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[BBC] - 'Free-floating' planets found with no star in sight

post #1 of 32
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Quote:
Japanese astronomers claim to have found free-floating "planets" which do not seem to orbit a star.

Writing in Nature, they say they have found 10 Jupiter-sized objects which they could not connect to any solar system. They also believe such objects could be as common as stars are throughout the Milky Way.

The objects revealed themselves by bending the light of more distant stars, an effect called "gravitational microlensing".

Objects of large enough mass can bend light, as Albert Einstein predicted. If a large object passes in front of a more distant background star, it may act as a lens, bending and distorting the light of that star so that it may appear to brighten significantly.

The researchers examined data collected from microlensing surveys of what is called the Galactic Bulge, the central area of our own Milky Way.

They detected evidence of 10 Jupiter-sized objects with no parent star found within 10 Astronomical Units (AU). One AU is equivalent to the distance between our Earth and Sun. Further analysis led them to the conclusion that most of these objects did not have parent stars.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13416431
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post #2 of 32
A.K.A Rogue Planets
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post #3 of 32
I say this to the BBC: How is this news? Like PanicProne posted, we've known about these guys for a while...

I'm dissapoint BBC :/
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post #4 of 32
BBC gets rich off things that have already been discovered
post #5 of 32
NASA: "So.... remember all those doomsday scenarios about meteorites destroying human civilization as we know it? Good news! We fixed that with anti-matter lasers that we built from studies at CERN. Bad news, we have a planet the size of Jupiter ping-ponging through the neighborhood and it pretty much looks like it's headed straight for us...."
post #6 of 32
Maybe the news is the actual observation of such planets, not the knowledge of their existence in general ?
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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthjoe229 View Post
I say this to the BBC: How is this news? Like PanicProne posted, we've known about these guys for a while...

I'm dissapoint BBC :/
It's news because we have actually found some empirical evidence in nature instead of just theorizing.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infrabasse View Post
Maybe the news is the actual observation of such planets, not the knowledge of their existence in general ?
This.

Big difference between "we think they may exist" and "we've found proof of their existence".



We think string theory may be correct, but we haven't proven it. If someone finds proof of a Higgs boson I suppose that wouldn't be news worthy either, since we've known about them for a while now.
    
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post #9 of 32
First thought: We've found the Puppeteers from Ringworld!
post #10 of 32
Could this account for some of the dark matter?
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Technology and Science News › [BBC] - 'Free-floating' planets found with no star in sight