found by purpose-built algorithms and software, some are unavoidably missed - especially if the signals are somehow unusual (and hence, potentially, particularly interesting). This project will make use of data from TESS and the Zooniverse citizen science platform to create an independent catalogue of planet candidates from this dataset.

The student will be responsible for the design and creation of the project, and analysis of the data it produces, building on existing work from previous projects such as Planet Hunters and Exoplanet Explorers. They will also be responsible for developing novel machine learning routines to filter data, and to make use of the volunteer classifications in the most effective way possible. Finally, they will conduct follow-up analysis and study of identified systems of particular interest.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/S505638/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2022
2112030 Studentship ST/S505638/1 30/09/2018 30/03/2022 Nora Eisner