Hundreds of billions of planets the size of Jupiter are floating alone in space, or are so very far from their host stars that those stars aren't easily identifiable as associated with the planets. From the NY Times:
“It’s a bit of a surprise,” said David Bennett, a Notre Dame astronomer, who was part of the team. Before this research, it was thought that only about 10 or 20 percent of stars harbored Jupiter-mass planets. Now it seems as if the planets outnumber the stars...
Planetary astronomers said the results would allow them to tap into a whole new unsuspected realm of exoplanets – as planets outside our own solar system are called – causing scientists to re-evaluate how many there are, where they are and how they are created, even as astronomers immediately began to ponder whether the new planets in question are in fact floating free or just far from their stars, at distances comparable to those of Uranus and Neptune in our own solar system.
“Either there is a large population of Jupiter-mass planets far from their star, or, yes, there are a lot of lonely planets out there,” said Sara Seager, a planetary theorist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"Billions of Lonely Planets, Adrift in Space" (Thanks, Jody Radzik!)
Is your brain a machine? Are your thoughts and feelings just malware of the mind? (And what “really” is a machine, anyway?) John and Eva referee the transhumanist fight of the century. In the blue corner, we have Eva meeting founder and Bryan Johnson, CEO of Kernel, straight from his office in LA. And in […]
For some children with severe epilepsy, the best treatment may be a very rare surgical procedure in which a large portion — even half — of the child’s brain is removed or disconnected. Amazingly, many of these individuals can relearn motor, language, and cognitive skills. How? The brain reorganizes itself and builds new connections. To […]
This video depicts light speed in contexts where it appears to be slow. The moon is 1.2 light seconds from Earth; Mars several light minutes. This is, of course, why humans aren’t moving out of this solar system any time soon.
Paying for things is all too easy online these days, and that’s why managing your money has gotten so hard. We’ve all done it: You sign up for a streaming subscription or gym membership, blow past the free trial date, and it becomes a part of your monthly expenses. Some of us juggle so many […]
We all know those gifts we get “for the kids,” the ones that parents are secretly more excited to open. Drones are a perfect example, but there’s a model out there that really doubles down on that appeal. Introducing the Space Fighter Building Block Drones, a series of space fighter drones that are a blast […]
The hardest part of web design can be nailing down the look. These days, even non-designers can easily spot a stale stock photo or lazily-made icon. What’s the solution? No matter what kind of artist you are, it’s always a good idea to widen your palette. And with more than a million vector images to […]