Young Planet Drifts Through Space Unattached to Star

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Young Planet Drifts Through Space Unattached to Star

PSO J318.5-22 is an independent planet who don't need no star.

As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth and has similarities to gas-giant planets orbiting young stars. However, this one is not orbiting around a star.

"We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that looks like this," Dr. Michael Liu, team leader of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said. "It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone. I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do."

Dr. Niall Deacon of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and co-author of the study said studying planets via direct imaging is difficult because they are next to their brighter host stars. Because PSO J318.5-22 is not near a star, it will be easier to examine. Deacon said they will study the planet to gain insight on the "inner workings of gas-giant planets like Jupiter shortly after their birth."

Astronomers first found the planet when they were searching for brown dwarfs, failed stars. Further observation showed it to be a low-mass planet. The astronomers have placed it within a collective of young stars called the Beta Pictoris, a moving group of stars that formed 12 million years ago. A young gas-giant is in orbit around Beta Pictoris, but scientists concluded PSO J318.5-22 is lower in mass and probably formed in a different fashion.

The discovery paper is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.0457 and is being published by Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Source: Institute for Astronomy via CNN

Permalink

It's clearly a Craftworld.
Also, as others have mentioned, Light Years measure distance, not time. You can't have a planet which is 12 million-light-years-old.

I just think it's crazy how a planet can even be intact long enough for humans to find it considering all of the shit it has probably shot past. Crazy to think that thing's whipping around out there right now.

Li Mu:
Also, as others have mentioned, Light Years measure distance, not time. You can't have a planet which is 12 million-light-years-old.

I have a real basic Discovery channel education of these kinds of things and I still catch myself wanting to use Lightyears as a measurement of time.

I don't see this as too crazy. I mean, sure, most of the stuff that happens in our universe happens around stars or black holes, but it makes sense that every so often a planet would get shot out of a star's orbit and rough it out in deep space. Now, if that planet has alien life, and is being used as a space ship, I will be impressed.

roseofbattle:
As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth...

Light-years are a unit of distance, not time. Bit of a fail there.

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.

It's crazy how young that planet is. For comparison Earth is 4.54 billion years old.
I wonder if planetary status starts at conception.

CriticalMiss:

roseofbattle:
As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth...

Light-years are a unit of distance, not time. Bit of a fail there.

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.

Fairly possible. It's been a topic of study and debate for quite some time in the field of astronomy.

In fact, it's been pondered if we haven't accumulated a few extra-solar planets or other bodies.

DVS BSTrD:
It's crazy how young that planet is. For comparison Earth is 4.54 billion years old.

To be fair, Earth is pretty old. Or, is presumed to be, given our limited knowledge of extra-solar planets.

Though, to put this planets age into another perspective, it was formed 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

I wonder if planetary status starts at conception.

So, if one wanted to abort a planet, they'd have stop a star from going nova?

DVS BSTrD:
It's crazy how young that planet is. For comparison Earth is 4.54 billion years old.
I wonder if planetary status starts at conception.

Don't spawn unwanted planets. Practice safe accretion.

I've got to believe that the universe is filled with "homeless" planets like this. So many things can happen to a solar system- a passing star or other large mass can pull a planet out of its orbit, the home star can go supernova, so on. It would be nearly impossible to detect the vast majority of them unless they just happened to pass between us and something else while we were watching.

Hey, at least they didn't call it Melancholia. I hate that movie. Not because it's bad. It's quite good. But it's the most frightening and depressive movie I've ever seen.

What? Post number ten and nobody has posted that "Forever Alone"-Picture yet?
Internet, you fail me.

So they found a planet that is a tenth of the Milky Way? Cool! A urge ass planet. Esther that or a really young planet but that isn't as cool.

Nos asidero from that huge error, what I thing is cool is that it is so young. His cou,d a young planet be formed in intestellar spae? What event couldlaunch a young planet out of or it? It is not only that it is wandering but that it is young what males this a cool discovery.

I'm honestly shocked that there is no joke in this thread about "Equestria". No one?

That's far more curious than the homeless planet drifting in space.

"I'm freeeee! Free floooaaatiiiinnngggg"

OT: Very interesting news, I look forward to more info they find on it.

I think planets still need star formations to be "born", they can't simply assemble themselves out of space-dust/gas. One theory was that such rogue planets used to belong to their own solar systems, but something destabilized their orbit and flung them far into space.

Yay for more weird things in the universe!

I'm wondering, why should rogue planets be a big deal?

