‘Orphan’ Alien Planet Found Nearby Without Parent Star

Astronomers have discovered a potential “rogue” alien planet wandering alone just 100 light-years from Earth, suggesting that such starless worlds may be extremely common across the galaxy.

This artist’s impression shows the free-floating planet CFBDSIR2149, at 100 light-years away the closest such “rogue” world to our own solar system. It does not orbit a star and hence does not shine by reflected light

The free-floating object, called CFBDSIR2149, is likely a gas giant planet four to seven times more massive than Jupiter, scientists say in a new study unveiled today (Nov. 14). The planet cruises unbound through space relatively close to Earth (in astronomical terms), perhaps after being booted from its own solar system.

“If this little object is a planet that has been ejected from its native system, it conjures up the striking image of orphaned worlds, drifting in the emptiness of space,” study leader Philippe Delorme, of the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble in France, said in a statement.

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