Astronomers Discover 'Orphan' Planet With No Sun

October 10, 2013


Seen here looking suspiciously like the entrance to a wormhole, astronomers using the Pan-STARRS 1 wide-field survey telescope in Maui, Hawaii, have discovered a gas giant planet 80-light years from earth that doesn't orbit a star. It's just out there floating all alone in the dark, probably cold and scared. *bundles planet up in blanket* There, there, planet -- we'll find you a good home.

Planets traditionally travel in a uniform, singular direction, around a star. However, the free-floating planet, named PSO J318.5-22, has been found without a host.

PSO J318.5-22 was detected 80 lightyears away from Earth and it is estimated to have a mass six times that of Jupiter.

Astronomers believe it formed 12 million years ago, and is considered a newborn in planetary terms - Earth is thought to be around 4.5 billion years old.

'We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that that looks like this.

'It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone'

So -- you think this planet ran away from home? That's my guess. I bet this guy was in a solar system with a bunch of other brother and sister planets but they always picked on him for being so gassy so he packed up his moons and hit the road. He probably thought he'd settle in a new solar system, not knowing space is mostly just vast expanses of f***ing nothing. You goofed, bro (but I will let you stay on my couch until you can get back on your feet).

Thanks to nic1141 and Lydia, who both agreed if they were planets they would be rogue planets too because they aren't gonna live their lives by some sun's rules.

  • Kusman

    A wandering planet..

  • KLanD

    Nibiru.. is that you?

    Seriously though, could this actually be a star that never reached the point of fusion? Or possibly a planet that was on the very edge of a weak star system and something happened to the star that allowed this planet to break it's orbit.

    Or.. it's a freakin space ship.. I'm kinda hoping for that one.

  • james bond

    The Reapers are coming ! The Reapers are coming ! " As the little, Sheppard plead !

  • james bond

    JESUS. That's like ...... the bad guy's planet. Whoa , that's like killer dude.

  • Darren McCoy


  • William Henry

    Planet X anyone?

  • Mister Cerberus

    Huh. I was just researching rogue planets because I was playing Metroid Prime 2

  • Jeremy Tilton

    Aw, we should adopt it.

  • wowemily

    It's "floating" out there because it's a ship, people! A ship that now knows where we are and is coming to destroy us. We only have eighty light years to live. Let's just hope it can't travel at 80 times the speed of light because then we only have a year to live. Yes, I am that good at math.

  • Bertw192

    I thought a planet by definition (according to IAU) had to orbit a sun... Am I wrong?

  • Jon C

    Odds are it did orbit a star when it formed, fulfilling the requirements of the definition of a planet, and was ejected from its own solar system, which earns the name rogue planet.

  • Ollie Williams

    You are correct, but since we have never observed such a large object free-floating in space, I assume they called it a planet to satisfy the layman. I'm not sure why a planet is defined as a a celestial body orbiting a star (sun), but with these new findings, perhaps we need to reevaluate that definition. Pretty neat stuff.

  • Jane

    Space definitions are made based on only what we know so they have to be reevaluated/ Look what happened to Pluto. ree

  • Bertw192

    I thought you were a meteorologist? Is there no end to this confusing day?!?!?

    Thanks for the "confirmation"


  • Ollie Williams

    Space is fucking awesome.

  • Closet Nerd

    This lone planet gets a blanket and a spot on your couch...
    all you gave me was a restraining order....

  • Firstarded again. This planet ran away when Sandusky tried to shower with it at Penn State

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