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Free Floating Planets finally detected - NASA

Robin John
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Joined: Sep 10, 2008
Posts: 270

"Although free-floating planets have been predicted, they finally have been detected," said Mario Perez, exoplanet program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "[This has] major implications for models of planetary formation and evolution." - NASA webpage


Do you believe in planets with life in them ? its like, someday we could hop around planets and float to some other place ?


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Stephan van Hulst
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Joined: Sep 20, 2010
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  14

I don't think so. By definition, free floating planets are far away from stars, so there would be little energy to sustain life.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

I'm not sure that is true...if they have a large atomic mass at the core, the residual heat from decay could provide ample heat for a liquid ocean under an icy crust. I believe Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, has talked about this, but I don't have time to research right now.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Robin John
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Joined: Sep 10, 2008
Posts: 270

yeah..

but who said you need a star to sustain life... is it ? some water and some geo thermal heat would do.. right ?
Stephan van Hulst
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Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3599
    
  14

Let me put it this way. I don't think harnessing energy to sustain human life on these planets would be economically viable :P

[edit]

Although, who knows? By the time we have the technology to seek out and visit these planets...
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

"That's no moon, it's a space station!"


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Greg Charles
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2840
    
  11

Cool story! I'm not sure I understand your question though? You're asking if it's likely that someday we'll be able to build fast enough spacecraft to travel to one of these free floating planets in something less than a human lifetime, then land on it and just wait for it to drift somewhere else we might like to go? I'd say that's pretty unlikely. At some point, one of those pilgrims is going to say to his buds, "Hey, you know what goes about a billion times faster than this planet? Our spaceship!"
Mark Spritzler
ranger
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Joined: Feb 05, 2001
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    6

Stephan van Hulst wrote:Let me put it this way. I don't think harnessing energy to sustain human life on these planets would be economically viable :P


Wait, you mean they have to make money in order to sustain life? ;)

Mark


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Robin John
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Joined: Sep 10, 2008
Posts: 270

Greg Charles wrote: I'm not sure I understand your question though? You're asking if it's likely that someday we'll be able to build fast enough spacecraft to travel to one of these free floating planets in something less than a human lifetime, then land on it and just wait for it to drift somewhere else we might like to go?


yes, build a spaceship which itself can harness life and sustain it (well, for a human lifetime and making babies atleast), then go to the planet and live happily ever after and forget earth...

"float to some other place" <- This was for the whole human race and not for a single person with a limited lifetime, the 'place' doesn't matter though...

second thoughts - the planet might get captured in the gravitational pull of our Sun if its too close to hop in...
Zye Valfzaurk
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Joined: Jun 07, 2011
Posts: 35
I believe it would be very nice if one day mankind can achieve the technology of traveling from planet to planet...... Just seeing how my sole existence is irrelevant to the vastness of the world really amazes me up to my spines.... And thinking about how insignificant am I to the universe?, well I could seriously explode..... I wish my lifetime would be ridiculously long to witness these events.... XD


If I stare at something, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is beautiful..... because most of the time, I stare to see how ugly it truly is....
 
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