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08/04/2006 11:21 AM ID: 56114 Permalink   

Not Planets, Not Stars -- Twin Worlds Puzzle Astronomers


Scientists have discovered and identified two new worlds that are neither planets nor stars just outside our Solar System. While a small number of similar objects have been found previously, these are the first "twins" to our knowledge.

The so-called "planemos" are independent of any star, but seem to be planet-like worlds. What makes them truly extraordinary is that they seem to circle each other. The discovery was reported in the "Science" journal.

Study co-author Ray Jayawardhana said: This is a truly remarkable pair of twins - each having only about 1% the mass of our Sun. Its mere existence is a surprise, and its origin and fate a bit of a mystery."

    WebReporter: NuttyPrat Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
2 planets circling each other? Facsinatng
  by: DarkAngelJG     08/04/2006 11:46 AM     
  Lots of things circle themselves.  
In the 'emptiness' of space there are a lot of rogue objects such as asteroids and comets... maybe these twin planets are on some relatively long orbit around solar systems, themselves... perhaps these twin planets are destined to take a side trip through our solar system one day, and has been doing so since the formation of our neighborhood.

What is really fascinating is: what formed these planets and where did they originate, and how did they end up way out there?
  by: theironboard     08/04/2006 12:36 PM     
Last Exile coming true.
  by: pravuil   08/04/2006 02:37 PM     
circling a small black hole?
  by: manilaryce     08/04/2006 02:37 PM     
  Object name  
I saw a very old Sci-Fi move when I was a kid from about the late 1930's that refered to them as "Gypsy Moons".
Once again a Sci-Fi hypothesis predates a scientific reality.
  by: VermiciousG     08/04/2006 03:28 PM     
I was thinking these two objects are more like two astroids and passed a star or some object in space to help give that gravitational pull to circle eachother.
  by: s0n0fagun   08/04/2006 04:48 PM     
  400 light years away, not close...  
400 light years away is not 'just outside out solar system', its a hell of a long ways away.

Whoever posted this should read the source better.
  by: lobo69   08/04/2006 05:06 PM     
  Lobo 69  
it didn't say it was next door... the article says "just outside our solar system"
  by: DarkAngelJG     08/04/2006 05:54 PM     
That's one huge planet. 1% the mass of our sun? Jupiter, a gas giant, is only 0.4% the mass of our sun.
  by: caution2     08/04/2006 07:26 PM     
The word "just" appears no where in the article.

The source DOES say "And while they have similar masses to many of the giant planets discovered beyond our Solar System"

But all that implies is that the planetary bodies are extra-solar in nature, not a comment on proximity to our system.

Unless you are talking on a inter-galactic scale, 400 light years is not "just outside" by any stretch of the imagination.

Curious tho, these planets are orbiting each other, but are more than 6 times the distance between the sun and pluto, yet only have 1% the mass of Sol? That seems like an awful long way aways to cause an orbital interaction.
  by: Dedolito     08/04/2006 09:24 PM     
Another finding that how little we know about the universe. Great story.
  by: banshee9898     08/05/2006 12:54 AM     
It is an interesting revelation; but quite probably a common circumstance throughout the universe. I've 4 semisters undergrad coursework in Astrophysics; and such stray worlds were discussed as probable entities. The two most likely scenarios are that a passing planetary system might "yank" a planet from another system, leaving that object out of direct gravitational influence from it's former star; wandering until it finds new partnerships. OR, upon the demise of a star, during it's death throes, it may well eject a planet out into inter-stellar space, again simply roaming about as a cold, lonely world until it happens to traffic into the effects of other gravitational bodies.

Indeed, it's possible that there's a black hole between these planets---but at only 400 light years out, we'd probably be able to detect it through gravitational "lens-ing". I'm just surprised given the tone & intellect of ShortNews participants in general, that half of the responders haven't said that the reason these planets don't have a host star, is somehow George Bush's fault!
  by: thogwummpy   08/05/2006 12:55 AM     
Nobody says it because it's assumed that everyone knows it's true :P.
  by: banshee9898     08/05/2006 02:09 AM     
you forgot the third and most important reason why the planets are there - because god put them there. dont question why or you'll go to hell.
  by: manilaryce     08/05/2006 07:26 AM     
  Binary stars exist,  
why shouldn’t binary planets? This is not that surprising.
  by: Valkyrie123     08/05/2006 05:53 PM     
  Jesus Can't Stand for This  
Gay planets are unnatural! A planet should revolve around a sun. None of this heathenous planet on planet revolution.
  by: Borthox   08/05/2006 07:32 PM     
Plus at the same time 400 light years is a relativly short distance in terms of how large our galaxy actually is.
  by: slavefortheman     08/08/2006 03:08 PM     
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