Lost in space: The homeless planet found floating without a star to orbit
2012-11-14 0:00

By Mark Prigg | DailyMail.co.uk

A homeless planet which floats through space without orbiting a star had been discovered for the first time.



Scientists have speculated on the existence of such a planet and have been trawling the night skies for more than a decade, although the hunt was described as looking for a needle in a thousand haystacks.

The isolated planet, which astronomers believe may have been flung away during its formation, is not tied by gravity to a star and in 100 light years away.

University of Montreal (UdeM) researchers working with European colleagues and data provided by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and the European Southern Observatorys Very Large Telescope (VLT) came across the huge discovery.

Itienne Artigau, an astrophysicist at UdeM, said: Although theorists had established the existence of this type of very cold and young planet, one had never been observed until today.

The absence of a shining star in the area around this planet enabled the team to study its atmosphere in great detail.

This information will in turn enable astronomers to better understand planets that do orbit stars.

Over the past few years, several objects of this type have been identified, but their existence could not be established without scientific confirmation of their age, said Jonathan Gagni, a doctoral student of physics at UdeM.

Astronomers werent sure whether to categorise them as planets or as Brown Dwarfs.

Brown dwarfs are what we could call failed stars, as they never manage to initiate nuclear reactions in their centres.

The planet is called CFBDSIR2149 and appears to be part of a group of very young stars known as the AB Doradus Moving Group.

It is between 50 and 120 million years old, with a temperature of approximately 400 degrees celsius, and weighs four to seven times that of Jupiter.

The studys findings support theories that suggest these kinds of isolated objects are more common than currently believed.

Astrophysicist Ms Artigau, who also worked on the study, said: This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1,000 times the surface of the full moon.

We observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighbourhood.

Now we will be looking for them amongst an astronomical number of sources further afield.

Its like looking for a single needle in amongst thousands of haystacks.



Article from: dailymail.co.uk














Related Articles
Planet Floating Freely Through Space Without An Orbit Discovered
Huge New Planet (Brown Dwarf?) Discovered in Our Solar System - Tyche Echoes of Planet X or "Nibiru"
Binary deathstar has Earth in its sights
Swedish astronomers in giant star death find
Photographing Star Trails From Space, At 17,000 MPH
Nemesis No More? Comet-Hurling Death Star "Most Likely a Myth". ("Most likely"?)
Alien Planet - Documentary
Newfound Tatooine Alien Planet Bodes Well for E.T. Search
Kepler 22-b: Earth-like planet confirmed
Scientists find evidence of a mystery fifth giant planet that was ejected from the solar system
The Lightning-Scarred Planet Mars (Video)
Alien Planet Made of Diamond Discovered


Latest News from our Front Page

Minister of Migration attacked by asylum seeker with fire extinguisher
2015-03-27 2:12
Sweden’s Minister of Justice & Migration also known as Morgan “only 1%” Johansson, has been attacked with a fire extinguisher when he visited an asylum home for future Swedes. Regional newspaper, Kristiandstadsbladet reported that a man who had been living at the home for a couple of weeks grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam all over the minister who didn’t ...
Hollywood agents: Difficult for white actors to find work now that shows required ‘to go ethnic’
2015-03-27 1:51
According to an article by Nellie Andreeva published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood, the television landscape has shifted so much this season that white actors are finding it increasingly difficult to find roles. In addition to new hit shows with mostly minority casts — Black-ish, Empire, Fresh Off the Boat, and How to Get Away with Murder — shows that were originally ...
Congratulations Pussy Porters!
2015-03-26 18:52
Mural paid for by the government, decorates a Swedish school. On International Women’s day Julia Caesar published this chronicle in Swedish on Snaphanen which I’ve translated but prior to reading it I’d like to provide you with some background information on certain terms which are incomprehensible to non-Swedes. First and foremost “pussy porter” and “penis porter” are terms that third-wave feminists in ...
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
2015-03-26 18:08
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference. Follow RT’s live updates on investigation into Germanwings plane crash The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz. The captain was between 30 ...
Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary
2015-03-25 19:38
The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced. “Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL. The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because ...
More News