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Lonely planet: Orphan world spotted in deep space
Space Daily ^ | 14 NOV 2012 | by Staff Writers

Posted on 11/20/2012 6:33:42 AM PST by Red Badger

Astronomers on Wednesday reported they had detected a planet that had strayed from its star system and was wandering alone in deep space.

Object CFBDSIR2149 is believed to be a cold, young world that for unknown reasons has pulled free of the gravitational pull of its mother star, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said.

It is not the first time that a "free-floating" planet has been found, but this one is the closest that has ever been spotted, at over 100 light years from Earth.

Initial observations sketched the object as either a homeless planet or a tiny failed star called a brown dwarf, which lacks the bulk to trigger the nuclear fusion that makes stars shine.

But the probabilities narrowed when the astronomers noted it was roaming near a stream of young, restless stars called the AB Doradus Moving Group.

"This group is unique, in that it is made up of around 30 stars that all have the same age, have the same composition and that move together through space," said astrophysicist Lison Malo at the University of Montreal.

"It's the link between the planet and AB Doradus that enabled us to deduce its age and classify it as a planet."

The astronomers used an infrared camera at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and ESO's 8.2-metre (28.7-feet) Very Large Telescope in Chile, ranked the sixth biggest optical telescope in the world, to get a closer look.

CFBDSIR2149, they estimate, is between 50 and 120 million years old, with a temperature of around 400 degrees Celsius (750 degrees Fahrenheit) and a mass of four to seven times that of Jupiter, the biggest planet of our solar system.

"These objects are important, as they can either help us understand more about how planets may be ejected from planetary systems, or how very light objects can arise from the star formation process," said Philippe Delorme of France's Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics.

"If this little object is a planet that has been ejected from its native system, it conjures up the striking image of orphaned worlds, drifting in the emptiness of space."


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomy; extrasolar; nibiru Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

To: SunkenCiv; KevinDavis

Space Ping!.............


2 posted on 11/20/2012 6:35:22 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

Maybe Obama could be the President of this planet.....


3 posted on 11/20/2012 6:36:39 AM PST by rovenstinez
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To: rovenstinez

Yes, it’s full of alien voters.......


4 posted on 11/20/2012 6:38:12 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

I would like to have had a little more time.

can we postpone or cancel the engagement?


5 posted on 11/20/2012 6:38:44 AM PST by Gasshog
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Red Badger
with a temperature of around 400 degrees Celsius (750 degrees Fahrenheit) and a mass of four to seven times that of Jupiter, the biggest planet of our solar system.

Where is all that heat coming from? A dead planet floating in space would have a temperature close to absolute zero.

7 posted on 11/20/2012 6:41:05 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

radioactive decay...........


8 posted on 11/20/2012 6:41:45 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: central_va

There’s residual heat from the gravitational compression during the initial formation of the planet (especially high in this case because the planet is so young) - and also heat generated by radioactive elements.

Both help power Earth’s volcanoes.


9 posted on 11/20/2012 6:46:06 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: central_va
I wondered that, too. But it's true for Earth, as well. I haven't seen a heat balance of the Earth, but is the solar radiation from the Sun alone sufficient to maintain the temperature of the Earth's sphere? Wikipedia says radioactive decay is by far the largest of two internal sources of heat:

Decay heat

The Earth has two sources of internal heat. One is the heat of accretion, which is heat converted from gravitational energy as the materials which formed the Earth fell together under gravity in the early Solar System. This heat is now estimated to make up about 20% of the total heat flow from the Earth’s interior. That fact is an indication of how long it has taken the Earth to vent this heat to space.

The other source of heat is the decay of radioactive isotopes of uranium, thorium and potassium, incorporated into the Earth at its accretion. This radiogenic heat is the principal explanation of why the Earth’s interior is still so hot after billions of years. Without radiogenic heat the Earth would by now have cooled down to the point where the core would probably be solid.

A final factor to consider is the Earth’s size. The Earth is the largest of the rocky planets in the Solar System, and the thickness of the mantle acts as a blanket. Heat is conveyed to the surface by conduction and by convection, the process that drives plate tectonics. The rate of heat loss governed by the Earth’s size and composition, balanced against the production of heat by radiogenic decay in the mantle and core and the remaining heat of accretion, explains why the Earth’s outer core is still molten.


10 posted on 11/20/2012 6:52:06 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom; central_va
Oops, wrong link. It isn't Wikipedia, it is MadSci: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2002-01/1011552033.Es.r.html
11 posted on 11/20/2012 6:54:07 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Red Badger

What is its path?


12 posted on 11/20/2012 6:57:47 AM PST by bmwcyle (Women reelected Obama)
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To: Red Badger

It’s Mondas the original homeworld of the Cybermen.


13 posted on 11/20/2012 6:59:42 AM PST by Catholic Canadian
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To: bmwcyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFBDSIR_2149-0403


14 posted on 11/20/2012 7:04:41 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: central_va

So why is it “believed to be a cold, young world”?


15 posted on 11/20/2012 7:42:41 AM PST by Romulus
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To: Red Badger
"the striking image of orphaned worlds, drifting in the emptiness of space."

"Thundering Worlds" by Edmond Hamilton, Weird Tales, March, 1934.

16 posted on 11/20/2012 7:43:45 AM PST by eCSMaster (2012 elections: American Coup d'etat!)
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To: Romulus

The vacuum of space is a cold place, absolute zero. No molecular activity.


17 posted on 11/20/2012 9:15:16 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

from the same article: “CFBDSIR2149, they estimate, is between 50 and 120 million years old, with a temperature of around 400 degrees Celsius (750 degrees Fahrenheit)”


18 posted on 11/20/2012 10:47:23 AM PST by Romulus
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To: Romulus

A floating planet should be a cold frozen solid mass. the fact that it is 750 F is amazing.


19 posted on 11/20/2012 12:24:42 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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