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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.' - EC Tubb, 1958.
Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...' - Gene Roddenberry, 1968.
Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.
Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'
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.
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'
Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'
Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'
FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.
Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'
China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'
China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '
Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories