3
$\begingroup$

Quite simply, is there any used term for stars that don't have any planets? While contemplating this and doing numerous searches to no avail, I think I found my own answer, but I'm asking here for more input.

The reason I think there is no real term used as such is because there is yet to be confirmed of any stars that do not consist of any planets. I'm aware that we know of stars at this point in time where we haven't identified any planets YET, but that is not the same as actually confirming if planets do or do not exist around the star.

Am I correct in assuming this is the reason why no term has came to fruition yet? Or is there a term used in relation to talking about the possibility of none existing?

I've searched a fair bit for this but haven't been able to find anything. I know that current models show that it's highly unlikely for this to occur, but I'm curious.

$\endgroup$
3
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Could you clarify what you are referring to by "highly unlikely"? By the way, in some cases it's rather hard to prove that something doesn't exist. Ever heard of Russell's teapot? $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Sep 9, 2014 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ i have heard of orphan planets, i guess your looking for infertile stars. :p $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2014 at 7:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ planetless perhaps ? $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Nov 20, 2020 at 18:52

3 Answers 3

5
$\begingroup$

A star is described as such whether or not it has planets.

There doesn't appear to have ever been a need, and to be honest, I can't think of any need for one. When it was assumed (in historical times) that we were on the only planet, stars were not thought to have planets. The title worked then. Now, as we know most stars are likely to have planets as part of normal formation, we can still call them stars.

Typically words are invented as there is a need for them.

$\endgroup$
6
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I propose 'lone-stars' ;) $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2014 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ Stars with planets orbiting them have a special term. They are considered suns. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Oct 10, 2014 at 15:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Our star is The Sun. Other stars are stars. Ours is also a star. $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 10, 2014 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ but if there is life in other solar systems than that life would consider the star they are orbiting around which isn't our star, "The Sun" because it is their sun. That is partly why a sun is not just our star but rather any star with planets around it. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Oct 13, 2014 at 13:55
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Caters: We don't know about life out there. We only know about stars and planets. Nobody has a copyright on the term 'sun', but it's surely not used by astronomers as you suggest. Stars are stars, whether with planet or without. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2017 at 21:01
2
$\begingroup$

The English language would seem to offer the phrase "planetless star", which seems adequate to me.

However, given that we can't confirm whether there is a ninth planet around our own star, then calling any other star planetless is probably premature.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

In his story Far Centaurus, A.E. Van Vogt coined the term "bachelor sun", which might fit, but this is usually taken as a prediction of black holes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Centaurus

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .