“The truth is you can be orphaned again and again and again. The truth is, you will be. And the secret is, this will hurt less and less each time until you can’t feel a thing. Trust me on this.” -Chuck Palahniuk
The planets we know of — in our own Solar System and beyond — all have something in common that we routinely take for granted: the fact that they all orbit stars. But not only isn’t this necessarily true of all planets, it might not be true for most planets.
When we run simulations of planetary formation around stars, we find that a great many planets, of both the gas giant and rocky varieties, get kicked out into interstellar space. But what’s even more surprising is that the process of star formation, and particularly the quenching of star formation from UV radiation, could create thousands of planets or more for every single successful star our Universe makes.