(ORDO NEWS) — Planet X has a long and legendary history of “nonexistence”. For about 130 years, astronomers have been debating the existence of an additional planet or planets to explain the discrepancies in the orbits of the known planets (mainly Neptune and Uranus).
Later, the list of discrepancies was expanded to cover Trans-Neptunian objects. But none of the identified Planet X candidates, including Pluto, have a mass or location to explain the observations.
Primordial black holes have now been proposed as the last Planet X (or Planet 9 as Pluto was demoted).
Planet X’s origins begin with the discovery of Neptune. Neptune was not found by chance: observations of oddities in orbit of Uranus were used to calculate the location of Neptune, and it was subsequently found.
This is a game that can be played more than once. Astronomers then noted that the orbits of Uranus and Neptune could be better explained by the existence of another large planet. Subsequent observations revealed many objects: Pluto and Charon, Sedna and Eris, and many others. None of these distant bodies are large enough to be Planet X. But some of their orbits may also indicate the need for a new planet.
Some trans-Neptunian objects have very strange orbits. Many of them are clustered and have highly elliptical orbits, and there is a subset that orbits well beyond the plane in which the planets orbit. This is unusual, as the action of gravity and the nature of the disk that formed the planets tend to keep everything close in the same orbital plane. Detecting highly inclined orbits suggests that something is pulling objects back out of the plane.
A planet that is large enough and distant from the Sun could explain these orbits. Indeed, the researchers calculated a range of different masses and orbits of planets that could explain the behavior of objects like Sedna.
By happy coincidence, the required masses and distances correspond to the observed gravitational lensing anomaly – an excess of events where the gravitational influence of an invisible object distorted the light of distant stars. That is, there is a mass, and it is invisible. Could this be a new planet?
A series of unlikely events
So, the mass seems to be there, but where did it come from? The planet would have to be in about 300-1000 AU. from the sun (for reference, Neptune’s orbit is only 30 AU), where there is very little material or gas. Simply put, the planet could not form there. One possibility is that the planet formed closer to the Sun and was pushed out by interactions with one or more gas giants. However, stabilization in distant orbit requires a passing star (or something similar), which seems unlikely. The option remains that our Sun has captured a freely roaming planet.
But the wanderers had to be driven from their own solar system, which means that most of them are moving at “good” speed. Consequently, the probability of the capture of such a planet in the required orbit is small, although not excluded.
The new article argues that if we are considering an unlikely event, then why not create a primordial black hole? Primordial black holes may have formed soon after the Big Bang. And, unlike black holes formed from collapsing stars, they can range in mass from tiny (10 µg (10 µg)) and up. This means there must be several with the correct mass range. How much is a matter of guesswork.
Inspired by this idea, the researchers began using d20s: they set an arbitrarily low value for primordial black holes, and then concluded that the capture of a black hole is about as likely as the capture of a rogue planet.
He called himself a load – climb into the back
If planet X was really a black hole, how would we know? The researchers say dark matter annihilation is something to look for.
Nobody knows if primordial black holes exist. No one knows if dark matter annihilates, and if it does, there is no certainty that it does so in a detectable way – dark matter can annihilate with itself to create other forms of dark matter, leaving us, well, in the dark. Thus, the speculative product of the early universe cannot be directly detected unless another speculative process is going on in the right way. In this case, it can be confirmed whether the primordial black hole is part of our solar system.
Underlying this assumption is an interesting coincidence: unexplained gravitational lensing phenomena that turned out to be the right mass and distance to explain some of the very strange orbits of trans-Neptunian objects. It seems that this coincidence requires a single explanation, which is what the researchers are trying to do. This makes their house of cards useful.
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