A search for transiting planets around hot subdwarfs II. Supplementary methods and results from TESS Cycle 1

Antoine Thuillier, Valérie Van Grootel, Martín Dévora-Pajares, Francisco J. Pozuelos, Stéphane Charpinet, Lionel Siess

Submitted on 6 September 2022


Context. Hot subdwarfs, which are hot and small He-burning objects, are ideal targets for exploring the evolution of planetary systems after the red giant branch (RGB). Thus far, no planets have been confirmed around them, and no systematic survey to find planets has been carried out. Aims. In this project, we aim to perform a systematic transit survey in all light curves of hot subdwarfs from space-based telescopes (Kepler, K2, TESS, and CHEOPS). The goal is to compute meaningful statistics on two points: firstly, the occurrence rates of planets around hot subdwarfs, and secondly, the probability of survival for close-in planets engulfed during the RGB phase of their host. This paper focuses on the analysis of the observations carried out during cycle 1 of the TESS mission. Methods. We used our specifically designed pipeline SHERLOCK to search for transits in the available light curves. When a signal is detected, it is processed in the next evaluating stages before an object is qualified for follow-up observations and in-depth analysis to determine the nature of the transiting body. Results. We applied our method to the 792 hot subdwarfs observed during cycle 1 of TESS. While 378 interesting signals were detected in the light curves, only 26 stars were assigned for follow-up observations. We have identified a series of eclipsing binaries, transiting white dwarfs, and other types of false positives, but no planet has been confirmed thus far. A first computation of the upper limit for occurrence rates was made with the 549 targets displaying no signal. Conclusions. The tools and method we developed proved their efficiency in analysing the available light curves from space missions, from detecting an interesting signal to identifying a transiting planet. This will allow us to fulfil the two main goals of this project.


Comment: 11 pages + 3 pages as appendix. 7 figures. Already published in A&A, August 2022

Subjects: Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics