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Planet Nine may be a primordial black hole, say astronomers
Since 2015, astronomers have tried to figure out whether or not the mysterious Planet Nine exists, having said to also be orbiting the Sun beyond the icy Pluto. A new theory suggests that Planet Nine may not actually be a planet, but rather something else entirely.
Astronomers from Harvard University and the Black Hole Initiative have theorized that the mysterious Planet Nine may actually be a primordial black hole. In a study accepted in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, it notes the Legacy Survey of Space and Time mission’s capability to observe the accretion flares. Accretion flares come from the disruption of comets that are intercepted by the gravitational pull of a black hole.
“In the vicinity of a black hole, small bodies that approach it will melt as a result of heating from the background accretion of gas from the interstellar medium onto the black hole,” said Harvard student Amir Siraj.
As black holes are invisible to the naked eye, astronomers have to resort to other methods in detecting a black hole, such as scanning for radiation signatures. In this study, the scientists have to look for the radiation produced by matter that is getting sucked into a black hole. They would have to apply the same method to Planet Nine to prove their theory.
“This method can detect or rule out trapped planet-mass black holes out to the edge of the Oort Cloud, or about a hundred thousand astronomical units. It could be capable of placing new limits on the fraction of dark matter contained in primordial black holes,” said Mr. Siraj.
Last week, a large fireball exploded over the skies of Japan as a meteor went past the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 54,000 kilometers per hour. The meteor was seen over Tokyo, and many residents took videos and photos of the incident, with reports soon flooding into the International Meteor Organization or IMO.
The IMO revealed that the impact of the blast of the fireball over Japan was equivalent to 150 TNT. Asteroids and meteors produce a bright explosion once they come into contact with the atmosphere as it would be the first time it would meet resistance.