The planets in our solar system orbit our sun, and most known exoplanets orbit distant stars.
But, in the past several years, astronomers have located some exoplanets thought to be adrift in space. That was the case with the exoplanet labeled 2MASS J2126. It was thought to be a free floating, or lonely, planet. This week (January 25, 2016), a team of astronomers in the UK, USA and Australia announced that this planet is actually in a gigantic orbit around its star.
In this huge orbit, it’s still pretty lonely. The planet lies a whopping 1 trillion kilometers (0.6 trillion miles) from its star. At this distance from its star, the planet is about 7,000 times the distance between our sun and Earth.
Its huge orbit makes its “year” nearly 1 million Earth-years long (roughly 900,000 years). And that means has completed fewer than 50 orbits over its lifetime.