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Astronomy resources you can use at home

Once you've found a transiting planet candidate you'll want to find out more about its star. What is already known about the star? Is there a known planet around it? What's the mass, size and temperature of the star? These stellar properties are closely related to the properties of the planet, so knowing how to look them up is very important for exoplanet science. 


The two videos in this mini-series on resources will show you how to find out what observational data is available for a specific TESS target and how to plot the data and interact with it. They will also cover how to find out more about the host star and any potential planets in the system.

How can you look up target stars with MAST - the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes? 

A short introduction on how to use resources to find out more about a star or a planet candidate. Have you found a potential planet candidate on Planet Hunters TESS? Want to find out more about TESS data? Check out the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescope (MAST)

How do you look up an exoplanet candidate with ExoFOP?

Nora introduces Kassie to ExoFOP - The Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program for TESS. ExoFOP is a useful tool to look at what is already known about a TESS target - is there already a confirmed planet and if so what are its properties? What is the star like? How bright is it? There are the kind of questions you can answer with the help of ExoFOP.

What are the astronomy parameters in the SIMBAD Astronomical Database?

Nora and Kassie answer a question from one of our citizen scientists - what are the astronomy parameters in SIMBAD?

How do you look up an exoplanet candidate with exo.MAST?

Nora shows Kassie how to use exo.MAST. If you haven't already, check out our videos on using MAST ( and ExoFOP ( because exo.MAST is a cross between the two! You can try exo.MAST for yourself here: Data Validation reports generated by SPOC pipeline are one of the key features of exo.MAST so Nora explains how to interpret them to help verify whether a signal is real or not.

How do I download data vetting (DV) reports from exo.MAST and what do they mean?

Kassie and Nora go back to exo.MAST to look at some data vetting (DV) reports. Nora - a recent exo.MAST convert - shows Kassie how to download the reports and goes through what the different plots mean.

DV report
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