A Black Hole the Size of Your Fist Could be Hiding in the Solar System
For many years, a powerful gravitational anomaly in the solar system has baffled scientists, prompting them to theorize that a giant planet more massive than Jupiter is lurking somewhere beyond Neptune and affecting the orbit of objects beyond the last planet as they travel around the sun. They have since dubbed the mystery object Planet Nine.
Scientists have been searching for Planet Nine since 2012, but Earth’s most powerful telescopes have failed to catch a glimpse of the hypothetical planet. One reason for this could be that it does not exist. Another reason is the object does not reflect light and could not be a planet at all.
Scientists are looking into a new theory that proposes the existence of a black hole right in our solar system, and it could be the size of your fist.
Researchers from Harvard University have teamed up with the Black Hole Initiative to find out whether the theory of a black hole residing in the solar system holds water. They plan to use data from the Legacy Survey of Space Time (LSST) mission to search for accretion discs caused by the black hole.
“In the vicinity of a black hole, small bodies that approach it will melt as a result of heating from the background accretion of gas from the interstellar medium onto the black hole,” Amir Siraj of Harvard said in a statement.
In other words, the scientists will look for evidence of small bodies or asteroids in the solar system burning up and producing a bright accretion disc as they are consumed by the black hole.
Scientists believe it is possible for a black hole to exist in our solar system, but it will be much smaller than Earth. Black holes can be the size of an apple and have tremendous gravitational effects on the orbit of planets and objects in the solar system, just like the anomalies detected in trans-Neptunian objects or celestial bodies near Neptune that they initially theorized as evidence of the existence of Planet Nine.