NASA Announces Possible "Zombie" Planet

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NASA Announces Possible "Zombie" Planet

Forget walkers and runners, scientists may have discovered a zombie that orbits stars.

Does the zombie apocalypse feel a little pedestrian to you at this point? Are discussions about walkers and runners just plain boring? Well, NASA may have upped the ante by announcing the possible existence of an entire zombie planet from beyond the stars. Classified as Fomalhaut b, this exoplanet is shrouded in debris, undetectable using infrared, and is coming for your brains! (Note: only two of those facts are true. That we know of.)

Fomalhaut b was a pretty big deal back in 2008. The stellar object was considered to be one of the first exoplanets visible to the human eye from outside the solar system, making it possibly larger than our own neighbor Jupiter. NASA naturally tried to gather more details, but that's where it got weird: the investigation was unable to confirm the usual signs of a planet's existence. Fomalhaut b wouldn't show up on infrared and didn't follow the usual orbital pattern for an exoplanet of its predicted size. NASA wrote Fomalhaut b off as a phantom dust cloud, and set about doing other business that space scientists are apt to do.

Years later, a few scientists reviewed the data on this phantom dust cloud and noted some irregularities. Not only was the object clearly visible, it also maintained a consistent brightness, which is pretty unusual for a dust cloud. The nearby debris, which surrounds Fomalhaut b's star as a large ring, also appears to be changing in a pattern consistent with the gravity of a moving planet. Just about every sign outside of infrared suggests that the object is an exoplanet, but like the undead, it simply doesn't have enough of a heat signature to finally confirm its existence.

"If nothing else, it's an exceptionally rare object, and it will be studied and argued about for a very, very long time," said former NASA astronomer Thayne Currie. "And regardless of exactly what it is, by studying it we'll understand a lot more about the kind of environment that young planetary systems have, what they look like when they're in their infancy."

All kidding aside, the zombie-themed terminology from this announcement has a lot more to do with our proximity to Halloween than any planetary haven for flesh-eating zombies. Still, considering Fomalhaut b's lack of an infrared signature and the possible resurrection of its planetary status, it's an amusing and somewhat apt description. I also now fully expect to see Fomalhaut b mentioned in at least two very bad movies about invading space zombies.

Source: CTV News

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I came into that expecting some kind of stellar body that tried to eat other orbiting bodies and planets, still neat all the same!

Anyone else get kind of a Galactus feel from this?

Fanfiction in 3...2...1...

Now... to hype this up to cause fear upon the stupid masses or not to? That is the question?!

Well it's a gas planet, it being so large. Could be made up of mostly nitrogen and have a liquid nitrogen interior? Thats the best thing I could come up with off the top of my head.

Or

The Fomalhaut effect as I'll now call it. Much like the Ork WAAAGH's of WH-40K. Zombies gathered enemas produce a field or some sorts. Material yet immaterial. One of the effects of such is that it nulls the inferred signature. Keeping the Zombie planet well hidden from far flung alien beings. Hidden so that they may prepare...

I was hoping for a planet filled with zombies. This is cool too, I guess.

It's going to be funny when we go there and find out it's actually full of vampires :D.

Still, a planet this big, being cold, while still orbiting a star, that's intriguing.

Zombie planet? Or massive alien construct that simply hasn't been powered up yet?

So THIS is the planet all the EVE Online players come from :P
I hope it's not in decaying orbit!

wyrmslayer1991:
Zombie planet? Or massive alien construct that simply hasn't been powered up yet?

I for one look to Ben-Kenobi for situations like this

image

Captca : Nobody Home

it seems like they already have the internet, time to go into my safe room

Did anyone suddenly think of The Fifth Element?

wyrmslayer1991:
Zombie planet? Or massive alien construct that simply hasn't been powered up yet?

or has it...
*dramatic music*

OT: for whatever reason, this makes me think of the planet Acheron from Unreal 2
wonder if it eats planet cores or something like that

Dreiko:
Did anyone suddenly think of The Fifth Element?

I was thinking of Milla Jovovich, but not for the same reasons... still count?

Either
A: a planet that is so old that it expanded all its heat, and being a GAS giant its not that far fetched, and is not detectable on our far form perfect infrared equipment. or
B: a planet that is covered with certain group of particles that destroys or skews the infrared waves and we get incorrect signal because of it.
But it still has nothing to do with zombies.

You know, heat doesn't make/not-make a planet a planet, and I kinda' get annoyed with scientists getting paid to shout whether or not a significant heavenly body in space is a planet or not. Not annoyed enough to smack a guy around, but enough to tell 'im to just shut up. Come on. It's fairly big, it's got its own orbit around a sun, it's ROUND, and nothing has destroyed it. It's a planet. If it gets broken up by some unknown calamity, it's a bunch of asteroids. If it's rotating around an actual planet, it's a moon. If it seems a bit small for what you'd call planet, it's a planetOID. And while it is in association with it, this is not rocket science.

