Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Who would have thought astronomers could be so cruel?

If you traveled at the speed of light, it would still take a lifetime to arrive, but eighty light years from Earth astronomers believe they have discovered a lone planet, without a parent star. You may be lonely, but nothing is as lonely as this solitary giant.

PSO J318.5-22 appears as a red dot in the center of this image. It is certifiably the most lonely planet yet discovered.

PSO J318.5-22 appears as a red dot in the center of this image. It is certifiably the most lonely planet yet discovered.


By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: PSO J318.5-22, planet, rogue, Jupiter, mass, discovery

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Adding insult to injury, its discovering astronomers have dubbed the planet a "rogue" cruelly pointing out that it appears to be an orphan without any parent whatsoever.

Far, far away from our Solar System, and even farther than several stars, astronomers have found, by direct imaging, a planet six times the size of Jupiter gliding gracefully through the heavens without a parent star in sight.

The lone world must be exceedingly cold without a star to warm it, but it still gives off infrared radiation, likely because if its size.

Dubbed PSO J318.5-22, the planet was discovered with the pan-STARRS 1 wide field survey telescope on Halekala, Maui.

The planet is the first to be clearly identified as a "rogue planet" or a planet without a parent star to orbit.

Previous reports of similar objects have not been clearly delineated to be planets or "brown dwarfs," which are not planets at all, but failed stars a bit too small to shine brightly.

In this case, it appears to clearly be a planet.

Rogue planets are just one of many rogue objects in space, that is objects just cruising through interstellar space without orbiting a parent body. Although this is the first such confirmed observation, the phenomenon is thought to be relatively common.

Rogue planets are created when gravitational perturbations of normal planetary orbits result from interactions with other planets, stars, or even black holes. Interactions with another gravitational force likely stripped the planet away from its parent star and flung it into space.

Such objects are difficult to detect because astronomers have no way of spotting them directly, other than luck. Planets orbiting stars are easy to find because they cause their parent stars to wobble as they orbit. Rogue planets however, have no parent start to shake, buy instead they float alone through space.

While this makes them much harder to discover, it also makes them easier to study. Rogue planets don't have a star to wash out the faint light shining off them, which allows scientists to determine the chemical makeup to the planet's atmosphere.

Scientists say they know this is a planet and not a brown dwarf because it shines redder than brown dwarfs do. Follow up observations confirmed the object was consistent with a planet as opposed to a failed star.

The planet is thought to be very young, possibly an offspring from the Beta Pictoris group which is a family of stars that formed just 12 million years ago. Astronomers have already discovered a giant planet orbiting the chief star of the group, Beta Pictoris. That planet is at least eight times the size of Jupiter.

Astronomers hope to learn more about rogue planets by studying PSO J318.5-22 further. Let's just hope they are kind enough to give it an easier name in the meantime.

Discover the true meaning of Christmas!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Technology

Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS! Watch

Image of The New Shepherd rocket, safe on its West Texas launch pad, after the first-ever such landing made by a space rocket.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a technological upset, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos has successfully tested a reusable rocket by flying it into space and landing it back on Earth. The test puts Bezo's Blue Origin ahead of Elon Musk's Space X in the race to develop a reusable rocket. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

What the heck is Dark Matter and what's Triangulum II? Watch

Image of Triangulum II may have a greater concentration of dark matter than any other object yet observed.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have discovered a galaxy that may be composed mostly of dark matter. Dark matter is an elusive substance that is yet to be described by scientists. They know what it does, but not what it is. The discovery could help solve the mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Anonymous VS ISIS: Hacker group launches counter-terrorism attacks from the shadows Watch

Image of Hacker group Anonymous takes on ISIS (YouTube).


While ISIS supporters and member utilize social media to attract recruits and sympathizers to their cause, hacker group Anonymous has stepped forward to fight back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the Paris terror attacks Friday, hacker group Anonymous ... continue reading

3 reasons why having sex with robots is wrong, according to the Catholic Church Watch

Image of Should we have sex with robots? Not according to the teachings of the Church, and Natural Law itself.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As robotics manufacturers look to the future, they're planning to tap into the multi-billion dollar sex industry. In the not-too distant future, people will be able to keep robot companions that provide them with sexual gratification. What happens when people begin ... continue reading

Ever wonder why the other line always moves faster? This book has the answer Watch

Image of The practice of lining up is taught in school and is a quintessential aspect of modern civilization.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Why does the other line move faster than yours? This is a question explored, and answered in a new book which used science and history to study standing in line. In "Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster: The Myths and Misery, Secrets and Psychology of Waiting in ... continue reading

The unimaginable truth behind Facebook's threat to society that you need to know NOW Watch

Image of Has social media taken over?


Teenage internet sensation Essena O'Neill decided to leave social media behind after realizing it did nothing but make her dependent on anonymous "likes" and "shares." Her dependency on social media is just one of many. What else does social media cause? LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

Move over Uber - Check out the newest 'Air Taxis' that the richest people will ride Watch

Image of Magnetic levitation technology produces the lift and forces the car to propel forward, which makes the system energy efficient.


Futuristic, "Jetsons" -styled "air taxis," that glide 20 to 30 feet above the air on elevated tracks will be debuting in Israel shortly. The dream project of Skytran, based in Mountain View, California had been perfecting the technology over the past five ... continue reading

Here are five shocking surprises from Comet 67P that are keeping scientists awake at night Watch

Image of Rosetta and the Philae lander. Both are on a three-year mission to gather data about comet 67P, but so far they've served to mystify as much as they have explained.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The recent announcement that Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko (67P) is rich in oxygen molecules has sent scientists scurrying to explain this extraordinary finding. It is the latest in strange discoveries reported by the Rosetta spacecraft in orbit around the enigmatic ... continue reading

If it's not an alien megastructure, could it be... a black hole? Watch

Image of Could it be aliens? No.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers continue to puzzle over a distant star that for some reason, is having a substantial quantity of its light blocked from reaching Earth. The find is one-of-a-kind and is fueling speculation that intelligent life could be at work. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Are you under surveillance? Watch

Image of The government sanctions the use of tech that is able to connect to your phone and pull anything they want from it.


Stingray is the name of a device called an IMSI-catcher or a "cell-site simulator," and is roughly the size of a briefcase. It works by impersonating cell phone towers and strips metadata or content from phones that connect to them. What does the government have to say ... continue reading

All Technology News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More