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Email: exofop-support@ipac.caltech.edu

What is ExoFOP?

The Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program (ExoFOP) is a web-based tool with the principal aim to optimize resources and facilitate collaboration in follow-up studies of exoplanet candidates. ExoFOP is an expansion of the Kepler Community Follow-up Observing Program (CFOP), which supports the Kepler mission.

The Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program for TESS (ExoFOP-TESS) website is designed to optimize resources and facilitate collaboration in follow-up studies of targets observed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an Explorer-class mission led by MIT.

ExoFOP-TESS contains stellar parameters from the TESS Input Catalog (TIC), which is served by the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), and planet parameters from the NASA Exoplanet Archive.

ExoFOP-TESS currently contains the 10,798,947 targets on the Candidate Target List (CTL), the highest priority targets in the TIC.

ExoFOP Professional Conduct Policy

ExoFOP Professional Conduct Policy

Summary of ExoFOP-TESS Pages

  • Welcome/Home page: This page contains links to all of the other ExoFOP-TESS pages. It can be accessed by clicking "Home" in the black bar at the top of every page.

  • Individual Target Page: This page displays all of the information for an individualtarget. Links to the NASA Exoplanet Archive, IRSA finding chart, SIMBAD, MAST, and the Keck Observatory Archive are generated. If confirmed planets exist, links to exoplanets.org and exoplanets.eu are generated.

    Confirmed planet parameters come from the NASA Exoplanet Archive. If multiple sets of parameters exist in the Archive, only the default set will appear on ExoFOP. Stellar parameters, magnitudes, and coordinates come from the TIC.

    If the target exists in the Exoplanet Archive, star aliases come from the Archive with the addition of UCAC4, SDSS DR9, and APASS from the TIC. If the target does not exist in the archive, all aliases come from the TIC.

    Priority is defined as the priority of the target for observation. This is a floating-point value ranging from 0 to 1, where 1 is highest priority. The priority is based on the relative ability of TESS to detect small planetary transits, and is calculated using the radius of the star, the contamination ratio, and the total expected photometric precision.

    TIC contamination ratio is defined as the nominal flux from the contaminants divided by the flux from the source. Flux contamination is calculated for all stars identified as dwarfs that are brighter than Tmag=15, or are in special target catalogs such as the Cool Dwarf list. Contaminants are searched for within 10 TESS pixels of the target and the contaminating flux is calculated within a radius that depends on the target's Tmag. The PSF is modeled using a 2D-Gaussian based on preliminary PSF measurements from the SPOC.

    You can go to a TIC ID overview from the main page or using the following URL syntax to enter the TIC ID or TESS Target of Interest (TOI). (While specifying both id and toi is allowed, they need to be associated with each other.)
    TIC ID = 231663901  https://exofop.ipac.caltech.edu/tess/target.php?id=231663901
    TOI = 101  https://exofop.ipac.caltech.edu/tess/target.php?toi=101
    TOI = 101.01  https://exofop.ipac.caltech.edu/tess/target.php?toi=101.01
    TIC ID = 231663901 and TOI = 101  https://exofop.ipac.caltech.edu/tess/target.php?id=231663901&toi=101
    TIC ID = 231663901 and TOI = 101.01  https://exofop.ipac.caltech.edu/tess/target.php?id=231663901&toi=101.01

  • Search for Data Tags
  • Search CTL Targets: search for targets based on any of the stellar parameters and download the results to a text file.
  • ExoFOP-TESS CTL target list
  • News/Announcements
  • Observations: lists of all the imaging, spectroscopic, time serries observations that have been taken for all targets.
  • Change log: lists all updates to the ExoFOP-TESS site by registered users.
  • Other links: Help (this page), Directory

Uploading Data to ExoFOP-TESS

Data can be uploaded at the individual target page.

You must have an account and be logged in to enter or update data. Request an account

To enter data or upload files at the target page, click on the "Add new" link next to any of the parameter names (Magnitudes, Imaging Observations, Spectroscopic Observations, Time Series Observations, or Files). Enter your data into the pop-up window and click the "Add" or "Upload" button. The target page will automatically reload so you can immediately see your entered data.

