Earlier this year, astronomers found more evidence of Planet Nine’s existence, backing the 2016’s discovery of a ninth planet in our solar system, orbiting far beyond Neptune. Recently, another team of astronomers has come up with a fascinating idea that Planet Nine is not actually a planet, but rather a mini black hole. In other words, we may not have noticed it yet, but there’s a possibility of a miniature black hole in our very own solar system.
According to previous studies, Planet Nine has a mass between 5 and 15 times that of earth and lies at a distance of 45 to 150 billion kilometers from the sun. At a distance this large, an object would receive little to no light from the sun which makes it almost impossible to observe from telescopes. In order to detect objects of that mass and distance, astronomers can observe blobs of bending light around the object’s gravitational field.
However, if the object is a planet-mass black hole, physicists say, it would be surrounded by a nimbus of dark matter that may stretch up to 1 billion kilometers on each side. The latter team of astronomers is now suggesting to test the existence of a black hole by observing the presence of a halo of dark matter around the object. Even if we cannot detect the dark matter directly, we can look for interacting particles of dark matter, creating bursts of gamma rays that would serve as a clue for the presence of a black hole.
The researchers’ next plan is to test this theory by searching through data of the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope to look for the talebearer gamma-ray bursts, which could eventually be an evidence to the most evasive body of our solar system.
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