Free-Floating Planetary-Mass Objects
Love this podcast support this show through the ACOSS support a feature. It's up to you how much give and there's no regular commitment. Just hit the link in the show description to support now. Fifteen seconds guided. Journal. Chan. Ignition sequence space nuts. Three To. Five. Feels good. I once again, thank you for joining us on the space nuts podcast. My Name is Andrew Dunkley your host joining me as always is professor Fred. What's an astronomer at large? Hello friend Andrew. Very. Well, sir, very very well, indeed Assad from my continuing aching back dot pickup boxes is my recommendation. I'm not gonNA, do it rest of my life but Yes. Five five trips to the chiropractor and I'm still not quite one hundred percent but Yeah that's what happens. The problem with getting older issued I. Think About Getting Alda and the while your body is starting to change and you do things that you would have done in your thirties that you've got away with the United Lanka can get away with. That you go. Well. You need to wear a badge says I cannot pick up boxes so that when you say a Condo, the people know why? Back good patient actually. Yes. We press on regardless. Now. We. Guide to talk about a free floating planets I think they might be more of them than stars actually That's a lot of planets floating around out there doing their own thing Talking about stas which we weren't but we are We're going to talk better son because. In might have been part of a binary system at some stage which we have touched on before but they may be some new evidence by the sound of it to perhaps confirmed that theory and they're all might this spice doogie is back in the news. I. Am so thrilled because it sort of came and went and is never coming back again to the best of annoys and belief oswestry worried that it might fight away forever and we'd never be able to talk about it again. But here it is and we're going to answer a question from pole in Victoria who want is why we have never gone back to urine his and Neptune since voyager to. The. Short Answer Paul is that they had a committee meeting and they all decided that saying urine us out loud was too embarrassing. So we'd Never GonNa Guy There again. I think. That we're all flushed with embarrassment over the the name. Started that's just not. You know we can't put that on a meteoroid less. So in never going back, we'll go somewhere else. That's my belief show. Afraid got another theory. We'll look into that but I fred, let's talk about these free floating planets of which there appears to be many more than we might have originally considered. That's correct. So the these objects have got many different names sometimes rogue planet sometimes called often planets the nine light best. A slightly strange acronym which stands for Free Floating. Planetary mass of. Free floating planetary my subjects we somehow becomes Flops or flops with a double double. F.. Influx is a very appropriate management because that's what they are. Members of a solar system. They've they've. Become disemboweled disembodied have gone off. We don't want to be a part of your little spin out. We'll do our. Thank you very much. So these things are not just hypothetical. Excuse me we know exists they are. Observed in some of the cell foaming regions of our galaxy, most notably in the Constellation Orion which he thought him a variety is whether I whether I found you might wonder how a planet doesn't have come to light it up could shine. How could you detect them unser is that? Planets of the older of Jupiter size actually have. Low level nuclear processes going on specifically nuclear efficient in that interior which generates. Enough that detectable in the infrared Jupiter remember rightly. Image still almost twice the energy it receives from the Sun because of these processes going on in its interior. So they do shine dimly when the infrared region of the spectrum. That's how they have been found. stub we don't really know whether they come from and the two main theories. First of all, they represent a low mass. byproduct of the formation of stuff. So if you've got a cloud of gas and dust in which a full Ming you're GonNa get stars of many different masses forming within the gas cloud but you'll also get things that full because of gravitational self gravitational attraction that up big enough to become a proper stars a we already know that there's a class of objects in that category which are very large in number that co Brown Dwarf, stars, and they also shine by low level nuclear processes. They are more than thirteen times the mass of Jupiter. So they quite big butts is possible that you know within the spectrum of masses of objects being formed within a gas cloud. You're GonNa get things at the planetary mass. And Just the. Last remnants as it were of of star formation that's one theory. The other theory is that they may well be planets have indeed formed in the solar system but because of the gravitational interactions between those planets in this in that embryonic solar system early in its life. A one of these things has got kicked out in may be possible that happened in our own solar system, we might find an additional planet kicked out. Into a distant albeit so That's the main thinking of where the things come from what would help you know. Could it be by theory Sir your be both. Exam it could different you could disentangle. A few have observations of enough of them. You would probably be able to disentangle whether it's one or the other or both of those theories. So that's why the stories in the news because. Some work that's been done at Ohio State University. A has looked at you know the possibilities for these objects and they soon, they suggest that they may be as you send in the lead up to this. The headline that these things might actually outnumber stars there might be more of them than there are stars that kind of makes sense if they're. The sort of leftover debris of star formation that you might have many many