Scientists have come up with a bizarre yet plausible theory possibly explaining the reason behind “Planet Nine” posing an immense difficulty in being found. What if it isn’t actually a planet but a black hole!
It all started when scientists gathered evidence of a ninth cosmic body beyond the orbit of Neptune. Its gravitational effects on the orbits of dwarf planets like Pluto and other objects in the Kuiper Belt further cemented scientists’ hypothesis of the presence of a possible ninth planet.
What’s more, in 2017, NASA confirmed the legitimacy of these observations and stated that while the cosmic body definitely exists, it could also be ten times bigger than our planet Earth.
Some facts about this mysterious “planet” state that it orbits the sun every 20,000 years and is located extremely far away thus diluting any possible chance of being seen.
A new paper proposed by scientists challenges the possibility of a ninth “planet” and proposes the probability of it being a black hole. This black hole is believed to have existed since the beginning of time and is also known to have started out microscopic in size.
“There is a growing body of observational anomalies connected to the orbits of trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs),” authors Jakub Scholtz and James Unwin wrote in the new paper. “These observations have been taken as evidence of a new ninth planet in our solar system, called Planet Nine.”
Another theory suggests it could be a primordial black hole. Primordial black holes differ from the usual kind in that they were formed immediately (the first second) after the Big Bang. They were possibly created by gravitational perturbations in the fabric of spacetime. The usual kinds are created in star collapses.
A lot of the theories about primordial black holes were proposed by the late Dr Stephen Hawking. Although these black holes have never been witnessed in reality, Dr Hawking’s study and subsequent calculations show them to be relatively smaller when compared to normal black holes. “These primordial black holes can be much lighter; for example, an Earth-mass, or in fact, even lighter,” said Dr Scholtz.
This theory makes a lot of sense when considering the difficulty in locating Planet Nine. It would explain why no one has found it yet seeing how it might not be bigger than a cricket ball in an infinite universe. Furthermore, scientists employ different means to detect planets and black holes thus eliminating chances further should the “planet” actually be a black hole.
“If conventional searches fail to find Planet Nine and the evidence for TNO anomalies continues to grow, the primordial black hole Planet Nine hypothesis will become a compelling explanation,” the authors reflect.