Skip to comments.How Many Unbound Planets in Milky Way?
Posted on 03/23/2012 8:43:25 PM PDT by U-238
Life as we know it exists on a cozy planet in a stable orbit around a sun shining brightly in its sky. But a new study hints that the most common life in the universe might exist deep inside eternal-night worlds far from any star, adrift in the icy dark of interstellar space.
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at skyandtelescope.com ...
Some of these planets are ejected by their parent star when they are forming star systems.
Well of all the crazy places to look for worlds !
Maybe they should put away the telescopes and look for new worlds with super microscopes
Little tiny worlds would sure be cheaper / easier to reach
Then we could create a colony there. But, only if Newt is elected.
Scientists tell of ‘runaway’ planets
UPI | March 22, 2012 | UPI
Posted on 03/22/2012 11:14:22 PM PDT by U-238
I believe hat story is about planets ejected from the Milky Way. These are planets that are within the interstellar medium wandering in the Milky Way
Thank for posting this! Great article!
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You are welcome.
And just what sort of life might thrive in icy cold darkness in an inter stellar void? Nothing I’d want to snuggle-up to, that’s for sure!
>> “Actually one of my favorite end of the world scenarios is a rogue giant planet getting pulled into our solar system and changing the earth’s orbit” <<
Actually its for real, but its a star, not a planet, and its name is Wormwood. Read Revelation. Its due in a few years.
If the rogue planet has a warm and active interior, you might have a planet like the moon Europa. There is an ice crust then on the inside of the planet an ocean.
Europa’s interior is a result of tidal compression/decompression from Jupiter’s influence. It would otherwise be as dead as the Moon with extra water-ice.
Inability to commit is destroying the galaxy!!!
I remember reading “When Worlds Collide” and “After Worlds Collide” as a kid. The destruction of earth and jumping to the rogue planet was fascinating but required a serious suspension of belief.
Now we know that rogue planets DO exist!
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