Rogue Planets

Diposting oleh alexandria joseph | 21.21

Not related to gardening but to the adventures that await us is an interesting article on Rogue Planets(or wandering planets).  Next weekend we are heading to ComicCon in Phoenix to meet Leonard Nimoy and crew. 

"Our Galaxy is Teeming With Billions of “Wandering Planets”, Says New Study
A new study published in Nature has detected the presence of billions of planets simply floating around in space, not bound to any host star, wandering through interstellar space. However, unlike the habitable rogue planet encountered by the crew of the NX-01 in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode of the same name, these are all Jupiter sized bodies. The study uses a technique known as “gravitational microlensing” (something that Bad Astronomer explains quite well on his blog), which basically scans the skies for changes in the brightness of stars that can indicate the presence of a planet and allow for the calculation of that planet’s mass. Scientists have found that there may be twice as many “wandering” planets as there are stars in our galaxy!
The current theory is that these “wanderers” are formed just like normal planets. That is, they form from the collapse of gas and dust in accretionary disks around stars. Then, for some reason, they are sent into unstable orbits where they fling themselves out of their solar systems. So long, star! It’s middle-of-nowhere or bust!
A note to science fiction writers, if I may: this does not mean that we are at risk for gas giant planets to collide with Earth, nor does it mean future space ships will have to navigate mine fields of random planets (I always laugh at the movies that depict the asteroid belt as some cosmic asteroid superhighway at rush hour). Space? It’s still just as vast an expanse as ever. So vast, in fact, that the addition of billions of giant planets doesn’t make it any more crowded. It just makes it more awesome.
*Writer’s note: The fact that the word “planet” comes from a Greek term meaning “wanderer” is just too fitting not to mention." End of article.  Source:  This is one of my favorite sites to read as I am a huge Trek geek:) ComicCon pics will be coming to kick off this summer!


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