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Thread: Are there planets, stars, comets, etc., in the space between galaxies?

  1. #1

    Question Are there planets, stars, comets, etc., in the space between galaxies?

    The title really is all I have to ask. I've always wondered this. But my space knowledge is more about the machines we send there, not the natural phenomenon.

  2. #2
    There are stars that are not a part of galaxies. These have been observed. Hundreds of them.
    I think it stands to reason there is all kinds of unseen stuff, including planetary objects, that can be found adrift between the galaxies.

    Comets are by definition part of a solar systems and orbit stars.
    There could very well be some comets orbiting stars that are adrift between the galaxies.

  3. #3
    The difficulty of course is in discovering "stuff" in intergalactic space.

    Recently there has been discussion about a stellar bridge between the Magellanic Clouds, as well as the Magellanic Bridge which is hydrogen gas and there is also the Magellanic Stream which is high-velocity hydrogen gas extending from the Magellanic Clouds towards the south of the Milky Way.

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/a...dwarf-galaxies


    P.S. As Iskariot says, there are loads of "rogue stars" already observed that are not bound by gravity to any galaxy (so far as we can tell of course).



  4. #4
    There's quite a good chance there are countless amount of rogue planets between Galaxies, and even within our Galaxy between solar systems. It's just very difficult to observe them, seeing as on this scale they are incredibly tiny and most likely very cold and dim.

  5. #5
    There is certainly a lot of things between the galaxies. The space is so large and the galaxies are so small

  6. #6
    Just to feed this thread a bit more...

    There is also the fact that there are galaxies that emit jets of particles - this begs the question (to me at least) - what happens over time to this ejected material?

    http://www.nustar.caltech.edu/page/relativistic_jets

    https://darkmatterspace.wordpress.co...spiral-galaxy/

    http://aasnova.org/2016/08/17/histor...d-by-its-jets/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrophysical_jet




  7. #7
    Gravity is what allows galaxies to form but gravity doesn't just hold things in place as it can also be used to slingshot objects. So there are probably millions of rogue planets and stars between the galaxies. Many solar systems may have captured planets or even other stars that originated in another solar system millions or billions of years ago.

    Just wait till our galaxy collides and merges with the Andromeda galaxy. There will be countless solar systems flung out into deep space.

  8. #8
    There is also something poetic to the idea of planets untied to solar systems or even galaxies, since the original Greek for planet meant 'wanderer' (originally because they were stars that were not fixed but were 'wandering' around the night sky).