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Published:November 16th, 2012 11:57 EST
Astronomers Discover Little Rogue Planet Floating Aimlessly in Space

Astronomers Discover Little Rogue Planet Floating Aimlessly in Space

By Ron G Anselm

Astronomers gazing the solar system recently discovered what looked to be a large spot on the lens of their massive telescope. As they zoomed into what the little dark spot, the size of a quarter of an inch in their view they discovered a little rogue planet floating aimlessly in space without the luxury of having a family of stars that surrounds most planets.

Rogue planets in comical terms are to me almost like wanted fugitives, they are planets that scientists and astronomers are constantly looking for and then suddenly they bump into them as they appear out of nowhere. Almost like an episode of "Cops" where out of nowhere the wanted fugitive finds himself one on one with cops as he tries to elude and evade them to get away one more time. Almost like a Rogue planet that floats aimlessly with nowhere to go but tries to stay elusive from the sight of astronomers.

If you`re wondering what a rogue planet is, they are believed to form in two ways and in much the same way as planets that are bound by stars, coalescing from a disk of dust and debris but then thrown out of a host star`s orbit, or in much the same way as stars, however never reaching a full star`s mass.

Also, Rogue planets are formed out of what is known as "failed stars" and the term is what qualifies them as being a rogue planet. Failed stars are stars known as "brown dwarfs." When the stages of evolution start to form, the star (the mass spark) ignites those stars like a candle burning in the wind. The nuclear fusion that sparks the starlight, lights up the night sky like little pin holes in a large black piece of construction paper is not powerful enough to ignite the matter into a star full of life.  Therefore, the matter turns into just that, a piece of free floating matter in space, thus a rogue planet.

This little evasive rogue planet was discovered when an international team of astronomers went on a safari hunt (so to speak) in our universe using the Canada France Hawaii Telescope on Hawaii`s Mauna Kea and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile to try to find the many or what astronomers believe are out there, many undiscovered rogue planets, they came across only this one.

Etienne Artigau of the University of Montreal commented on this discovery by saying, "This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1,000 times the area of the full moon. We observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighborhood." (Artigau, E.)

This newly discovered rogue planet is said to be around one-hundred light years away from us. The little planet appears to be moving along with what are known as a similarly itinerant group of celestial objects, called the "AB Doradus moving group" - a collection of about 30 stars which are of roughly the same composition and are believed to have formed at about the same time.(www.bbc.uk

The rogue planet is known as CFBDSIR2149-0403 and is believed to be because it appears to be moving with the group of celestial objects astronomers believe it to be formed with star back some 50 -120 million years ago. Because of the age of this rogue planet, astronomers are using and are able to use computer models of planet evolution which will give them more insight on the planets mass and temperature.

The international team of astronomers believe the rogue planet to have a temperature of about 400C and a mass between four and seven times that of Jupiter - well short of the mass limit that would make it a likely brown dwarf.

As with any mystery in space, astronomers are looking at this newly discovered rogue planet with the intensity of the old saying, "curiosity killed the cat." They are as curious about where this rogue planet came from? How it was really formed? And the exact time it was first formed? The information they have now are hypothetical estimates.

Therefore, this little rogue planet has caused quite a stir of curiosity in the world of science and astronomy. As it free floats in the vast darkness of space it probably almost takes on the personality of the wanted fugitive. Only it knows the true details of its existence but still does everything in its power to keep the clues to itself and to hide in every nook and corner of the universe to stay free and not get caught by astronomers as the chase goes on.

Reference

`Rogue planet` spotted 100 light-years away,

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20309762). Retrieved November.

Stay in tune with the release date of my next book titled (for now) Our Grand Ol` National Past Time. It is on the history and complete game of Major League baseball. I will keep you updated as the publishing process continues and I know more of the details.