Found: A planet with no star, free-floating in space

The free-floating planet is just 80 light-years from Earth and about six times the size of Jupiter.

It is young – about 12 million years old. And unlike any other planet that has ever been discovered, it is not in orbit around a host star.

“This thing is floating in space like our sun floats in space,” said Eugene Magnier of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, coauthor of a study about the lonely planet. “It is drifting around through the galaxy.”

Astronomers are not yet sure how this rogue planet came to be out there in space, all by itself. One theory is that it formed from a clump of hydrogen gas that condensed. Another, less likely thought is that it started its life in the vicinity of a star and got bumped out of its orbit.  Read more here: latimes

Advertisements