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12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

  1. Jul 11, 2003 #1

    Check this out. This Jupiter-sized planet is practically as old as the universe. Go figure.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2003 #2


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    this is absolutely fascinating. it is a 10 July 2003 newsarticle
    talking about an article in "this week's Science" magazine and
    Stein Sigurdsson is at Penn State and was using the Hubble
    Space Telescope. To my pitifully conventional mind this has all
    the signs of being genuine. have to take it seriously

    They found a planet in the M4 globular cluster!!!!!!

    It has been known for a long time that globular clusters are
    very old among the oldest objects, and all the stars in them formed at about the same time, and their metal-poor spectra show they are old and their H-R diagrams are all shot to hell from old-age. Globular clusters are so extremely well studied. So this is the opposite from wild speculation.

    A planet in a globular cluster strongly indicates that at least the stars that the planet orbits are 12.7 or so billion years old.

    They found it by wobble.

    M4 cluster is 7200 light years away

    There is a whole bunch of clusters like that swarming around the MW galaxy.

    Maybe someone will think of a way the planet could have formed more recently and got attached to an old star. But the simplest explanation seems to me just what Sigurdsson said----it is a 12.7 billion year old planet. Whoah!

    Article says 100 year period, with distance to the pair of central bodies being like that from sun to Uranus or so.

    Thx quantumcarl, being told about such things is one of the biggest reasons I like coming to PF
  4. Jul 11, 2003 #3
    I guess it is back to the drawing board to come up with yet another provincially miniscule and meaningless age for the universe!!
  5. Jul 11, 2003 #4
    some feedback on that theory..

    click me
  6. Jul 11, 2003 #5


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    Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    Just out of curiousity (no, I don't want to argue about it in this thread) how old do you think the universe is?
  7. Jul 11, 2003 #6
    ...on which theory?
  8. Jul 11, 2003 #7
    Re: Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    i thought the leading estimate was around 13-14 billion years?
  9. Jul 11, 2003 #8
    Re: Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    I don't think it has an age. There is no sense in assuming a creation ex nihilo....
  10. Jul 11, 2003 #9
    Re: Re: Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    There are known structures in the Universe that would have taken ~150 billion years to create.
  11. Jul 11, 2003 #10
    A minor correction.....

    One of the articles linked herein, (kleinma's link) and the one I read in the paper today, both stated that it is 2.5 times the size of Jupiter.

    (Not anything serious though, neat age, but no pictures awwwwww!)
  12. Jul 11, 2003 #11
    Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    Marcus, your knowledge of this section of the universe astounds me... that's one reason I come to PF!!!

    Wobble creates a readable wave, no? What a unique way to find planets! There is also the ecliptic method only seen when a planet eclipses its solar host... that's a lot more uncommon since the coordinates of our planet must line up with the orbit of a planet which eclipses the sun in question. ****ing far out... no kidding!

    I can see a Jupiter-like planet forming not long after the BB. I would think its a simple collection of plasmas, radiation etc... that had 1 or so billion years to congeal enough to go spherical and be caught in a sun's gravitational field.

    I mean, if a sun can form during the first billion years after the BB, why not a psuedo sun like Jupiter?
  13. Jul 11, 2003 #12
    Re: Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    The galaxies at the very limits of astronomical perception do not look embryonic whatsoever. In fact they look exactly the same and they have the very same distribution of old and young stars as the galaxies in the immediate vicinity. The furthest galaxies would have time for a mere 2 or 3 rotations!!! Do you suppose that their rotational winding structure could have formed in that time-frame?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2003
  14. Jul 11, 2003 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    Yes it is! What do you think are the implications? Does this present a big problem for current theories of planet formation? Obviously some thinking must be modified, but this seems to have the overtones of a catastrophe for the standard model.
  15. Jul 11, 2003 #14
    Re: Re: Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    This is a perplexing issue when it comes to proving the age of the universe. I would suppose nothing and let the astromathematitians have fun with that one.
  16. Jul 11, 2003 #15
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 12.8 Billion Year Old Planet!

    exactly...we need not even suppose an age at all...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2003
  17. Jul 12, 2003 #16
    how did they calculate the age of the planet?
  18. Jul 12, 2003 #17
    I'm not sure how they do it.

    It may be a similar process to calculating the age of a palientological fossil by its association with the substrate its found in. As long as it is in "situ"... (or close to the original spot is fell when the animal/plant died)

    So, when I find a Trilobite fossil in the Mesolithic layer of the geographic layers of the earth... and it seems that it has not been disturbed by humans or upheavals of volcanic or other disturbances... then i can safely say the fossil is from that period, 350 million years ago.

    so, when the astronomers find this planet in an area of the universe that suggests it is around about the original place it formed... this area, according to its red shift and other factors, helps to determine the age of the object of interest by association.

    I'm sure there are other spectral analyses that can be used to do determine an age of a celestial object.

    What is far out is that the researchers of this particular phenomenon have somehow determined that the planet used to be in a different orbit around a different sun... then was bounced out of it into its current one.

    How does one arrive at that conclusion?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2003
  19. Jul 12, 2003 #18
    I'm going to root for an OLDER universe idea! I won't guess just how old, just OLDER!

    Maybe (just maybe) that big bang is not such a big deal after all;
    just a kind of LOCAL bang. Maybe.

  20. Jul 12, 2003 #19


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    they calculated the age of the globular cluster (of roughly a million stars) in which the planet was found

    hundreds of globular clusters have been studied carefully for
    a long time and their statistics worked out

    it's pretty well established that all the stars in a cluster formed at around the same time
    the age of the cluster can be determined from a statistical chart called its H-R diagram
    that shows that the bigger faster burners have already left the main sequence and only the littler slower burners are still
    in normal life

    glob clusters are something they seem very confident about dating

    and they tend to be old relative to spirals

    like within a billion or two billion of the overall age of the U

    that planet is in glob cluster called M4

    google has stuff on globular clusters---a favorite topic of
    study and discussion for astronomers for over 50 years
  21. Jul 12, 2003 #20
    We used to call O'Henry chocolate bars "Globular Clusters". Some of them were pretty old. One had worms, it was so old... no... that was an Eat-More.

    Thanks for the info Marcus.
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