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Discovered: 10 giant free-floating gas planets believed not to be orbiting stars.

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posted on May, 18 2011 @ 12:11 PM
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Lonely Jupiter-sized planets, floating freely through our galaxy instead of orbiting stars, have been discovered by a Kiwi-led international team of scientists.

The discovery has been heralded in an international journal as having "profound" implications and opening a new chapter in the history of the Milky Way.


Orphan planets have been the subject of science fiction, appearing in Star Wars and Doctor Who, but although theorists have speculated on their existence, this is the first time their existence has been demonstrated.

The findings, published today in the international scientific journal Nature, were made using software developed by Massey University computer scientist and astrophysicist Ian Bond.

He led the team that discovered 10 giant free-floating gas planets believed not to be orbiting stars. "They're giant planets in our galaxy, around the size of Jupiter and somewhere between us and those distant background stars."

The planets are believed to be about two-thirds of the way to the centre of the galaxy, which is about 25,000 light years away.

"It's a big deal. It's like finding a needle in a haystack – the sense of discovery is hugely exciting," Dr Bond said.

The discovery raised the possibility that smaller, Earth-sized free-floating planets are yet to be detected and that such planets could support life.

If the planets could be viewed by the naked eye, Dr Bond said they would be pitch black, as they emitted no light.

The discovery has won plaudits from the international scientific community. Joachim Wambsganss, of Heidelberg University's Astronomy Research Institute, said the implications were profound and more research was needed.

Dr Bond and the team behind the discovery believe the orphan planets could have been ejected from a solar system because of close gravitational encounters with other planets or stars.

"Some might go into another orbit; some might get ejected out."

Alternatively, they could have grown from collapsing balls of gas and dust, but without the mass to ignite their nuclear fuel and produce their own starlight.

The discovery team involved researchers from Massey, Auckland, Canterbury and Victoria universities, as well as from Japan and the United States.

The group is part of the Moa – microlensing observations in astrophysics – study, which uses a microlensing telescope at Mt John Observatory at Lake Tekapo.



www.stuff.co.nz...
We are awesome

edit on 18-5-2011 by grindhouzer because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 18 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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The author KIRAN CHUG is using some artistic license in the way two important particulars are presented in this article.

The easy one is the leap from rogue gas giant planets discovered could lead to life on earth-like rogue planets. That's a total leap of unsupported data and logic.

The second and more important reference is the way 'Nature (journal)' is indicated as confirming this 'discovery' when in fact the article was simply reprinted in NatureNews.com, a subsidiary of Nature publications. Nature has printed many articles on Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics but nowhere is the discovery of Microlensing Observations of rogue planets did they ever print confirmation on. The Nature reference circularly references the NatureNews article itself! The very same 'So many lonely planets with no star to guide them' title reprinted is various other .com science news sources of different title but nearly the same exact text, except in NatureNews, here is the only direct reference they made;



"This is an amazing result, and if it's right, the implications for planet formation are profound," says astronomer Debra Fischer at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.


If anyone finds a Nature Journal article confirming the data I will eat crow.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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Just imagine all the other possibilities that are out there...


Thanks for the thread.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 02:10 PM
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This freaks me out a little bit. I am not a Nibiru believer. I think the entire Nibiru End of the World scenario is just ridiculous and laughable and sometimes kind of entertaining. But honestly, I can see this discovery giving MAJOR credibility to the idea that there are "planets" not in specific orbits or in strange orbits that could wander into our solar system and ultimately do exactly what all the Nibiru End of the World believers theorize. And if we entertain the notion that TPTB are conspiring to keep the existence of a Nibiru-esque planet from us, then it seems extremely suspicious the way the scientific community has been slowly releasing news about discoveries like the possible existence of the exo-planet Tyche, the possibility that there is a red dwarf companion star to our Sun (Nemesis), and other findings that the conspiracy theorists have been talking about for years.

