Scientists have been speculating for some time now that a “planet 9” that traveled in an orbit very far from the Sun, could be the reason why other bodies in our solar system have curiously strange orbits.
A recent suggestion by a pair of astrophysicists has drawn from that idea with a strange twist. They conjecture that a black hole or possibly a number of them could be in orbit around our Sun right now, way beyond Neptune.
This week, two researchers hailing from Durham University and the University of Illinois at Chicago published a paper describing their theory on the pre-print server arXiv. According to them, the Sun’s orbit might have caught a (or more) free-floating “primordial black hole” which are still out there, circling our solar system.
They wrote, “Capture of a freefloating planet is a leading explanation for the origin of Planet 9 and we show that the probability of capturing a [primordial black hole] instead is comparable”.
Although, the idea seems somewhat outlandish but scientists possibly can check their work as black holes are surrounded by dark matter halos that emanate “annihilation signals”. The paper’s authors propose that if any such signals get detected, it could indicate that the elusive “planet 9” is actually a black hole.