Updated: 2 days ago
This doesn't necessarily fall into my "3G" concept for writing posts, but it's something that, if it turns out to be true, could alter the course of our species- hopefully for the better. I discovered this article scrolling through my phones news-feed, and it caught my eye. At first, the idea was kind of unsettling, but as I thought about what the article was postulating, I began to get more excited. The premise of the article is that the supposed "Planet 9" could be a small black hole. This may seem like a terrible thing to have near our solar system, but the implications, if this is indeed out there, could be fairly earth shattering (in the good way).
Currently, black holes, and the effects they have on space and time, are mostly theoretical, as we haven't been able to make close observations of one. Only recently has anyone even been able to get a picture of one, and much of what we know and understand is due to modeling based on our best guesses. What really happens in the vicinity of a black hole is anyone's guess, and the likelihood of getting near enough one to study is out of possibility at the moment. However, should one be only a few billion miles away, orbiting our sun in or just beyond the oort cloud, that could all change.
Pluto is REALLY far away. roughly 4.6 light HOURS away. As a reference, light hitting Earth from the sun is eight minutes old, and the reflected light from the moon is three seconds old. Objects in the oort cloud and beyond are REALLY far away, but even at that distance, they are still far closer than, say, Alpha Centauri (which is around 4 light years away). As you can probably figure, even a light day is pretty close cosmically speaking. Close enough that we would put probes around it and study it fairly in depth. Think of the movie "Interstellar," and how understanding of FTL (Faster Than Light) advanced in that movie. We may be able to make those kinds of leaps in our understanding of how the universe works, and be able (finally) to start REALLY venturing to the stars.
Or studying a black hole that close could reveal nothing we can use, in which case we're out nothing. But I really doubt that would be the case. At the very least, a nearby black hole would give us a fairly potent slingshot for extra solar missions- something to catapult future exploratory ships into the abyss toward new and uncharted planets. Or maybe it slowly moves into the solar system and wipes us out by blotting away the sun. Who knows. I think that a nearby black hole we can study would be very beneficial to mankind's quest for the stars. This is literally the most exciting news of my week. What do you think? Are you, like me, cautiously optimistic? Let me know.