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Ploonets are real. Now, we might be able to find them

Sometimes we just need to get away, and ploonets are no different. Ploonets are moons found in other star systems that leave their planets to orbit their star instead, and now, new simulations tell us we may be able to find these rebels with current planet-hunting telescopes, Science News reports. Researchers found that ploonets orbiting hot Jupiters—large gassy planets that lie very close to their star—are kicked out of orbit when the gravitational pull of its planet and star become strong enough to push it out. This means there should be more ploonets in space than we see today. Research reported in arXiv says these space bodies may be the rascals behind natural phenomena like planetary rings and flickers of light that look like comets soaring across the sky. With our moon predicted to escape Earth in about 5 billion years, this research might be important in understanding what that means for us and for our moon.

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