Wrong-way planets do gymnastics

A group of planets that orbit the wrong way may have flipped over their stars.

By Stephen Ornes, 00:00 AM April 28, 2010

Cartwheels aren’t just for gymnasts anymore — a gang of distant, unusual planets, a team of astronomers say, may have done giant, deep-space cartwheels to get into place. And those cartwheels are making scientists think again about what they know about planet formation.


These planets are unusual because they orbit, or move around their stars, backward. In the solar system, all eight major planets (sorry, Pluto!) move around the sun in the same direction: counter-clockwise when looking down on...

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