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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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To: SunkenCiv

I was taught there were only 9 planets and that one found in another solar system would be called something else besides a planet. A planet used to be a large body orbiting around our sun. Who changed the rules?


41 posted on 03/10/2012 12:37:35 PM PST by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: All

Loose women on loose planets? Ask Laz.


42 posted on 03/10/2012 12:39:38 PM PST by BipolarBob (When do the salmon return to Capistrano?)
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To: SunkenCiv; null and void

And that’s another thing. 400 billion stars in the galaxy times 100,000 means that commute is going to be a BITCH.

That is a number so big it doesn’t have a name?

10,000 trillion?


43 posted on 03/10/2012 12:40:48 PM PST by bigheadfred (I'm still pissed about Pluto)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

I realize the issue itself results from a statistical hypothesis which relies on a hypothesis - as yet unproven by empirical evidence, that presumes a material similarity (on average statisically) in the formation of solar systems.

I am frankly concerned that as much as I think there is room for federal funding of basic science (scientific questions far from deriving a profitable enterprise therefrom) that there is an excess of funding of the purely speculative science that is not only far distant from any pracitcal application or use but just as far distant from any practical, empirical proof (”string theory” for instance).

I think true scientific breakthroughs that have served humanity were at the time actual baby steps built on questions posed by previous steps that had already obtained proof, even though to most people at the time the result seemed like a great leap. But now, in my humble opinion, we have many public and privately funded scientists paid for pursing not “next steps” in science, but great leaps of imagination. Just my humble opinion.


44 posted on 03/10/2012 12:43:32 PM PST by Wuli
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To: SunkenCiv
"How Many Loose Planets in the Milky Way?"

Word is Venus is one "Slutty Ho'" and is always trying to hook-up with Uranus...

45 posted on 03/10/2012 12:44:47 PM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: bigheadfred

10 quadrillion.


46 posted on 03/10/2012 12:59:52 PM 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: SunkenCiv

KIPAC? Is that near K-PAX?


47 posted on 03/10/2012 1:08:10 PM PST by alpo
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To: Mmogamer
On a planet larger than Earth the combination of heat from internal nuclear processes such as fission and gravitational pressure could very well be sufficient to keep a planet warm enough to maintain a non-solid atmosphere. After all, stellar objects, from the Sun down to brown dwarfs, manage to maintain an atmosphere even though they're in the cold depths of space without a larger star to keep them heated. And the mass of interstellar bodies is more of a continuum with a not-so-bright-line division between planets and stars (bodies formed by accretion and bodies formed by collapse of interstellar gas). Further, theory discusses so-called "cold gas giants" which can radiate more heat than they receive from their host stars.

It is therefore not outside the realm of possibility for there to be bodies in interstellar space that are not "stars" properly speaking but which do generate sufficient internal heat to maintain a gaseous atmosphere.
48 posted on 03/10/2012 1:23:57 PM PST by Oceander (TINSTAAFL - Mother Nature Abhors a Free Lunch almost as much as She Abhors a Vacuum)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek; Wuli

I also wondered of the “loose planets” where another means of accounting for dark matter, and that’s why they came up with the 100,000:1 ratio.

I’ve never been comfortable with the theory of “Dark Matter.” I have a nagging suspicion that it’s a hypothesis created to patch a hole in a flawed underlying theory.

But, I’m not an astrophysicist, so I can nurse my ignorant prejudices all I want.


49 posted on 03/10/2012 1:29:02 PM PST by henkster (Andrew Breitbart would not have apologized.)
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To: bert
To us accretionist’s the concept of a loose planet is heresy.

Why hasn't the asteroid belt accreted into a planet yet? I've been puzzling over that since I was a kid.

Not having studied it (at all), my working theory is that it once was a planet that was busted up by impact. The accretion process should be ongoing now.

