Whatchamacallit Wanderer


It’s very difficult to determine the age of a woman.  She can look 20 and be 40.  Conversely, she can look 60 and be 40.  Given this huge age discrepancy, how would one go about the process of deducing a woman’s real age?

Well, one way to make that educated guess is to look at the friends she hangs out with.  If she is in a group of young teenage-looking girls, then she may be considered to be in her twenties.  If, however, she hangs out with some older women and they are all at a charity lunch for the preservation of Bradypus variegatus, then perhaps she’s not so young.

Applying this scientific methodology, scientists were able to give approximate ages for objects out there in space.  The premise is simple.  If you hang out with a young crowd, then you, yourself, are young.

About five years ago (October 1, 2012 to be exact) a group of scientists from Cornell University published a finding of a huge whatchamacallit floating around on its lonesome, about 178 light-years from Earth.


This Whatchamacallit was named CFBDSIRJ214947.2-040308.9 because you see–it’s a common scientific disease to call a whatchamacallit something that cannot be pronounced by the human tongue.  I bet a real extraterrestrial would be able to say the name just fine though, even with that long string of numbers behind the string of consonants.

Since it’s just too hard for me to continually refer to this object as CFBDSIRJ214947.2-040308.9, I’m going to temporarily name it LaDonna, to pay tribute to one of our most famous Wanderers, LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known by her stage name Donna Summer.

Until such time as those who are part of The Powers That Be, deem it fitting to name this rogue wanderer something that can actually be pronounceable, I am going to continue to call it LaDonna.

So, to get back to what I was saying, at the time the scientists found LaDonna, they (incorrectly) attributed it to a grouping of other wanderers around that area of space, which allowed them to gauge with 87% probability that LaDonna was around the 20 to 200 million year range because they thought LaDonna was a member of a wandering 50-120 million-year-old group named AB Doradus.  [1]

AB Doradus (even though it’s not really what this post is all about) is a pre-main-sequence quadruple star system  in the constellation Dorado.  AB Doradus is part of the AB Doradus Moving Group, a loose conglomerate of about 30 stars that are all approximately the same age, having been birthed by  the same giant molecular Mothercloud.  Since ejection from Mothercloud, they have been moving in the same general direction, and that’s how we know their approximate age.

girlfingers5.jpgHowever, after awhile, it became apparent that LaDonna simply does not belong with this group.  She was moving around on her own and doing her own thing.

In fact, she’s a solitary one, which meant the scientists couldn’t date her alongside with the other young thangs because she was never a part of that group.

Continued observation after that 2012 publication began to reveal that LaDonna might have a mass roughly four to seven times that of Jupiter, making it a rogue planet candidate, as opposed to a brown dwarf because it’s just not large enough, with the current calculations as put forth by modern-day astronomers.

To be considered a brown dwarf, LaDonna would have to be at least 13 times larger than Jupiter, and although her girth is ample, seeing she’s much bigger than Jupiter, she’s just not large enough to be a brown dwarf.

So what else can we use to guess the age of that aforementioned ageless woman?  Well, another way to make that educated guess is to look at her clothing and her sense of style.  There are marked differences between a 40-year-old woman’s clothing and fashion sense, as opposed to a 20-something or a 60-something.

Applying this methodology to LaDonna means we need to see what and how she is physically constructed.


On March 2, 2017, the same Cornell astrophysicists published yet another paper on LaDonna, stating that they can no longer say with confidence that she is a planet, and in fact, she may be a brown dwarf because they are not certain of her mass.  This is a tell-tale sign that LaDonna may be much larger than what was previously assumed.  [2]

In fact, I’m going to bet my lunch (I’m having braised shrimp over steamed white rice) that LaDonna is, in fact, a brown dwarf, but that’s not the only thing strange about her.  Here’s the kicker.  Ladonna either has low gravity, or unusually high metal content, what scientists referred to as high metallicity.  The lead astronomer who discovered LaDonna stated that:

CFBDSIR 2149-0403 is an atypical substellar object that is either a ‘free-floating planet’ or a rare high-metallicity brown dwarf. Or a combination of both.  [3]


So now that we have determined that she is metallic in nature, and a possible brown dwarf, that makes things much more interesting!

(to be continued)

[1]  Free-floating Planet CFBDSIR2149-0403

[2]  Young isolated planetary-mass object or high-metallicity low-mass brown dwarf??

[3]  Mysterious Object Investigated by Astronomers

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: