Science

Thousands of Super-Earths could orbit huge black holes, says study

Thousands of Super-Earths could orbit huge black holes, says study”

(Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies.) In this illustration, the supermassive black hole at the center is surrounded by matter flowing onto the black hole in what is termed an accretion disk.

Theoreticians in two different fields defied the common knowledge that planets orbit stars like the Sun.

While the researchers' finding is tantalising, sadly we can't now detect such black-hole-hosted planets. The researchers propose a new site of planet formation: a dusty torus around supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei. How would it be like to see a supermassive black hole above your head instead of our brilliant Sun? This means they would eventually orbit the black hole, just like how planets go around their host stars.

Like baby stars, black holes can often be surrounded by a large, dense disc of dust and gas.

For Wada and his colleague, the right conditions refer to the cool temperature within the protoplanetary disk.

The fluffy dust aggregate that makes up the disc starts to cling together due to electrostatic forces, then collisions, and then gradually accumulating more and more grains until it's massive enough for gravitational forces to take over, et voilà - after a few million years, you have a planet. Objects within these regions will continue to grow in size through accretion until they become planets. In a disc around an active black hole, blasting radiation from the intense heat generated by the friction of the swirling gas falling into it, the outer regions could be protected from this radiation by the dust itself. This causes low-temperature regions to emerge within the disk.

A super massive black hole - such as Sagittarius A a target="_blank" class="class" rel="nofollow" href="https://arxiv.org/pdf/1909.06748.pdf" *Astrophysical Journal. Perhaps, stars with their own systems of planets? On the nighttime side the planet's enormous gravity pulls down titanium oxide, which precipitates as snow. From this, the team calculated the likelihood of planets forming from these disks. Thus, such planets should be a lot, considering the amount of dust usually concentrated in such disks.

The website mentions that even though this seems like a scenery from a sci-fi movie, there's brand new research that found out that such a black-hole world could actually exist.

"Our calculations present that tens of 1000's of planets with 10 occasions the mass of the Earth may very well be fashioned around 10 gentle-years from a black hole", says Eiichiro Kokubo, a professor on the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan who researches planet formation.



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