The Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii has recently released its discovery of an unknown planet spotted cold and lonely without any sun.
Lance Tillson of the National Monitor said the lonely star was named PSO J318.5-22. It is located about 80 light years away from the Earth and weighs about six times the mass of Jupiter. Astronomers claimed it could have been developed about 12 million years ago.
The loner planet was seen using the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope. Using the other telescopes, it also showed that this planet has similar features like those of the other gas planets that surround the stars.
Dr. Michael Liu of the Institute said it was the first time that such planet has been observed floating freely in space. It looked like a young planet but it drifts alone on its own. "I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist and now we know they do," he added.
NBC News reported that similar free-floaters have been spotted in the past but they were not easily identified if they were just falling stars or orphaned planets. But this time, several scientists confirmed it is a planet.
The unknown loner planet was seen accidentally when the astronomers were searching for brown dwarfs. These brown dwarfs are identified with their extreme red colors and cold temperatures. Experts used all the data they can get from the PS1 telescope as they observe sky every night. Its camera feature allows them to recognize the faint heat emitted by the brown dwarfs.
Astronomers further concluded how far the loner planet is from the Earth. It is reportedly part of an assembly of young stars called Beta Pictoris.
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