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Waspie_Dwarf

Free-floating planets may be born free

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Free-floating planets may be born free

Tiny, round, cold clouds in space have all the right characteristics to form planets with no parent star. New observations, made with Chalmers University of Technology telescopes, show that not all free-floating planets were thrown out of existing planetary systems. They can also be born free.

​Previous research has shown that there may be as many as 200 billion free-floating planets in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Until now scientists have believed that such “rogue planets”, which don’t orbit around a star, must have been ejected from existing planetary systems.

New observations of tiny dark clouds in space point out another possibility: that some free-floating planets formed on their own.

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Wow, 28 planets for every person on the earth, just in our milky way.

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Has anyone done any calculations on the chances of one entering our solar system? Since over several billion years it seems the system has had no such encounters with other stars, I tend to think that the galaxy is so big that in spite of all the rogue planets that probably exist we are nevertheless fairly safe.

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Has anyone done any calculations on the chances of one entering our solar system? Since over several billion years it seems the system has had no such encounters with other stars, I tend to think that the galaxy is so big that in spite of all the rogue planets that probably exist we are nevertheless fairly safe.

I agree. There is probably a small statistical chance, but I would worry more about asteroids and super volcanoes. And Gamma ray bursts. And supernovae. Man is the universe a dangerous place or what?
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That is incredible. :tu:

Perhaps we'll eventually be able to image these planets and go out looking to visit some.

I've read that if these extra-solar planets have a lot of radioactives, they could keep a molten core and thus provide heat and an atmosphere to the surface and thus provide energy for Life to develeop. So life could develop without even a star being present.

I've also read that there may be more rocky planets hidden out in our Oort Cloud. I was reading in National Geographic that the newest theories are that the giant planets moved inward and outward quite a lot in the early days of the solar system, and probably tossed several rocky planets and/or dwarf planets out into the Oort Cloud.

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Has anyone done any calculations on the chances of one entering our solar system? Since over several billion years it seems the system has had no such encounters with other stars, I tend to think that the galaxy is so big that in spite of all the rogue planets that probably exist we are nevertheless fairly safe.

It would not surprise me if every once in a while a rogue planet comes through and creates more comets to rain inward, and throws off the orbits of the various planets just a little.

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Perhaps we'll eventually be able to image these planets and go out looking to visit some.

Visiting them is a very long way off, but imaging them... we've already done that (see HERE).

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Has anyone done any calculations on the chances of one entering our solar system? Since over several billion years it seems the system has had no such encounters with other stars, I tend to think that the galaxy is so big that in spite of all the rogue planets that probably exist we are nevertheless fairly safe.

It wouldn't be *too* hard to just do the volume metrics of it. I'd have to get my brother to help with the calculus, though.

Heh, nevermind, I'm going to cheat.

Volume of the Heliosphere inside the Termination shock = 6 to 10 ×1039 m3 (i'm goign to go with 8*10^39)

Volume of a galaxy like the Milky Way = ~3.3×1061 m3

(both from http://en.wikipedia....nitude_(volume))

so... 200,000,000,000 free planets = 2*10^11

so, assuming a regular distribution that means each free planet has 3.3*10^61 / 2*10^11 m^3 to itself.

that should equal 1.65*10^50 m^3.

that means that our heliosphere would fit into one free planet's volume of occupation

1.65*10^50 / 8*10^39 = 0.20625 * 10 ^ 11 = ~2*10^10

so, unless i messed something up there is an instantaneous chance of 1 in 20,000,000,000 or a rogue planet being in the same space as our solar system.

someone should probably check the math. and that is pretty much useless. if i knew the average speed of a free planet i could maybe work up some kind of new probability, but that would be WAAAAYYYYY harder than my little fun with exponents game up there.

edit:

Also, I don't think assuming an even distribution is at all right. I expect there would be a far higher density towards the galactic core and far lower density out toward the edge, where we are. But that involves calculus I can no longer do =P

Edited by cacoseraph
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Impressive. Am I right in thinking the odds are further reduced by the fact that most objects are moving at roughly the same speed parallel to each other?

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Impressive. Am I right in thinking the odds are further reduced by the fact that most objects are moving at roughly the same speed parallel to each other?

I... think so. The whole galaxy is spinning and most stuff does spin in the same direction in orbits. But at least the rogue plants formed around stars that are later ejected seem like they would have a good mechanism for breaking that "rule".

And I believe for simple orbital mechanics faster things go out into farther orbit and slower things move in, so their could be a fair amount of cross lane traffic, even for stuff moving in the same direction.

But honestly, I really have no idea.

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Well one chance in 20 billion is pretty low and would indicate we would not expect it during the life of the sun.

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As someone in the other thread suggests, maybe one of these is a Dyson sphere. I think it would have a different reflective surface than a planet, so it would be easy to spot. Just my imagination going its own way.

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As someone in the other thread suggests, maybe one of these is a Dyson sphere. I think it would have a different reflective surface than a planet, so it would be easy to spot. Just my imagination going its own way.

