ITC Colloquium - Malena Rice (Yale)


Thursday, March 25, 2021, 11:00am to 12:00pm



"Surveying the Trans-Neptunian Solar System with TESS" 

In recent years, the observed orbital geometry of extreme trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) has provided intriguing evidence suggesting the existence of an as-yet undiscovered “Planet Nine.” However, the statistical robustness of this claim has been heavily contested due to the uneven sky coverage of surveys searching for TNOs. I will present the first results from a new survey utilizing data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to search for TNOs across the sky at distances 70-800 au, with a magnitude limit V~22. This survey is designed to extract the locations and magnitudes of undiscovered outer solar system objects, including both Planet Nine and the population of extreme trans-Neptunian objects pertinent to the Planet Nine hypothesis, using a blind shift-stacking search along all plausible outer solar system orbits. Together with the extensive sky coverage of the TESS mission, this search will place stringent constraints upon the as-yet undiscovered TNO population, with potential survey extensions to additional high-inclination solar system populations. 

See also: Colloquium, 2020-21