Fr.: objets flottants
A population of → substellar objects which are not bound to stars; they are detected in young star clusters. Their masses, estimated from their fluxes, is several Jupiter masses, lower than those of → brown dwarfs. Their formation is not yet explained. Among the envisaged possibilities: 1) These objects form like stars, from protostellar core collapse and subsequent accretion; 2) they form as low-mass members of small groups, and are ejected from the group; 3) they form like planets within circumstellar disks of higher-mass objects, but are ejected either due to internal dynamics or external interactions.
→ free; floating, from M.E. float, from O.E. flotian "to float" (cf. O.N. flota, M.Du. vloten); → object.
Barâxt, → object; šenâvar "that swims, floats," from šenâ "swimming;" Mid.Pers. šnâz "swim," šnâzidan "to swim;" Av. snā- "to wash, swim;" cf. Skt. snā- "to bathe, to wash;" L. nare, natare "to swim" (Fr. nage, nager, natation; Sp.nadar, natacion).