I was wondering if there could theoretically exist systems in which an Earth-like planet was in the habitable zone of one (or two) Sun-like star(s), while actually not orbiting around any star. To be more precise, I started asking myself whether a planet like earth could be placed in the inner orbit of a black hole, while one or a pair of Suns would be revolving around the black hole too, on an outer orbit.
My question is not whether such a system could actually exist somewhere, but only if it could theoretically exist, even if it is probabilistically not likely to exist.
So I found this sets of issues:
- Planet must be far enough from the black hole ( > Roche Limit )
- Harmful radiations from black hole's accretion disk
- Planet-Star relative distance must not vary too much...which I guess in turn means that the planet-blackhole distance must be small compared to the average blackhole-star distance
Given these limitations, how would you choose the stars and blackhole masses and their relative distances to the planet, in order to have it suitable for complex, perhaps intelligent forms of life? Do you see other issues to this purpose?
Below I add what I've been able to collect so far (more like a collection of unsolved questions..)
So, about the issue #1, I thought about a rather lightweight blackhole, with M < 10 Solar masses. I once read in a thread that when considering a central body = 10 solar masses, and a satellite with a density of 5000 kg/m^3 (Earth's average density), then the Roche Limit would be as little as 0.8% of an AU. That would be conveniently small, though I guessed that using Earth's average density may not guarantee that the whole planet is kept together (it may lose its atmosphere...). So, just to be sure, would you rather increase this distance to 1/20 of an AU, perhaps less, perhaps more? I'm asking here because I'm not able to conduct these calculation myself.
Then again, I'm not an expert and I don't know if staying out of the Roche Limit is a sufficient condition for orbiting around a blackhole of this small size without things becoming nasty. I know of issue #2 though,and about that I read someone suggesting that If the planet were subjected to tidal lock, then at least the face looking away from the blackhole would be spared from the harming X rays. But how close a planet should get to a blackhole in order to experience a tidal lock within a reasonable amount of time? Would it likely be tidally locked if it stayed at 0.05 AU away from a 10 solar masses black hole? I guess the answer to be yes, but I wanted some validations from the experts here.
Then about issue #3 again, I thought that If there were two Suns (making another binary system of their own), then there would be also a larger insulating flux, perhaps allowing us to keep the Suns more far away (by a quick calculation I think I found that two Suns at 1.4 AU would give the same flux as one Sun at 1 AU). Another possibility is to have a brighter Star class, at expense of its life-time. So for simplicity let's say we can go up to 2 AU (maybe even more) without the Planet getting too cold, or the Stars too short-lived.
Summarizing, I now have a 10 Solar Masses black hole and a (likely) tidally locked earth-like planet orbiting at 0.05 AU from it. Tidal forces should still be small enough not to suck the planet's atmosphere. Perhaps having a planet slightly bigger than the Earth would also help in this account. Then we have a couple of Stars orbiting together around the black hole, at a distance of 2 AU. Relative distance from the twin Stars to the Planet is 2 +/- 0.05 AU. I guess that would be within the limits of the habitable zone, right?
One last curiosity: assuming the black hole has an "average" spin, would it be realistic if the two Stars had a tilted orbit with respect to the black hole spinning axis?
I'm sorry for the many questions, by any means please don't assume I'm expecting a single person to answer all of them.