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Readers were curious about rogue planets, exomoons and more

Your letters and comments on the August 19, 2017 issue of Science News

1:30pm, September 6, 2017

Going rogue

Astronomers estimate that wandering Jupiter-mass planets without a parent star are about a tenth as common as once believed, Ashley Yeager reported in “Giant solo planets are in limited supply” (SN: 8/19/17, p. 10).

Online reader Brian Bixby wondered how often such a rogue planet would come close to our solar system and proposed that one near the Kuiper Belt or Oort cloud could send swarms of comets headed toward Earth.

“Based on rough estimates, there could be a rogue planet closer to the solar system than the closest star system, Alpha Centauri, which is 4.3 light-years away,” Yeager says. But that’s

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