We don't need to look into space for zombie planets, WE'RE ALREADY ON ONE!!!

BRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIINNNNNSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

Oh great, they're here again, let me get my 12 gauge.

OT: So... no planet full of flesh eating zombies out there? How disappointing.

Perhaps it cannot be identified because it chooses not to be, because it is evil, absolute evil.

Formaldehyde B?

unacomn:
It's going to be funny when we go there and find out it's actually full of vampires :D.

Still, a planet this big, being cold, while still orbiting a star, that's intriguing.

It'll be full of Jack Frosts.

Everyone will be very disappointed that day.

Damn, they used Zombies to get my attention. Screw you, NASA, knowing me so well. Still, this is pretty amazing, a planet that can avoid detection. Maybe there are more zombie planets... right behind us.

Whitbane:
Damn, they used Zombies to get my attention. Screw you, NASA, knowing me so well. Still, this is pretty amazing, a planet that can avoid detection. Maybe there are more zombie planets... right behind us.

No that's a planet of Angels.
image

captcha glitch, double post

...

Ok, I guess (this time) the Escapist News Crew are totally innocent, in that someone else decided to call it a zombie planet for no defensible reason. No mention that it was NASA that came up with it...one suspects that the article talking about the "so-called zombie planet" are the people who coined the term in the first place.

Hey, remember when NASA was cool, when they did exciting things that news agencies wouldn't have to come up with bullshit like this to get the general public to read articles? Neither do I.

Not quite what I had in mind when I read the title (Dead Space related of a planet of undead like things).
So if this is the first case of a "zombie planet" what does it fest on? Another planet core or these days (Zombie are into living flesh, not brains), another planet earth (not the plaent itself but the material earth)?

Zombie planet? BAH! Wake me up when we discover a slenderman planet.

DVS BSTrD:
So THIS is the planet all the EVE Online players come from :P
I hope it's not in decaying orbit!

Dude...cut that crap out. Punning is dead.

All kidding aside, the lack of an infrared makes this an undead planet? Now...if there was something in the atmosphere that was causing normally inert materials to exhibit lifelike behavior, THEN I'd believe the "zombie" tagging.

The world that is undead. Is it part of the galaxy of terror?

Isn't there some crazy pseudo sciency/religious thing about some native American tribe and their relationship with aliens from some kind of exoplanet that is extremely difficult to detect?

I forget all the specifics, but those were the alarm bells that were set off for me.

Upon a quick google search, the aliens in question are the Anunnaki and the planet is Nibiru.

Clearly the planet is Cybertron, attempting to restart after millions of years of inactivity.

Anyone else thought about Minecraft?

First, we hear about a planet made out of diamond. Then a planet made out of zombies (Or at least that was my first impression before I read the article). What's next? A planet made out of Soulsand? Or Obsidian?

Thank you! I'll be here all week!

Captcha: "Mad science". Yeah, something like that.

Tamrin:

Dreiko:
Did anyone suddenly think of The Fifth Element?

I was thinking of Milla Jovovich, but not for the same reasons... still count?

*Stern look*

What are you talking about man...

Of course it counts! :D

Anyone else here thought they meant a planet covered in zombies? Still A planet coming back on radar is odd. and a wee bit scarey in its own right.

Whoever wrote this article should burn in journalism hell.
The followup article here on this website earns you a night in the journalism drunk tank

Krat Arona:
I came into that expecting some kind of stellar body that tried to eat other orbiting bodies and planets, still neat all the same!

Anyone else get kind of a Galactus feel from this?

Naahh I'm not getting it.

sigh i know its stupid, but i was hoping for a flesh eating planet or at least a planet eating planet as stated above.

but kudos to nasa as always the few organizations dedicated to knowledge regardless of the rest of humanity's disinterest

really? escapist has resorted to meaningless head titles to get views? all respect has gone now...

O maestre:
sigh i know its stupid, but i was hoping for a flesh eating planet or at least a planet eating planet as stated above.

but kudos to nasa as always the few organizations dedicated to knowledge regardless of the rest of humanity's disinterest

ironic concidering nasa was founded to beat the russians in the first place

So ... We have a planet, that isn't a planet, but is a planet. Geez, NASA, get your shit together already.

thaluikhain:
...

Ok, I guess (this time) the Escapist News Crew are totally innocent, in that someone else decided to call it a zombie planet for no defensible reason. No mention that it was NASA that came up with it...one suspects that the article talking about the "so-called zombie planet" are the people who coined the term in the first place.

Hey, remember when NASA was cool, when they did exciting things that news agencies wouldn't have to come up with bullshit like this to get the general public to read articles? Neither do I.

8-Bit_Jack:
Whoever wrote this article should burn in journalism hell.
The followup article here on this website earns you a night in the journalism drunk tank

SnowBurst:
really? escapist has resorted to meaningless head titles to get views? all respect has gone now...

What the hell is wrong with you?

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