NASA upcoming Discovery: Unveiling the 400 Earth-Like Rogue Planets
NASA and Japan’s Osaka University have joined forces to explore the vastness of space and claim to discover 400 Earth-like rogue planets soon.
Unlike ordinary planets, these enigmatic wanderers roam free without any ties to a parent star’s gravitational pull. While Earth orbits the Sun, these rogue planets navigate the cosmos independently, far outnumbering planets revolving around stars.
Astounding findings indicate that our galaxy hosts a staggering number of rogue planets, approximately 20 times more than the stars that shine in the night sky, boasting trillions of lonely worlds adrift.
One of the distinguished researchers at NASA, David Bennett, hailed this discovery as the first-ever calculation of rogue planets in our galaxy, especially those comparable in size to Earth.
But how? A nine-year-long quest called the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) provided the answers. The study was carried out at Mount John University Observatory in New Zealand.
Microlensing events, intriguing cosmic phenomena, arise when a celestial body (a star or planet) aligns almost perfectly with a distant background star.
The gravity of the intervening object then bends and warps the space-time, causing light from the background star to become more intense for a short period. This luminous spike acted as a beacon for the astronomers, hinting at the presence of a rogue planet or other intriguing cosmic entities.
Amidst this groundbreaking research, the team has already identified a rogue planet bearing a strange resemblance to Earth in terms of mass. Their findings will soon be published in The Astronomical Journal, adding a new chapter to humanity’s ever-expanding cosmic saga.
The launch of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope in 2027 promises to unveil many more of these captivating rogue planets, enriching our understanding of the universe and our place within it.