Planets May Form and Orbit around Supermassive Black Holes | Astronomy

Artist Impression Planets Orbiting Black Hole

This is an artist’s impression of planets orbiting a supermassive black hole. Credit Kagoshima University

Planets are formed by the materials of a protoplanetary disk- a circumstellar disk made of thick clouds of gas and dust around an infant star.

According to scientists, this process may take a few hundred million years, but the result could be the planets orbiting supermassive black holes.

Low temperature regions form due to blockage of intense radiation coming from the central region, which occurs because the high degree of density of the dust disks surrounding black holes.

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

It has been theorized that planets are formed from the fluffy dust aggregates of a protoplanetary disk.

Instead of exploring the normal proto-planetary discs, scientists examined heavy discs around supermassive black holes that sit in the centre of galaxies. These fluffy aggregates are dust grains stuck together through their ice mantles in a low-temperature region.

Through this concept, the authors of the study claimed that supermassive black holes are capable of creating planets that are bigger than Earth.

The accretion disks surrounding supermassive black holes are larger and heftier, too, containing enough material worth a hundred thousand times the mass of our Sun.

Because it should be possible to survive the transition from our world to the black hole world, physicists and mathematicians have long wondered what that world would look like.

"With the right conditions, planets could be formed even in harsh environments, such as around a black hole", Wada said in a press release.

But the two researchers and their colleagues hope to enter a new field of study into planetary science. For the study's co-author, Keiichi Wada of the Kagoshima University, the dust found in accretion disks could also clump together to form planets.

Artist's impression of a baby star still surrounded by a protoplanetary disc in which planets are forming.

So, for the new study the NAOJ astronomers applied the regular models of planet formation to these big disks, to figure out if they could form around black holes too.

"Our calculations show that tens of thousands of planets with 10 times the mass of the Earth could be formed around 10 light-years from a black hole", said astronomer Eiichiro Kokubo of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

However, there is now no way of detecting such planetary systems around a black hole, so there is no way of confirming whether planets of this kind have yet formed.

This illustration shows the seething hot planet Kepler-13Ab that circles very close to its host star, Kepler-13A.

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