Researchers have just discovered a Planet without a star in deep space


As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites.

According to researchers, a mysterious new planet has been found ‘floating’ freely in space. Its estimated mass is believed to be five to 10 times that of Jupiter. However, there are numerous mysteries surrounding its true identity.


A young, free-floating world sits alone in space in this illustration. The object, called WISEA J114724.10-204021.3. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A young, free-floating world sits alone in space in this illustration. The object called WISEA J114724.10-204021.3. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

According to reports from NASA, these planets were most likely ‘ejected’ from solar systems in the past.

Researchers estimate that there are many other free-floating planets in our galaxy. These enigmatic alien worlds quietly float through the ’emptiness’ of space and are considered mysterious, lonely travelers in the universe.

Using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer WISE, and the Two Micron All Sky Survey, or 2MASS, researchers were able to identify the free floating planetary-mass object within what is considered a young star family, referred to by astronomer as the TW Hydrae stellar association.

The enigmatic newly discovered object called WISEA J114724.10−204021.3, or just WISEA 1147, is believed to be somewhere from five to ten times the mass of our solar system’s gas giant, Jupiter.

Astronomers spotted WISEA 1147 as they were looking through images taken of the ‘entire’ sky by WISE in 2010, and 2MASS around 2000.

Since astronomers believe the lonely celestial object is a member of the TW Hydrae family of very young stars, they suggest the planet must be extremely young as well, and likely to be some 10 million years old.

However, according to planetary scientists, planets require approximately 10 million years to form, and even longer to get themselves ejected from a star system, which is why astronomers believe that the newly discovered object, WISEA 1147, is most likely a  brown star.


A sky map taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the location of the TW Hydrae family, or association, of stars, which lies about 175 light-years from Earth and is centered in the Hydra constellation. PHOTO: NASA/JPL-CALTECH
A sky map was taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the location of the TW Hydrae family, or association, of stars, which lies about 175 light-years from Earth and is centered in the Hydra constellation.
PHOTO: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

Brown Dwarf formation is extremely similar to that of stars, but these lack the mass to fuse atoms at their cores to shine with starlight.

‘With continued monitoring, it may be possible to trace the history of WISEA 1147 to confirm whether or not it formed in isolation,’ said Adam Schneider of the University of Toledo in Ohio, lead author of a new study accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

Scientists estimate that in our galaxy alone there are billions of possible free-floating worlds. While some of them might be very low mass brown dwarfs, some of them might, in fact, be planets, kicked out of ancient solar systems in the distant past.

‘We are at the beginning of what will become a hot field – trying to determine the nature of the free-floating population and how many are planets versus brown dwarfs,’ said co-author Davy Kirkpatrick of NASA’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, or IPAC, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

The exact number of free-floating celestial objects remains a mystery mostly because determining whether or not they are planets is a difficult task because these objects are extremely isolated.

“We can understand exoplanets better by studying young and glowing low-mass brown dwarfs,” Adam Schneider of the University of Toledo in Ohio, lead author of a new study accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal, said in a statement. “With continued monitoring it may be possible to trace the history of WISEA 1147 to confirm whether or not it formed in isolation.”

Reference


Like it? Share with your friends!

3 Comments

  1. Okay, I don’t have a problem with free-floating rogue planets. In fact, there should be millions of them waiting to be discovered. Where I have a problem is the “Rules for Planets” which states:

    1) It needs to be in orbit around the Sun.
    ——————————————————-
    If it’s rogue….with no sun….BAM! How can you define this as a planet?
    .
    2) It needs to have enough gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape.
    ——————————————————-
    .
    3) It needs to have “cleared the neighborhood” of its orbit.
    ——————————————————–
    .
    Again, if it has no sun, it has no orbit…it is free to crash into anything within its path…This too is in defiance of the rule.
    So my fellow readers, Have I made a point about what is classified a planet and what is not? Heck, Pluto got kicked out of the planet class because it supposedly violated rule #3. This article defines this as a planet…or more succinctly, the scientists reporting on this have defined it as a planet. They can’t have it both ways.

    1. I’m having a little trouble with your logic as it relates to what the article actually said. Not sure if you have a good grasp of planetary accretion theory, angular momentum, brown stars and why Pluto was stripped of planetary nomenclature. I think if you read the article again you will find your answers. As for Pluto, it didn’t meet the size test as compared to other Kuiper Belt object that are larger and consequently redefined.

      1. Yeah Jak, I did read the article. And no, I don’t have a masters in planet accretion theory, angular momentum or brown stars. My comment was very logical and numbered so even rocket scentists like you could follow along. My comment wasn’t based solely on the whole article about this planet hurtling through space and where, or how, it came to be alone…No, my comment was about a particular aspect of what they deem a planet. I am well aware of which rule kicked Pluto out, that being #3…whereas you have just stated it was kicked out because of the “size test”. Hmmm…I don’t remember seeing anything about size in those rules. My opinion is if there are to be rules to be followed for definition of a planet, then they can’t just have rules for Pluto alone. If they are for Pluto alone, then why have rules in place at all if the Universe is ever changing…oh and that’s called entropy in its finest form. But I’m sure you know all about entropy. Have a great day.

Comments are closed.