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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Homeless planets discovered in deep space (Article about free floating planets)
Homeless planets discovered in deep space
DevonXDate: Friday, 20.05.2011, 15:15 | Message # 1
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Some new research has found that there is twice the amount of free floating planets than it is stars in out galaxy. Wow that's allot of planets. Read about it here: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/05/19/3220341.htm
 
NeonDate: Sunday, 22.05.2011, 17:04 | Message # 2
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Yeh I saw that on Astronomy Pic of the Day recently. Really puts
a whole new difficulty on Interstellar space travel lol.. Not sure I'd
like to hit a Jupiter sized free floater out there.

Apparently most of them are around the centre of the galaxy. Possibly
tossed out from their host stars.

I have Universe Simulator, and often wondered how often planets
to get tossed out in RL. Once, I sent a Jupiter sized planet cruising
past the Solar System a bit further out than the Oort Cloud, and it totally
distruped Earths Orbit.

A Passing Star totally destroyed the entire Solar System. Black holes
obviously have a similar effect. It's nice we've drifted away from
our original Stellar Cluster the sun was born in (if it was, probably
pretty likely).

 
SpaceEngineerDate: Sunday, 22.05.2011, 22:38 | Message # 3
Author of Space Engine
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Russian Federation
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Yes, Planemo or Planetars (is that right English term?) must be very common in the galaxy. Imagine if our solar system lost 1-10 Jupiter mass of completely formed planets! How many Jupiters, Earths and Moons did we lose in the early history of our solar system?

I can implement Planemos in SpaceEngine, but... Planemos are very dark, they do not emit light, so it is impossible to find them by visual observation. SpaceEngine needs a special search system for them. BTW, this also applies to isolated (passive) black holes. The next problem would be rendering, as Planemos have no sun, so they must be rendered as a black ball. Only illumination from a bright nebula or a globular cluster's core, or a galaxy core will make a planemo surface visible (this feature is waiting to be implemented).

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NeonDate: Wednesday, 25.05.2011, 15:39 | Message # 4
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Now you mention it Vlad, I have noticed, especially in Denebola system,
that planets have appeared as Stars when distant (but still within the system).
It's only when you get close they resolve into planets and lose their shine.

It might be computational lag, I'm not sure.
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Friday, 27.05.2011, 01:11 | Message # 5
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off-topic: My name is Vladimir, or Vova for short. Vlad is the short form of Vladislav smile

on-topic:

This is not a bug. Distant planets or every other object is seen as dots to the human eye. You can see Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury on night sky as a bright star. Only a telescope, as you're approaching them, can show you the spherical form of the planet.

In our Solar system, the brightest planet is Venus. You can see it as an abnormally bright star in the morning or evening sky. It's max apparent magnitude is -4.2. But in other solar systems there can be planets far brighter than Venus for the Earth observer. Especially, gas giants close to a sun. They can have a magnitude of -12 and lower. -12 of the magnitude of a full Moon. Imagine a small star-like dot that emits such a bright light so that Earth's objects start to cast a visible shadows.

So SpaceEngine renders correctly bright distant planets in the same manner as bright stars (with a lens-flare ray texture). I know that switching from a shining dot to planetary disk looks horrible. It can be fixed with the correct auto-exposure algorithm, that simulates the eye adapting to certain lighting conditions. I will implement this in one of my later engine releases.

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NeonDate: Friday, 27.05.2011, 16:31 | Message # 6
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Thanks Vova smile

Yeh I do realise that, though in RL stars do tend to have the star like appearance
due to photography, whereas planets don't have that (except for Venus). I mentioned
it because they when they are lit up, they look more like stars than distant planets
lit by their star. Maybe lose the + effect for planets? Personal preference really lol.
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Friday, 27.05.2011, 18:58 | Message # 7
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I don't fully understand smile Could you repeat this in more detail?

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