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Illustration of a Free-Floating Planet

Illustration of a Free-Floating Planet

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Illustration of a free-floating planet. PSO J318.5-22 is a planet in the constellation of Pictor, around 80 light-years from Earth. It is odd in that, unlike most extrasolar objects, it does not seem to be in orbit around a star - it is a free-floating planet measuring around 6.5 times the mass of Jupiter. Free floating planets such as these may result from being ejected from a protoplanetary disc due to gravitation perturbations from other massive objects. This planet has cloud bands like those of the gas giant Jupiter, but its clouds have temperatures exceeding 800 degrees Celsius, resembling molten lead and hot dust.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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