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    A new generation of observatories is enabling detailed study of exoplanetary atmospheres and the diversity of alien climates, allowing us to seek evidence for extraterrestrial biological and geological processes. Now is therefore the time to identify the most unique planets to be characterized with these instruments. In this context, we report on the discovery and validation of TOI-715 b, a $R_{\rm b}=1.55\pm 0.06\rm R_{\oplus }$ planet orbiting its nearby (42 pc) M4 host (TOI-715/TIC 271971130) with a period $P_{\rm b} = 19.288004_{-0.000024}^{+0.000027}$ d. TOI-715 b was first identified by TESS and validated using ground-based photometry, high-resolution imaging and statistical validation. The planet’s orbital period combined with the stellar effective temperature $T_{\rm eff}=3075\pm 75~\rm K$ give this planet an installation $S_{\rm b} = 0.67_{-0.20}^{+0.15}~\rm S_\oplus$, placing it within the most conservative definitions of the habitable zone for rocky planets. TOI-715 b’s radius falls exactly between two measured locations of the M-dwarf radius valley; characterizing its mass and composition will help understand the true nature of the radius valley for low-mass stars. We demonstrate TOI-715 b is amenable for characterization using precise radial velocities and transmission spectroscopy. Additionally, we reveal a second candidate planet in the system, TIC 271971130.02, with a potential orbital period of $P_{02} = 25.60712_{-0.00036}^{+0.00031}$ d and a radius of $R_{02} = 1.066\pm 0.092\, \rm R_{\oplus }$, just inside the outer boundary of the habitable zone, and near a 4:3 orbital period commensurability. Should this second planet be confirmed, it would represent the smallest habitable zone planet discovered by TESS to date.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2024
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  3. ABSTRACT We present the discovery and characterization of six short-period, transiting giant planets from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) -- TOI-1811 (TIC 376524552), TOI-2025 (TIC 394050135), TOI-2145 (TIC 88992642), TOI-2152 (TIC 395393265), TOI-2154 (TIC 428787891), and TOI-2497 (TIC 97568467). All six planets orbit bright host stars (8.9 <G < 11.8, 7.7 <K < 10.1). Using a combination of time-series photometric and spectroscopic follow-up observations from the TESS Follow-up Observing Program Working Group, we have determined that the planets are Jovian-sized (RP  = 0.99--1.45 RJ), have masses ranging from 0.92 to 5.26 MJ, and orbit F, G, and K stars (4766 ≤ Teff ≤ 7360 K). We detect a significant orbital eccentricity for the three longest-period systems in our sample: TOI-2025 b (P  = 8.872 d, 0.394$^{+0.035}_{-0.038}$), TOI-2145 b (P  = 10.261 d, e  = $0.208^{+0.034}_{-0.047}$), and TOI-2497 b (P  = 10.656 d, e  = $0.195^{+0.043}_{-0.040}$). TOI-2145 b and TOI-2497 b both orbit subgiant host stars (3.8 < log  g <4.0), but these planets show no sign of inflation despite very high levels of irradiation. The lack of inflation may be explained by the high mass of the planets; $5.26^{+0.38}_{-0.37}$ MJ (TOI-2145 b) and 4.82 ± 0.41 MJ (TOI-2497 b). These six new discoveries contribute to the larger community effort to use TESS to create a magnitude-complete, self-consistent sample of giant planets with well-determined parameters for future detailed studies. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 14, 2024
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    We present the discovery of TOI-1518b -- an ultra-hot Jupiter orbiting a bright star $V = 8.95$. The transiting planet is confirmed using high-resolution optical transmission spectra from EXPRES. It is inflated, with $R_p = 1.875\pm0.053\,R_{\rm J}$, and exhibits several interesting properties, including a misaligned orbit (${240.34^{+0.93}_{-0.98}}$ degrees) and nearly grazing transit ($b =0.9036^{+0.0061}_{-0.0053}$). The planet orbits a fast-rotating F0 host star ($T_{\mathrm{eff}} \simeq 7300$ K) in 1.9 days and experiences intense irradiation. Notably, the TESS data show a clear secondary eclipse with a depth of $364\pm28$ ppm and a significant phase curve signal, from which we obtain a relative day-night planetary flux difference of roughly 320 ppm and a 5.2$\sigma$ detection of ellipsoidal distortion on the host star. Prompted by recent detections of atomic and ionized species in ultra-hot Jupiter atmospheres, we conduct an atmospheric cross-correlation analysis. We detect neutral iron (${5.2\sigma}$), at $K_p = 157^{+68}_{-44}$ km s$^{-1}$ and $V_{\rm sys} = -16^{+2}_{-4}$ km s$^{-1}$, adding another object to the small sample of highly irradiated gas-giant planets with Fe detections in transmission. Detections so far favor particularly inflated gas giants with radii $rsim 1.78\,R_{\rm J}$; although this may be due to observational bias. With an equilibrium temperature of $T_{\rm eq}=2492\pm38$ K and a measured dayside brightness temperature of $3237\pm59$ K (assuming zero geometric albedo), TOI-1518b is a promising candidate for future emission spectroscopy to probe for a thermal inversion. 
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  7. Abstract The James Webb Space Telescope will be able to probe the atmospheres and surface properties of hot, terrestrial planets via emission spectroscopy. We identify 18 potentially terrestrial planet candidates detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) that would make ideal targets for these observations. These planet candidates cover a broad range of planet radii ( R p ∼ 0.6–2.0 R ⊕ ) and orbit stars of various magnitudes ( K s = 5.78–10.78, V = 8.4–15.69) and effective temperatures ( T eff ∼ 3000–6000 K). We use ground-based observations collected through the TESS Follow-up Observing Program (TFOP) and two vetting tools— DAVE and TRICERATOPS —to assess the reliabilities of these candidates as planets. We validate 13 planets: TOI-206 b, TOI-500 b, TOI-544 b, TOI-833 b, TOI-1075 b, TOI-1411 b, TOI-1442 b, TOI-1693 b, TOI-1860 b, TOI-2260 b, TOI-2411 b, TOI-2427 b, and TOI-2445 b. Seven of these planets (TOI-206 b, TOI-500 b, TOI-1075 b, TOI-1442 b, TOI-2260 b, TOI-2411 b, and TOI-2445 b) are ultra-short-period planets. TOI-1860 is the youngest (133 ± 26 Myr) solar twin with a known planet to date. TOI-2260 is a young (321 ± 96 Myr) G dwarf that is among the most metal-rich ([Fe/H] = 0.22 ± 0.06 dex) stars to host an ultra-short-period planet. With an estimated equilibrium temperature of ∼2600 K, TOI-2260 b is also the fourth hottest known planet with R p < 2 R ⊕ . 
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