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Astronomers Suggested Searching The Planet Nine For By Optical Flashes

Astronomers Suggested Searching The Planet Nine For By Optical Flashes

Astronomers have suggested that the Planet Nine may be a black hole that can be detected using the telescope of the Vera Rubin Observatory. According to the researchers' calculations published on arXiv.org if a small celestial body passes by the black hole, the instrument will be able to see the flash that occurred during its destruction.

In 2016, scientists at the California Institute of technology Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown published an article in which they presented indirect evidence for the existence of the famous Ninth planet. According to their hypothesis, its possible mass is 5-10 earth's, and when moving in orbit, it is located from the Sun is 300-1000 astronomical units (one astronomical unit is equal to the average distance from the Earth to the Sun). At the same time, it has not yet been possible to directly see the celestial body — its presence is indicated only by anomalies in the orbital parameters of known objects in the Kuiper belt.

On the other hand, researchers admit that with about the same probability, the unusual behavior of asteroids and dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune may explain the presence of a black hole. Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb of Harvard University have suggested that a black hole can be found using an optical signal. If one of the bodies of the Oort cloud comes too close to the black hole, it will be destroyed by its gravity, and a flash will occur when the matter is heated. However, this signal will be quite weak, and not every telescope will be able to see it.

Therefore, the researchers decided to test whether a similar flash can be "caught" by the wide-angle viewing telescope-reflector at the Vera Rubin Observatory, which is currently being built in Chile. It is planned that the instrument will see the first light next year and will study weak microlensing in deep space, as well as small bodies of the Solar system.

Astronomers have made calculations that show that the telescope will be able to register at least a few such flares a year. In this case, scientists will be able to confirm that the Ninth planet is a black hole, and in the future find out its orbital parameters. Besides, if Planet Nine is a black hole surrounded by a magnetic field (a black hole does not have its own magnetic field, but it can occur in an accretion disk), then synchrotron radiation from the matter around it can make the flares much brighter, which means they will be easier to detect.

Astronomers have long speculated that the Solar system may be surrounded by small black holes — this could explain the excess of microlensing events. Also, there are suggestions that black holes formed in the early Universe may be" particles " of dark matter.