Astronomers have identified a body that is very probably a planet wandering through space –  without a parent star. This is the closest such object to oue Solar System,  a distance of about 100 light-years and its comparative proximity and the absence of a bright star very close to it have allowed the team to study its atmosphere in great detail. 

Free-floating planets are planetary-mass objects that roam through space without any ties to a star. Possible examples of such objects have been found before but without knowing their ages, it was not possible for astronomers to know whether they were really planets or brown dwarfs,  “failed” stars that lack the bulk to trigger the reactions that make stars shine.


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