Column Chronicles
Rogue planet plagues scientists
Frank Cotolo
April 26, 2018
Scientists that spotted a "rogue planet" in our galaxy are concerned because as strange as they feel the planet may be, some feel it is more strange than they feel the planet may be.
NASA's Spitzer space telescope found the planet, which was named CFBDSIR J214947.2-040308.9 but which one scientist called, simply, Bud.
"Bud is a hundred light years from Earth, give or take a light year," said astronomer Quentin Gibbling. "They found it four years ago and spent two of those years trying to file it under its technical name. Once they filed it under B for Bud, they began to study it seriously."
Gibbling said one scientist called the planet a "brown dwarf", which upset Cornelius Jones, a scientist who is an African-American Little Person who studies planets on his own in his home with a telescope he made from the hubs of hundreds of paper towel rolls and a lens from his great-grandfather's spectacles.
Early Fry (The Other Science Guy), described a rogue planet as "a round object floating in space that is too small to be a star and too big to be a planet." He suggested it be labeled a "Splanet" but other science guys that laughed at him because of the suggestion did not accept it.
"It could be a thousand years old," said Greg Bye (Yet Another Science Guy), "or millions more. It is a bunch of times larger than Jupiter, which is quite a size, even for an object that floats in space, where no particular assistance is needed for anything to float."
Bud took on stranger-than-strange qualities when one scientist swore he saw "creatures dancing in what appeared to be a rogue river in the north quadrant of the sphere."
"Not only that," said Preston Rye (Even Another Science Guy), "but the dancing creatures were wearing pith helmets, which doesn't just suggest life on the rogue planet, it suggests rogue milliners in existence."
Bud is rotating in space with no connection to a star. Some scientists say that without a specific orbit around a star it could spin out of control and begin to travel in hazardous directions; one of those could be towards Earth.
"If Bud begins to move towards Earth," agree Rye, Bye and Fry, "a collision is not immanent but it is highly likely. What is definite is that if there is a collision, then boom boom goes Earth."
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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