Astronomers find 'homeless' planet wandering through space

Nov 14, 2012
This artist's impression shows the free-floating planet CFBDSIR J214947.2-040308.9. This is the closest such object to the Solar System. It does not orbit a star and hence does not shine by reflected light; the faint glow it emits can only be detected in infrared light. Here we see an artist’s impression of an infrared view of the object with an image of the central parts of the Milky Way from the VISTA infrared survey telescope in the background. The object appears blueish in this near-infrared view because much of the light at longer infrared wavelengths is absorbed by methane and other molecules in the planet's atmosphere. In visible light the object is so cool that it would only shine dimly with a deep red colour when seen close-up. Credit: L. Calçada, P. Delorme, Nick Risinger, R. Saito, European Southern Observatory/VVV Consortium

(Phys.org)—A planet that is not orbiting a star, effectively making it homeless, has been discovered by a team of University of Montreal (UdeM) researchers working with European colleagues and data provided by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT). "Although theorists had established the existence of this type of very cold and young planet, one had never been observed until today," said Étienne Artigau, an astrophysicist at UdeM. The absence of a shining star in the vicinity of this planet enabled the team to study its atmosphere in great detail. This information will in turn enable astronomers to better understand exoplanets that do orbit stars.

Free-floating are planetary-mass objects that have no gravitational link to a star. "Over the past few years, several objects of this type have been identified, but their existence could not be established without scientific confirmation of their age," explained Jonathan Gagné, a doctoral student of physics at UdeM. "Astronomers weren't sure whether to categorize them as planets or as Brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are what we could call failed stars, as they never manage to initiate nuclear reactions in their centres."

Astronomers find 'homeless' planet wandering through space
This closeup of an image captured by the SOFI instrument on ESO’s New Technology Telescope at the La Silla Observatory shows the free-floating planet CFBDSIR J214947.2-040308.9 in infrared light. This object, which appears as a faint blue dot at the centre of the picture, is the closest such object to the Solar System. Credit: P. Delorme, European Southern Observatory

Gagné and Artigau, along with Lison Malo and Loïc Albert, all of whom are astrophysicists with UdeM and the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec (CRAQ), were able to find this planet with the assistance of French astronomers. Philippe Delorme, of the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, was lead researcher. The planet is in fact called CFBDSIR2149 and appears to be part of a group of very known as the AB Doradus Moving Group. "This group is unique in that it is made up of around thirty starts that all have the same age, have the same composition and that move together through space. It's the link between the planet and AB Doradus that enabled us to deduce its age and classify it as a planet," Malo explained.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
This video shows an artist's impression of the free-floating planet CFBDSIR J214947.2-040308.9. In the first part of the sequence the planet appears as a dark disc in visible light, silhouetted against the star clouds of the Milky Way. This is the closest such object to the Solar System and the most exciting candidate free-floating planet found so far. It does not orbit a star and hence does not shine by reflected light; the faint glow it emits can only be detected in infrared light. In the final sequence we see an infrared view of the object with the central parts of the Milky Way as seen by the VISTA infrared survey telescope as background. The object appears blueish in this near-infrared view because much of the light at longer infrared wavelengths is absorbed by methane and other molecules in the planet's atmosphere. In visible light the object is so cool that it would only shine dimly with a deep red colour when seen close-up. Credit: ESO/P. Delorme/Nick Risinger

First of all, the researchers obtained a series of infrared images of CFBDSIR2149 using the 3.6 metres in diameter CFHT. They then used the full strength of the 8 metres in diameter VLT to deduce its mass, its temperature, and of particular note, its age. The planet was found to be between 50 and 120 millions years old, with a temperature of approximately 400 degrees celsius, and a mass four to seven times that of Jupiter. Objects more than 13 times the mass of Jupiter are not considered to be planets but rather , as it is this is the minimum amount of mass required for the deuterium at the heart of a star to achieve fusion.

As an aside, it is interesting to note the significance of the finding in terms of the roots of the word "planet." "Planet as a word originates from the Latin word planetus, which originally comes from the Greek words planeta or planêtês, meaning moving or wandering celestial bodies, as opposed to stars which appeared to be in a fixed position in the sky," said Oliver Hernandez, an at UdeM.

