How Planets Go Rogue

By on January 7, 2013 // Space // 0 Comments

How Planets Go Rogue
Image: Flickr/NASA/ESA/G. Bacon via CC by 2.0

A new study has found that exoplanets in wide binary star systems, or two-star systems in which the stars have “elongated orbits,” have a chance of being thrown out into the vast emptiness of interstellar space.

You know what that means!

Hercolubus. Wormwood. Planet X.

Well, perhaps not.

The research was conducted using computer simulations, which calculated the orbital effects of wide two-star systems on their exoplanets*.

What researchers found was that, at times, the orbits of the two stars may become eccentric, bringing them very close to one another. As a result, this may cause nearby exoplanets to experience “dramatic orbital disruptions.”

Which may lead to said exoplanets getting, rather inconsiderately, kicked out of their systems.

“In one set of runs…the team added a wide-binary companion to our own solar system. In nearly half of the simulations, at least one giant planet — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune — got booted out into space.”

Of course, this doesn’t always happen. But perhaps it explains the existence of so many rogue planets out there.

And, naturally, this news adds fodder to the looming threat of Nibiru, or the mysterious Planet X, which many claim is hiding out within the Solar System, just waiting for the perfect moment to crash right into Earth.

*Exoplanet is just a fancy term for extrasolar planets, or planets outside of the Solar System

Source: Alien planets face danger from double-star systems

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.
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