February 8, 2012

'Ping-Pong' Planets Bounce Between Stars

Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic


NASA

A planet in a two-star system can end up in a gravitational ping-pong match that can last for millenia before the planet gets ejected into interstellar space, a new study suggests.

Scientists had previously theorized that gravitational interactions among multiple planets orbiting a star can sometimes cause a world to get ejected from its system, leaving the rogue planet to wander alone.

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TAGGED: Binary Star System, Exoplanet

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