gazillions of these things following. Along with biggest stars which we know about. But the question these authors pose is why? Why would we? How are sorry rather not why how how could we find if they're? If. These objects are so numerous and they point to a an upcoming NASA mission, which is a do for lunch yet I think twenty twenty-five is when it will be launched. It has the name of the Nancy. Grace Roman Space Telescope. Nancy Grace Roman. I think she's the one of the the brains behind the the Hubble, space telescope, she she was a a luminary. In fact, she was Nassar's first chief astronomer. And also. Known as the mother of the Hubble. Telescope. So that telescope. Space? Telescope. And it will. It has the potential to find large numbers of these objects. How can it do that by the process of? Microlending. which is that phenomenon that any gravitating object whether it's a plan that star galaxy or cluster of galaxies distorts the space around it, and if you have, for example planet passing between ourselves a distant star, you can see the distant star, but you can't see the planet. But what you can see is the fact of the planet's gravitational field on the light of the distant star it actually peaks the light into. Signal the light of the distance targets Brighter Planet Platt passes in front of it, which is completely country. Think it will be the other way round but in fact, the the gravitational field of the planet magnifies the light of the star. And the IT turns out that the Nancy Grace Roman telescope is perfectly suited to observing this kind of phenomenon. We already do see gravitational microlending planets that happens. With ground based telescopes there's a number of projects that look for that. So it's not it's not a a a while guess that this would happen. We see already but if you can do it from space with a kind of accuracy that this telescope will have, you're gonNA find more that's the bottom line and the more we know about these things the more interesting they will become. A part of it's all a system they're not opening star they've for some reason ejected formed in A. In a situation where there wasn't a an adequate enough stock to. So that flooded off somewhere a sort of within galaxy clusters or are they were within galaxies or or they perhaps floating between galaxies Of everything. So the certainly the ones that have been detected at all within our galaxy because say. You know you need to be able to observe a star beyond them. In order to detect them. He selected outdistance style, you seeing changing and so. They're all within our Galaxy And In a sense relatively local because the. Galaxies very dusty place. So when we look at the Milky, way, we're only seeing stars thousand light years. So away compared with the the twenty five thousand light years that it is to the central galaxy. So they'll they'll be galaxy the ones that have been discovered so far. I think ourselves that have been found away from star forming regions, but I'm not sure about that. Certainly. The ones that were first discovered were within star forming regions. We do know that they are objects that cross the galactic threshold if I can use that term and move is one of those it came from a different place. So I'm guessing these planets can do the same thing or could potentially. Well that's right I guess in an extreme case, she could have barging into our own solar system. From from very this solar system. Hasn't happened yet as far as we know. Okay but the the the the theory is they might be a heck of a lot of them. And they that could be all sorts of shapes and sizes too I. mentioned they will not however we believe account for the the dot, the idea of matter. Someone was going to ask that and was going to be made but. I. Imagine. They just again, probably just a minuscule part of the entire makeup of the universe. When you look at the, you know the amount of that they would come. Even. If they outnumbered stars, the amount of musty tribute is nowhere near enough to to make up the. We've been doing this for so long I guess that just just sort of happens sometimes for it Yeah they're interesting and who knows we might get a visit from one one day although that could be catastrophic. If it's sort of headed stratus, we don't really want. And I suppose even though the last time we spoke about at the theory was starting to be considered the planet non does not exist could planet on Bay Free, Florida well, we're about to talk about the next story actually under. Up. On. Hold for the moment. A minute and a half. Indeed. You're listening to the space and that's podcast with Andrew. Dunkley and Fred Watson. Space Nuts as always I'd like to say thank you to L. Patrons and there are many ways you can support the spice nuts podcast. You can do that to repatriate on dot. COM and sign up to to to pay Voluntarily. Of course to support this podcast, there's also super cast. It's space nuts stood supercars dot tech. You can do a free trial for thirty days and if you don't lock it what you can. Give it up or you can keep going various price structures within super. we have Combo deals as well. Say can listen to multiple podcasts depending on what kind of fee you want to sawn up for on super cast and otherwise supporting us is to listen via Youtube because the magic number on Youtube, is four thousand. If we can achieve four thousand downloads awake on Youtube that benefits the podcast financially as well. So there are many ways you can support the podcast I'm GonNa, tell you what you should or shouldn't do. It is purely up to you. It is totally voluntary and if you're happy doing what you're doing, then I'm not gonNa tell you to change. But as a patron, you do get bonus material and you do get the ad free version of spice nuts just science. Now let's move along and we hinted at this a moment ago. But as son might have had a had a twin or a might have been part of a binary system. Now we've talked about boundaries toss before and they're not that uncommon as it turns out. But asks