News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Giant 'Planets' on the Loose in Orion?

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Science  06 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5489, pp. 26
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5489.26a

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In a young star cluster perched near Orion's belt, a team at the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands has spotted nearly a score of what appear to be balls of gas several times as massive as the planet Jupiter. Unlike planets, the objects--described on page 103 of this issue--are celestial free agents, drifting through the cluster rather than orbiting stars. Astronomers disagree about how they got there and what to call them.