Free-Floating Planet Capture Not Rare, Says Paper

A newly published paper provides evidence for the idea that the capture of free-floating planets by stellar systems may be more common than previously thought.

Evidence of exoplanets with orbits that are misaligned with the spin of the host star may suggest that not all bound planets were born in the protoplanetary disk of their current planetary system.

Observations have shown that free-floating Jupiter-mass objects can exceed the number of stars in our galaxy, implying that capture scenarios may not be so rare. To address this issue, we construct a three-dimensional simulation of a three-body scattering between a free-floating planet and a star accompanied by a Jupiter-mass bound planet. We distinguish between three different possible scattering outcomes, where the free-floating planet may get captured after the interaction with the binary, remain unbound, or "kick-out" the bound planet and replace it.

The simulation was performed for different masses of the free-floating planets and stars, as well as different impact parameters, inclination angles and approach velocities. The outcome statistics are used to construct an analytical approximation of the cross section for capturing a free-floating planet by fitting their dependence on the tested variables. The analytically approximated cross section is used to predict the capture rate for these kinds of objects, and to estimate that about 1\% of all stars are expected to experience a temporary capture of a free-floating planet during their lifetime.

Finally, we propose additional physical processes that may increase the capture statistics and whose contribution should be considered in future simulations.
(From Capture of free-floating planets by stellar systems)

Science fiction authors have considered this idea for generations. The term rogue planet comes from Poul Anderson's 1967 novel Satan's World. But you'll find an earlier example - wandering worlds - in the 1932 story When World's Collide by Edwin Balmer and P. Wylie.


(
When Worlds Collide cover)

A special favorite of mine is the rogue world from Dying of the Light (1977), a superb science fiction novel by George RR Martin.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/10/2017)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.' - Charles Sheffield, 1979.

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...' - Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr., 1940.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks' - Robert Heinlein, 1948.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.