Free-floating planets in the Milky Way outnumber stars by factors of thousands

May 10, 2012

A few hundred thousand billion free-floating life-bearing Earth-sized planets may exist in the space between stars in the Milky Way. So argues an international team of scientists led by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham, UK. Their findings are published online in the Springer journal Astrophysics and Space Science.

The scientists have proposed that these life-bearing planets originated in the within a few million years of the Big Bang, and that they make up most of the so-called "missing mass" of galaxies. The scientists calculate that such a would cross the every 25 million years on the average and during each transit, zodiacal dust, including a component of the solar system's living cells, becomes implanted at its surface. The free-floating planets would then have the added property of mixing the products of local on a galaxy-wide scale.

Since 1995, when the first extrasolar planet was reported, interest in searching for planets has reached a feverish pitch. The 750 or so detections of exoplanets are all of planets orbiting stars, and very few, if any, have been deemed potential candidates for life. The possibility of a much larger number of planets was first suggested in earlier studies where the effects of gravitational lensing of by intervening planet-sized bodies were measured. Recently several groups of investigators have suggested that a few billion such objects could exist in the galaxy. Wickramasinghe and team have increased this grand total of planets to a few hundred thousand billion (a few thousand for every Milky Way star) - each one harbouring the legacy of cosmic primordial life.

Explore further: Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

More information: Wickramasinghe NC et al (2012). Life-bearing primordial planets in the solar vicinity. Astrophysics and Space Science; DOI 10.1007/s10509-012-1092-8

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Lurker2358
2.1 / 5 (22) May 10, 2012
zodiacal dust, including a component of the solar system's living cells, becomes implanted at its surface


Are you a scientist?

You actually...believe...a bacteria could survive the cataclysmic impact event that would be required to eject a life-bearing rock into space, then survive sitting in space in the solar system potentially for eons, then survive re-entry and impact on a rogue planet that happens to be passing through the solar system, and THEN survive in the middle of interstellar space at temperatures below that of liquid nitrogen...for eons...

Wow.

You're an absolute moron.

I can't believe people actually get paid to do this shit, just like some of the other articles and "research" going on.
CHollman82
2.5 / 5 (15) May 10, 2012
Astrophysics and Space Science; DOI 10.1007/s10509-012-1092-8

Show some respect...
slack
4.3 / 5 (7) May 10, 2012
...the effects of gravitational lensing of distant quasars by intervening planet-sized bodies were measured.


I find the above to be an unbelievable statement. Would someone better informed than I am care to do the sums and find out what sort of light bending is caused by a single planetary mass?
I don't care if it's as big as Jupiter. I still find the concept hard to swallow...
Anyone?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (19) May 10, 2012
.a bacteria could survive the cataclysmic impact event that would be required to eject a life-bearing rock into space,

Spores and bacteria are hardy critters - pretty much immune to g-forces. Some can frost/defrost with no apparent harmful effects(by drying out). There have been direct space exposure experiments which showed that some can even survive direct exposure to space and remain viable (even water bears!).
http://www.scienc...in_space

Could someone better informed than I am care to do the sums and find out what sort of light bending is caused by a single planetary mass?

Wikipedia. "Gravitational microlensing". It's already being done.
Fisty_McBeefpunch
4 / 5 (20) May 10, 2012
Tardigrades such as the water bears you mentioned, Deinococcus Radiodurans, up to The Pompeii Worm, among others are extremophiles we already know can thrive in crazy environments. Many others have all been classified based on the harsh environments they live, e.g., Acidophiles, Alkaliphiles, Anaerobic extremophiles, Cryophiles, Piezophiles, Psychrophiles, Thermophiles, Hyperthermophiles, and Xerophiles. Its not too much of a leap to consider that within the galaxy, much less the universe that something could exist in areas we would believe to be too harsh to support life. Add to this, the most basic atoms known for life, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen are the most common elements found within the universe. So...why not.
yyz
4.5 / 5 (13) May 10, 2012
This is just more nonsense in support of "hydro-gravitational-dynamics(HGD) cosmology" being pushed by Wickramasinghe, Schild and Gibson and published in "alternative" publications like the now-defunct J. of Cosmology(they were all on the editorial board, natch) and the Intl. J. of Astrobiology: http://arxiv.org/...0504.pdf

That paper pretty much sums up where these guys are coming from wrt HGD and panspermia(btw, most published work by these guys pretty much looks the same, illustrations, text, etc.- rehashed stuff.)

