Ground-based Follow-up Observations of TESS Exoplanet Candidates

(1) Fairview High School, Boulder, Colorado, (2) University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
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The goal of this study was to further confirm, characterize, and classify LHS 3844 b, an exoplanet detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Additionally, we strove to determine the likeliness of LHS 3844 b and similar planets as qualified candidates for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We accomplished these objectives by analyzing the stellar light curve, theoretical emission spectroscopy metric (ESM), and theoretical Planck spectrum of LHS 3844 b. We remotely obtained pre-reduced ground-based data of LHS 3844 b from the El Sauce Observatory. We hypothesized that LHS 3844 b and similar target TESS candidates are qualified for future JWST follow-up. Through AstroImageJ and the Python programming language, we converted the calibrated data images into normalized and fitted flux light curves. Through our best-fit light curve model, we classified LHS 3844 b as a terrestrial planet. The calculated ESM of LHS 3844 b surpassed the projected threshold for simulated planets deemed qualified for JWST spectroscopic follow-up, and the Planck spectrum of LHS 3844 b revealed that the observed wavelengths between 6,000 and 10,000 nanometers would produce the highest signal-to-noise spectroscopic observations of LHS 3844 b and like planets. These findings will improve the accuracy and efficiency of spectroscopic follow-ups performed by the JWST, and we intend to apply these methods to study a variety of exoplanets.

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