The TIC is used to help identify two-minute cadence target selection for the TESS mission, and to calculate physical and observational properties of planet candidates. It is for use by both the TESS science team and the public, and it is periodically updated – the current version is TIC-8. TIC-8 uses the GAIA DR2 catalog as a base and merges a large number of other photometric catalogs, including 2MASS, UCAC4, APASS, SDSS, WISE, etc. There are roughly 1.5 billion stellar and extended sources in TIC-8, containing compiled magnitudes including B, V, u, g, r, i, z, J, H, K, W1-W4, and G. This version was released in May 2019, and is expected to be the last official version of the TIC produced by the TESS mission, although future, independent development of the TIC is possible.
The TIC can be directly accessed through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), using either queries or bulk download. The TESS page at MAST is here, and this page describes various ways of searching or downloading the TIC. The full description of the assembly, content, and properties of the TIC is the paper “The Revised Tess Input Catalog And Candidate Target List”.
The TIC is the responsibility of the SAO Arm of the TESS Science Office under the leadership of David Latham. The TESS Target Selection Working Group (TSWG) is co-chaired by Keivan Stassun (Vanderbilt) & Joshua Pepper (Lehigh).
FilterGraph for TIC v8 CTL
A useful visualization tool for the TIC v8 CTL (link)
A subset of the TIC is the Candidate Target List (CTL). The CTL consists of a set of targets selected as likely good targets for TESS transit detection. It includes two main components:
- All TIC stars brighter than T=13, and estimated stellar radii smaller than 5 RSun
- All stars included in the curated Cool Dwarf Catalog (CDC)
The resulting CTL includes ~9.5 million stars. Each star is then evaluated according to a metric that prioritizes the star for transit detection, which incorporate the T-mag, stellar radius, estimated flux contamination, and number of sectors of observation.
Contact the TESS Helpdesk with any questions.