LANL Abstract: A free-floating planet population in the Galaxy?

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 06:33:27 MST

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From: Hans Zinnecker <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 19:55:48 GMT (8kb)

A free-floating planet population in the Galaxy?

Authors: Hans Zinnecker (Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam)
Comments: 4 pages, 0 figures, to be published in Microlensing 2000: A New
Era of Microlensing Astrophysics, ASP conference Series, Vol. 000, 2001,
J.W. Menzies and P.D. Sackett, eds

     Most young low-mass stars are born as binary systems, and
     circumstellar disks have recently been observed around the
     individual components of proto-binary systems (e.g. L1551-IRS5).
     Thus planets and planetary systems are likely to form around the
     individual stellar components in sufficiently wide binary systems.
     However, a good fraction of planets born in binary systems will in
     the long run be subject to ejection due to gravitational
     perturbations. Therefore, we expect that there should exist a
     free-floating population of Jupiter-like or even Earth-like
     planets in interstellar space. There is hope to detect the
     free-floating Jupiters through gravitational microlensing
     observations towards the Galactic Bulge, especially with
     large-format detectors in the near-infrared (e.g. with VISTA or
     NGST), on timescales of a few days.

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Amara Graps, PhD | Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik
Heidelberg Cosmic Dust Group | Saupfercheckweg 1
+49-6221-516-543 | 69117 Heidelberg, GERMANY *
"We came whirling out of Nothingness scattering stars like dust." --Rumi

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