unpopular

The unpopular Package: a Data-driven Approach to De-trend TESS Full Frame Image Light Curves. The majority of observed pixels on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) are delivered in the form of full frame images (FFI). However, the FFIs contain systematic effects such as pointing jitter and scattered light from the Earth and Moon that must be removed before downstream analysis. We present unpopular, an open-source Python package to de-trend TESS FFI light curves based on the causal pixel model method. Under the assumption that shared flux variations across multiple distant pixels are likely to be systematics, unpopular removes these common (i.e., popular) trends by modeling the systematics in a given pixel’s light curve as a linear combination of light curves from many other distant pixels. To prevent overfitting we employ ridge regression and a train-and-test framework where the data points being de-trended are separated from those used to obtain the model coefficients. We also allow for simultaneous fitting with a polynomial model to capture any long-term astrophysical trends. We validate our method by de-trending different sources (e.g., supernova, tidal disruption event, exoplanet-hosting star, fast rotating star) and comparing our light curves to those obtained by other pipelines when appropriate. We also show that unpopular is able to preserve sector-length astrophysical signals, allowing for the extraction of multi-sector light curves from the FFI data. The unpopular source code and tutorials are freely available online.