50 posted on 03/10/2012 1:39:28 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

-——Why hasn’t the asteroid belt accreted into a planet yet——

Patience Grasshopper....... be patient


51 posted on 03/10/2012 1:43:29 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: bert
Patience Grasshopper....... be patient

Well, I did say that my theory is that it's re-forming into a planet even now. Of course, that'll take a few billion years or so, but what the hey. I'm in no hurry.

52 posted on 03/10/2012 1:46:52 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Oceander

True I was just saying a rocky type like Earth probably couldn’t however.


53 posted on 03/10/2012 1:58:03 PM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: Windflier
I'm in no hurry.

Good thing, too. Do you know how many Chinese asteroid miners that would put out of work?

54 posted on 03/10/2012 2:04:11 PM PST by bigheadfred (I'm still pissed about Pluto)
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To: Mmogamer
True I was just saying a rocky type like Earth probably couldn’t however.

Fair enough. On that point I think you're almost certainly correct; anything that was large enough, and radioactive enough, to keep itself heated wouldn't have a rocky surface; it might have some sort of a surface, but there would almost certainly have to be a lot more interchange between the atmosphere and the underlying, heated, materials than there is on a rocky body on a par with Earth.
55 posted on 03/10/2012 2:05:54 PM PST by Oceander (TINSTAAFL - Mother Nature Abhors a Free Lunch almost as much as She Abhors a Vacuum)
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To: Windflier

To get a feeling for current events and your seemingly correct thoughts on asteroids, bing “asteroid 2011”. They are here now!

Precisely where they are vectored we do not know......

eventually, though it is the Sun


56 posted on 03/10/2012 2:06:15 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: Windflier
Why hasn't the asteroid belt accreted into a planet yet? I've been puzzling over that since I was a kid.

Jupiter keeps disturbing the process.

57 posted on 03/10/2012 2:13:06 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: bert; Windflier
To get a feeling for current events

2011 was so yesterday. Bing "asteroid 2013". We got one headed our way NOW.

58 posted on 03/10/2012 2:21:30 PM PST by bigheadfred (I'm still pissed about Pluto)
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To: bert; Windflier
UPCOMING CLOSE APPROACHES TO EARTH
1 AU = ~150 million kilometers
1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers

