The mystery of Planet Nine: It may not be a planet at all, but a preliminary black hole

BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) — A huge object is hidden on the farthest and coldest edge of the solar system, exerting gravity on small objects outside Neptune, according tomedia reports. The object is an imaginary extraterrestrial world called Planet Nine. It rotates around the sun along a very long orbit, causing all kinds of gravitational disorders in the dark. But as the search for Planet Nine passes by, and scientists still fail to catch a glimpse of its true appearance, some researchers can’t help but wonder about the object’s identity. Will it not be a planet at all? Could it be an primitive black hole?

The Mystery of Planet Nine

The solar system is vast. Despite the rapid advances in our space technology, many small planets in the outer solar system have yet to be found. Scientists believe Planet Nine is much larger than these objects, with a mass of about five to ten times that of Earth, and a distance to the sun between 400 and 800 astronomical units. An astronomical unit is equal to the average distance from Earth to the sun, so planet Nine is 10 to 20 times the distance between Pluto and the sun. If Planet Nine did exist, it would take 10,000 to 20,000 years to complete a rotation.

The possibility that there is such a huge planet orbiting the sun at such a far away place is undoubtedly fascinating. Studies of other star systems have shown that extraterrestrial planets with masses between Earth and Neptune are more common. Why there are no planets in this range of mass in the solar system remains a mystery, but if Planet Nine does exist, it will be a major historic discovery that will completely change our understanding of the planetary system that rotates around the sun.

So why do scientists believe that such an extreme planet, Planet Ix, exists in the solar system? In 2016, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology announced the discovery of a group of very distant Neptune extraterrestrial objects, or TNOs, that had gathered in strange ways and had very similar orbits. Their orbits are oddly oblique, as if they all interacted with a larger planetary object. But there are no known large planets in the region. So Batiking and Brown speculated that there might be an undiscovered planet. So the search for Planet Nine began.

To be honest, planets with such extreme orbits are hard to find. But astronomers have used infrared detection to hope to see a distant object creeping through the night sky. If Planet Nine did exist, it would emit infrared radiation, the energy that has been leaking out since the planet spewed out. But so far, scientists have found little direct evidence of its existence, except for the gravitational effects in the outer solar system.

Black Hole Hypothesis

The mystery of Planet Nine: It may not be a planet at all, but a preliminary black hole

Pictured is an artist’s concept of Planet Nine.

On September 24, 2019, Jakub Scholtz, an astronomer at Durham University in the United Kingdom, and Jakub Scholtz of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a new study describing another hypothesis they have proposed about the strange gravitational phenomenon in the outermost part of the solar system. They believe that these strange phenomena may not have been caused by a planet at all, but may have been a primitive black hole. The theory caused some controversy after its publication.

Such black holes are too small to pose a threat to other parts of the solar system. But in the far reaches of the solar system, its impact is considerable. The only evidence we have about the existence of Planet Nine is its gravitational effect on extraterrestrial objects, which, after all, are the most gravitational objects in the universe.

Scientists have speculated that the original black hole was the oldest type of black hole, which formed immediately after the Big Bang. Density fluctuations in the early universe quickly formed black holes of varying mass. These ancient objects move around the universe and evaporate slowly over time through Hawking radiation, with smaller black holes the first to disappear.

Although there are many theory of cosmic evolution that primitive black holes should exist, we have not directly observed them, although there is some compelling circumstantial evidence. For example, an analysis of microlensing events (when a giant object passes through a star, distorts space-time to form a “magnifying glass” and the star behind it suddenly brightens, showing that there are many small black holes in the universe, with no other visible clues other than their gravitational effects on space-time.

Schultz and Enwin re-analyzed the strange properties of neptune extraterrestrial objects and simulated what would happen if a black hole with a mass of 5 to 10 times the Earth orbited the sun in a very distant distance. Their model shows that black holes with mass in this range can cause similar orbital disturbances to extraterrestrial objects. This hypothesis could also explain why optical and infrared observations make it difficult to find evidence of the existence of Planet Nine, since primitive black holes do not produce either signal at all. In fact, if there was a black hole nearby, it might try to drag a cloud of annihilating dark matter into it, producing all kinds of radiation. So the researchers suggest that, based on their findings, the scope of the experiment needs to be further expanded to “conduct a detailed search of the source of moving X-rays, gamma rays and other high-energy cosmic rays.”

The original black hole and the space “hamburg”

While this is an interesting course of study, replacing an imaginary star with an imaginary black hole type may complicate the mystery of Planet Nine.

“Can black holes explain the gravitational effects we observe in the outer solar system?” Of course! Mike Brown said, “We only know that there is an object over there that is about six times the mass of Earth, but we don’t know exactly what it is.” “

Brown points out that planets certainly fall into the category of “what”. But as long as the mass is several times that of the Earth, it could be anything, except that the probability is extremely low. Brown added: “Maybe it’s a hamburger of six times the mass of Earth…”

But then again, it could be a black hole six times the mass of Earth. But physics doesn’t care what these masses are made of.

“You can also make the hypothesis that every exoplanet we find through radial velocity is actually a black hole. Is that possible? Of course! But does that make sense in the universe? Unreasonable. “

While it is a scientific practice to find other sources of gravity that interfere with neptune extraterrestrial objects, Planet Nine is more likely to be a planet. Astronomers just need to keep searching. More and more people believe that we will find it in the near future. (Leaf)

The mystery of Planet Nine: It may not be a planet at all, but a preliminary black hole