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back to article Boffins tell ALIEN twin-sunned planets: You're adopted

Whether you're talking about Magrathea, Tattooine or Gallifrey, Earth's favourite alien life-forms frequently come from planets with two suns. But the likelihood is that those planets actually ended up orbiting two stars after being made somewhere else entirely. An artist's conception of Kepler-34b which orbits a double-star …

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Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?

Where a nuclear explosion on the moon kicked it out of orbit, doomed to wander the universe in flared trousers and lapels ?

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Re: Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?

If not, YouTube has many complete episodes for your viewing pleasure.

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Re: Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?

Weird, was just discussing this with a colleague today, remembering an episode where one of the flare clad pioneers was possessed by some alien entity that sucked power out of the moonbase.

Similarly commented on how it suffered from being made in the 70s, together with the original Tomorrow People series, where the jaunt belts were sadly overshadowed by the tank tops and massive collars.

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Re: Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?

I'm curious as to why people find it necessary to mock the fashions and dress sense of the 70s - and of no other decade in human history. Considering the frills and knickerbockers of the Renaissance or the overdressed foppishness of the Victorian era, or even the paisley and pudding-bowl haircuts of the 1960s, are just as "ridiculous" to modern eyes, I find it strange that people on every site I visit feel the need to ridicule the 1970s specifically whenever the subject comes up.

From what I remember of the 1970s (admittedly I was a kid at the time so there's probably some nostalgia goggles here) people generally seemed a lot more laid back and easygoing, and a lot less judgmental and intolerant than today. Furthermore, they worked shorter hours, had more leisure time, less work-related stress, and were paid proportionally more. So I wonder: is the mockery rooted in envy, or right-wing zealotry, or political correctness, or what?

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Re: Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?

Have an upvote for the splendid Space 1999 reference. The pedant in me however, says he needs to point out that the moon was kicked out of orbit by a chemical, not nuclear explosion.

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"Actually spawned by OTHER parent stars 'far, far away'"

Not necessarily. It's not clear from this story, but the planets might have been formed much further out and then migrated inwards.

The story does mention that forming further out is possible, and the various 'hot Jupiters' are thought to have migrated inward.

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It also suggests that their simulation is perfect and therefore the planets must come from somewhere else.

Even though the simulations say that all asteroids close-in are the "warm-born" type, and all those far out are the "cold-born" type, even though a sample of asteroids in our solar system shows a fair number in the wrong place. Once again, showing that something is wrong in the simulations. (Also possibly supporting the idea of Jupiter type planets moving inward and outward).

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"something is wrong in the simulations" @BB

Here, why not read the abstract (below)? You might like to note some mild claims about "improving on previous work", and qualifiers such as "investigate the feasibility", or "more plausible". The authors are not taking any kind of absolutist position about the perfection of their simulations or conclusions.

Abstract: Observations of circumbinary planets orbiting very close to the central stars have shown that planet formation may occur in a very hostile environment, where the gravitational pull from the binary should be very strong on the primordial protoplanetary disk. Elevated impact velocities and orbit crossings from eccentricity oscillations are the primary contributors to high energy, potentially destructive collisions that inhibit the growth of aspiring planets. In this work, we conduct high-resolution, inter-particle gravity enabled N-body simulations to investigate the feasibility of planetesimal growth in the Kepler-34 system. We improve upon previous work by including planetesimal disk self-gravity and an extensive collision model to accurately handle inter-planetesimal interactions. We find that super-catastrophic erosion events are the dominant mechanism up to and including the orbital radius of Kepler-34(AB)b, making in situ growth unlikely. It is more plausible that Kepler-34(AB)b migrated from a region beyond 1.5 AU. Based on the conclusions that we have made for Kepler-34, it seems likely that all of the currently known circumbinary planets have also migrated significantly from their formation location with the possible exception of Kepler-47(AB)c.

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"Not necessarily. It's not clear from this story, but the planets might have been formed much further out and then migrated inwards."

Or the binary system closed distance after the stars formed, dragging their planets along.

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Re: "something is wrong in the simulations" @BB

Close orbit is hostile for forming stars as well.

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The abstract doesn't suggest the planets were formed around other stars, just that some of the planets are unlikely to have started where they are now, because if they did they'd have been destroyed by other objects. The suggestion seems to be that they formed in the same solar system, but further out.

Given that the Nice theory of the development of our own solar system suggests movement of the larger planets has occured due to gravitational interaction, it seems reasonable that planets in a binary system would be more strongly perturbed by the interaction with two stars.

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Just maybe

Maybe the planet was towed there from another star system by an advanced race of extraterrestrials to help out the civilization that was on the original planet around the original star that had polluted their world with Fukashima type radioactivity. Perhaps this new planet had a totally encapsulated atmosphere and the ability to travel to any star and charge it's batteries so it could exist anywhere in space around the stars and have a totally artificial environment with a controlled gravitational field.

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Essential binary

It has been reported that planets exist which roam the galaxy, not orbiting any star or multiple star. It is thought they have been ejected from multi-star systems in three-body manoeuvres. They cannot be captured by a single star because they need to lose energy. But they could be captured by multi-stars.

One would expect this to be improbable, though. So we ought not to see many such systems.

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