Object
Name
Close
Approach
Date
Miss
Distance
(AU)
Miss
Distance
(LD)
Estimated
Diameter*
H
(mag)
Relative
Velocity
(km/s)
(2012 DP32) 2012-Mar-10 0.0362 14.1 36 m - 80 m 24.4 8.84
(2012 DH54) 2012-Mar-10 0.0085 3.3 7.6 m - 17 m 27.7 4.79
(2012 DF31) 2012-Mar-10 0.0546 21.3 34 m - 77 m 24.4 13.72
(2012 EJ1) 2012-Mar-10 0.0294 11.5 27 m - 60 m 25.0 9.67
(2011 UU106) 2012-Mar-11 0.1737 67.6 500 m - 1.1 km 18.6 8.81
(2012 DN14) 2012-Mar-12 0.0698 27.2 30 m - 68 m 24.7 4.33
(2012 EN3) 2012-Mar-12 0.0504 19.6 40 m - 90 m 24.1 9.06
(2012 DW60) 2012-Mar-12 0.0064 2.5 14 m - 31 m 26.4 5.64
(2012 BK11) 2012-Mar-12 0.1750 68.1 72 m - 160 m 22.8 3.03
(2010 SV3) 2012-Mar-12 0.0577 22.5 190 m - 430 m 20.7 15.34
(2010 XA11) 2012-Mar-12 0.1676 65.2 16 m - 36 m 26.1 7.87
(2010 CO1) 2012-Mar-12 0.1132 44.1 130 m - 290 m 21.5 13.73
192642 (1999 RD32) 2012-Mar-14 0.1488 57.9 1.5 km - 3.3 km 16.3 18.80
(2012 ER3) 2012-Mar-14 0.0575 22.4 34 m - 76 m 24.5 12.63
(2008 EY5) 2012-Mar-14 0.0882 34.3 250 m - 570 m 20.1 11.99
(2012 BB14) 2012-Mar-15 0.0483 18.8 27 m - 60 m 25.0 2.10
(2011 YU62) 2012-Mar-16 0.1885 73.4 830 m - 1.8 km 17.5 17.85
(2010 FN) 2012-Mar-19 0.1438 56.0 13 m - 28 m 26.6 11.18
(2012 BT23) 2012-Mar-20 0.1239 48.2 420 m - 940 m 19.0 13.11
(2012 DO8) 2012-Mar-20 0.1755 68.3 96 m - 210 m 22.2 7.26
(2012 DH4) 2012-Mar-21 0.0606 23.6 190 m - 420 m 20.7 15.55
(2011 SY120) 2012-Mar-21 0.0517 20.1 65 m - 150 m 23.1 17.55
(2001 QJ142) 2012-Mar-22 0.1909 74.3 55 m - 120 m 23.4 8.46
(2010 FR9) 2012-Mar-22 0.0479 18.6 16 m - 35 m 26.1 8.66
(2012 EB2) 2012-Mar-23 0.0395 15.4 32 m - 72 m 24.6 5.85
(2012 BS23) 2012-Mar-23 0.1580 61.5 140 m - 310 m 21.4 11.05
(2012 DW30) 2012-Mar-24 0.1191 46.3 77 m - 170 m 22.7 5.02
(2012 EC) 2012-Mar-24 0.1963 76.4 50 m - 110 m 23.6 2.95
(2012 DO) 2012-Mar-25 0.1061 41.3 240 m - 540 m 20.2 7.60
152754 (1999 GS6) 2012-Mar-26 0.1118 43.5 340 m - 760 m 19.5 11.71
(2011 GB55) 2012-Mar-27 0.1114 43.4 130 m - 280 m 21.6 16.14
(2002 EW8) 2012-Mar-28 0.1996 77.7 53 m - 120 m 23.5 13.67
(2012 CA55) 2012-Mar-30 0.0566 22.0 120 m - 270 m 21.7 9.26
(2008 GD) 2012-Mar-30 0.1687 65.6 300 m - 670 m 19.7 32.35
(2009 TP) 2012-Mar-31 0.1157 45.0 52 m - 120 m 23.5 3.72
(2008 CH70) 2012-Apr-01 0.0872 33.9 34 m - 77 m 24.4 9.06
(2011 FQ6) 2012-Apr-03 0.1784 69.4 7.5 m - 17 m 27.7 6.89
(2010 GD35) 2012-Apr-03 0.0630 24.5 33 m - 73 m 24.5 10.64
(2012 AA11) 2012-Apr-03 0.0729 28.4 270 m - 610 m 20.0 8.51
(2010 GE30) 2012-Apr-05 0.1353 52.7 49 m - 110 m 23.7 4.65
(2004 TB10) 2012-Apr-05 0.0967 37.6 150 m - 330 m 21.2 12.42
(2007 WU3) 2012-Apr-06 0.1831 71.3 56 m - 120 m 23.4 6.28
(2012 DX75) 2012-Apr-06 0.0603 23.5 210 m - 480 m 20.5 12.86
