NASA has discovered a new planet floating freely around the galaxy proving the theory that in the dark depths of space, lonely planets outnumber stars in the Milky Way. A recent study “provides new clues in this mystery of galactic proportions,” said NASA, after scientists found a free-floating, planetary-mass object within a young star family called the TW Hydrae association. The newly discovered planet, called WISEA 1147 for short, is thought to be up to ten times the size of Jupiter.
“The features on this one screamed out, ‘I’m a young brown dwarf,’ “said Adam Schneider, lead author of the study due to be published in The Astrophysical Journal. But despite its size, tracing the origins of free-floating worlds to see if they are indeed planets or brown dwarfs is tricky — because they are so isolated and lonely. Since the object was discovered to be an affiliate the TW Hydrae group of very young stars, astronomers recognize that it is relatively young, around 10 million years old. Also, because planets need a minimum of 10 million years to develop, and even longer to get kicked out of a solar system, WISEA 1147 is probably a brown dwarf, the study team said. FULL REPORT