http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46517776/ns ... 0gzgfGrLYg
Our Milky Way galaxy may be teeming with rogue planets that ramble through space instead of being locked in orbit around a star, a new study suggests.
These " nomad planets " could be surprisingly common in our bustling galaxy, according to researchers at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), a joint institute of Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
The study predicts that there may be 100,000 times more of these wandering, homeless planets than stars in the Milky Way.
If this is the case, these intriguing cosmic bodies would belong to a whole new class of alien worlds, shaking up existing theories of planet formation.
These free-flying planets may also raise new and tantalizing questions in the search for life beyond Earth.
"If any of these nomad planets are big enough to have a thick atmosphere, they could have trapped enough heat for bacterial life to exist," study leader Louis Strigari said in a statement.
Very interesting. Ive always believed that planets could form away from a parent star, altho very slowly, but if there was enough matter around. There are such things as brown dwarfs after all (super large planets or very tiny suns that didnt have enough matter to spark H fusion). Not only that but proto-planets being flung into outer space by more massive Jupiter sized planets at the birth of a new solar system is very likely. I think the numbers in estimation are huge too.