Sunless planet found

An exotic planet floating through space in isolation without a sun has been discovered outside the solar system by an international team of astronomers.

The planet, named PSO J318.5-22, is only 80 light-years away from Earth and is believed to be around 12 million-years-old and six times the size of Jupiter.

“We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that looks like this. It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars but it is drifting out there all alone,” said team leader Michael Liu of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.

“I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist and now we know they do,” said Liu.