New Research Reveals that 'Planet X' Could be a Primordial Black Hole

Planet 9

CaltechAn artist’s impression of Planet Nine with the sun in the distance

The scientists who predicted the planet's existence did so based on the unusual, highly elliptical orbits of around 30 so-called Trans-Netpunian objects (TNOs.) These are clustered together in a way that is extremely unlikely to have occurred by chance.

That's the title of a new paper about the mysterious gravity source at the edge of our solar system, Business Insider reports.

"Capture of a free-floating planet is a leading explanation for the origin of Planet Nine, and we show that the probability of capturing a primordial black hole instead is comparable".

Nonetheless, now two physicists are suggesting that the enigmatic "Planet X" isn't a planet in any respect, however a planet-mass black gap, sucking in matter from its environment. Primordial black holes differ from the usual kind in that they were formed immediately (the first second) after the Big Bang.

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'We advocate that, rather than just looking for it in visible light, maybe look for it in gamma rays.

The scientists wrote in their paper: "We take these objects to be primordial black holes (PBHs) and point out the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects would be altered if one of these PBHs was captured by the Solar System, inline with the Planet 9 hypothesis".

The six most distant known objects in the solar system with orbits exclusively beyond Neptune (magenta) all mysteriously line up in a single direction.

In 2016, computer simulations and mathematical models revealed that the culprit could be a mysterious, distant planet we've never seen: Planet Nine.

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"At five Earth masses, Planet Nine is likely to be very reminiscent of a typical extrasolar super-Earth", says Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science and Van Nuys Page Scholar at Caltech.

Physicists from the University of IL at Chicago and the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology at Durham University have suggested that what is thought to be the yet-undiscovered Planet Nine could be a small black hole thought to be the size of a bowling ball. What if it isn't actually a planet but a black hole! "These primordial black holes can be much lighter; for example, an Earth mass, or in fact, even lighter". So the hunt for Planet Nine, they suggest, should include a search for moving sources of x-rays, gamma rays, and other types of radiation, since those clues could indicate the edges of a black hole. Furthermore, scientists employ different means to detect planets and black holes thus eliminating chances further should the "planet" actually be a black hole.

In October 2017, NASA released a statement saying that Planet Nine may be 20 times further from the Sun than Neptune is, going so far as to say "it is now harder to imagine our solar system without a Planet Nine than with one".

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