All uploaded data requires a data tag.

The purpose of the "Data Tagging" is to connect different types of data together. By assigning the same "Data Tag" to an entry in the Observation Summary Table, to specific files that are a result of those same observations, and to specific data parameters that are derived from or associated with those files will enable all of that content to be associated. Users can also choose to associate content across multiple targets, multiple observing nights or multiple instruments.

If a pre-existing "Data Tag" is not being utilized, a new "Data Tag" needs to be entered by the user of the form outlined below. The "Data Tags" are designed to be unique, connected to the user who has created the tag, and contain a very brief description useful for users to understand the data associated with the tag.

Once a "Data Tag" is created, the "Data Tag" will be assigned a short-hand "Data Tag" of integer form that can be used in place of the full tag.

As a fictitious example: "Data Tag" 20171207_ciardi_PalomarAO_1 was created by the user ciardi when they uploaded data to the Observation Summary Table. That "Data Tag" was assigned the unique short-hand tag number 22 by the ExoFOP service. All new data uploaded can be attached to the "Data Tag" with either the full tag name (case insensitive) or the short-hand tag number. All data associated with the "Data Tag" can be downloaded utilizing the full tag name or the associated short-hand tag number.

Tag string format: contiguous text of a maximum of 100 characters composed of 4 required sections separated by an underscore "_".


YYYYMMDD = year month day that is relevant for the tagged data

username = login username

description = short description containing letters, numbers and hyphens (not underscores nor other punctuation)

nnnnnnnnnnnnnn = a number within the range of 0-99999999999999

Auto Tag string format: when checked, tag text is automaticaly created composed of 4 required sections separated by an underscore "_". If desired, the user can edit the auto-generated tag but it must still comply with the general tag string format. The autotag generation has NO knowledge of previous tags or data; if you wish to connect data together with tags you must use the same tags to connect them.


YYYYMMDD = year month day for today (Pacific time)

username = login username

description = autotag-n where n is auto incremented if there has already been an Auto Tag created by the user for today


Guidelines for Submitting Community TESS Objects of Interest (CTOIs)

Community TESS Objects of Interest (CTOIs) are intended to be a mechanism for the community members to identify planetary systems or other potentially interesting objects discovered by TESS but not identified as a TESS Object of Interest (TOI) by the TESS project.

Insufficiently or ill-defined CTOIs are not a useful product for the community. Therefore, the following are guidelines for the creation of the CTOIs to make them as useful and understandable as possible by the community and ExoFOP-TESS users.

  1. The best CTOIs are ones that are published in the astrophysics refereed literature. It is best to submit CTOIs to the ExoFOP-TESS after the process and parameterization of the CTOI identification has been reviewed by the astrophysical community. If the CTOIs are based upon a refereed paper, include an html link to the paper in the Notes attached to the CTOI (The Note field can display properly formatted html links).
  2. Upload as many parameters and the associated errors as have been measured for the CTOIs. CTOIs with few or no parameters are of little or no use. Realistic uncertainties on the parameters make the parameters more useful.
  3. For transiting planetary candidates, the most useful parameters, along with the associated uncertainties are the orbital period in days, the transit midpoint time in Barycentric Julian Date, and the transit depth in ppm. Without these three parameters, there can be no effective follow-up by anyone in the community. CTOIs require at least two of these three parameters to be included and be greater than zero (0) in order for the CTOI to be created. Older CTOIs that do not meet this requirement may be removed.
  4. Do crosscheck all CTOIs against the TOI list and make sure that you have not re-discovered an existing TOI. If you have found a TOI or have a found a CTOI with a Period that has a similar or integer multiple (2x, 3x etc) of a known TOI Period on the star, it is recommended to NOT create a new CTOI but rather add your parameters as an additional parameter set to the TOI.
  5. Upload supporting material (e.g., image of the light curve with the fitted transit) to the TIC and attach the same tag to the uploaded files as the tag that was used to create the CTOI.
  6. ExoFOP-TESS reserves the right to remove CTOI content if needed.
  7. If you have questions or do not understand something, please contact the ExoFOP-TESS staff prior to uploading data at exofop-support@ipac.caltech.edu.
  8. Summary of required upload content for creating a new CTOI:
    • Select a new name. On the web form, choose from the dropdown preset of names that conform to our naming standards preferably selecting the next name in the sequence. When creating a CTOI using the bulk upload, the next available name will be assigned.
    • An initial disposition for the new CTOI: CP = confirmed planet, FP = false positive, PC = planet candidate.
    • At least 2 of the following parameters: Orbital Period in days, the Transit Midpoint time in Barycentric Julian Date, and the Transit Depth in ppm and greater than zero (0)
    • A Tag for the CTOI creation. You can either create a new tag or use an existing tag.
    • An initial note for the CTOI creation. This can include for instance a link to a paper or website, a short description, or a citation. Descriptive notes are more useful for other users (including yourself in the future).
    • Once you have added a new CTOI, you will be able to update the disposition of the object, add updated parameters, associate observations (imaging, spectroscopic, time series) with the object, and associate uploaded files with the object.