on sits alone but he she or read may not have in the past. Exactly, and one of the reasons why this idea keeps cropping up is that. We know when we study sun like stars throughout the galaxy. Have Binary companion so that the start their life as. A. Pair of stars. And in fact, it may even be that most of them started their lives with binary companions and so if that's the case, then did the some and so this has been addressed by. A number of scientists at. The Harvard. Harvard University in the USA. And they've? Essentially identified a couple of peculiarities of the outer solar system. which suggests that maybe there was a a binary. You know. The Sun was possible binary system when it was born. Now before you imagine the some. Looking like. Something from star. Wars. So that, you've got to Sun's rising in the sky setting in the evening. This second song that we might have had in the distant past the suggestion is that it was very distant hundred and fifty billion kilometers away. so far away that he actually would be pinpoint of light. Like very bright star, not not something like a second selm. And that distance in itself. Tells you. That it might not have been bound very closely to our son so that if something. Came along another passing star, for example. With a bit more gravitational traction, it could have easily pulled it away because hundred fifty billion kilometers is a long way. So why do these scientists from Harvard think that there is evidence in the outer solar system that we might want this. Companion Star a one of them is what we've just been talking about Andrew the idea of planet nine now. ASSUMING THAT PLANET NINE will be found. So this bit of work in this part of the work makes these options that planet nine is really they're the go more evidence than just that which I'll come to in a minute. But if planet nineties found, he turns out that it's very difficult to. Explain its presence particularly elongated orbit. Without. The having been a binary star companion. In other words, if you find planet nine than that relatively strong evidence, some was once part of a binary system. You and I spoke recently about the idea that. Some scientists are thinking planet nine probably isn't that because they've reanalysed the the distant abalta objects whose elongated orbit into a line, which is the main reason why? People like Mike Brown who's one of the principal? Advocates for planet. He's at. Caltech. That's what they pointed to for the suggestion, the planet nineties that so other astronomers said, these alignments enough when you do the statistical analysis, there isn't an alignment of outer solar system objects. So planet nine isn't that. So that's one still in the in the mix and no doubt you and I will go on to talk about this for decades to Barra listeners today with the idea, the planet nine may or may not be the until found that that will sort out the answer. So. A quandary isn't if it's found. If. It's not fan we're GONNA keep looking for. Exactly. Until until the evidence for it disappears, but I, don't think it has done yet. On enthusiastic about planet nine I, think it will turn at one day and surprise us all. That means that you've got good evidence that maybe there was a binary complaining to the song. The other evidence though is something that we do know is there and that is the cloud this. Cloud of comet commentary. Daybreak. Really. It's it's very cool. Shout at a very high distance from the center of the solar. System way beyond the icy asteroids that we call the. Kuyper belt. And it's basically this sort of shell of of. Objects. Some of which. Fall into the solar system and we see them as comments it's that reservoir. If you like country debris proposed by John. A, about the time of the second, World War I think in the fifties was when he proposed idea an. Very, very convincing explanation for why we see comments coming into the inner solar system at all angles, they don't just coming in the plane of the system. and. Basically, you know the the ideas that we have the theories that we have full house solar systems of full saying that you should get this phenomenon. You should get a shallow of really icy objects way out in the depths of the solar system. That is very cool. Rather than flatlined the inner solar system. So we know the cloud exists, but it turns out that it is rather difficult to explain. It stability unless there was this second some in the solar system. So that is the evidence that the scientists point to principal evidence as well as planet nine. that. Is Why. It's why we We have cloud suggesting that for the first hundred, million of so years of the solar system's existence, which is actually a very small part of it bearing in mind that it's four point six billion years old. The the the the. The. That's when that companion style was lost. Because at that early in the solar system history, they would still be the stopped foaming region, the cloud of gas and dust that it was that it was formed. And so what you've got is a lot of other nearby stars which that distance as I mentioned earlier could pull it away because this is such a dense such, a high density within up foaming region. So that's why they said the movement there's an interesting. Paper on this, which is in the astrophysical journal letters one of the leading journals in astronomy. So it's not you know not fly by night idea coming from a bunch of crooks like you. Hates Ashley coming from. From a reputable university and it's a reputable journal. Yeah I, personally we there is a planet and we do find it I. Be a pretty exotic discovery, and hopefully they'll find it soon, I talked about the autocrat and how it might have existed because of a binary star. System. As you discussed does that suggest that other solar systems don't have clouds? That's right and that's something. We we really don't know about you know clouds essentially invisible. Road Planet. So often planets, they don't have any heat sources of their own that cold. That I see. The small enough