Scientists propose method to discover whether hypothetical planet nine is a black hole

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Astronomers from Harvard University have proposed a task for the Legacy Survey of Space and Time, or LSST, mission to determine if the speculated Planet Nine is in fact a primordial black hole.

According to the study in The Astronomical Journal Letters, Oort Cloud comets could be used to detect the black hole, because an intercepted comet would flare up and trip the observatory's sensors.

According to a news release from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, a comet approaching the black hole would melt after meeting the accretion disk's heat. The black hole's tidal forces would then disrupt the comet and deposit the matter onto the disk. This process would emit radiation flares.

The upcoming LSST has high sensitivity and the ability to scan the entire night sky twice per week, while current sensors have to be trained at a predetermined spot. The LSST's advantages should allow astronomers to detect flares from smaller impacts than before.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Planned observatory in Chile will help scientists discover if planet nine is a black hole
2. Black hole may intercept comets
3. Disrupted comets would leave hot materials on accreditation disk that emit flares
4. New observatory is believed to be able to detect such flares

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Astronomers from Harvard University have proposed a task for the Legacy Survey of Space and Time, or LSST, mission. This project would try to use the mission's planned observatory in Chile to discover whether the solar system's hypothetical planet nine is a primordial black hole."

"According to the study in The Astronomical Journal Letters, Oort Cloud comets could be used to detect the black hole, because an intercepted comet would flare up and trip the observatory's sensors."

"According to a news release from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, a comet approaching the black hole would melt after meeting the accretion disk's heat. The black hole's tidal forces would then disrupt the comet and deposit the matter onto the disk. This process would emit radiation flares."

"The upcoming LSST has high sensitivity and the ability to scan the entire night sky twice per week, while current sensors have to be trained at a predetermined spot. The LSST's advantages should allow astronomers to detect flares from smaller impacts than before."


SOURCES: Arxiv, Harvard-Smithsonian Center
https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.12280
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-scientists-planet-primordial-black-hole.html