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Thread: Rogue Planet Etymology

  1. #1
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    Rogue Planet Etymology

    Hi,

    So I wonder: How would we name a rogue planet if we were to detect one?

    An example would be welcome.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I imagine that it would probably get named according to what catalog the discovery image was in, and what coordinates it was found in in that catalog...

    I don't know the specifics of any such catalog but maybe something like: IRFE:19h17m32s 11d58m02s
    Probably unsatisfying to you since it doesn't distinguish the kind of object. Rogue planets would have the same kind of name as nebulae, clusters, new forming stars, or anything else you might label. It is only by finding that object on a list that you'd know it was considered a rogue planet.


    (just my guess)
    Forming opinions as we speak

  3. #3
    The name probably depends on how it was found, as well; if it were found in an IR survey, then it would probably just be listed as another object in that instrument's catalog (e.g., 2MASS ____, IRAS _____, and so on). If it was a previously-cataloged object that was only retroactively identified, it would keep its previous notation (e.g., how SS 433 was cataloged before it was ever recognized as a microquasar).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
    So I wonder: How would we name a rogue planet if we were to detect one?
    Ha ha, yes, normally a planet is named after its star. Ceti Alpha V comes to mind. I imagine by the time we detect one, we'll have the technology to plug its location, speed, and direction into a little box and promptly determine the star from which it went rogue. Then it could be named, for example, Ceti Alpha .
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    Ha ha, yes, normally a planet is named after its star. Ceti Alpha V comes to mind. I imagine by the time we detect one, we'll have the technology to plug its location, speed, and direction into a little box and promptly determine the star from which it went rogue. Then it could be named, for example, Ceti Alpha .
    Why do you imply that we would only detect rogue planets in some relatively far away future? I think that under around a thousand AU from the Sun, a rogue planet could be found via occultation or IR detection, so it would lie in the Oort cloud at the moment of discovery.

    In fact, we could detect a rogue planet tomorrow, and not be able to track its former system.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
    Why do you imply that we would only detect rogue planets in some relatively far away future? I think that under around a thousand AU from the Sun, a rogue planet could be found via occultation or IR detection, so it would lie in the Oort cloud at the moment of discovery.

    In fact, we could detect a rogue planet tomorrow, and not be able to track its former system.
    Based on current models, the likelihood of a rogue planet within 1000 AU is vanishingly small. We are guessing based on these models that what will be detected as a rogue planet will be some Jupiter-sized object with enough of its own heat that large future IR instruments might see one.
    Forming opinions as we speak

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    What is the maximum mass of a comet?

    Is Sedna a comet or an asteroid? And why?

    If a body more massive than Pluto or Eris were found in outer Oort cloud, how can it be verified to have cleared an orbit or not have cleared it? Looking just at the first object we see, with no full picture of what other objects may exist or not exist on nearby orbits?

    Say we discover a body of 2 Jupiter masses at 1000 AU, and it is on a fairly circular orbit. In underlying fact it has indeed cleared a gap of semimajor axes between 600 or 1500 AU; but this cannot be seen without a complete overview of the objects there. Shall it be a planet or not?

    If a body is seen approaching an inner Solar System, and is seen so far out that it does not have comet activity when found, how is it found to be either a comet or asteroid? Could a long period comet become an asteroid permanently simply because it was spotted so far out that it was not active as a comet?

    How can an object such as "rogue planet" even exist? A "rogue planet" by definition cannot have cleared its orbit - then what is the difference between a "rogue planet" and a "rogue dwarf planet"?

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    Heres one candidate;
    Cha-110913-773444
    I suspect that free-floating planets, or planemos as they are sometimes known, are very numerous, and will be given catalog numbers (probably, like this one, quite long ones).

    It would only be worth naming them if we ever actually visit one. They might be surprisingly warm for several reasons, so might be worth visting or even colonising/exploiting in some way. Some might even hold indigenous life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    What is the maximum mass of a comet?
    Less than the minimum mass of a black hole. Black holes
    have no hair.