In short, this is the first isolated planet – perhaps flung away during its formation – that is not tied by gravity to a star and whose mass, temperature and age meet the relevant criteria. This discovery, which has been sought after for more than a decade, supports theories relating to the formation of stars and planets. Moreover, it supports theories that suggest that these kinds of isolated objects are much more numerous than currently believed.

"This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1000 times the surface of the full moon," Artigau explained. "We observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighbourhood. Now we will be looking for them amongst an astronomical number of sources further afield. It's like looking for a single needle in amongst thousands of haystacks."

Explore further: Astronomers measure weight of galaxies, expansion of universe

More information: This research is presented in a paper, "CFBDSIR2149-0403: a 4-7 Jupiter-mass free-floating planet in the young moving group AB Doradus?" to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics on 14 November 2012. (PDF)

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MalcS
2.2 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
Would it not be more correct to refer to it as a failed star?
MrVibrating
4.6 / 5 (9) Nov 14, 2012
Ooh i just cannot WAIT until the JWT launches... (licks lips) :)
Squirrel
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
"This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1000 times the surface of the full moon,"

This is still only half a percent of the area of the sky.
kevinrtrs
1.2 / 5 (36) Nov 14, 2012
This discovery, which has been sought after for more than a decade, supports theories relating to the formation of stars and planets


They don't go on to mention exactly which theories it supposedly supports, hence this statement is pretty meaningless.

So far it only means that an obviously unconnected/disconnected planet has been found.

There is no way at this stage to indicate just how the planet got to exist or how it got to where it has been discovered.

So any support for any theory is simply imaginary - i.e, it's sheer speculation at this stage.

Unless and until it can be fully supported by observations of planets actually being ejected from a particular system, it will remain exactly that - pure fantasizing.
TopherTO
4.7 / 5 (28) Nov 14, 2012
Oh Kevin, still raging against science I see. Some articles are meant as an overview of the findings and do not provide definitions of every theory mentioned. The only data you will support is direct observational evidence, which due to time and distance scales in astronomy, is rare. Good thing you directly observed Noahs Ark, if not believing is such a thing would be, as you say, "pure fantasizing".
Jeddy_Mctedder
2.5 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2012


i believe these are far more common than cosmologists currently agree upon. now the question is what exactly is the difference between a Y-class dwarf and jupiter. it's all shades of infra-red. cold giant gas ballz not fusing hydrogen are simply that. whether its a planet homless or a non-fusing star by itself is just a label. how we categorize them amongst a spectrum of labels is a largely tedious task.

i believe , what we are seeing is the semantic difficulty that once emerged with the decision to dispute plutos status as a planet.

what has changed about pluto since we stopped calling it a planet, ironically, multiple more moons have been discovered. how's that for irony? where before there was 1 now there are agreed to be over 4 moons of pluto.

perhaps by the time they agree this object is a y-class dwarf. they will establish more planetary qualities of the object.
rubberman
4.2 / 5 (15) Nov 14, 2012
Instead of disputing the science Kevin, why don't you adapt the notion that god initiated the experiment that is the universe in his lab, and is aware that his experiment spawned entities that are aware of the experiment and are trying to make sense of what they see around them. He knows how long the experiment has to achieve it's final form because he has done similar ones but will do nothing until this one has run it's course. This way you can feel a sense of comfort that he is watching, and we don't have to read posts from you as though you know his point of view on the universe. You are as entitled to your beliefs as anyone else, but here (at this site) you're the equivalent of a KKK high priest trying to recruit new members at a black panther rally.
Mike_Massen
3.5 / 5 (14) Nov 14, 2012
kevinrtrs put his religious foot in his orifice once more with
Unless and until it can be fully supported by observations of planets actually being ejected from a particular system, it will remain exactly that - pure fantasizing.
Such as the claim of an anthropomorphic deity you favour which appears to be unable to communicate effectively to anyone, has never been observed, leaves no unequivocal evidence such as an indestructible bible or the recorded location of a garden of eden or location of a cave where jesus was observed leaving by 'hysterical women'.

ie. is completely impotent or non-existent, choose your best poison please and maybe try doing it by scientific methods since you are on a science website but never trained in the discipline of science ?

