/READ MORE // Exoplanet next door looks a lot like Earth
While it’s not the first candidate for being a so-called ‘errant planet’, the European Southern Observatory has confirmed that this one is for sure.
Others have been failed stars, or brown dwarves. CFBDSIR2149 is the first true planet.
CFBDSIR2149 marks the first time astronomers have had the chance to study an errant planet; most others are too close to stars to gauge their age, or atmosphere. The ESO is pretty confident about their findings:
“The team’s statistical analysis of the object’s proper motion—its angular change in position across the sky each year—shows an 87% probability that the object is associated with the AB Doradus Moving Group, and more than 95% probability that it is young enough to be of planetary mass, making it much more likely to be a rogue planet rather than a small “failed” star.
The planet, while seemingly not in any solar system or orbit, is associated with a cluster known as the AB Doradus Moving group, consisted of about 30 objects of about the same age and makeup than move in the same general speed and direction. Most astronomers believe this planet was likely ejected from a Solar System in the group.