70 wandering ‘rogue’ planets the size of Jupiter in Milky Way are largest group ever discovered
Astronomers have found dozens of ‘rogue’ exoplanets roaming the Milky Way without a parent star to hold them in orbit. A new study has found that at least 70 of these cosmic nomads are confirmed. However, it is possible to find as many as 170.
These planets have masses that are similar to the ones in our solar systems. Only a few of them were discovered, and this is the biggest single discovery. The discovery was made last week by Nature Astronomy, and it is believed that they were located in the Milky Way approximately 420 light-years away from Earth.
These wandering worlds can be difficult to see as they are far from any stars that might illuminate them. However, researchers from the Cosmic Dance project at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux searched for their heat signatures and other indicators that could be detected by sensitive cameras on large telescopes.
“We measured the tiny motions, the colors and luminosities of tens of millions of sources in a large area of the sky,” the study’s lead author, Nuira Miret-Roig, said. “These measurements allowed us to securely identify the faintest objects in this region, the rogue planets.”
The planets, which are just a few millions years old, are young enough to produce heat and infrared energy. Two decades’ worth of data from space telescopes and Earth were analyzed by the team to find at least 70 other worlds similar in size and shape to Jupiter, both within the Ophiuchus and Scorpius constellations.
Project leader Hervé Bouy said the data from the “tens of thousands of wide-field images”Over 200 studies were done by the team. “hundreds of hours of observation”Add up to “literally tens of terabytes.”
Many billions of these giant planets, which are free to roam the Milky Way in search of host stars, could exist.
It is difficult to determine the exact numbers of mysterious worlds that have been discovered. This can be explained by uncertainty about their masses. European Southern Observatory says that Jupiter-sized objects are most likely to exist. “failed stars”Brown dwarfs.
There is little else known about their formation and the reasons they were expelled from their parents solar system. Bouy however, said that “little can be done to study them with current facilities”Since the planets are “extremely faint.”
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