Definitely an interesting thought. Wish I had thought of it

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As someone in the other thread suggests, maybe one of these is a Dyson sphere. I think it would have a different reflective surface than a planet, so it would be easy to spot. Just my imagination going its own way.

If it was a well built Dyson Sphere you wouldn't see it at all, as it would absorb all the interior energy. I guess there would still be reflection. But, I'd collecte even that if it was my sphere.

Then I'd take all that collected energy and use it to make a laser to send my light sail ship off to other systems. Hummm...... But, then they'd see the light....

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To maintain thermal balance it would have to radiate some way or another.

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If it was a well built Dyson Sphere you wouldn't see it at all, as it would absorb all the interior energy. I guess there would still be reflection. But, I'd collecte even that if it was my sphere.

Then I'd take all that collected energy and use it to make a laser to send my light sail ship off to other systems. Hummm...... But, then they'd see the light....

I don't know, if the laser didn't happen to point right at us would we see it? Lasers don't spread much and the beam is pretty much invisible unless it hits some dust or something to reflect some of the light

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Well one chance in 20 billion is pretty low and would indicate we would not expect it during the life of the sun.

But that would just be an instantaneous chance. Like, is there one here now. I can't do a better chance without a lot more data and mathematical ability than I have. I expect, just kind of guessing from the data at hand, that the instant odds aren't going to go up and even the long term odds shouldn't be *too* much higher than that, though.

As someone in the other thread suggests, maybe one of these is a Dyson sphere. I think it would have a different reflective surface than a planet, so it would be easy to spot. Just my imagination going its own way.

I freaking LOVE Dyson Spheres. And ringworlds. And Ringworld, by Larry Niven.

If it was a well built Dyson Sphere you wouldn't see it at all, as it would absorb all the interior energy. I guess there would still be reflection. But, I'd collecte even that if it was my sphere.

Then I'd take all that collected energy and use it to make a laser to send my light sail ship off to other systems. Hummm...... But, then they'd see the light....

The onion skin designs for dyson spheres theoretically have almost no radiation leakage, but I don't think i've seen one that is 100% efficient, even in crazy super tech designs. But the leakage is like, tiny, tiny, tiny. Less than a small brown dwarf. So, not something we could easily detect unless it was really close to us, currently.

Also, I was going to say the amount of energy they get from the interior is so much greater than what they could get from the exterior there would be no point... but that *wouldn't* be the point, eh?

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Then I'd take all that collected energy and use it to make a laser to send my light sail ship off to other systems. Hummm...... But, then they'd see the light....

why not shape your planets magnetic feild... and pull on the hydrogen ion's in one direction only.... and pull your self thru space ....

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why not shape your planets magnetic feild... and pull on the hydrogen ion's in one direction only.... and pull your self thru space ....

I think the problems associated with a Bussard ramjet would apply here, only way more so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet Particularly, pay attention to the drag issues.

And that is best case. Worst case, there are so little interstellar hydrogen atoms and molecules that even a perfectly efficient machine would take eons to accelerate a nontrivial mass to significant speeds just by stealing the kinetic energy of hydrogen. It is a fun idea, though. And I could be wrong, the math is probably beyond me.

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the dyson sphere concept as a living surface for crew would be better as a space ship design than as a planet culture .

controlling a stars bursts as a thrust force to move the collective dyson sphere seems to make some sense to me .

but the creatures that occupie such a ship would need tobe genarational and like us...

( not likly)

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I think the problems associated with a Bussard ramjet would apply here, only way more so. http://en.wikipedia..../Bussard_ramjet Particularly, pay attention to the drag issues.

And that is best case. Worst case, there are so little interstellar hydrogen atoms and molecules that even a perfectly efficient machine would take eons to accelerate a nontrivial mass to significant speeds just by stealing the kinetic energy of hydrogen. It is a fun idea, though. And I could be wrong, the math is probably beyond me.

the drag issues are not the concern you point out so clearly... because your not driving it around like a car...

the power is the planets core ... or a superconductor set of dyson rings , each holding the next ring out side it open .

the first ( inner most ring) held open by the magnetic field of the planet .....

the whole planet magnetic feild could be quite large... effecting quite a large feild of all charged particles in the local area...

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may i point out ..... if the earth had such a set on magnetic rings.... the solar winds would pull the earth out of orbit .

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I've been re-reading up on Dyson spheres, and a solid sphere surrounding a star is impractical for various reasons. For instance, there would be no gravity on the inner surface of the sphere, the sphere would be unstable, at one AU distance from a sun-like star, the surface area of the shell would be 550 million times the surface area of the earth. Where would all this matter come from?, etc..

A Dyson swarm or a Dyson bubble would be better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere

I think a real planet with a sphere around it radiating heat and light might be feasible.

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How about a smaller sphere around a red dwarf?

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I kinda rather envision a huge city in space (trillions or more population) where everyone has a nice apartment and there are plenty of malls and other public areas. It could get its energy all sorts of ways other than from a star (actually a very wasteful process) and would radiate in the infra-red, but would have a much smaller profile than anything Dyson imagined.

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