Guidelines for TESS Aperture Photometry via AstroImageJ


  • Jeremy Ha San Dieguito Academy High School
  • Pat Boyce Boyce Research Initiatives and Research Foundation



TESS, Differential Photometry, Data Analysis, Transit Modeling, AstroImageJ


Observing exoplanets with small telescopes can be a challenging but rewarding undertaking. With the advent of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a student observer can become qualified to participate in this exciting MIT-led NASA program to make significant contributions to exoplanet science. This paper presents the experiences and recommendations for a student to the complete observation data required for the Ground-Based Subgroup 1 TESS Follow-up Observing Program (TFOP). A training plan is provided along with various websites and instructional documents. Explanations on how apply the AstroImageJ (AIJ) software and procedures are described in A Practical Guide to Exoplanet Observing (Conti, 2018). Data is collected from Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) and calibrated through the OSS Pipeline. This paper deals exclusively with LCO processes and also describes how to prepare the twelve
files required for submission to the Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program for TESS (ExoFOP – TESS). The AstroImageJ Guide for LCO - TESS Observations (Boyce et al., 2019) that incorporates the latest TFOP SG1 Observation Guidelines (Conti, 2019) is also referenced.