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Could TESS have already seen Planet Nine?

7 Nov 2019, 14:00 UTC
Could TESS have already seen Planet Nine? ESO/Tomruen/nagualdesign

Can TESS find distant solar system objects?

This is an interesting question! TESS is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which scans the sky looking for dips in starlight when planets pass in front of their host stars. To do that it looks at gigantic chunks of the sky all the time, so it sees lots of different things, not just clues of the existence of exoplanet. So if there's a big icy object orbiting our own Sun out past Neptune, could TESS see it?

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