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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Rogue Planet  
  A planet without a sun, it wanders through galactic space.  

"...Blue giant suns aren't supposed to have planets. But this one does."

"That is recorded, like most news," said the machine, unimpressed. "Your tentative explanation of the phenomenon was later verified. While the star was condensing, a nucleus still surrounded by an extensive nebular envelope, a swarm of rogue planets chanced by. Losing energy to friction with the nebula, they were captured.

"Sunless planets are common. They are estimated to number a thousand or more times the stars. That is, nonluminous bodies, ranging in size from superjovian to asteroidal, are believed to occupy interstellar space in an amount greater by three orders of magnitude than the nuclear-reacting self-luminous bodies called stars. Nevertheless, astronomical distances are such that the probability of an object like this passing near a star is vanishingly small. Indeed, explorers have not come upon many rogues even in mid-space. An actual capture must be so rare that the case you found may well be unique in the galaxy.

From Satan's World, by Poul Anderson.
Published by Doubleday in 1967
Additional resources -

See also rogue world from George R.R. Martin's 1977 novel Dying of the Light as well as the wandering worlds from When Worlds Collide (1934) by Edwin Balmer (w/P. Wylie).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Satan's World
  More Ideas and Technology by Poul Anderson
  Tech news articles related to Satan's World
  Tech news articles related to works by Poul Anderson

Rogue Planet-related news articles:
  - A Rogue Planet - Right In Our Neighborhood

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