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'Rogue' Alien Planets May Circle Billions of Stars

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posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 07:21 PM
Scientists believe that billions of stars throughout the MIlkey Way have captured rogue planets that once roamed the universe freely a new study suggests.

Many wandering alien worlds, which were ejected from the solar systems in which they formed, likely find new homes with different suns, according to the study. The finding could explain why some alien planets orbit extremely far from their stars, researchers said.

Scientists believe the more massive a star the more likely it is to grab a rogue planet, which makes sense. The larger the star the greater gravitational influence unless you are talking about neutron stars.

Captured planets generally end up hundreds or thousands of times farther from their new stars than Earth is from the sun. They're also likely to have orbits that are tilted relative to any "native" planets, and they may even revolve around their stars "backward," researchers said.

Perhaps the best evidence to date in support of planetary capture comes from the 2006 discovery of two huge planets — 14 and 7 times more massive than Jupiter — orbiting each other without a star.

The scientists pondered the question if our own solar system has captured any rogue planets, and looking past pluto they havent found anything yet. Maybe one of the 8 planets was once a rogue planet? I don't think we will ever know this though.

"There's no evidence that the sun captured a planet," Perets said. "We can rule out large planets. But there's a non-zero chance that a small world might lurk on the fringes of our solar system."

Again the universe is full of wonders that we are still learning about today.

posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 07:22 PM
Several threads on this.

Awesome to think about thou. The time is almost here....

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