Black holes and the mysteries around them have turned them into one of the hottest subjects of astronomy and astrophysics for a few decades now.
Some of the most recent theories say that Planet 9 – the hypothetical 9th planet of our solar system, was possibly pulled by our solar system over its 4.6 billion-year-old age.
In a recent study, astronomers have formed a plan to discover black holes in the outer solar system with the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) mission.
Thanks to LSST, the researchers think that the actual nature of Planet Nine might be uncovered.
Over the past few years, scientists have observed a suspicious clustering in the orbits of various trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), which lurk in the outer solar system’s dark depths.
The cause of perturbation, if it exists, could be a planet, referred to as Planet 9 or Planet X or Planet Next.
Astronomers from Harvard University have speculated that Planet 9 might be a hypothetical Primordial Black Hole (PBH) with a horizon size smaller than a grapefruit, and a mass between 5 to 10 times that of Earth.
A one-of-a-kind wide-field survey telescope, currently under construction in Chile, will soon allow astronomers to analyze the possibility that Planet 9 could be a PBH instead of a regular planet.
If PBHs turn out real, new physics will be required to study them properly, and that would be a first step towards solving the mystery of the universe’s missing mass or dark matter.
Avi Loeb, Chair of Harvard University’s Department of Astronomy and the study’s co-author, stated:
“Our paper shows that if Planet 9 is a black hole, then comets residing in the outskirts of the Solar system (in the “Oort cloud”) would impact it.”