Stars get formed from a cloud of stuff. Planets get formed from the same, only there isn't that much material to form and ignite a star. Essentially, space should be full of cold rocks.

Yuuki:
I think planets still need star formations to be "born", they can't simply assemble themselves out of space-dust/gas.

Why not? I guess a nearby gigantic gravity field can help form a planet, but if you leave a couple of space pixels nearby all by themselves, I imagine they simply get together thanks to gravity and eventually form a ball.

who knows, if this planet goes on its way for a billion more years, it can accumulate enough of stuff it will actually become a star.

Of course, a planet getting kicked out from a star system sounds badass.

Vigormortis:
Though, to put this planets age into another perspective, it was formed 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

Although it's also 80 million light years from earth.. which means that it's actually 92 million years old, it's just that we're only able to see it at the point when it was 12 million years old.

But you're right in that it's creation would only have been visible from earth 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

I have no idea how to terminologically deal with this situation, just trying to be pedantic I guess. :P

evilthecat:
Although it's also 80 million light years from earth.. which means that it's actually 92 million years old, it's just that we're only able to see it at the point when it was 12 million years old.

roseofbattle:
As far as planets go, PSO J318.5-22 has scientists perplexed and excited. The 12 million-light-year-old planet, young by planetary terms, is only 80 light-years from Earth and has similarities to gas-giant planets orbiting young stars. However, this one is not orbiting around a star.

Well one of you is wrong by about the distance and I can't be bothered to google it.

It's interesting and all and fits into the "well that's cool" category but isn't it still too far away to really gleam any useful information from it other than "it's a thing that can happen"? We don't know what caused it to lose orbit after all, in fact THAT information would probably be more useful than knowing it can happen in the first place.

CriticalMiss:

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.

Our solar system is like Survivor. Every hundred billion years or so, a planet gets voted out. We're the newcomer, so we're safe for a while.

Doesnt this planet fall into the category of a "Brown dwarf" more like than an actual planet? I mean it has 4 times the mass of Jupiter so its pretty darn big even if it didnt quite make it into ignition.

Zachary Amaranth:

CriticalMiss:

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.

Our solar system is like Survivor. Every hundred billion years or so, a planet gets voted out. We're the newcomer, so we're safe for a while.

*bursts out laughing* Oh, I am so stealing this one.

But, presence of elements heavier than iron suggests that our solar system is at least a second-generation one.

You know what I want to see one day? A stellar collision and what happens with their planetary system with that happens. In about 4 billion years, Milky way is scheduled to collide with Andromeda. The number of actual stellar collisions predicted to happen is six. I'll have to get incredibly lucky, even if I do achieve immortality.

roseofbattle:
The 12 million-light-year-old planet

Wat. PLEASE can people figure out that light-years are a unit of distance, not time. It's the distance light travels in a year, it has nothing to do with the length of time of a Gregorian year. It's really frustrating to keep seeing this mistake, seriously, it's not that complicated.

You even went on to say...

roseofbattle:
is only 80 light-years from Earth

Like, come on! You just used the same units for time and distance! Anybody who types that should see a problem with it, regardless of your physics background.

Cool article, but it's hard to enjoy it now because of that...

Vegosiux:

But, presence of elements heavier than iron suggests that our solar system is at least a second-generation one.

Oh, so we're a sequel? Crap? They're never as good as the original.

It is Unicron coming to devour Earth. The gas giant-like disguise is for lulz.

Zachary Amaranth:

Vegosiux:

But, presence of elements heavier than iron suggests that our solar system is at least a second-generation one.

Oh, so we're a sequel? Crap? They're never as good as the original.

But but...otherwise we'd have no way to create superheroes from having people get bitten by radioactive spiders!

But; (this is trivia for everyone; I suspect you actually know this) star can fuse elements only up to iron since you need to put more energy in than you get out. Elements heavier than iron pretty much only have a chance to be created when a star goes supernova because that kind of an outburst of energy allows for heavier nuclei to be created, because there are so many neutrons flying around[1]

[1] This isn't undisputed, but supernovae are the most likely thing considered as a candidate for this process.

evilthecat:

Vigormortis:
Though, to put this planets age into another perspective, it was formed 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

Although it's also 80 million light years from earth.. which means that it's actually 92 million years old, it's just that we're only able to see it at the point when it was 12 million years old.

But you're right in that it's creation would only have been visible from earth 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

I have no idea how to terminologically deal with this situation, just trying to be pedantic I guess. :P

It's 80 light-years from Earth, not 80 million. If it were in the tens of millions we wouldn't be able to detect it.

