VaTEST III: Validation of eight potential super-earths from TESS data

Mistry, Priyashkumar; Prasad, Aniket; Maity, Mousam; Pathak, Kamlesh; Gharat, Sarvesh; Lekkas, Georgios; Bhattarai, Surendra; Kumar, Dhruv; Lissauer, Jack J.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Soubkiou, Abderahmane; Pozuelos, Francisco J.; Jenkins, Jon; Horne, Keith; Giacalone, Steven; Barkaoui, Khalid; Timmermans, Mathilde; Watkins, Cristilyn N.; Sefako, Ramotholo; Collins, Karen A.; Ciardi, David R.; Clark, Catherine A.; Safonov, Boris S.; Shporer, Avi; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Stockdale, Chris; Ziegler, Carl; Gilbert, Emily A.; Emmanuël, Jehin; Murgas, Felipe; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Paegert, Martin; Lund, Michael B.; Narita, Norio; Schwarz, Richard P.; Goeke, Robert F.; Fajardo-Acosta, Sergio B.; Howell, Steve B.; Tan, Thiam-Guan; Barclay, Thomas; Kawai, Yugo
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Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia

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NASA's all-sky survey mission, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is specifically engineered to detect exoplanets that transit bright stars. Thus far, TESS has successfully identified approximately 400 transiting exoplanets, in addition to roughly 6 000 candidate exoplanets pending confirmation. In this study, we present the results of our ongoing project, the Validation of Transiting Exoplanets using Statistical Tools (VaTEST). Our dedicated effort is focused on the confirmation and characterisation of new exoplanets through the application of statistical validation tools. Through a combination of ground-based telescope data, high-resolution imaging, and the utilisation of the statistical validation tool known as TRICERATOPS, we have successfully discovered eight potential super-Earths. These planets bear the designations: TOI-238b (1.61 $^{+0.09} _{-0.10}$ R $_\oplus$ ), TOI-771b (1.42 $^{+0.11} _{-0.09}$ R $_\oplus$ ), TOI-871b (1.66 $^{+0.11} _{-0.11}$ R $_\oplus$ ), TOI-1467b (1.83 $^{+0.16} _{-0.15}$ R $_\oplus$ ), TOI-1739b (1.69 $^{+0.10} _{-0.08}$ R $_\oplus$ ), TOI-2068b (1.82 $^{+0.16} _{-0.15}$ R $_\oplus$ ), TOI-4559b (1.42 $^{+0.13} _{-0.11}$ R $_\oplus$ ), and TOI-5799b (1.62 $^{+0.19} _{-0.13}$ R $_\oplus$ ). Among all these planets, six of them fall within the region known as `keystone planets', which makes them particularly interesting for study. Based on the location of TOI-771b and TOI-4559b below the radius valley we characterised them as likely super-Earths, though radial velocity mass measurements for these planets will provide more details about their characterisation. It is noteworthy that planets within the size range investigated herein are absent from our own solar system, making their study crucial for gaining insights into the evolutionary stages between Earth and Neptune.