Monday, May 23, 2011

Lonely planets

Milky Way Galaxy, Source: NASA
The researchers claim to have found ten dark gas giants floating at the heart of our Milky Way without any nearby star to illuminate them. Astronomers have long suspected such rogue planets existed, but this is the first evidence, and the Japanese team believe there could be as many out there as there are stars, a finding likely to shock many.

How they came into being is unclear. One theory is that they may be cast-outs, forgotten worlds ejected from infant solar systems by gravitational forces or interplanetary collisions.

Strictly speaking, the objects aren't even planets, as by definition planets orbit a star or the remains of one. But should the researchers have their calculations right, then strange dark orbs which look very much like planets are out there, far far from any shining star.

Neil Bowdler, BBC News

Vocabulary and definitions: Read the words and meaning. Try making your own sentence afterwards.

1. gas giants: large planets which don't have a solid surface (n.)
2. rogue: unconventional, not normal (adj.)
3. came into being: were formed, created  (v.)
4. cast-outs: objects that have been thrown away (n.)
5. ejected from: thrown out of (v.)
6. gravitational forces: the natural attraction that pulls objects in space together (n.)
7. interplanetary collisions: crashes between planets (n.)
8. strictly speaking: being accurat
9. the remains of: what is left of (n.)
10. orbs: round, ball-shaped objects (n.)

Comprehension Check: Read and answer the questions based on the article.

1. What did the scientists find out at the Milky Way just recently?
2. What is the nationality of the scientists?
3. What is the theory about "lonely planets"?

 Agree or Disagree: Explain your answer.
1. It is very important to study about other planets.
2. In the future, humans would occupy other planets.
3. Other planets could affect the earth.

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