Science Web Corner I.S.S.N.: 1579-1149
El rincón de la Ciencia nº 4 (enero-2000)
Our unknown planet: "The vagabond" (Al-2)
Mª Elena Jaén and Maria Amor
(Pupils from 4th ESO at IES Victoria Kent in Torrejón de Ardoz)
English Translation: J. Cantos
This is a English version of the El planeta Vagabundo
In fact, what is it?
Last October a new far planet was discovered. It still has not been confirmed whether it is a planet, a brown dwarf or even a distant and weak star.
The Vagabond or the also so-called wandering planet is composed by gas, dust and rests of comets and asteroids. It has two or three times the mass of Jupiter and it could be the biggest planet in our solar system. This object is located in the constellation of Taurus, in a binary system of stars. The mentioned planet is placed at 450 light years from the Earth. This wandering planet was discovered thanks to a study on other protoplanetary systems, that is to say, stars surrounded by a disc of dust and gas in whose interior, planets are believed to be formed.
As for the Vagabond, the information so far collected leaves out a lot of mysteries without resolving. Although this planet has been said to have been composed by gas, dust and rests of comets and asteroids, in fact, we cannot find out what it is made of without its bogey.
If this object was a planet, the possibilities of life in it would not be very abundant. The protoplanet would be a big ball of gases, without a solid surface and it would not have any sources of light and heat, and therefore, we could not live in it.