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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Wandering Worlds  
  Planets that are attached to no sun, and roam interstellar space.  

Bronson's calculations revealed to him that these wandering spheres would pass very close to the earth, make a circuit of our sun, and turn back toward space and infinity. The larger of the two wandering worlds would strike and annihilate the earth. Finer and more delicate calculations tended to show that the smaller body, which was of the same magnitude as the earth, would be "caught" by the sun and held in an orbit between the courses of Mars and Venus.

It would be an end of the world preceded by the close passage of two mighty planets from some sun lost in the void - two planets which had been pulled from their pathways ages ago by a passing star...

From When Worlds Collide, by Edwin Balmer (w/P. Wylie).
Published by University of Nebraska Press in 1932
Additional resources -

See also rogue planet from Poul Anderson's 1967 novel Satan's World and rogue world from George R.R. Martin's 1977 novel Dying of the Light.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from When Worlds Collide
  More Ideas and Technology by Edwin Balmer (w/P. Wylie)
  Tech news articles related to When Worlds Collide
  Tech news articles related to works by Edwin Balmer (w/P. Wylie)

Wandering Worlds-related news articles:
  - More Nomad Planets Than Stars?
  - Free-Floating Planet Capture Not Rare, Says Paper

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