I find their oft-repeated claim of evidence for "primoridial planets and their (presumably) biologically generated dust" in the planetary nebula NGC 7293(aka Helix), um, dubious. Just like of their other claims of evidence of panspermia (e.g. Red Rain of Karala was ET in nature, SARS came from outer space). Nonsense.

gopher65
4.3 / 5 (8) May 10, 2012
As several people above have stated, the researchers who published this particular paper are well known quacks. Anything you read by them should be taken with a kg of salt:P. And shaken, not stirred.

That said, there are two ideas that people have been discussing in the comments, and they're different from each other:

Interplanetary panspermia is a valid idea that may or may not prove to be practically possible (insufficient research has been done, with current evidence pointing in both directions).

Interstellar panspermia is essentially impossible, for a variety of practical reasons. Current research doesn't say that it can't have happened at some point, somewhere in the universe, but it does say that it's unlikely enough that it can't be the cause of widespread life on a galactic (never mind intergalactic) scale.

Those two ideas (interplanetary vs interstellar) are completely separate things and need to be discussed separately, not mushed together as if they are the same thing.
dogbert
1 / 5 (13) May 10, 2012
Athousand free planets for every start in our galaxy?

Not even remotely credible.

And there is no evidence of life anywhere but here. Wishful thinking does not change that.
TrinityComplex
4.6 / 5 (5) May 10, 2012
I'm not going to comment on the life part, but the idea of so many planets floating around in interstellar space seems like a reasonable possibility. Considering how difficult it is to find planets around other stars, when we have an idea of where to look and know exactly what we can use to detect it (the shift in light when the planet passes in front of its star), we would have a significantly more difficult time trying to find them in interstellar space with no indication of where to look to find one. If so many are out there it could be a solution to the 'dark matter' question. We won't know until we manage to detect at least a few.
Deathclock
2.8 / 5 (12) May 10, 2012
Dark matter is exactly that, matter not lit by a nearby star... I don't find it unlikely at all that there are more chunks of rock in interstellar space than there are in stable orbits...
Vendicar_Decarian
2.4 / 5 (8) May 10, 2012
It is pure bullshit.

"Anyone? - Slack

Scintillation studies of stars in distant galaxies have been performed to look for macho's, but nothing significant has been found.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (8) May 10, 2012
The Big Bang produced lots of hydrogen, a pinch of helium, a dash of lithium, and damn near nothing else.

Hence planets are not something that was created during the BB.

"these life-bearing planets originated in the early Universe within a few million years of the Big Bang" - Article
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (5) May 10, 2012
I have a lot of trouble seeing the number of planets they are proposing just by the problem created by their observation that one should wander through the solar system every 25 Million years. If that were the case we would see evidence of this happening in other systems in our neighborhood (since there are billions of planets in the Milkway). If one wanders through a solar system every 25 millions of years then thousands should wander into planetary systems every year and some of those would collide with stars. I am not sure what happens when a star gobbles up a planet but I would expect it to be energetic. Likewise, if there are that many wandering around then some should also be gobbled up by our central black hole (another energetic event). We don't seem to see either of these actions on a regular basis.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (12) May 10, 2012
The Big Bang produced lots of hydrogen, a pinch of helium, a dash of lithium, and damn near nothing else.
Hence planets are not something that was created during the

Why not? Sub-stellar gas giants (like Jupiter) could well exist out there in droves.
I'm not sure what the simulations say, but I my knee-jerk analysis is that more smaller objects (not achieving fusion) would form than larger ones.
yyz
5 / 5 (6) May 10, 2012
"...the effects of gravitational lensing of distant quasars by intervening planet-sized bodies were measured."

