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Free-floaters: Images of planets?

Recent reports have sparked a vigorous debate about just what constitutes a planet.

The controversy escalated last summer when astronomers began unveiling images of star-forming regions showing a multitude of low-mass objects. Based on estimates of their mass alone, the bodies would seem to qualify as planets (SN: 10/7/00, p. 228). Yet, they roam freely and dont orbit a parent star.

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