2.14.2012 – I happened upon this brief and somewhat mysterious little video clip [ see below] tonight while looking for something sun-related in a YouTube search. It is the only video uploaded to a YT channel dubbed “FoolOnTheStar” – and I really do not know what to make of it. I’m posting it for readers to evaluate below. I am including the text that appears under it on YouTube. This video is signed as if it was produced by a NASA employee, but of course I cannot verify that fact. The material below has two names and email contact info.
Noteworthy is the mention of a stellar astronomy site in the video’s credits, which is truly a thing of beauty. Be sure and visit http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov after you watch the video. See also this article:
Uploaded by FoolOnTheStar on May 27, 2011
Text which accompanied the video post:
NASA posted a scientific article accepting the possibility on this URL:
Free-Floating Planets May Be More Common Than Stars
“The isolated orbs, also known as orphan planets, are difficult to spot, and had gone undetected until now”
“Although free-floating planets have been predicted, they finally have been detected, holding major implications for planetary formation and evolution models,”
“The discovery indicates there are many more free-floating Jupiter-mass planets that can’t be seen”
“This would add up to hundreds of billions of lone planets in our Milky Way galaxy alone.”
“… but theories suggest lower-mass planets like Earth should be ejected from their stars more often. As a result, they are thought to be more common than free-floating Jupiters.”
“Previous observations spotted a handful of free-floating, planet-like objects within star-forming clusters, with masses three times that of Jupiter. But scientists suspect the gaseous bodies form more like stars than planets. These small, dim orbs, called brown dwarfs, grow from collapsing balls of gas and dust, but lack the mass to ignite their nuclear fuel and shine with starlight. It is thought the smallest brown dwarfs are approximately the size of large planets.
“On the other hand, it is likely that some planets are ejected from their early, turbulent solar systems, due to close gravitational encounters with other planets or stars. Without a star to circle, these planets would move through the galaxy as our sun and other stars do, in stable orbits around the galaxy’s center. The discovery of 10 free-floating Jupiters supports the ejection scenario, though it’s possible both mechanisms are at play”.
“Our results suggest that planetary systems often become unstable, with planets being kicked out from their places of birth.”
“The observations cannot rule out the possibility that some of these planets may have very distant orbits around stars,”
“These occur when something, such as a star or planet, passes in front of another, more distant star. The passing body’s gravity warps the light of the background star, causing it to magnify and brighten. Heftier passing bodies, like massive stars, will warp the light of the background star to a greater extent, resulting in brightening events that can last weeks. Small planet-size bodies will cause less of a distortion, and brighten a star for only a few days or less”.
Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Trent Perrotto 202-358-0321
The video posted was obtained from this URL
Lone Planet Under a Cosmic Magnifying Glass
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