This is referring to work by Rudy Schild, in the 1990s, that made the claim that microlensing studies of the first known gravitationally-lensed quasar, Q0957 561, revealed evidence of a large population of planetary-mass(10^-5 Msun) objects in the lensing galaxy: http://articles.a...ype=.pdf

Several independent groups of astronomers, however, have found no evidence for a large population of low-mass objects Schild claims to have detected in the lensing galaxy in this system: http://arxiv.org/...32v1.pdf

http://arxiv.org/...30v1.pdf
Terriva
1.1 / 5 (10) May 10, 2012
Freely floating planet cannot evolve any life from the simple reason: it's just the traveling at single place, what makes intelligent life (Boltzmann brain) from random fluctuations. You'll need to accumulate changes and select mutations in quasi-periodic system. Such a free floating planet could transport life in its frozen state instead - but there is another problem, as the planet with stable orbit and enabled for evolution of life in such a way has no good reason to abandon it. Such a process is simply quite improbable. If our Earth would be released from solar system with some gravitational slingshot of heavier body, then the tidal forces would probably melt the Earth crust and destroyed every trace of life at it in similar way, like the impact of heavy asteroid.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (15) May 10, 2012
Freely floating planet cannot evolve any life from the simple reason: it's just the traveling at single place, what makes intelligent life (Boltzmann brain) from random fluctuations.

Since we don't really know under which conditions life can get started and what type of forms it can take that is an untenable statement.

What we do know is that life requires energy. But even a gas giant floating in space could be very warm (especially if it were very close to stellar mass). E.g. Jupiter is an abundant source of radiation. There are bacteri and fungi on Earth that thrive on radiation. A double planet system without a star could have tidal forces heating each other up (like Jupiter/Saturn and their moons).

Not saying that the article makes a very good case - but to say: "No, life cannot evolve outside a solar system" is far from conclusive.
El_Nose
4.1 / 5 (10) May 10, 2012
@ lurker

stop being a troll if you don;t know science -- its been proven that many bacteria here on earth can go dormant indefinitely when exposed to extreme cold ... if it was on the surface when exposed to heat - probably wouldn't survive -- but here on earth every layer of rock no matter how deep has living bacteria

NOTE -- nowhere in this article does it suggest the planests have intelligent life

@antialias
thank you - life just needs energy

@ the artilce
my only issue with this article

if there were 100 trillion extra planets it changes nothing significant in the missing mass of galaxies ... why ? well first read http://phys.org/n...rse.html an artilce sawing we underestimated red dwarfs by a few factors, and thus way underestimated the number of planets by trillions -- if adding a few billion stars deosn't significantly impact the missing mass then a trillion planets is nothing ;-)

i await intelligent responces
Vendicar_Decarian
2.7 / 5 (3) May 10, 2012
Probably because they wouldn't be planets.

"Why not? Sub-stellar gas giants (like Jupiter) could well exist out there in droves." - Antialias

"I'm not sure what the simulations say, but I my knee-jerk analysis is that more smaller objects (not achieving fusion) would form than larger ones." - antialias

They are called brown dwarfs.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (4) May 10, 2012
Short lived.

"A double planet system without a star could have tidal forces heating each other up (like Jupiter/Saturn and their moons)." - Antialias

Call me old fashioned but you need a solid surface for life as we know it to evolve and there just ain't no solid surface on Jupiter or it's cousins.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (12) May 10, 2012
Call me old fashioned but you need a solid surface for life as we know it to evolve and there just ain't no solid surface on Jupiter or it's cousins.

a) life as we know it may not be the only kind (if other life is out there it's practically guaranteed to be NOT life as we know it)
b) Life seems to do fine in liquids without the need for a solid surface - whether life cannot evolve in a very dense, quasi liquid atmosphere is debateable
c) Jupiter and Saturn both have likely a solid core (rock, nickel and silicon oxide surrounded by metallic hydrogen
Anda
1 / 5 (6) May 10, 2012
Bullshit. Tons of life bearing planets without star that make the most of dark matter.
Funny, really funny.
And that's a "discovery"?
When they find just one we'll speak. That's not science.
CHollman82
3 / 5 (9) May 10, 2012
Probably because they wouldn't be planets.