So our view of it is only 80 years off, give or take, from what it currently is like.

kurokotetsu:
So they found a planet that is a tenth of the Milky Way? Cool! A urge ass planet. Esther that or a really young planet but that isn't as cool.

Nos asidero from that huge error, what I thing is cool is that it is so young. His cou,d a young planet be formed in intestellar spae? What event couldlaunch a young planet out of or it? It is not only that it is wandering but that it is young what males this a cool discovery.

A tenth? Hell, if it were 12 million light years across (and assuming it doesn't collapse from that unimaginable amount of mass) it would actually be 120 times the size of our galaxy.

Now that's one big ass planet. No need to worry about running out of real estate.

koroem:
It is Unicron coming to devour Earth. The gas giant-like disguise is for lulz.

He must have possessed a new planet after his body was destroyed again.
Quick, we must pray to Primus for our protection! :D

You posers and your pretty lights. Real planets make their way through the cosmos without help.

evilthecat:

Vigormortis:
Though, to put this planets age into another perspective, it was formed 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

Although it's also 80 million light years from earth.. which means that it's actually 92 million years old, it's just that we're only able to see it at the point when it was 12 million years old.

But you're right in that it's creation would only have been visible from earth 53 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct.

I have no idea how to terminologically deal with this situation, just trying to be pedantic I guess. :P

I checked the institute of astronomy and it agrees with the news post here, it's only 80 light years away. So Vigormortis is correct, this thing was created after the dinosaurs died off. That's bloody young, also at 80 light years it's not far (relatively speaking). I wonder if it was part of a failed solar system or weather it was kicked out of it's system. Although the idea some above had about it being a failed star is interesting, I recall one documentary (or somewhere I read, been awhile) saying that gas giants are related to stars and if one was to gather enough they could ignite.

Vigormortis:

kurokotetsu:
So they found a planet that is a tenth of the Milky Way? Cool! A urge ass planet. Esther that or a really young planet but that isn't as cool.

Nos asidero from that huge error, what I thing is cool is that it is so young. His cou,d a young planet be formed in intestellar spae? What event couldlaunch a young planet out of or it? It is not only that it is wandering but that it is young what males this a cool discovery.

A tenth? Hell, if it were 12 million light years across (and assuming it doesn't collapse from that unimaginable amount of mass) it would actually be 120 times the size of our galaxy.

Now that's one big ass planet. No need to worry about running out of real estate.

Sorry misread the Wikipedia article, thought it was in the mly range, not kly. Indeed it is a tad bigger than the whole Milky Way. That would be an even more awesome discovery. A planet bigger than a galaxy, that doesn't forma a Star. Figure that one out astrophysisists.

You know nothing John Snow Escapists.
This is not a planet. obviously, this is Borg spaceship, in a sphere (most optimal) form, coming to assimilate us.

Sectan:
I just think it's crazy how a planet can even be intact long enough for humans to find it considering all of the shit it has probably shot past. Crazy to think that thing's whipping around out there right now.

You have to realize that space is, well, empty. the mass of planets, stars, comets, asteroids take maybe 0.0001% of the space. in fact for a planet drifting like this it is extremely hard to hit anything in its path. space is huge and things aren't crammed together like on earth.

Zachary Amaranth:

CriticalMiss:

I wonder if this planet formed in a star system and was later flung out or if it has always been outside of a system. Maybe our own system has kicked a few planets out in the past.

Our solar system is like Survivor. Every hundred billion years or so, a planet gets voted out. We're the newcomer, so we're safe for a while.

actually we are kind of old timers.

Yuuki:
I think planets still need star formations to be "born", they can't simply assemble themselves out of space-dust/gas. One theory was that such rogue planets used to belong to their own solar systems, but something destabilized their orbit and flung them far into space.

Maybe it is solar system?
PSO J318.5-22 could be failed star at the middle of it.
Maybe it is even housing several smaller planets around it.
Or am I totally wrong here?

Deshin:
Well one of you is wrong by about the distance and I can't be bothered to google it.

Nope, that's me misreading.

80 light years is indeed pretty small (although possibly not in exoplanet terms) so I guess that threw me off.

Vigormortis:
It's 80 light-years from Earth, not 80 million.

Yup, should have read more carefully.

RicoADF:
I checked the institute of astronomy and it agrees with the news post here, it's only 80 light years away.

Likewise, just acknowledging the mistake.

So its just a really small star?

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