Young Planet Drifts Through Space Unattached to Star

roseofbattle

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Apr 18, 2011
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Young Planet Drifts Through Space Unattached to Star

PSO J318.5-22 is an independent planet who don't need no star.

As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth and has similarities to gas-giant planets orbiting young stars. However, this one is not orbiting around a star.

"We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that looks like this," Dr. Michael Liu, team leader of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said. "It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone. I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do."

Dr. Niall Deacon of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and co-author of the study said studying planets via direct imaging is difficult because they are next to their brighter host stars. Because PSO J318.5-22 is not near a star, it will be easier to examine. Deacon said they will study the planet to gain insight on the "inner workings of gas-giant planets like Jupiter shortly after their birth."

Astronomers first found the planet when they were searching for brown dwarfs, failed stars. Further observation showed it to be a low-mass planet. The astronomers have placed it within a collective of young stars called the Beta Pictoris, a moving group of stars that formed 12 million years ago. A young gas-giant is in orbit around Beta Pictoris, but scientists concluded PSO J318.5-22 is lower in mass and probably formed in a different fashion.

The discovery paper is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.0457 [http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.0457] and is being published by Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Source: CNN [http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/LonelyPlanet/]

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Li Mu

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Oct 17, 2011
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It's clearly a Craftworld.
Also, as others have mentioned, Light Years measure distance, not time. You can't have a planet which is 12 million-light-years-old.
 

Sectan

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I just think it's crazy how a planet can even be intact long enough for humans to find it considering all of the shit it has probably shot past. Crazy to think that thing's whipping around out there right now.
Li Mu said:
Also, as others have mentioned, Light Years measure distance, not time. You can't have a planet which is 12 million-light-years-old.
I have a real basic Discovery channel education of these kinds of things and I still catch myself wanting to use Lightyears as a measurement of time.
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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I don't see this as too crazy. I mean, sure, most of the stuff that happens in our universe happens around stars or black holes, but it makes sense that every so often a planet would get shot out of a star's orbit and rough it out in deep space. Now, if that planet has alien life, and is being used as a space ship, I will be impressed.
 

CriticalMiss

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roseofbattle said:
As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth...
Light-years are a unit of distance, not time. Bit of a fail there.

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.
 

Vigormortis

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CriticalMiss said:
roseofbattle said:
As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth...
Light-years are a unit of distance, not time. Bit of a fail there.

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.
Fairly possible. It's been a topic of study and debate for quite some time in the field of astronomy.

In fact, it's been pondered if we haven't accumulated a few extra-solar planets or other bodies.

DVS BSTrD said:
It's crazy how young that planet is. For comparison Earth is 4.54 billion years old.
To be fair, Earth is pretty old. Or, is presumed to be, given our limited knowledge of extra-solar planets.

Though, to put this planets age into another perspective, it was formed 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

I wonder if planetary status starts at conception.
So, if one wanted to abort a planet, they'd have stop a star from going nova?
 

The Rogue Wolf

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DVS BSTrD said:
It's crazy how young that planet is. For comparison Earth is 4.54 billion years old.
I wonder if planetary status starts at conception.
Don't spawn unwanted planets. Practice safe accretion.

I've got to believe that the universe is filled with "homeless" planets like this. So many things can happen to a solar system- a passing star or other large mass can pull a planet out of its orbit, the home star can go supernova, so on. It would be nearly impossible to detect the vast majority of them unless they just happened to pass between us and something else while we were watching.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Hey, at least they didn't call it Melancholia. I hate that movie. Not because it's bad. It's quite good. But it's the most frightening and depressive movie I've ever seen.
 

Exterminas

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What? Post number ten and nobody has posted that "Forever Alone"-Picture yet?
Internet, you fail me.
 

kurokotetsu

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So they found a planet that is a tenth of the Milky Way? Cool! A urge ass planet. Esther that or a really young planet but that isn't as cool.

Nos asidero from that huge error, what I thing is cool is that it is so young. His cou,d a young planet be formed in intestellar spae? What event couldlaunch a young planet out of or it? It is not only that it is wandering but that it is young what males this a cool discovery.
 

ZZoMBiE13

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I'm honestly shocked that there is no joke in this thread about "Equestria". No one?

That's far more curious than the homeless planet drifting in space.
 

DSK-

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"I'm freeeee! Free floooaaatiiiinnngggg"

OT: Very interesting news, I look forward to more info they find on it.
 

Yuuki

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I think planets still need star formations to be "born", they can't simply assemble themselves out of space-dust/gas. One theory was that such rogue planets used to belong to their own solar systems, but something destabilized their orbit and flung them far into space.
 

Terminal Blue

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Vigormortis said:
Though, to put this planets age into another perspective, it was formed 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.
Although it's also 80 million light years from earth.. which means that it's actually 92 million years old, it's just that we're only able to see it at the point when it was 12 million years old.

But you're right in that it's creation would only have been visible from earth 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

I have no idea how to terminologically deal with this situation, just trying to be pedantic I guess. :p
 

Deshin

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evilthecat said:
Although it's also 80 million light years from earth.. which means that it's actually 92 million years old, it's just that we're only able to see it at the point when it was 12 million years old.
roseofbattle said:
As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth and has similarities to gas-giant planets orbiting young stars. However, this one is not orbiting around a star.
Well one of you is wrong by about the distance and I can't be bothered to google it.

It's interesting and all and fits into the "well that's cool" category but isn't it still too far away to really gleam any useful information from it other than "it's a thing that can happen"? We don't know what caused it to lose orbit after all, in fact THAT information would probably be more useful than knowing it can happen in the first place.
 

Something Amyss

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CriticalMiss said:
I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.
Our solar system is like Survivor. Every hundred billion years or so, a planet gets voted out. We're the newcomer, so we're safe for a while.
 

Demandred20

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Doesnt this planet fall into the category of a "Brown dwarf" more like than an actual planet? I mean it has 4 times the mass of Jupiter so its pretty darn big even if it didnt quite make it into ignition.