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How Many Loose Planets in the Milky Way?
Sky & Telescope ^ | February 29, 2012 | Monica Young

Posted on 03/10/2012 11:28:34 AM PST by SunkenCiv

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University estimate that "nomad" planets, ejected from their home stellar system and now free-floating through the Milky Way, could outnumber stars by as many as 100,000 to 1. Earlier estimates were more like a handful to 1, though previous studies have only counted unbound planets more massive than Jupiter.

To estimate the number of unbound planets as small as Pluto that could be roaming the galaxy, Louis Strigari (KIPAC), lead author of the study, began with a basic rule of nature: where a few big objects are found, there are many more small, just like a few boulders may be surrounded by thousands of pebbles. Strigari and colleagues calculated the number of unbound planets by extrapolating from the small number detected so far by direct imaging and by gravitational microlensing.

Direct imaging has severe limits because planets are so faint. Microlensing offers more promise. It looks for the characteristic brightening and fading of a background star when an object, even one as wimpy as Pluto, passes nearly in front of it and bends its light slightly by gravity. So far, 24 planet-mass objects have been detected by microlensing -- 14 bound to their parent stars, 10 apparently not. Microlensing offers hope for detection of loose objects large and small even if they are completely dark, and even at great distances across the galaxy.

(Excerpt) Read more at skyandtelescope.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomy; catastrophism; rogueplanet; rogueplanets; science; worldsincollision; xplanets
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The Milky Way likely hosts billions, and possibly trillions, of unbound planets, some of which may have atmospheres thick enough to support bacterial life. Loose planets may even outnumber stars in the galaxy, but a more precise count awaits future telescopes such as WFIRST and LSST. [Caltech / NASA]

How Many Loose Planets in the Milky Way?

1 posted on 03/10/2012 11:28:41 AM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv

http://www.amazon.com/When-Worlds-Collide-Richard-Derr/dp/B00005NG6A


2 posted on 03/10/2012 11:32:19 AM PST by njslim (St)
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

an ‘extra, extra’ ping to the APoD members.

Sky & Telescope: All 70 Years
March 1, 2011
by the Editors of Sky & Telescope
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/80282957.html


3 posted on 03/10/2012 11:32:40 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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"...all 818 monthly issues, covering 70 years of astronomy from November 1941 through December 2009..."

Sky & Telescope: All 70 Years

4 posted on 03/10/2012 11:32:41 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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...for that matter, I picked up a used copy of the April issue, it's great, now I'm considering subscribing.
12 issues for $42.95, digital 12 issues for $10.00

Astronomy

5 posted on 03/10/2012 11:33:14 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: SunkenCiv

How likely is a loose planet to have any atmosphere?

It’s pretty cold in interstellar space...


6 posted on 03/10/2012 11:33:48 AM PST by null and void (Day 1145 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

7 posted on 03/10/2012 11:33:58 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...

There's actually a posting, or a topic, about "rogue planets", somewhere around here.


8 posted on 03/10/2012 11:33:58 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: SunkenCiv

To us accretionist’s the concept of a loose planet is heresy.

All planets are accreted.

The concept of a Fluke (loose) planet is however interesting


9 posted on 03/10/2012 11:35:51 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: null and void

As likely as it is anywhere, but I take your point, if it’s cold enough, the atmosphere would condense and freeze, as on Pluto — depending on what the atmosphere is made of in the first place, and how much of it is there.


10 posted on 03/10/2012 11:36:21 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: SunkenCiv

If you continue to post great articles, my cost is 0

thanks


11 posted on 03/10/2012 11:37:18 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: SunkenCiv
if it’s cold enough, the atmosphere would condense and freeze, as on Pluto

What if it was a gas giant like Jupiter? What do you think the shrinkage would be?

12 posted on 03/10/2012 11:38:13 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Has the vast expanse between Pelosi’s ears been explored?


13 posted on 03/10/2012 11:38:32 AM PST by jessduntno ("Newt Gingrich was part of the Reagan Revolution's Murderers' Row." - Jeffrey Lord, Reagan Admin.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I wonder if the mass relative to “loose” planets - whose travels do not seem to be (yet) among the calculated mass of the star systems, or the calculted gravitational forces affecting star systems’ travels in their own galaxies - could actually be part of the hypothetical “dark matter” needed to explain current accepted theories of the universe.


14 posted on 03/10/2012 11:42:19 AM PST by Wuli
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To: null and void

Frozen solid, I imagine.


15 posted on 03/10/2012 11:42:40 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: bert
The concept of a Fluke (loose) planet is however interesting

Based on her background, I would say it was more like a planet of the loose women!

16 posted on 03/10/2012 11:45:00 AM PST by 17th Miss Regt
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To: njslim

"the 1933 novel by Edwin Balmer (1883-1959) and Philip Wylie (1902-1971), 'When Worlds Collide' was adapted to film in 1951" -- I've read the book and the sequel (both were howlingly bad) and got the movie out of the library once (also howlingly bad). :')
Thanks njslim.
17 posted on 03/10/2012 11:47:30 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: BenLurkin

Well you have to remember that Jupiter and Saturn create their own heat. Most large gas giants probably would.
A rocky planet like Mars or Earth the atmosphere would probably be frozen with nothing except maybe ethane or methane
left.


18 posted on 03/10/2012 11:47:46 AM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: dragonblustar

It would be measured in Costanzas — with the shrinkage quantification for Jupiter being a 1.


19 posted on 03/10/2012 11:50:08 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: SunkenCiv

These planets could loosely be termed homeless planets.


20 posted on 03/10/2012 11:50:17 AM PST by citizencon
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