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    Is Sedna a comet or an asteroid? And why?
    As far as I'm aware, nobody has ever detected gas and dust
    flying off of Sedna. If that is correct, then there is no good
    reason to classify Sedna as a comet.

    The bad reason is that if Sedna were much, much closer to
    the Sun, it would behave like a comet. And the behavior
    defines the comet.

    A comet is the visible dust and gas, which comes from the
    nucleus. A comet nucleus is an asteroid which is composed
    at least partly of ices which will sublimate when warmed by
    sunlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    If a body more massive than Pluto or Eris were found in outer
    Oort cloud, how can it be verified to have cleared an orbit or
    not have cleared it?
    According to all the planet formation theory I'm aware of, that
    question is irrelevant. A planet in the Oort Cloud would not
    be able to clear its orbit, nomatter how big it was. If it could
    clear its orbit, then the Oort Cloud would not be there, but at
    some distance even farther out.

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    Say we discover a body of 2 Jupiter masses at 1000 AU, and
    it is on a fairly circular orbit....
    Then it isn't a rogue planet, of course, and this thread is
    putatively about rogue planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    ... In underlying fact it has indeed cleared a gap of semimajor
    axes between 600 or 1500 AU; but this cannot be seen without
    a complete overview of the objects there. Shall it be a planet
    or not?
    Whether a body has cleared its orbit or not is irrelevant to the
    question of whether it is a planet or not. But then, I'm not a
    member of the IAU.

    Asteroids are small planets.

    Dwarf planets are bigger small planets.

    Terrestrial planets are even bigger small planets.

    After that, I stop calling them "small", until they get so big
    that we need to start calling them small stars.

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    If a body is seen approaching an inner Solar System, and is
    seen so far out that it does not have comet activity when
    found, how is it found to be either a comet or asteroid?
    Does my answer above satisfy?

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    Could a long period comet become an asteroid permanently
    simply because it was spotted so far out that it was not active
    as a comet?
    An object which used to be an ocean liner but is now resting
    on dry land, remains an ocean liner. If it is cut up and the
    pieces hauled away, it is no longer an ocean liner. Nothing is
    permanent. Comets lose their volatiles. If an asteroid was
    once a comet, it is reasonable to call it a comet just because
    it used to be. Like a retired military officer still has a rank.

    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    How can an object such as "rogue planet" even exist?
    A "rogue planet" by definition cannot have cleared its orbit -
    then what is the difference between a "rogue planet" and a
    "rogue dwarf planet"?
    A "rouged woman" by definition cannot have cleared her
    face of makeup - then what is the difference between a
    "rouged woman" and a "rouged dwarf woman"?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  10. #10
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    Small planets not orbiting stars should be far more numerous
    than large ones, shouldn't they? Small bodies are thrown out
    of a star system by larger bodies, not the other way around.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    Heres one candidate;
    Cha-110913-773444
    I suspect that free-floating planets, or planemos as they are sometimes known, are very numerous, and will be given catalog numbers (probably, like this one, quite long ones).

    It would only be worth naming them if we ever actually visit one. They might be surprisingly warm for several reasons, so might be worth visting or even colonising/exploiting in some way. Some might even hold indigenous life.
    First : How does that name (Cha-110913-773444) has been chosen? What does "Cha" mean, and what do the numbers mean?

    Second : A rogue planet could only be warm if its interior activity is high enough. I don't know if a planet similar in every way to the Earth, but roaming freely in space, would still have interior activity, or would rather be frozen dead... Of course it is plausible that a rogue planet has an intense and lasting internal activity, that warms lakes and oceans, and that some kind of chemotrophic life blooms in and around those "hot spots". That would be a really interesting finding!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
    First : How does that name (Cha-110913-773444) has been chosen?
    What does "Cha" mean, and what do the numbers mean?
    Before looking anything up, I guessed that "Cha" might refer to
    Chandra, the X-Ray satellite. But I doubted that X-Rays would
    have anything to do with it. They don't. My first guess was wrong.

