From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 19:18:04 MDT

An amusing conceit:

>Scientists have discovered 18 planet-like objects, drifting free of
> any central star, in a region of the Orion constellation. If the
> young, cool bodies are in fact planets, these free floaters may
> pose a considerable challenge to current theories about how
> planets form.

>The team determined the objects' mass by plugging their data into
> models of planet and brown dwarf formation. Researchers
> generally classify bodies less than 13 times the mass of Jupiter
> (13 Jupiter masses) as planets, and bodies between 13 and 75
> Jupiter masses as brown dwarfs.
> The model results vary a bit depending on the objects' age,
but are
> mostly well within the range for planets. Sigma Orionis is
> probably 5 million years old, so if the objects are equally old,
> they are probably 8-15 Jupiter masses. If they are only 1 My, the
> fainter ones could be as small as 5 Jupiter masses.

Uh, Robert, I don't suppose...


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