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Space & Astronomy

Thousands of planets could orbit a black hole

November 26, 2019 | Comment icon 4 comments



Could black holes be home to planetary systems ? Image Credit: NASA / Alain Riazuelo
It turns out that planets could orbit a black hole in much the same way as our own planet orbits the Sun.
Picture a planetary system of an almost unimaginable scale - tens of thousands of worlds, each ten times the mass of the Earth, all orbiting the same supermassive black hole.

It might sound far-fetched, but could such a system actually exist ?

"With the right conditions, planets could be formed even in harsh environments, such as around a black hole," said Prof Keiichi Wada of Kagoshima University in Japan.

The key to this idea lies in the realization that the disks of dust from which planets form don't just occur around young stars - they can occur around black holes as well.
Why then could planets not form in such an environment ?

"Our calculations show that tens of thousands of planets with ten times the mass of the Earth could be formed around ten light-years from a black hole," said Prof Eiichiro Kokubo of Japan's National Astronomical Observatory.

"Around black holes, there might exist planetary systems of astonishing scale."

To give you an idea of this scale - the dust disk around a supermassive black hole can contain somewhere in the region of one billion times the mass of a protoplanetary disk around a star.

Actually detecting the planets in such a system however is likely to prove a challenge.

Source: Phys.org | Comments (4)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by DieChecker 3 years ago
I don't see any problem with this idea. I do think though that these planets probably would all be just dead and frozen.
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
It will take some more time until scientists will discover and accept that black holes are responsible for creating a massive Vortex like movement  engage and galaxies into a Perpetual move  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 2 years ago
And your evidence for this is... I'm guessing you won't present any.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 2 years ago
Around a black hole they are more likely to be dead and scorched. Black holes tend to have an accretion disk around them. This is a disk around the event horizon of black hole formed by the material,such as gas and dust, falling into the black hole. As it orbits this material is accelerated to massive speeds, this causes it to heat up and emit vast amounts of heat and radiation.


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