"Why not? Sub-stellar gas giants (like Jupiter) could well exist out there in droves." - Antialias

"I'm not sure what the simulations say, but I my knee-jerk analysis is that more smaller objects (not achieving fusion) would form than larger ones." - antialias

They are called brown dwarfs.


Semantics never makes a convincing argument, call them what you want all points made still stand.
TrinityComplex
4.7 / 5 (3) May 10, 2012
Anda, it's a theory based on collected data, as are many scientific facts before they've been proven. Perhaps not the life bearing part, I'm not sure what data they used to base that on (not saying it's not a possibility or that life couldn't survive as the bacterial precedence has shown), but the idea that planets exist makes perfect sense. Not all supernovae may be powerful enough to obliterate the planets in their systems, so many could have been flung out into the galaxy. Rogue planets captured by stars is not a new idea. Are you calling the every theory bullshit until it's proven, or is there something special about this one?
Lurker2358
1.2 / 5 (10) May 10, 2012
Life seems to do fine in liquids without the need for a solid surface - whether life cannot evolve in a very dense, quasi liquid atmosphere is debateable


Life on Earth exists in oceans that are relatively shallow and turbulent with mixed minerals and nutrients dissolved in the oceans and replenished from what washes down off the continents, or grows in teh shallows, etc.

Oceans on a typical "Super-EArth" of similar composition to the Earth would actually have almost no nutrients disolved near the surface, because the oceans will be so deep ICE 7 will form between the crust and the ocean, cutting off nutrients from being dissolved in the water, etc.

El Nose:

Bacteria surviving a few seconds in a laboratory experiment or even in space on the surface of a probe or something for a few weeks is nothing at all like surviving for eons until the next planetary impact.

At the temperatures beyond Pluto, most organic molecular bonds break down. Life could NOT exist in interstellar sp.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (7) May 10, 2012
but here on earth every layer of rock no matter how deep has living bacteria


So what?

In order to survive an impact large enough to eject a rock at escape velocity which also is large enough not to burn up in the atmopshere on it's way out, the impact must be truly collosal, and far above the level which causes secondary thermonuclear explosions on impact.

In order for the ejected rock to escape the atmosphere, it needs to be at least as big as an SUV so as not to totally burn up on it's way out. Not counting the energy of the impactor itself is going to VAPORIZE and even FUSE an enormous amount of rock and atmosphere in every direction when it hits.

The organism has to survive all of this heat, pressure, shockwaves, and radiation from the impact event itself and atmospheric exit.

That's just step 1.

You guys just don't even think about this clearly,.

The exiting rock really needs to be very large after exiting atmosphere, in order to be big enough on reentry of exoplanet
Parsec
5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2012
...the effects of gravitational lensing of distant quasars by intervening planet-sized bodies were measured.


I find the above to be an unbelievable statement. Would someone better informed than I am care to do the sums and find out what sort of light bending is caused by a single planetary mass?
I don't care if it's as big as Jupiter. I still find the concept hard to swallow...
Anyone?

People have done the calculation. If the planet passes directly in front of the star, and the gravitational lensing effect can be quite strong. Even by a planet.
BeastOfBodmin
4 / 5 (2) May 11, 2012
You actually...believe...a bacteria


That's "a bacterium". Bacteria is plural. Does that make you a moron?
elektron
1 / 5 (5) May 11, 2012
... Psychrophiles...


I think I've met a few of them.

