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Why Do Free Floating Binary Planets Exist and Form?

Free floating planets
Free floating planets
Credit: Yihan Wang

Exoplanets are planets beyond our solar system. To date, more than 5,000 of them have been identified. They are expected to form and orbit around stars, in a similar fashion to planets in our solar system. However, some appear “free-floating” in space, not bound to any host star. The puzzle to their formation was further deepened in fall 2023, when astrophysicists using the James Webb Space Telescope identified massive floating binary objects about the size of Jupiter – and dubbed them JuMBOs (Jupiter-mass binary objects). See here for more information!

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