that you don't really have any nuclear decay of uranium or anything like that. So the very, very difficult to detect and so. You know the the the the possibility is that then that may be no, it clowned around. Cloud around every star, but we just haven't got the wherewithal to observe it. On the other hand, as you say, if you only get into a clown, if you've got a staffel as a binary pair than. They might be rare although binary stars as I said at the beginning. Still, thought to be a actually in the majority in. In some like styles. Yeah. I suppose like me a lot of people think when you go bond restores it he's like that amazing saying that created in style wars with two big Sun's rising. But as you suggested the, they don't have to be close to be get together to be binary. So There's A lot more variation in in the definition of a binary than the papal might think. Yeah, exactly. So it's Telling you gravity works of a very long distances and things that are really long way about but it's still gravitationally bound to each other one. He's going round the other. Very. Interesting. All right. You are listening to the space nuts podcast Andrew Dunkley with Fred Watson. This is a cast recommends every week we pick one of our favorite shows and this is one we think you're gonNA love. Let's get real have. You ever wondered why adults are so obsessed with Disney I've seen park journalist Carl Wiesel and I'm right new podcast very amusing. 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Link and you'll find a record button and if you've got a divorce with a microphone and that can include a smart devos or a laptop computer or something along those lines just press records say I'm Fred and I want to know if such and such it's a simple as that and then you can just fi will download the question to our database and we will have it instantly it's really that simple or you can do it the old fashioned why I send it via email who would have thank that in two thousand twenty referring to a mile as the old fashioned way of sending us a question would be thing but there it is. But Yeah, we love your questions and please send them in. An effort we do have a question from pole in Sunshine Victoria. And Thank you both road sending issue question. I've often wondered why we haven't sent any spacecraft to urine nip in since voyager to I understand that the voyage probes took advantage of Jupiter and Saturn the lining with them and that we still need gravitational assistance from Jupiter however, surely every twelve years or so jupiter will be in a good position to help spice craft get to the gas giants. There is still. there's still so much to learn about these two planets and moons that scholley. There is the opportunity and we will explore the mysterious worlds further love the show thanks and regards Paul brings up a very good point we've we've done sat in, we've done Jupiter and we've done mas and we've done Venus and we've even done mercury that Neptune endurance, same sort of the the the second cousins twice removed. When? It comes to exploration. Is there any particular reason why we haven't gone back? They just boring not interesting They are interesting as I. Mentioned that there is giants there. They may have a nice cool. GASE envelope we. Call. Gus Chance. But the. They, have a different structure from Jupiter and Santa Genuine Gus John's. There John's because they further often the solar system cold. Regime of space the our interesting they've got you know you're in on side obviously had some kind of traumatic experience in the solar system that it it's rotation over by more than ninety degrees. All of these, both of these worlds have large retinues. Of of satellites. Some of which are quite large ones. and. There is a certainly. Many people within the planetary. Science. Community would love to see. Return missions to either one or the other a both of them. To have them aligned properly before you cover both. Simultaneously and not now not possible for. Lots of years until they until realign again. But I, think the bottom line is that those voices? Of people who would love to send missions back to those planets that kind of overwhelmed by. The. The the science it. In some ways is more exciting, more immediate. Because the bottom line is that there is only a limited bucket of funding that you can draw to to do this. Eight. If we had infinite funding for NASA, for example, that would have happened already but very such competition for space missions. And Not, cutthroat business, but it is a really difficult job to get your project above the above the horizon, even to get it to the starting line. And you and I have spoken before about missions, which you know got to the stage where feasibility study will be done. That happens and then you never hear again it's it's a really. Tight budgetary consideration. That's what does. The at the end of the day. So. Joey's money. Determined. Down, to there is exactly is pull says there is so much to learn about these two planets moons. was have not yet had the wherewithal to do it when you think you know even about Saturn. which is perhaps Certainly, among the most interesting planets in the entire solar system because of its ring system, we've we've sent one mission they're actually okay we find the voyages. Flying by, but there's only been one dedicated mission to Saturn Nuts Cassini. Look at what we learned from Cassini is just treasure trove of information not just about Saturn itself but about the way solar systems form and operate so really. That's that's a classic example. Cassini budgets was about sue. If I remember rightly about three billion dollars, which is a big ticket television in solar system exploration. Paul makes a very good point because Uranus Neptune As you said, and we we've never sent a dedicated mission to either of them and yet we have Pluto and that's further out is not. So how did that happen and the other was just a positional situation the time there was a little bit more to it. It's not just fast