It is very difficult to not see this latest news about free floating planetary bodies as a possible confirmation of the existence of a Nibiru-like scenario. I am a very rational person who relies primarily on science, logic, and empirical evidence. I'm a big fan of Sagan, Hawking, Feynman, and Brian Greene. I spend most of my time on ATS on the Fragile Earth forum feeding my interest in geology. I really do NOT want to become a Nibiru believer. Somebody PLEASE say something to help me out here.
edit on 18-5-2011 by dalloway because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 02:51 PM
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So now we have Unidentified Flying Planets (UFP's). Naw... they're just interstellar space-weather balloons.



edit on 5/18/2011 by Larryman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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Alternatively - ancient civilisations whose home star had become a red giant, neutron star etc - might have just cut their homeworld adrift to float around in space - or even created ones from scratch - would be a piece of cake with nano-tech and A.I.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


The issue of Nature doesn't come out until tomorrow. They put the word out in the news today ahead of the publication of the article. EDIT: Well, to be more specific, it was electronically published online today ahead of the print edition that comes out tomorrow.

Here is a link to the original news release on the Nature website:
www.nature.com...

Here is a link to the abstract and the purchase page for the article on the website:
www.nature.com...

Nature is very expensive to purchase articles from or subscribe to and it always has been, in part because it is a very, very well respected publication.


edit on 18-5-2011 by dalloway because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-5-2011 by dalloway because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by dalloway
 


Yeah I finally got it, sited are many other studies to read, how substantiated they are one only knows by reading all of those footnoted studies. It sounds speculative with that 10 astronomical unit distance mentioned.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 09:55 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


Did you purchase a copy in order to read it or are you going by the abstract and the supplemental data in the .pdf file? It is a very complex article from the looks of it, but if it made it to publication, it has already been validated by many of the biggies in the scientific community. Remember, Nature is one of the most widely cited, highly regarded, peer-reviewed scientific journals around. Being published in it is extremely prestigious and means an instant promotion and major salary bump. Nature is no Popular Science (not that PopSci is bad, it's just not really a scholarly magazine).



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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I'm trying to find an article or blog that discusses the article in more detail since you have to purchase the actual article to read it. Has anyone actually read the full article? As noted in a previous post, you can purchase it to read on the Nature website.

This is what US News Weekly has to say about it:
www.usnewsweekly.info...

And Wikipedia already has a page for it, too:

A rogue planet (also known as an interstellar planet, or orphan planet) is a planetary-mass object that has been ejected from its system and is no longer gravitationally bound to any star, brown dwarf or other such object, and that therefore orbits the galaxy directly.


Link to the Wikipedia page:
en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 18-5-2011 by dalloway because: add wikipedia stuff



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:17 PM
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On the Nature purchase page for the article, there is a supplementary information .pdf file that does not require purchase to view. The link to the file has a caption reading:


This file contains Supplementary Text and Data, Supplementary References, Supplementary Figures 1-11 with legends and Supplementary Tables 1-3.


Here is the link to the .pdf of supplementary content:
www.nature.com...



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:26 PM
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Frankly I am shocked there are not more ATS Nibiru believers jumping on this one! It could be seen as a major supportive argument for them. They're all over it on the some of the other conspiracy theory sites.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 



Originally posted by Illustronic
The easy one is the leap from rogue gas giant planets discovered could lead to life on earth-like rogue planets. That's a total leap of unsupported data and logic.


If I didn't know better I'd agree. The reason they said that is because there's been a lot of research in that area lately. It was irresponsible of them not to mention the previous discoveries and theories, while stating that the gas giants could lead to life on earth-like worlds. I don't know if it was the publisher's fault or the scientist's, but they failed to link to anything explaining that. A lot of articles on space.com recently have had a lot to do with rogue extrasolar planets, and even their potential habitability. I'm guessing they meant that if it's possible to find rogue gas-giants, it may be possible to find terrestrial rogue planets.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by dalloway
 


Thanks very much! Its late and I have to actually work on a paycheck soon. I'm interested in reading but cannot now, just browsed so far and it seems intriguing so far. I don't see what rouge planets have anything to do with anything so I don't understand the all of the excitement about this yet. I don't see how a rouge planet could have a sustainable geology without a star. What do I know huh. Saved the PDF for later reading.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 01:16 AM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


