Science

What If Planet 9 Is Actually a Tiny Black Hole?

What If Planet 9 Is Actually a Tiny Black Hole?”

Because primordial black holes formed so early on in the existence of the universe, they are much smaller than their modern counterparts as stars were smaller too. Most experts will tell you there are eight that we know of, but some people like NASA's Jim Bridenstine (and Jerry Smith) think Pluto should be among them.

That may be true, but black holes aren't all the same, and researchers believe so-called primordial black holes (PBHs) that were created shortly after the Big Bang may still exist.

Is there something odd at the edge of our solar system?

Experts have for years argued that a distant ninth world in our Solar System known as Planet Nine orbits the Sun in a region well beyond Neptune.

A report on the paper in Science said it was thought a black hole with the mass of a planet would likely be surrounded by a halo of dark matter that could stretch up to 1 billion kilometres on every side. The gravitational fields of these small objects, which could be primordial black holes or free-ranging planets, bend light from background stellar sources, producing a lensing signature that OGLE can detect.

Researchers from the United Kingdom and USA suggest that a primordial black hole, which formed at the beginning of the universe could be lurking at the edge of the solar system. As we learn more about the outer reaches of the solar system, it has become apparent that some of those orbits are a bit more irregular than they should be.

One of the prime hypotheses for Planet 9 is that it was a rogue planet captured by the sun.

If Planet 9 is indeed a black hole, how does that change the search?

However, the team now propose examining cosmic rays and gamma rays which could be emanating from the small black hole. Their existence has been hard to prove - as authors James Unwin and Jakub Scholtz speculated to Gizmodo, this primordial black hole could be the size of a bowling ball. The authors say current scanning methods won't do any good.

The opportunity to study an actual black hole up close would revolutionize our understanding of these exotic objects, and constrain theories about the origins and composition of dark matter. The pair plan to comb through data from the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope in the future in search of such a signal.

At this point, the idea remains a mind-boggling alternative to the Planet Nine hypothesis, which is itself fairly stupefying.



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