Like many other cosmic objects present out there in the vast ocean of our Universe, black holes follow the same pattern: stay away from them, or you’ll face their merciless wrath. The worst part may be that no scientists know for sure what happens with objects dragged into a black hole – will they simply vanish from existence or transported to another dimension of spacetime? Either way, it’s not worth jumping into a black hole to find out.
The year 2020 had pretty much everything: a pandemic that forced countries into lockdown and caused numerous job losses, major bushfires in Australia, and more. While conspiracy-lovers state that this could be the year of the Armageddon, there could be even bigger threats ready to shake our world from outer space both figuratively and literally.
Planet Nine or Primordial Black Hole?
Astronomers had been struggling to find out what’s causing the clustering of trans-Neptunian objects in our Solar System. While the first hypothesis was the existence of a ninth planet, astronomers from Harvard University now come with an even wilder idea: a primordial black hole (PBH) could exist in the region instead, it has a horizon the size of a fruit, and a mass between 5 and 10 times that of Earth.
Further observations are needed, as the authors hope that a wide-field survey telescope that’s under construction in Chile will soon uncover the mystery fully. Even if there really is a black hole, there’s no clue that it could pose a threat to us at the moment due to its insignificant size. But still, it’s big enough to explain the peculiar motion of the remote objects from our Solar System.
As for the ninth planet from our Solar System, it could actually be Pluto after all. Although the cosmic object’s status has been downgraded to a dwarf planet since 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), not everyone shares the same view. Jim Bridenstine, who is the administrator of NASA, said it loud and clear last year that he considers Pluto to be a planet.
The study paper about the hypothetical black hole was accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, and it’s called “Searching for Black Holes in the Outer Solar System with LSST.”