Fred Hoyle must be rolling around in his grave at articles like this.
Graeme
not rated yet May 11, 2012
At a temperature of 3K hydrogen has a vapor pressure of 0.75 nanopascals, about the same pressure as found on the moon. Cold pieces of solid hydrogen are going to be very long lasting in interstellar space. The bigger ones would look like comets. Larger size planets like Jupiters should be easily seen ecclipsing random stars, as well as lensing the more remote ones. So I suspect they can be ruled out based on Kepler observations.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) May 11, 2012
Well then, lets call them "garden gnomes" and call hydrogen molecules "fart gas", and conclude that the universe originated from the interior of a garden ornament.

"call them what you want all points made still stand." - Chollman82

The term "planet" has a pretty precise meaning. Note the demotion of Pluto from planet to minor planet for this reason.

To refer to a star as a planet is as smart as claiming the sun rotates around the earth.

Pure idiocy.

Origin
1 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
"No, life cannot evolve outside a solar system" is far from conclusive.
I did say "outside of stellar system". We have no evidence of life formation outside the thin habitable zone inside our solar system and this is an evidence, no life can evolve outside of this system. In my theory the intelligent creatures are result of long travel along time dimension. Dense aether theory requires not only the energy for evolution of complex life, but repetitive changes in the energy density of this flux, i.e. the cumulation of time arrow, which separates the time from space for the subjects of this evolution. The free-floating planets are too quiet, cold and calm for evolution of some more complex forms of matter.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence in statistics. And we do not have a statistic (a statistic based on one data point has exactyl (mathematically) zero indormation content)

the impact must be truly collosal,

And yet we have found meteorites on Earth that have been ejected from Mars by just such impacts. The insides of which did not show signs of melting.
http://en.wikiped...eteorite

The organism has to survive all of this heat, pressure, shockwaves, and radiation from the impact event itself and atmospheric exit.

Spores could easily survive that. As noted: the heat persist only for a very short time and does not have time to penetrate deep into rock (we use heat shields on spacecraft that are not much more than sintered rock - and that keeps humans alive which are much more fragile than spores).

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) May 11, 2012
The exiting rock really needs to be very large after exiting atmosphere, in order to be big enough on reentry of exoplanet

About the size of a marble is enough.
http://science.ho...n486.htm

The free-floating planets are too quiet, cold and calm for evolution of some more complex forms of matter.

so oyu are na expert on extrasolar geology without ever having seen an extrasolar planet? That#s a pretty decent claim to fame. you should get a Nobel Prize.

Extrasolar planets can have all kinds of origins. Either they formed out there, or they were ejected from their own solar system. There could be double planets, Planets with moons, Planets with active geological processes...all of which can cause energy to be released in non-unifiorm manners (tidal forces, volcanoes, magama bubbles, ... )

Or do you honestly think your planet is molten inside because the sun shines on it?

DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (2) May 11, 2012
I did say "outside of stellar system". We have no evidence of life formation outside the thin habitable zone inside our solar system and this is an evidence, no life can evolve outside of this system.

Erm..., be careful of your words. A STELLAR system:
http://en.wikiped...r_system
is NOT the same thing as a SOLAR system:
http://en.wikiped...r_System (some very nice pics and diagrams in this one) OUR system is a solar system WITHIN a stellar system. To assume that a LACK OF EVIDENCE of life formation is evidence that it can't happen elsewhere is a rather broad leap and is a false argument. It also needs to assume that there exist no other solar systems with planets in the habitable (or goldilocks)zone: (this even gives an idea on how they determine its location)
http://en.wikiped...ble_zone
I rather think that the absence of the existence of other solar systems with planets included, has ALREADY been debunked...cont
DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (2) May 11, 2012
cont... The only thing that we can agree on, is that the LIKELIHOOD is small that we will find life there, and that same likelihood decreases even further for an 'unattached' planet. But not impossible. As has been mentioned earlier, we don't really know just HOW extreme the conditions have to be (ie definite cut-off point), where life truly cannot evolve.
Sorry, AA. I didn't realise that you had added to the thread. I was typing while you were posting... Are you trying to type while wearing beergoggles? Those things might make the world look rosier, but do nothing to give you clearer vision...Your ordering of your letters is kinda all over the place... ;)
Best Regards, DH66
DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (2) May 11, 2012
PS AA, You just introduced me to a new and interesting word :)
Sintering. (my spellchecker hates it, lol)
http://en.wikiped...intering
Cheers, DH66
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) May 11, 2012
Oceans on a typical "Super-EArth" of similar composition to the Earth would actually have almost no nutrients disolved near the surface, because the oceans will be so deep ICE 7 will form between the crust and the ocean, cutting off nutrients from being dissolved in the water, etc.

