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So Many Lonely Planets With No Star To Guide Them

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#1 Kay



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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:15 AM

Published online 18 May 2011 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2011.303


So many lonely planets with no star to guide them

Nadia Drake

Our Galaxy may be full of worlds without a sun to call their own.

Scattered about the Milky Way are floating, Jupiter-mass objects, which are likely to be planets wandering around the Galaxy's core instead of orbiting host stars. But these planets aren't rare occurrences in the interstellar sea: the drifters might be nearly twice as numerous as the most common stars.

"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.

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