A new study claims that TESS has already spotted Planet 9, one of the most controversial objects in recent years.
TESS or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has detected a large number of exoplanets, among which we can count an interesting in-between or missing link-type planet and an exoplanet with three suns. One of the features sported by TESS is the ability to take several images of the same spot in space, allowing researcher to make interesting discoveries.
As TESS can track down objects with an approximate displacement of 5 pixels and Planet 9 has a suitable magnitude it is possible that the titanium spacecraft could track it down. TESS will focus on regions of the sky for several months, exploring them in-depth as astronomers try to track down interesting exoplanets.
During this process, the spacecraft will record a large number of images. These images can be taken and assembled to discover and observe faint objects. Thanks to the position TESS is not influenced by the atmosphere of our planet, a great advantage when interesting objects are involved.
The team of researchers who elaborated the study argue that trans-Neptunian objects, among which we can count Planet 9, could be found with the help of predicted motion by using the expected values of the target objects. Data about three known TNO was used to track them down with the help of this method, and it seems that it is viable for any object with a near-infrared magnitude of up to 21.
It is estimated that Planet 9 generates a near-infrared magnitude ranging between 19 and 24, and this means that it could have been spotted by TESS. As TESS has already surveyed the southern hemisphere, it is thought that the elusive object could be there.
The existence or possible existence of Planet 9 remains a hot topic among the scientific community, and palpable evidence is needed before a verdict can be offered.
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