The major consensus in the scientific community at the moment is that Planet 9, an entirely theoretical 9th planet located in our outer solar system, is just an undetected planet and it was probably captured by our system sometime during its 4.6 billion year history. Researchers affiliated with Harvard University, however, bring up the possibility that Planet 9, for which there is orbital evidence, but which cannot be visually identified, is simply the answer for a puzzle we have for long been trying to solve regarding dark matter. Planet 9 could be a primordial black hole. Theoretically, its horizon is the size of a large orange and its mass is about 8 times the mass of our home planet.
What Does the Research Say?
In a paper that was greenlighted for publication in the academic journal, The Astrophysical Journal letters, the authors of the study express their belief that a cluster of trans-Neptunian objects seems to indicate an enormous body of the super-earth type, probably located at the edge of our solar system. This object could be quite far away, even 800 astronomical units away. An astronomical unit is the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
How Can We Learn More?
The authors of the study actually come with the idea of a survey telescope designed for the wide-field. It is currently being built in Chile and will enable them to better study Planet 9, perhaps finding out if it is a primordial black hole or a simple planet. Should they be real, primordial black holes need a new understanding of physics and could be relevant in understanding dark matter, or why there is so much missing mass in the Universe.
According to Avi Loeb, the Chair of Harvard Univsersity’s Dept. of Astronomy, the paper indicates the Planet 9 is a black hole. That would mean that it is impacted by comets in the outer regions of our Solar system.