talking on the balanced the mission scientists for for for for neutralizes which went to Pluto. With Pluto. Pluto has a very elongated orbit as you know, and since nineteen eighty, nine I think it's been getting further and further away from the sun because it's an elongated orbit and that was felt in the planetary science community to be significant because. People thought if he's got any atmospheric tool, it's GONNA freeze out as he gets further and further away from the some. So there was an urgency to actually observe it. Soon as possible and that's also why new horizons was the Lamborghini spacecraft. Day was one of the fastest missions ever launched. Got There, within a within nine years in fact. Out to the distant solar system, it was done on the cheap, but it was astoundingly successful that was white new horizons go up whereas area renison net you mission would very much more circular orbits. Okay. So it was a case of go and if we're GONNA go now and we can always do the others lighter. Yeah. That was. Pretty simple or they pulled never say never but at the moment. I think. You're listening to space nuts and and Fred Watson We don't have another question Fred, but we are guy to visit my buddy, the space Doogie, which is back in the news. Now, the space doogie Mua Mua which was a or is a cigar shaped asteroid didn't actually come from Al part of the world sort of was just passing through from another place. Is Back in the news and at one stage I was suggesting or could be an alien spaceship. Well. That looks like it's being revisited as well. Why is it in the news again for it because? The theory that really I think a lot of people like the idea of and we talked about this that Moore remember as you said, it's shaped like a cigar something like four hundred meters long. Visited from another solar system past high-velocity through our solar system, and he's now off into the wild blue yonder and the the. Theory. That we discussed most recently was that it was a hydrogen iceberg something that had come from the central giant molecular cloud made a solid hydrogen and it was the hydrogen outgassing under the heat of the sun the caused the thrust that actually made this space this object. Behave in an unusual way because that that was why the alien theory came up in the first place that something is outgassing from Moore Moore. Causing it to this to strike from its gravitational path. But it's not shown any. Any evidence of cometary activity, but the hydrogen iceberg theory fit that bill well. Why is it in the news again because? Some of the the die hards of the alien theory and it's principally Avi Loeb, who's the head of the? Smithsonian. Institution. For A ASTROPHYSICS Avi is always provocative in looking for other possibilities. He and one of his colleagues have looked at the idea of. Molecular. Hydrogen. Thing being a Hodgin Iceberg and they've said it doesn't work. That actually, you don't get the things lasting long enough in order to survive journeys through interstellar space, and so they're back to the idea. Of It being a daily spacecraft. Nobody, believes them but it's very provocative and is very nice to To. To see re challenged in a sense. So. They strike in Layman's terms the theory that it's a hydrogen Osberg is being dismissed by them because the distances that it's had to travel to pass through all system with two great for it to survive the journey as a hydrogen aspects for it must be an alien spaceship. Is Right. That's a long bio longer. It is very very. I locked the look it's a long bar. I'll be love has a book coming out. Which? Is it's not yet released, but he's coming out apparently will be called extraterrestrial the first sign of intelligent life beyond earth. We'll see in January. So there you go. So this might just be you know. A bit of a publicity stunt for his new book. Would suggests that for me. The. Good luck. We wouldn't it be great if you turned out to be wrought, I think that would be amazing. And as you and I often say you just can't write off anything when it comes to spice. Stuff and astronomy science. There's so many on nine so why the heck not though Kauai to say he's book I'll speaking which it I have finished recording the. And in audio format that's great. That's such. Hard work. it's very hard work the editing annoy me but it's done. It's about a five to six hour audio experience. It's not available yet it's going through the ringer with the publisher. And once once if if it passes muster and that's the beef and I went now until next month I think. It will be available through just about every audio book outlet available. I. If and it's a bit of an experiment because It's a bit of a strange one because. There aren't too many avenues of Opportunity For Australian authors to Upload Audio. Books without having to pay a Mozart. and I certainly didn't want to do that. So I found a way around it through a through potty and the irony is the avenues are wanted to use it unavailable Estrella are available through the third party so Gregory's happy I'm glad Gregory's happy and I'm glad he might appearance. Anyway. I'll let you now. Um because we had quite a few people ask if they can get an audio copy and we nearly they on just it's going through quality control at the moment, which is pretty scary. anyway, we'll. We'll see how that turns out. And that wraps us up for yet another week. Fred Thank you great pleasure Andrew always good to talk. To talking again. Yes indeed our well, there's no talking this long periods of silence and that's A bit of a scary situation. Good to talk to you fred catches soon Fred Watson astronomer, lodge part of the team here on the space nuts podcast and for me Andrew Dunkley thank you. Again, we look forward to your company next time on another addition of space nuts as notes. To Spice Available at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts spotify, iheart radio, and your. Plan you can also stream on demand still Paul. This has been another podcast production from thoughts dot com.