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The Mysterious World of Free-Floating Planets: New Discoveries and Research Findings


There is a group of planets that float in space without being attached to a specific star, called free-floating planets (FFPs). Some of these FFPs exist on their own, never being attached to any star. However, most of them were expelled from the solar system.

FFPs are referred to as isolated planetary mass objects (iPMO) in the scientific literature. These planets travel alone through interstellar space, separated from any contact with other stars or planets.

A very mysterious planet

It is very difficult to find FFP because this planet is very mysterious. Despite this, astronomers are getting better at finding and getting better equipment.

In 2021, astronomers put a lot of effort into discoveries in Upper Scorpius and Ophiuchus, and found 70 or more planets.

There are generally two ways to create FFP. First, it forms in protoplanetary disks around young stars and is formed as a result of the accumulation of dust and gas.

Second, it resembles a star by collapsing into a cloud of gas and dust that is completely unrelated to the star.

In addition, there are different solutions for planets that form around stars and are then ejected. They leave through interactions with their stars in binary star systems, they can be ejected through crossing stars or scattering planets.

Search for free floating planets

A researcher studied by simulating free planets as a result of interactions between planets as well as those from binary star systems.

It was Gavin Coleman from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London, who showed how this free planet was created.

Coleman focused on rising stars rather than the stars created by ‘rogues’. It avoids FFPs due to interactions with other planets because planetary scattering is less important than other forms of emission.

“It should be noted that planets scattered around a single star cannot explain the large number of FFPs seen through observations,” Coleman said as quoted by Universe today.

Coleman Research Results Related to Speed ​​Release

From his research, Coleman found that the circum binary system produced FFP efficiently. In the simulations, each binary system produces an average of about 2-7 planets with more than Earth mass.

For giant planets with masses greater than 100 Earth masses, the number of ejected planets drops to 0.6 ejected planets per system.

Simulations show that most of the planets were ejected from their orbital disks between 0.4-4 million years after the simulation began. At this age, the circum binary disk has not disappeared and been swept away.

Perhaps the most important result is related to the spread of FFP distance. Velocity dispersion provides another opportunity to study the FFP population. This is because the FFP distance dispersion can be used as a comparison between the emitted and isolated FFP.

“When the planets are ejected from the system, they maintain excessive distances. “The speed of the scattering is greater than the amount of stars observed in local star-forming regions,” Coleman explained.

He also found that the degree of turbulence in the disk affected the ejection of a planet. The weaker the turbulence, the more planets are ejected. Turbulence also affects the mass of the thrown planet.

Weak turbulence ejects smaller planets, so that about 96% of the ejected planets have masses less than 100 Earth masses.

Overall, symbols provide a way to visualize FFP numbers and determine where they came from.

“Differences in the mass distribution of FFPs, their frequencies, and excess velocities can all indicate whether FFPs come from a single star or a binary system around it,” Coleman said.

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2024-04-25 01:00:00
#planets #float #freely #space

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