What is the discipline of any religion please kevinrtrs ??

Sonhouse
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 14, 2012
That discipline would be the slavish obsession with their own bibles or whatever they wish to call their books and denial of any science that refutes what they read. It is called being controlled by people 2000 years dead and more.

My question about the planet/failed star, whatever, is how far away is is supposed to be? Has it been shown to be on a track that will leave our vicinity of the galaxy? Is it in some long lived orbit around a close star? Maybe too early to tell that kind of thing until more observations are made.
Mike_Massen
2.7 / 5 (14) Nov 14, 2012
Jeddy_Mctedder offered
i believe , what we are seeing is the semantic difficulty that once emerged with the decision to dispute plutos status as a planet.
Is Eris considered the 9th planet & there is hint of a 10th?

Yes agree fully with what you say re labels, there are bound to be coalescences of gas clouds & post supernovae deleterious which forms masses which haven't had the critical mass (yet) to ignite & with a huge divergence of momentum vectors too.

Just one more reason all nations should put effort into surveys for any moving bodies which might impact earth & with expediency!

Together with that, more effort into supporting companies like SpaceX to produce more launch vehicles, offer competitions & prizes to students worldwide to craft ideas of how to deal with wayward asteroids, comets etc, thus build solid technology foundation.

This is one way to destroy for ever the god of suffering claimed to exist by kevinrtrs & allow his unthinking robots to do something useful !
GSwift7
3.6 / 5 (11) Nov 14, 2012
I wonder if it has a moon? One day our telescopes will be able to see such details.

As for the abundance of such objects, I think his comment about them being far more numerous than thought is premature. I agree with him that they are probably common, but common sense isn't the same as evidence.
Mike_Massen
2.6 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2012
MalcS offered
Would it not be more correct to refer to it as a failed star?
Be careful, its probably depressed enough as it is.

This body might appear now as a failed star but who knows how far away it is in time or space in being able to acquire more material, all these things MUST be seen in a greater dynamic context.

You never know how or when it could acquire either more gas, comet material, another body etc and then ignite.

This thing should be tracked & the search accelerated for any other such bodies, especially those might intersect with our own gas giants.

Although 2010 by Clark was a nice story, its not that far from the permutation space. Jupiter continues to acquire material, it might be a long way from getting enough based on recent history but, history is not the best judge of what might happen in an essentially chaotic system.

Any number of wayward objects could cause any other of our large planets to later collide etc, binary system anyone, getting common ?
FrankHerbert
3.9 / 5 (8) Nov 14, 2012
Pluto is not a planet, it's a Kuiper Belt object. There is a lot more than Eris out there and if you consider Pluto to be a planet you must consider all the comparable Kuiper Belt objects as well. They formed differently. They behave differently. They are not planets. Pluto isn't even the largest of the bunch. What about Ceres? There are good reasons for not considering these objects as planets.

I guess we should consider every object that directly orbits the sun a planet, right? Good luck remembering the names of every object in the Asteroid belt and everything beyond Neptune.

The eight planets all have something in common. They orbit the sun in the same plane. This hints (don't want to offend Kevin) at a shared origin with similar processes working on the planets. The asteroid belt is different, likely a demolished planet and deserves a different classification. The KBO objects also deserve a similarly different classification. Planets are planets. KBOs and asteroids are not.
kornus
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
How far away from our star is this planet? And why not consider possibility that planet can form in space from stellar dust in very same way stars do? Lets just assume that there is no ignition there could be not enough dust to reach mass needed for thermonuclear fusion... why not? just asking
NOM
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
My question about the planet/failed star, whatever, is how far away is is supposed to be?

Both the ESO website and space.com say it's about 100 light years away.
GSwift7
2.5 / 5 (6) Nov 14, 2012
Jupiter continues to acquire material,


I've never seen anyone willing to declare for sure whether it is gaining or losing at a faster rate. It is certainly venting to space at the same time that it collects dust and debris. Which one is happening faster is an open question as far as I know.