You're welcome! I'm not sure about the sustainability thing either, but if you think about some of the extremophiles that have been discovered here on our planet, the idea becomes more plausible. A planet would not necessarily need to have light from a star in order to have an atmosphere and life, but the life that might be there would have evolved much differently from our own. There would likely be no photosynthesis, no discernible seasons, etc. The phenomenon of eyes and sight as we know it may not exist in the creatures that inhabit a planet with no light source. But if a planet generates it's own source of heat (geothermal stuff or other complex possibilities) that might be enough to form a planetary ecology of some kind. The possibilities are truly endless. But all of this talk is just that -- talk. We won't know anything concrete until there is a lot more study done on the hypothesis proposed in this paper. Very interesting and exciting, no matter how you slice it.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 02:11 AM
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Free floating planets? They are more likely to be giant planet sized alien spaceships! I mean according to celestial mechanics, it would be almost impossible for planets to escape the gravitational pull of the host star around which they have been orbiting for eons!

And even if they do, they would not be able to leave the combined gravitational pull of the star system in which they were residing unless there was a greater pull from something else outside the system. So whats pulling them away?

But spaceships the size of Jupiter? Impossible to even imagine this at our technological levels. But then it may not be too far fetched to assume that extremely advanced Type III civilizations millions if not billions of years ahead of us in technology have discovered ways to move entire planets from their systems and used as vast spaceships to explore the universe!

Sci-fi today. Reality tomorrow!



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 02:39 AM
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Originally posted by OrionHunterX
Free floating planets? They are more likely to be giant planet sized alien spaceships! I mean according to celestial mechanics, it would be almost impossible for planets to escape the gravitational pull of the host star around which they have been orbiting for eons!

And even if they do, they would not be able to leave the combined gravitational pull of the star system in which they were residing unless there was a greater pull from something else outside the system. So whats pulling them away?

But spaceships the size of Jupiter? Impossible to even imagine this at our technological levels. But then it may not be too far fetched to assume that extremely advanced Type III civilizations millions if not billions of years ahead of us in technology have discovered ways to move entire planets from their systems and used as vast spaceships to explore the universe!

Sci-fi today. Reality tomorrow!


If you read some of the reports about the contents of the Nature article, they note that it mentions that the large number of statistically probable free-floating planets cannot be accounted for by using the accepted star/planet/solar system model. The article hypothesizes that many of these suspected rogue planets were never part of a gravity based planet/star relationship.

From U.S. News Weekly:

The newly discovered rogue planets may have formed close to a host star, then been ejected from their solar systems by the gravitational influence of a huge neighbor planet, researchers said. Indeed, such planet-planet interactions are thought to be responsible for the odd, extremely close-in orbits of the giant alien planets known as “hot Jupiters.”

But the abundance of the seemingly starless worlds may force astronomers to rethink some of their ideas about planet formation, according to Sumi.

The “current most recognized planetary formation theory (core accretion model) cannot create so many giant planets,” Sumi told SPACE.com in an email interview. “So we need a different theory to create [so] many giant planets, such [as the] gravitational instability model.”

In the core accretion model, dust coalesces to form a solid core, which later accretes gas around it, creating a planet. The gravitational instability model invokes the rapid collapse of gas, with a core forming later due to sedimentation.


Link to full-text of U.S. News Weekly article:
www.usnewsweekly.info...
edit on 19-5-2011 by dalloway because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 03:26 AM
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Yes, I saw this story on the news tonight. I havent been a brown dwarf star believer either. But maybe they do know some thing we lemmings dont. They seem to be easeing us in to the idea of a rogue planet straying into our solar system. And is there not a movie coming out shortly, that is about this actully happening. I shouldent really entertain the idea of Niribu to the Niribu nerds. Ill wait and see.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 04:50 AM
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reply to post by dalloway
 


The problem with your statement is this has nothing to do with Nibiru. Nibiru is a purported planet; Tied gravitationally to the sun.

These rogue planets ( I've always thought it was possible for them to exists) are not gravitationally bound to a star so we can throw that out the window.

The only thing we can really think about thats possibly ties this with Nibiru is if our sun and/or other stars catch one of these rogue planets into a highly elliptical orbit like Nibiru's supposed to be.

edit on 19-5-2011 by XRaDiiX because: (no reason given)



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