TESS Follow-up Observing Program (TFOP) Working Group

ExoFOP-TESS will be used as the primary workspace for the TESS Follow-up Observing Program (TFOP) working group. To enable sharing of preliminary and unvetted data, members of the TFOP working group will be able to join the tfopwg group on ExoFOP-TESS. The purpose of the tfopwg group is to provide the ability for group members to share data with other members in the group for an optional proprietary period of 12 months; all data that are uploaded without the optional proprietary period will be publicly available immediately.

The types of data that are currently eligible for a proprietary period are: stellar magnitudes, observing notes, and uploaded files of any type. When the ability to upload new stellar and planet parameters is enabled, these data will also be eligible to be uploaded as part of the tfopwg with the 12month proprietary period. Clicking the Add New button on any of the ExoFOP-TESS overview pages for these types of data will open a new submission page. In order to specify that the data to be uploaded have a proprietary period, users need to do two things:

  1. In the Group drop-down menu, select tfopwg
  2. Check the adjacent box that reads 12 month proprietary period
Data for which the 12-month proprietary period is specified will be made available to the public 12 months after the initial upload of the data; editing already-submitted data at a later date does not re-set the proprietary period.

Once data that are eligible for a proprietary period are uploaded, their proprietary status can be changed to public. If a user who uploaded the data decides to make the data public prior to the expiration of the 12 month period, the user can edit the entry and un-check the 12 month proprietary period box. If a user later decides that data that have been uploaded should have a proprietary period, they can similarly edit the entry and check the 12 month proprietary period box. Note however that the 12 months starts from the date of the initial upload of the data, not the date of the edit to the proprietary period status.

Please note that membership of the TFOP Working Group is open to the community and all are encouraged to join. Application for membership involves providing a description of your expected contribution to the TFOP working group, and agreement with the TFOP and TESS Publication Policies. Once your application is approved, you will be given access to the tfopwg group at ExoFOP-TESS. More details on joining the TFOP working group can be found here: https://tess.mit.edu/followup/apply-join-tfop/

We will continue expanding the group functionality in the coming months. If you are a member of the TFOP working group and you are unable to access the tfopwg group at ExoFOP-TESS, please contact exofop-support@ipac.caltech.edu

Subscribe to the Daily Change Log Emails

Log into the ExoFOP with your user account. After you are logged in, click on the next to your name. This will show your current contact information including the current email address of record and your Change Log subscription status. To update the contact information and subscription preference, click on the Edit button. In the dialog page that opens, there is check box to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the daily emails. Please make sure your email address is correct.

Other Useful Links

nexsci caltech   nasa   tess

Questions? Contact us at exofop-support@ipac.caltech.edu.