    The article eburacum linked to says Cha-110913-773444 is in
    the constellation Chamaeleon. Bingo! Cha is the abbreviation
    for Chamaeleon. The two sets of digits consist of six digits
    each. The first two digits of the first set are a number between
    0 and 24, whlle the first two digits of the second set are a number
    between 0 and 90. The first set is right ascension in hours,
    minutes, and seconds, while the second set is declination in
    degrees, minutes, and seconds. Between the two sets is a
    hyphen. That must be a minus sign for the declination.
    Chamaeleon is in the southern sky, very close to the south
    celestial pole. I look on my starmap and find that the sky
    coordinates RA 110913 Dec -773444 is indeed in Chamaeleon.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
    Why do you imply that we would only detect rogue planets in some relatively far away future? ... In fact, we could detect a rogue planet tomorrow, and not be able to track its former system.
    True, but then, being unable to track its former system, it wouldn't fit into my clever naming scheme.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
    First : How does that name (Cha-110913-773444) has been chosen? What does "Cha" mean, and what do the numbers mean?

    Second : A rogue planet could only be warm if its interior activity is high enough. I don't know if a planet similar in every way to the Earth, but roaming freely in space, would still have interior activity, or would rather be frozen dead...
    From wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_p...rstellar_space
    It is calculated that for an Earth-sized object at a kilobar hydrogen atmospheric pressures in which a convective gas adiabat has formed, geothermal energy from residual core radioisotope decay will be sufficient to heat the surface to temperatures above the melting point of water.[9] Thus, it is proposed that interstellar planetary bodies with extensive liquid water oceans may exist.
    Larger planets could retain heat longer and be even warmer, even if the cloudtops are at interstellar temperatures.

    Of course it is plausible that a rogue planet has an intense and lasting internal activity, that warms lakes and oceans, and that some kind of chemotrophic life blooms in and around those "hot spots". That would be a really interesting finding!
    Moons of rogue planets could be warmed by tidal heating, allowing Europa-type and even Io-type worlds to exist in deep space.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Before looking anything up, I guessed that "Cha" might refer to
    Chandra, the X-Ray satellite. But I doubted that X-Rays would
    have anything to do with it. They don't. My first guess was wrong.

    The article eburacum linked to says Cha-110913-773444 is in
    the constellation Chamaeleon. Bingo! Cha is the abbreviation
    for Chamaeleon. The two sets of digits consist of six digits
    each. The first two digits of the first set are a number between
    0 and 24, whlle the first two digits of the second set are a number
    between 0 and 90. The first set is right ascension in hours,
    minutes, and seconds, while the second set is declination in
    degrees, minutes, and seconds. Between the two sets is a
    hyphen. That must be a minus sign for the declination.
    Chamaeleon is in the southern sky, very close to the south
    celestial pole. I look on my starmap and find that the sky
    coordinates RA 110913 Dec -773444 is indeed in Chamaeleon.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Amen!

  16. #16
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    Avoiding the argument that the current definition of planet means there can be no rogue planets, I'd like to think they far out number the stars of all types, especially if we count ones with one moon mass or more. If that is the case, one or more will likely pass though the inner solar system, before 2999, and dozens come closer than the present distance of Sedna. This may have happened as recently as two centuries ago with the passege being incorrectly identified. Possibly, the past two or three centuries have had anominally few passages of rogue stars, by my definition. They are likely at least slight bunched in millons of small bunches in our galaxy. Is one degree per year a reasonable estimate of their apparent movement against the back ground of far distant stars, at about Sedna distance and traveling about plus or minus 10 kilometers per second, (average ignoring the plus or minus) toward our Sun? Neil
    Last edited by neilzero; 2012-Apr-28 at 12:07 PM. Reason: changed 20 degrees to one degree

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