As you probably already know, there is something that lurks in the solar system, which apparently tugs at the tiny worlds orbiting Neptune. This object was nicknamed Planet Nine, which has an orbit around the Sun and which causes gravitational chaos in the solar system. Astronomers are still trying to take a better look at it, and people have already started questioning its origin. Is it a planet? Can it be a black hole?
So what is Planet Nine exactly?
We all know that a solar system is a huge place. The astronomical techniques are advancing, but there are many tiny planets out there that still need to be found.
Planet Nine is more than that. It has a mass of around 10 Earths, placed at about 400 to 800 astronomical units from the Sun. One astronomical unit is the average distance with which Earth orbits the Sun – that’s 10 to 20 times the orbital distance at which Pluto orbits the Sun. In this case, Planet Nine takes between 10.000 and 20.000 years to complete one single orbit.
Why is Planet Nine important for science?
The idea of a giant planet to orbit the Sun at this distance is quite impressive. Studies have shown that exoplanets that have the masses of Neptune or Earth are common. We don’t know why our solar system does not have this kind of planets. But if Planet Nine is really there, this would be an important discovery which would help us to understand better our solar system and the planets that exist in it, and that orbit the Sun.
Is it a black hole?
A new study shows that the weird thing happening with the gravity does not take place because of a planet. They suggested that there’s a primordial black hole out there. We don’t know for sure if they talk about Planet Nine or not.