I agree with your previous comment regarding the danger level of interstellar objects. Loose objects transiting accross our path in the Milkyway are certainly the most dangerous possible objects in our local region. A common asteroid or comet has a velocity of around 40k mph when it gets to our orbit in the solar system.

For interstellar objects, the potential speeds are far beyond that. We would be powerless to do anything about even a bus-sized object moving at 500k mph.
obama_socks
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 14, 2012
This discovery, which has been sought after for more than a decade, supports theories relating to the formation of stars and planets


They don't go on to mention exactly which theories it supposedly supports, hence this statement is pretty meaningless.

So far it only means that an obviously unconnected/disconnected planet has been found.

There is no way at this stage to indicate just how the planet got to exist or how it got to where it has been discovered.

So any support for any theory is simply imaginary - i.e, it's sheer speculation at this stage.

Unless and until it can be fully supported by observations of planets actually being ejected from a particular system, it will remain exactly that - pure fantasizing.
-kevin

I have to disagree with you on this. The planet was discovered with existing technology. It is in a region of outer space that is a mere fraction of the viewable sky. The discovery is almost miraculous, imo - and I'm happy with it.
obama_socks
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 14, 2012
It's doubtful that planets being ejected from systems is a daily occurrence. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen...or record its happening. The finding is a happy accident.
Religion and belief in God has nothing to do with it, I'm almost certain. But, if you prefer to link it to religion, perhaps ejected, wandering planets are simply the natural order of what God intends.
:)
It may be on its way to crash into another planet in a solar system...just as science tells us that it has happened to Earth long ago.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (8) Nov 14, 2012
Mike_Massen
1.7 / 5 (9) Nov 14, 2012
GSwift7 forgot shoemaker levy 9 & more recent...
I've never seen anyone willing to declare for sure whether it is gaining or losing at a faster rate. It is certainly venting to space at the same time that it collects dust and debris. Which one is happening faster is an open question as far as I know.
Its like M. Bachmann saying there is no study that CO2 is bad, some things are just self evident.

Given Jupiter has a much higher mass than earth and a much higher gravitational field, just what do you think it is venting that might come close to equilibria with it attracting ?

Perhaps H2, the lightest gas, maybe the astrophysics suggests the reverse, massive magnetic field is also likely to trap many protons and a sizable number of anti-particles too - as deleterious from high energy gamma ray collisions. Much like the suggestion earth's field can do the same.

One or more of the recent 'unusual' military flights could have carried instruments to check/trap earth's anti-matter too!
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (11) Nov 14, 2012
Given the hodgepodge of planets in our solar system, who's to say that some or all of the gas giants didn't form in such a solitary manner, and were then captured by the Sun. Such a suggestion may explain oddities such as Uranus' orbital spin and the wide variety of chemical make-up seen in the various planets.
Mike_Massen
2.8 / 5 (6) Nov 14, 2012
@GSwift7
I read years ago Earth is putting on anywhere from 400 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes per day, one reason why the earth's rotation rate is slowing, the other being tidal forces.

Some mass comes from sun's protons combining with oxygen to make water, some lost to space, some falls to earth...

So its rather more likely that Jupiter is not losing mass but putting on MUCH more than Earth, one reason why its reducing in size by this:-
http://en.wikiped...echanism

Actually worth reading this good article (esp. Jupiter Impacts, recent up to Sep, 2012):-
http://en.wikiped.../Jupiter

With an implication any rocky core has dissolved into the hot high pressure metallic hydrogen, the properties of this material would be difficult to replicate here but might be fodder for cold fusion research in conjunction with high current discharges !

As always any internet source comes with caveats, so its the references where the intelligent professionals muse...
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
Note that the moving group contains ~ 30 stars. This observation alone nearly saturates the "one rogue for one system" bound of microlensing observations.

It is also overdue as the closest such rogue, to not strain those observations as regarding our own neighborhood.

So, both a nice find and a nice test of earlier predictions from exoplanet hunters.

"In short, this is the first isolated planet – perhaps flung away during its formation – that is not tied by gravity to a star and whose mass, temperature and age meet the relevant criteria."

It is the first such planet detected with that method, that is. Microlensing has captured a handful of rogues in the last few years.

@ MalcS:

No, there rogues are likely made in protoplanetary disks.

