Black holes may have huge planetary systems

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 26 2019 @ 12:41 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
disk around black hole
In a paper published in the the Astrophysical Journal, professors from Kagoshima University and Japan's National Astronomical Observatory proposes that planets could form around black holes. According to the nebular hypothesis, planets throughout the universe are formed out of clouds of materials that orbit young stars. But this new paper argues that planets could also form in more extreme conditions.

The Japanese professors and their team calculated that the accretion disks of black holes could be home to astonishingly large planetary systems. These accretion disks of supermassive black holes contain the material of a hundred thousand Suns and some parts of the disk could be shielded from hostile radiation.

The paper speculates 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:
"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 Eiichiro Kokubo, co-author of the paper and a professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The process is much slower than in traditional protoplanetary disks, however, and could take up to several hundred million years instead of just tens of millions of years.

ÔÇťAround black holes there might exist planetary systems of astonishing scale," Kokubo added.
More details The Register. At the moment, it's not possible to verify the simulations as there is no known method to study black holes.


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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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