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Baby 'Planemos' Can Be Born As Twins (Free-floating double "planets")

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:05 PM
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Baby 'Planemos' Can Be Born As Twins (Free-floating double "planets")
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/0608040841...

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A team led by a University of Toronto astronomy professor is challenging an existing theoretical model and thrilling the astronomy community with its discovery of a seven-Jupiter-mass companion next to a planemo, or planetary mass object, only twice as heavy. Both objects have masses similar to those of extra-solar giant planets, usually found in orbit around a star. Unexpectedly, these bodies appear to circle each other.

EDIT

The existence of this wide pair poses a challenge to a popular theory which suggests that brown dwarfs and planemos are embryos ejected from multiple proto-star systems. Since the two objects in Oph1622 are so far apart, and only weakly bound to each other by gravity, they would not have survived such a chaotic birth.

Planets are thought to form out of disks of gas and dust that surround stars, brown dwarfs and even some planemos. The researchers think that these planemo twins formed together out of a contracting gas cloud that fragmented, like a miniature stellar binary.

"We are resisting the temptation to call it a 'double planet' because this pair probably didn't form the way that planets in our solar system did," says Ivanov. "Now we're curious to find out whether such pairs are common or rare. The answer could shed light on how free-floating planetary-mass objects form."
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:11 PM
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1. Fascinating.
How did they see them? Are their accretion disks illuminated by nearby proto-stars?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The article said Infrared and visible light.
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