Astronomers may soon be able to confirm the existence of a primordial black hole –gravity wells formed just moments after the Big Bang–in our Solar System with gravitational-wave experiments that will look back to a time before the formation of the first stars. “Ancient black holes would give us access to physics we would never otherwise be able to do,” wrote Dan Hooper, head of the theoretical astrophysics group at FermiLab, in an email to The Daily Galaxy. “If primordial black holes are real,’ he wrote, “they’d have potential to solve a whole host of the biggest problems in cosmology, not the least being the mystery of dark matter, considered to be the backbone to the structure of the universe.”
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“At five Earth masses, Planet Nine is likely to be very reminiscent of a typical extrasolar super-Earth,” says Konstantin Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science and Van Nuys Page Scholar at Caltech. Super-Earths are planets with a mass greater than Earth’s, but substantially less than that of a gas giant. “It is the solar system’s missing link of planet formation. Over the last decade, surveys of extrasolar planets have revealed that similar-sized planets are very common around other sun-like stars. Planet Nine is going to be the closest thing we will find to a window into the properties of a typical planet of our galaxy.”
It’s possible that there could be a massive disc and a ninth planet, said Antranik Sefilian at Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. “With the discovery of each new trans-Neptunian Object (TNO), we gather more evidence that might help explain their behavior.”