Planets on the Loose?

May 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM (Uncategorized)


Imagine being on a world that is just floating freely through space.  It has no central star.  It has no moons.  It is just floating alone, not bound by gravity to anything.  Pretty cool?  Pretty scary?  Pretty weird?

Scientific studies during the first decade of this century have revealed that such objects do exist.   There are actual planets that exist in the universe which are not parts of any planetary systems, as we understand them, and are not gravitationally bound to any other bodies.  These planets are just out there, wandering through outer space.

After 2007, astronomers from Japan and New Zealand made the discovery that there apparently are loose planets wandering within our Milky Way.  Their studies have lead them to recognize at least ten of these planets, which are not linked to any stars or solar systems.  Roughly ten of them have been identified, averaging at distances between ten thousand and twenty thousand light years away from Earth. 

Studying scientists are revealing information about the nature of these planets.  As of now, they are being labeled as free-floating Jupiters.  They are gas giants that seem to have been repelled from their solar systems of origin.  These bodies float through interstellar space, not gravitationally bound to anything else.

It seems that scientists are saying that these objects are failed stars.  They are not brown dwarf stars because they do not have the mass or size to be classified as such.  Gaseous bodies within space that are between the masses of seventy-five to eighty Jupiter-sized bodies that do not ignite are called brown dwarf stars.  Free-floating planets are less massive than this, so far being seen as between the masses of ten to twenty Jupiter-sized objects.

It probably is unlikely that anything like this would collide with another planet.  The forces of gravity exerted by both bodies likely would cause them to repel one another.  Therefore, an immense object, a gas-giant that did not ignite, will continue to float freely through space.  Kind of wierd…..

SEE THESE SITES!!!

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/18may_orphanplanets/

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/free-floating-planets

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/19/orphan_planets/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43097348/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/how-rogue-alien-planets-could-be-havens-life/

http://blogs.abcnews.com/…/2011/05/lonely-planet-worlds-found-wandering-interstellar-space.html

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-147

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