The possibility of the new planet that’s the size of Neptune has grasped everyone’s attention and we’re here for the intel! Before the emergence of Planet 9, scientists were under the impression that the solar system consists of only eight planets. Five times bigger than Earth and ten times farther from us, Planet 9 may be lurking at the peripheries of the Sun’s realm. To many people’s disappointment, it’s not Pluto but a much larger, darker world that’s still unknown to us. All the signs are pointing toward the truthfulness of this discovery but there are no certainties to declare it a fact.
Planet 9 and TNOs
As exciting as the idea of adding another member to the solar family is, it’s not something new entirely. We have discovered many such celestial bodies in the past and declared them as possible planets. If this time’s a charm, Planet 9 will have a gravitational force that attracts other bodies to its mass. While the gravitational may be negligible for larger planets, it would certainly affect the Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs)—bodies beyond Neptune’s orbit.
Confirmed Discovery or Confirmation Bias?
However, it’s odd that the orbits of these new findings are clustered in one direction. In contrast, the assumption is that they ought to be random. Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown contested that this pattern points toward the presence of another planet—Planet 9. However, the statistical credibility of this data is not enough to confirm the celestial discovery and might be the result of confirmation bias. Here’s a thought: we’re too obsessed with the alignment of the stars to think otherwise!
Could it Be a Black Hole?
The big question now is: if there indeed is a planet, why can’t we see it? Rebutting the see-it-to-believe-it ideology, James Unwin and Jakub Scholtz are suggesting that the invisibility is not because there’s no truth in the theory. They have said that the object under discussion is not a planet but a black hole.
If you’re thinking, ‘but black holes are huge!’ That’s right. They are, but that’s when they’re the supermassive stellar black holes that have the mass of 30 solar masses—billions of stars. This object, is probably a primordial black hole much smaller with the mass of a small asteroid. But the hypothesis is based on the fact that primordial black holes and a planet are both equally probably outcomes of the statistical data we have.
Let’s see where the clues lead; may the stars ever be in our favor!
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