Earlier this year, it Inquisitr reported about the discovery of a giant rogue planet that floats only 20 light years away from the earth. Unlike most planets, this special heavenly body does not circle a star and found itself walking alone by the cosmic darkness, detected by radio telescope.
Now astronomers have announced that they have found two more rogue planets in our galaxy – starless voyagers who live forever in the night and roaming the void themselves.
According to New Scientist, the two free floating planets were found by Polish astronomers from Warsaw University, who discovered the planetary bodies in data from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) survey at Las Campana's Chile Observatory.
"Planet formation theories predict the existence of free-flowing planets, emanating from their parent systems. Although they release little or no light, they can be detected during gravity microlensing events," explains the team in a new study, published last week on the preprint server arXiv.
While most planetary discoveries are made using a technique called the transit method – looking for dips in a star's brightness to detect a path that passes (transits) Inquisitr Previously reported – finding rogue planets is much more difficult.
This is because these single celestial nomads are not tied to a star that they can transit and temporarily fade out, thereby warning astronomers for their presence. In his case, the scientists are dependent on gravity microlensation – an astronomical phenomenon that shines on hidden planets as they cross crossing paths with star lights coming from far-reaching stars.
When a planet paves the way for a distant star's light, its gravity pressure causes the starlight to distort and distort notes Futurism. This effect can be detected by soil observers and may lead to the detection of exoplanets that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
The method has previously been used to find planets that lurk outside our solar system – and even across the border of Winter Street, as reported by Inquisitr Earlier this year.
The same technique helped OGLE pick up one of the newly discovered rogueplanets on April 16, 2017. The discovery was later confirmed as a planetary body through follow-up observations from other observatories, reports Motherboard.
Duplicate OGLE-2017-BLG-0560, this object is huge and can either be "a Jupiter mass plane in a galactic disc or a brown dwarf in the hump", with up to 20 times the Jupiter mass, detailing the astronomers.
Intrigued by this exciting find, the team combed the OGLE archive and stumbled across another rogue. Known as OGLE-2012-BLG-1323, this planet was originally discovered on August 21, 2012, but simply fell through the cracks and overlooked until now.
Unlike the 2017 discovery, this crook is significantly smaller – it's actually the smallest planet ever found to wander the universe alone – and has an appreciated mass that stretches between the Earth and the neptune.
Only if a dozen terrible planets have been found so far, although astronomers suggest that the Milky Way could host more starless planets and real stars.