Planets around a black hole? Calculations show possibility of bizarre worlds

Planets around a black hole? Calculations show possibility of bizarre worlds

by Hitoshi Yamaoka, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Phys.org

Theoreticians in two fields defied the received wisdom that planets only orbit stars like the sun. They proposed the possibility of thousands of planets around a supermassive black hole.

“With the right conditions, planets could be formed even in harsh environments, such as around a black hole,” says Keiichi Wada, a professor at Kagoshima University researching active galactic nuclei, luminous objects energized by black holes.

According to the latest theories, planets are formed from fluffy dust aggregates in a protoplanetary disk around a young star. But young stars are not the only objects that possess dust disks. In a novel approach, the researchers focused on heavy disks around supermassive black holes in the nuclei of galaxies.

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