As noted: life as we know it.

We really don't know under which conditions life can (and especially cannot evolve). We have no data to make an estimate either way.

That said: Nutrients can come from many sources. Astroids can bring down rock or water - even upon planets that aren't part of a solar system. Planets that were once part of a solar system could get flung out and carry all the nutrints with them (E.g. if the Earth was flung out of the solar system then radiodurans bacteria would survive almost indefinitely. It is still a hot debate whether they weren't the first ones to get life started and life later 'moved up' instead of starting on the surface and then 'moving down')
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (5) May 11, 2012
And yet we have found meteorites on Earth that have been ejected from Mars by just such impacts. The insides of which did not show signs of melting.


Mars has 1/3rd the surface gravity, less than half the Earth's escape velocity, and 1/100th the atmosphere, plus no evidence of life ever having been there after dozens of probes, orbiters, and lander missions.

If you put an Earth life form on the surface of Mars, in most locations, it's cell membranes would explode.

You can try to claim other forms of life exist, fine, but whatever you might imagine, you can't get around the laws of physics. Even if it's "life," it probably isn't based on water or carbon, like Earth life, because that simply would not work.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
That life could be ejected, travel the distance and land intact - I'm pretty positive of that. At the very least spores deep inside a meteorite.

That this life is then VIABLE on another planet is an entirely different kettle of fish. THAT one is unlikely, because life evolves to a certain environment (or environment range). Different planets are likely to have different environments which differ at least in one property (probably even multiple properties) to a degree that fall outside the viable spectrum for the organism in question. a rather radical jump from environment A to environment B would well be not conducive to survival. That said: only one surviving spore might be enough.

At this point we just don't know enough to make any definitive statement either way. In the meantime panspermia makes good SciFi.
CHollman82
1.7 / 5 (6) May 11, 2012
Well then, lets call them "garden gnomes" and call hydrogen molecules "fart gas", and conclude that the universe originated from the interior of a garden ornament.

"call them what you want all points made still stand." - Chollman82

The term "planet" has a pretty precise meaning. Note the demotion of Pluto from planet to minor planet for this reason.

To refer to a star as a planet is as smart as claiming the sun rotates around the earth.

Pure idiocy.



Completely meaningless to the point being made. I am not saying you're incorrect, I am saying you're being pedantic and missing the forest for the trees because of it. It doesn't matter if they are hot jupiters or brown dwarfs or gas giants, that's not the point...
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (9) May 11, 2012
Mainstream psuedoscience speculation.

http://www.youtub...=related

Stephen Hawking's brain is clearly being effected by his illness.

Spontaneous Generation was disproved centuries ago.

Abiogenesis is nothing more than Spontaneous Generation re-hashed under a new, veiled name.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (10) May 11, 2012
Abiogenesis is not spontaneous generation you dolt. Spontaneous generation thought that rotten meat can BECOME flies... that inert biological material could literally turn into higher order life forms. This in no way resembles abiogenesis, perhaps your ignorant understanding of it but nothing else.
El_Nose
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
@Lurker

your statement
At the temperatures beyond Pluto, most organic molecular bonds break down. Life could NOT exist in interstellar sp.
is not based on any observation, however the fact is humans have observed bacteria can survive reentry on the outside of a space shuttle, that bacteria can survive full exposure to space with no radiation shield, and it has been observed that bacteria can go dormant seemingly indefinitely. so i will retract my previous statement and say -- evidence points in the direction that some bacteria are resilant enough and have characteristic that seem to indicate that they should be able to survive interstellar space travel.
Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (6) May 13, 2012
sedna is 1.5 % of a light year from our sun.

