Ninth planet proposed to search for optical flashes

(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have suggested that the Ninth Planet may be a black hole that can be detected using the telescope of the Vera Rubin Observatory.

According to the calculations of researchers published on arXiv.org, if a small celestial body passes by a black hole, the instrument will be able to see the outbreak that occurred when it was destroyed.

In 2016, scientists at the California Institute of Technology Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown published an article in which they provided indirect evidence of the existence of the famous Ninth Planet.

According to their hypothesis, its possible mass is 5-10 terrestrial, and when moving in orbit, it is 300-1000 astronomical units from the Sun (one astronomical unit is equal to the average distance from the Earth to the Sun).

At the same time, it has still not been possible to directly see the celestial body – only anomalies in the orbital parameters of known objects in the Kuiper belt indicate its presence.

Ninth planet

On the other hand, researchers assume that with approximately the same probability the unusual behavior of asteroids and dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune can explain the presence of a black hole.

Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb from Harvard University suggested that the black hole could be found by optical signal. If one of the bodies of the Oort cloud comes too close to a black hole, it will be destroyed by its gravity, and when the matter is heated, an outbreak will occur. However, this signal will be rather weak and not every telescope will be able to see it.

Therefore, the researchers decided to check whether such a flash could be “caught” by the wide-angle viewing telescope-reflector at the Vera Rubin Observatory, which is currently being built in Chile. It is planned that the instrument will see the first light as early as next year and will study weak microlensing in deep space, as well as small bodies of the solar system.

Ninth planet 2

Astronomers performed calculations that showed that the telescope would be able to record at least several such outbreaks per year. In this case, scientists will be able to confirm that the Ninth Planet is a black hole, and further find out its orbital parameters.

In addition, if Planet Nine is a black hole surrounded by a magnetic field (a black hole does not have its own magnetic field, but it can occur in an accretion disk), then the synchrotron radiation from the substance around it can make flares much brighter, which means it will be easier to detect .

Astronomers have long suggested that the solar system may be surrounded by small black holes – this could explain the excess of microlensing events. In addition, there are suggestions that the black holes formed in the early Universe may be “particles” of dark matter.

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