Closest 'rogue planet' to Earth found

  • 14 November 2012
Artists drawing of what the planet might look like Image copyright Getty Images

The closest rogue planet to Earth has been spotted by astronomers.

Rogue planets are ones that drift in space without a parent star that they orbit around.

It's the closest one to Earth that's been found - but it's still 100 light years away from us. That's a long way!

Astronomers think the rogue planet - given the catchy name of CFBDSIR2149-0403 - is about 50-120 million years old.

They guess its temperature is 400C (much, much hotter than it gets on Earth).

Rogue planets are thought to form in two possible ways: either similarly to other planets, but then get flung out of their star's orbit; or form in a similar way to stars but never getting quite as big as a star.