You are thinking of brown dwarfs, which likely forms analogous to stars.
VendicarD
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 14, 2012
"Ooh i just cannot WAIT until the JWT launches..."

It will never be completed, or launch. America is bankrupt.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2012
This discovery, which has been sought after for more than a decade, supports theories relating to the formation of stars and planets
They don't go on to mention exactly which theories it supposedly supports, hence this statement is pretty meaningless.


Creationists shouldn't comment on science. It is hilarious to see.

The article don't describe old, accepted science or, in this case, the science front, no. It is meaningless to do so, while noting the relevant theories is obviously meaningful.

In this case:

- Current planetary system formation models predict 1-2 ejected planets/system.
- Current microlensing observation have tested that prediction and gives 1-2 rouges/system.
- Our own system formation model, the Nice model, got better predictivity by adding 1 (or 2) ejected giants. It allowed a thicker initial disk so Neptune and Uranus grows to their observed size more often in runs testing the model.

All in Wikipedia already. Just read about the science.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
@ Jaddy McTedder:

Nope, rogues are observed at the rate predicted. And this observation specifically relaxed the models as far as our own neighborhood goes. See my two previous comments.

And planets that forms in disks forms differently from the dwarfs you mention.

Pluto is a Kuiper Belt object, and its demotion is coupled to the IAU definition that only concerns planets "in the Solar System". (See Wikipedia for example.)

@ Sonhouse: The AB Doradus Moving Group is ~ 20 parsecs away IIRC. The planet is weakly IR emitting, so must be close.

They are checking up weak orbits, yes. Fairly excluded, not fully.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2012
@ kornus: See previous comments on planets vs dwarfs. The dichotomy isn't completely tested, but I believe the weight of data and the consensus comes down on it.

That planets can form but not larger system comes down to gravitational clumping of the molecular clouds that systems form out of. The clumps are so large that they make larger objects than planets, they seem to make isolated brown dwarfs as smallest objects.

@ GSwift7: Jupiter is too large to lose hydrogen swiftly. It is likely netting mass, since Earth is. (Gains more mass from impactors faster than it looses mass from the atmosphere.)

@ obama_socks: Rogues are predicted to be captured by other systems at times, but into orbit. Earth was hit by a planetesimal during system formation where these were building planets, a different process.

@ cantdrive85: Science is to say it didn't happen. It couldn't happen at the same time we observe all planets co-orbiting the Sun, having the Sun consistent isotope ratios et cetera.
Mike_Massen
3 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2012
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM offered a puzzling implication
- Current planetary system formation models predict 1-2 ejected planets/system.
- Current microlensing observation have tested that prediction and gives 1-2 rouges/system.
Pardon my concern here but doesn't it seem rather unusual an essentially chaotic process with a potentially large set of permutations & in respect of starting conditions over very long periods seems to result in a remarkably deterministic precision in respect of number of ejections AND that these 'seem' to be corroborated (so far) with observations...?

Could you indicate the 'normal' distribution stats in respect of these 1 to 2 rouges & in terms of variance of relative levels of starting materials, presence or otherwise of prior rogues in the early stages of accretion etc.
Or in fact any of the combinatorial statistics to make sense of how the probabilistic -> deterministic asymptote can possibly arise ?

@VendicarD be more positive, now you can pay tax ;-)
Mitchell
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2012
Would it not be more correct to refer to it as a failed star?


Not really. Jupiter is what people would call a failed star and even it is not big enough to really be classified as one. But it's the closest out there to one can can easily see from Earth :)
corey_a_barkley
1 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2012
planet x rolling back into orbit.total eclipse hurricane mercury retrograde piling up alignment for cosmic orgasms
hagger
1 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2012
it's name just rolls off the tongue...
GSwift7
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2012
@ GSwift7: Jupiter is too large to lose hydrogen swiftly. It is likely netting mass, since Earth is.


I wasn't meaning to say that either is actually losing mass, just that it's not certain either way. That balance is only a rough estimate. The quantities are so small compared to the error margin that it's not a very certain figure. The error margin actually allows for the balance to be negative, though it's not very likely. Based on the other guy's comment, he didn't seem to be aware of that.

