You Were Once a Star

So you were once a star that could not shine;

Your mass too low, reactions could not start.

A lonely planet, that was your design;

There was no fusion in your gaseous heart.

But now it seems that you are just a part

Of some celestial pattern in the sky.

You orbit a true star; its path you chart,

And as a million million miles drift by

You are no longer lonely, but your past must die.

Artist's conception of a Jupiter-sized lonely (or floating) planet (Photo Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech)
Artist’s conception of a Jupiter-sized lonely (or floating) planet (Photo Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech)

 

This is a Spenserian stanza based on a recent piece of research which found that an object that had previously been thought to be a rogue planet (a lone planet that was simply too small to form the nuclear reactions that enable stars to exist), is in fact a large planet that orbits a distant star. This distance between the star (TYC 9486-927-1) and the planet (2MASS J2126) is 1 trillion km, which equates to roughly 7000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

An audio version of this poem can be heard here.

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