Free-Floating, Rogue Planets Born from Tiny, Cold Clouds

August 19, 2013 4:36 PM

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Free-floating planets are some of the most curious bodies in the universe. They travel through space without need of a parent star, hurtling past other planetary bodies. Now, astronomers have discovered that these planets may not have even needed to start with a parent star. It turns out that tiny, round, cold clouds in space have all of the right characteristics to form planets.

There may be as many as 200 billion free-floating planets in the Milky Way galaxy. Until now, though, scientists believed that these "rogue planets" must have been ejected from planetary systems. Yet it turns out that this isn't necessarily the case. Tiny dark clouds in space could potentially indic...

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