Space science has a lot to tell and discover. Deep space and dark matter have always puzzled scientits all over the world.
Now a study reveals that there are far many mysterious ‘rogue’ planets that may be unbound to any host star. They are free-floating planets and we have four new discoveries so far.
This study on the rogue planets was led by Iain McDonald of the University of Manchester, UK. He used the data obtained in 2016 during the K2 mission phase of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.
So, how did we come to know about rogue planets?
Kepler monitored a crowded field of millions of stars near the center of our Galaxy every 30 minutes. It helped in finding rare gravitational microlensing events.
Their team came up with 27 short-duration candidate microlensing signals that varied over timescales of between an hour and 10 days.
Out of these, the four shortest events are new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to Earth. READ MORE HERE
This suggests that these new events may be free-floating planets. Scientists believe that such planets may perhaps have originally formed around a host star before being ejected by the gravitational tug of other, heavier planets in the system.
It was predicted by Albert Einstein, 85 years ago. This came out as a consequence of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. However, Kepler was not designed to find planets using microlensing.
Scientists will keep working on the existence and nature of free-floating planets. It will be a major focus for upcoming missions such as the NASA Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and possibly the ESA Euclid mission.
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