if we just recently discovered this and eris. what are the odds we should discover another large object if it is within 5% of a light year from our sun. how big would it have to be? ( we are assuming these are all COLD frozen objects and not y class dwarfs or other highly radiating 'cool' objects )

i call bullshit on articles like this that don't specify what we are looking for and how we are looking for it and when we expect to find it. this article reads if this theory is merely a conjecture.
Auge
1 / 5 (1) May 14, 2012
The mass of the Solar system is roughly equivalent to the mass of 333.000 earths
If Dark Matter accounts for 80% of the Mass of the Universe
Assuming homogeneity then the total amount of mass of our Solar system included Dark Matter is 333.000 x5 1.665.000 times the mass of earth

So there are some 1.332.000 rogue earths lost and invisible in between the Solar System and the nearest stars

As some scientists state that there are some 100.000 invisible rogue planets the size of Jupiter 317.83 Earth mass for each Star in a Solar system
This would seem overall correct. Even if not locally.
On the question about early planets Panspermia to the whole Galaxy its self evident given sufficient Time.
El_Nose
not rated yet May 14, 2012
just an FYI
@Auge

333000 earth masses is roughly the equivalent of the mass of the sun which is 99% the mass of the solar system.
theon
1 / 5 (5) May 15, 2012
In any case, still 30% of the baryons (normal matter) is lost in a very large region around the Galaxy. It is most likely primordial (hydrogen and helium) and it has to be somewhere. Small Jupiters could be a case.
Peteri
5 / 5 (2) May 22, 2012
If free-floating planets (FFPs) pass through the solar system (SS) once every ~25MYs, this equates to 180 such encounters over the entire history of the SS.

Assuming that FFPs transits are, for arguments sake, randomly distributed across the entire disc bounded by (say) Neptune's orbit and that the region of the SS containing any viable organic material from earth would (generously) lie within Jupiter's orbit, then the probability of one FFP entering this inner region would be roughly 0.03 (based on ratio of areas bounded by the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune). In other words, on average, just 5 such inner region encounters would have occurred during the history of the SS!

Once this organic material is deposited onto a FFP, how then does it escape during some future fleeting encounter with another SS?

Also, you would think that FFPs of any appreciable size crossing the inner SS would have left a distinct mark by severely disrupting the orbits of the asteroids or inner planets!
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2012
As we currently know, planets only form around stars. If what this article proposes is true, just about every star would have to produce thousands of planets, and then lose most of them.

You've got to be kidding!

10 to 1 ratio of free-floating planets seems remote.
100 to 1 is unbelievable.
1000 to 1 is grounds for dismissal.
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (2) May 24, 2012
As we currently know, planets only form around stars.

And why would you assume that?

Bodies can form wherever there is enough mass to collapse under its own gravity. Large enough gas clouds will have a body large enough that will initiate fusion. Smaller gas clouds will not (but there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't collapse under their own gravity)

Given that it's more likely to have small (or less dense) dust clouds than larger, denser ones it only seems reasonable to think that most collapsing clouds do NOT form solar systems but simply planetlike bodies (mostly Uranus/Jupiter-style stuff)

Anyways: A sun does not cause planets to form - quite the contrary. The radiation pressure from a body that has achieved fusion drives the gas away. When a sun ignites planetary formation more or less STOPS in the vicinity.
MandoZink
not rated yet May 25, 2012
As we currently know, planets only form around stars.

And why would you assume that?

I should have said "As far as I currently know". I never heard descriptions of planets forming in non-stellar space, but I guess any accretion that doesn't attain star mass would be a planet-like object. I thought the definition of a planet was an object that orbited a stellar mass. I'll look that up.
TrinityComplex
not rated yet May 25, 2012
I've heard the term 'rogue planet' used several times before to describe a planet not tied to a solar system, floating through space as this article describes. If they are a common occurrence then the term might have to change to something like 'free planet', but sounds better.

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