The notion that a planet like Jupiter could ever accumulate enough mass in this manner to become a star is absurd. Even if we drifted into a nebula, the outward pressure of the Sun would prevent that from happening. The Sun will go nova first. It's a matter of time scales and relative rates.
Mike_Massen
2 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2012
GSwift7 mumbled
..The quantities are so small compared to the error margin that it's not a very certain figure. The error margin actually allows for the balance to be negative, though it's not very likely...
Looks like you are backpedalling here. Where is there any suggestion in print regarding these particular error margins and especially in respect to comparative measures of 'quantities' ?

Your para after the above quote is mere guess work, we know very little of the region and negligible in respect of potential for intersecting bodies...

Before you make generalisations, look at the probabilistic aspects in concert with the gravitational field strength and location, not only in respect of reduced solar wind but also proximity to asteroids, orbit etc...

Osiris1
1 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2012
The artical is a scare monger by saying it is the closest object of this nature to our system. Just HOW FAR is never mentioned. Curious minds would like to know!
Mike_Massen
2.2 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2012
Osiris1 mumbled, like so many lazy 'enquirers' (article btw)
The artical is a scare monger by saying it is the closest object of this nature to our system. Just HOW FAR is never mentioned. Curious minds would like to know!
Ha !

It would only scare those who dont know how big our solar system is or how big the empty space it has around it, how curious is that - WoW :-)

Re: Curious minds - Ha !, If you actually bothered to check the link PROVIDED you'll find its in the "AB Doradus" group (mostly) so dont be scared now yah'hear.

Now be good and look up the details re AB Doradus okie, just for 'curious minds' re google or astronomy datbases etc

And dont forget to get back to us with an update and link otherwise me might just conclude you really are lazy and a user of others, yah'hear...

Earnestly and sincere curious minds need to exercise the grey matter on which they rely - OH so MUCH upon :-)

have a nice day, cyah :-)
obama_socks
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 17, 2012
LOL Mike_Massen...you are a card. There are a lot more scary objects closer to us than a homeless planet that we WILL have to deal with sooner or later.
But in the meantime, my ex-wife asked me about what are the chances Earth will get hit by something big like another asteroid the size of Manhattan. I told her that her chances of getting a job and finding a fool to marry so I can quit sending her alimony money is far greater than Earth getting a direct hit by anything. Just an educated guess.

Luckily my sons will be graduating from Caltech, my old alma mater in June...just before I collide with their tuition payments. rah rah rah

El_Nose
not rated yet Nov 19, 2012
so many comment --

anyway my only contribution is that finding a needle in a haystack is rather easy use a powerful magnet... finding 1 isolated piece of hay in a haystack is extremely hard
Mike_Massen
2.8 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2012
obama_socks with his barely functional nickname recognised a freaky dude with
LOL Mike_Massen...you are a card. There are a lot more scary objects closer to us than a homeless planet that we WILL have to deal with sooner or later.
Well be careful you dont get a paper cut then :P

I aim to please, I am to entertain . . . . . . . . myself with the benefit of red whine, you know the red anthocyanins dosed with a little resveratrol, tannins, bisulphates etc yawn

Orbits are essentially chaotic with only the illusion of determinism as our lifespan is so feebly short FFS !

Governments spend so much on useless dead-end politically expedient idiocies eg war posturing when education in concert with a national industry such as comet/asteroid searches and competitions to advance automatic search methods with universities would raise the local technology base.

We seem to be little more than moderately intelligent primates with the illusion of achievement whilst our base nature seems static.
Oysteroid
1.7 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2012
Loose objects transiting accross our path in the Milkyway are certainly the most dangerous possible objects

Just you wait till the discovery of a far-blue shifted star with no detectable lateral movement...
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2012
What is Oysteroid trying to say
Just you wait till the discovery of a far-blue shifted star with no detectable lateral movement...
So you are saying its coming at us head on direct in line, no left/right or up/down perceptible change ?

Would be rather a freaky idea and the world reaction would certainly be 'most interesting' ;-)

Should we hope this sort of thing happens - for a while ?

*grin*

Should anti-theists and atheists pray for this as a means to unite the human race...