Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/10/2013 (1 year 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 June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg predicts the future of technology Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, shared and explained preparations the social media company is developing for the future. Through his profile's Q&A, he explained that he believes we will be soon able to send our thoughts out as we think them, with an optimum ... continue reading


ISIS posting up to 100,000 tweets per day, governments falling behind in cyber war Watch

Image of Sometimes all it takes - is one sympathetic ear or voice in a massive sea of indifference to turn a law-abiding citizen into an agent of terror and mass destruction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes all it takes - is one sympathetic ear or voice in a massive sea of indifference to turn a law-abiding citizen into an agent of terror and mass destruction. Islamic State or ISIS continues to post 100,000 tweets daily in order to recruit ... continue reading


Hundreds of iPhone users hit with worrisome 'blue screen of death' Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Complaints have piled up against Apple iPhones, reaching social media, after several iPhones of various models were hit by the "blue screen of death" just before rebooting without any notice. The random occurrences became somewhat of an outbreak, after people revealed ... continue reading


Samsung's amazing new technology promises to help lower car accident fatalities Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Traffic accidents are horrifying and in an effort to prevent road accidents involving trucks, Samsung has introduced its new product, the "Safety Truck." The common response of drivers annoyed by a blocked view of a slow running big truck is they want to get ahead, but ... continue reading


Tokyo's Lexus creates levitating hoverboard -- A reality? Or another hoax? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You may find it hard to believe, but a working model for a hoverboard is actually here. The Tokyo branch of Lexus in Japan has developed a model for the hoverboard. It seems to act like magic - at least for now - as the hoverboard promises to carry a person using ... continue reading


Facial recognition technology taking over the world, even APPEARING IN CHURCHES Watch

Image of Facial recognition technology can identify you, even if you're not completely facing a camera.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Companies and events are utilizing facial recognition technology to identify a person's face, even if the face is partially hidden. Facebook uses their vast facial recognition database, which can recognize a face even when it's hidden. Google's new Photos app can now ... continue reading


Strange new COCKROACH ROBOT squeezes through impenetrable gaps Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a robot based on a cockroach. The new technology is so innovative; it is hard not to find yourself stunned to witness the cockroach bot escape into an extremely miniscule gap. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Extra-terrestrial life exists - but not at Area 51 Watch

Image of There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden. He was on hand to greet a crowd of curious British schoolchildren, and said that there are so many planets like our ... continue reading


Is there water - and life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Watch

Image of Jupiter is about 390 million miles from Earth when the two planets are at their closest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons, and is approximately the size of Earth's moon. Many astronomers say the moon has the greatest potential for life in our solar system. To this end, NASA is planning a more in-depth study and mission to this mysterious ... continue reading


Is a 706 MPG car possible? BMW hopes of creating stunning new electric car Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several months after the release of BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, rumors are circulating about a new model. According to the rumors', the German automaker is currently focusing on the development of a more efficient model than the previous i8. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter