For the longest time, conspiracy theorists on the internet and scientists alike have suggested that there may be a planet nine beyond Neptune that orbits our sun.
Even though one might think that any such planet would have been discovered by now thanks to our many advanced telescopes, it is not that easy. In fact, just the other day astronomers discovered 20 more moons around Saturn.
For conspiracy theorists, planet nine represents doom and they tend to think that whenever its orbit brings it closer to the sun, it wreaks havoc on our planet causing an extinction-level event.
The scientists, however, think that there could be a planet with a mass of roughly 5 to 15 times that of Earth. There is growing evidence that trans-Neptunian bodies like asteroids and comets seem to cluster together in patterns that we cannot explain unless there is a presence of a heavy object nearby. But could this object actually be a black hole?
Primordial Black Hole
Astronomers have believed until now that the reason we have not detected this planet nine is that it is just too far away. They estimate that it could be more than 250 times the distance from Earth to the sun.
But a new paper suggests that we might not have detected it because it might not be a planet in the first place. It posits that it could be a primordial black hole. If you didn't already know, black holes are super dense objects with a very strong gravitational pull which can even pull in light.
This particular black hole in our solar system is said to be a primordial black hole, which means it might have been in existence since the times of early universe and was not formed in the usual way (when a star collapses in on itself).
They are often very tiny in size also. A black hole with only 5 times the mass of Earth would only be 5cm in radius. This could make it almost impossible to directly observe it at least with the technology of our time.