(2003 UD22) 2012-Apr-06 0.1711 66.6 320 m - 720 m 19.6 12.91
(1995 DW1) 2012-Apr-07 0.1712 66.6 160 m - 360 m 21.1 12.85
(2008 GG2) 2012-Apr-10 0.1445 56.2 78 m - 170 m 22.7 7.16
(2007 HC) 2012-Apr-10 0.1813 70.6 24 m - 53 m 25.2 11.34
(2009 HE60) 2012-Apr-10 0.1096 42.7 20 m - 44 m 25.7 4.71
(2004 FG11) 2012-Apr-10 0.0574 22.3 170 m - 390 m 20.9 25.09
(2006 UE17) 2012-Apr-12 0.1375 53.5 110 m - 250 m 21.9 8.99
(2004 RQ252) 2012-Apr-12 0.0441 17.2 90 m - 200 m 22.3 10.71
(2007 DK) 2012-Apr-13 0.1735 67.5 370 m - 840 m 19.3 12.73
(2003 GQ22) 2012-Apr-14 0.1179 45.9 170 m - 380 m 21.0 10.48
(2009 WD106) 2012-Apr-15 0.1927 75.0 500 m - 1.1 km 18.6 25.20
297274 (1996 SK) 2012-Apr-18 0.1726 67.2 1.0 km - 2.2 km 17.1 19.26
(2007 HV4) 2012-Apr-19 0.0122 4.8 4.9 m - 11 m 28.7 8.98
(2010 HW20) 2012-Apr-19 0.1549 60.3 16 m - 36 m 26.1 6.74
(2008 AF3) 2012-Apr-19 0.1957 76.2 14 m - 31 m 26.4 1.72
141018 (2001 WC47) 2012-Apr-19 0.1013 39.4 510 m - 1.1 km 18.6 3.80
(2011 UP63) 2012-Apr-20 0.1283 49.9 48 m - 110 m 23.7 5.83
(2010 WR7) 2012-Apr-21 0.1834 71.4 52 m - 120 m 23.5 6.52
(2009 HU44) 2012-Apr-21 0.0872 33.9 84 m - 190 m 22.5 21.17
(2011 UD21) 2012-Apr-22 0.0547 21.3 5.3 m - 12 m 28.5 1.46
(2008 TZ3) 2012-Apr-23 0.1673 65.1 230 m - 510 m 20.3 13.31
(2003 WH166) 2012-Apr-23 0.0509 19.8 110 m - 250 m 21.9 13.49
(2006 VQ13) 2012-Apr-24 0.1395 54.3 260 m - 580 m 20.0 15.47
(2012 AP10) 2012-Apr-24 0.1481 57.6 14 m - 31 m 26.4 2.08
(2009 UW18) 2012-Apr-28 0.1355 52.7 320 m - 720 m 19.6 14.22
(2011 WV134) 2012-Apr-28 0.0992 38.6 1.1 km - 2.4 km 17.0 12.12
(2008 UC202) 2012-Apr-29 0.0263 10.2 6.0 m - 13 m 28.2 4.55
(2009 TP) 2012-Apr-30 0.1177 45.8 52 m - 120 m 23.5 3.13
(2004 MD) 2012-Apr-30 0.1679 65.3 250 m - 560 m 20.1 10.24
(1992 JD) 2012-May-02 0.0243 9.5 26 m - 59 m 25.0 6.98
(2001 SZ269) 2012-May-03 0.0713 27.8 380 m - 860 m 19.2 18.07
(2010 KX7) 2012-May-04 0.0390 15.2 110 m - 260 m 21.8 11.42
(2011 JN5) 2012-May-05 0.1107 43.1 25 m - 55 m 25.2 17.81
(1998 HE3) 2012-May-10 0.0319 12.4 120 m - 270 m 21.7 11.93
(2005 SQ9) 2012-May-11 0.0852 33.2 68 m - 150 m 22.9 10.21
141432 (2002 CQ11) 2012-May-12 0.1022 39.8 280 m - 630 m 19.9 16.26
(2008 CB6) 2012-May-13 0.1103 42.9 10 m - 23 m 27.1 10.85

* Diameter estimates based on the object's absolute magnitude.

NASA NEO

59 posted on 03/10/2012 2:32:15 PM PST by bigheadfred (I'm still pissed about Pluto)
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To: bigheadfred
Do you know how many Chinese asteroid miners that would put out of work?

:-)

60 posted on 03/10/2012 7:51:39 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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