KAGOSHIMA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Japanese researchers predict that there are thousands of large rocky planets that can orbit supermassive black holes in the same way as Earth orbiting the sun.
Current planet formation theory shows that thousands of planets are formed from pieces of fine dust in a disk of planetary material that surrounds a young star. Young stars are not the only objects that have dust disks, as they are also found around supermassive black holes.
The researchers focused on the discs of this heavy material, and came to the conclusion that planets can be formed from fine dust contained in black hole discs.
This study could open up a new field of astronomy with scientists studying dust rings that surround a black hole, said experts from Kagoshima University in Japan.
A supermassive black hole, such as Sagittarius A at the center of the Milky Way, was likely formed through the explosion of a super-large star during the early years of the universe. Some supermassive black holes have a large amount of material around them in the form of dense, solid discs. One of these discs can contain dust as much as 100,000 times the mass of the sun, or one billion times the mass of dust from a disk of dust around a young star.
"Dust discs around the black hole are so dense that intense radiation from the central region is blocked, and low-temperature regions are formed," said Professor Keiichi Wada, who led the research team, as quoted by Daily Mail.
The researchers applied the theory of how planets form around stars to giant disks of dust around black holes and found that planets could form in low-temperature zones for several hundred million years.
"Our calculations show that tens of thousands of planets with 10 times the mass of Earth can be formed about 10 light years from a black hole. Around the black hole there may be planetary systems with amazing scale," said Professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Eiichiro Kokubo.