(ORDO NEWS) — It is known that the planets revolve around the star in the same way as the Earth revolves around the Sun, but astronomers have discovered about 172 such planets that do not have a parent star. It is currently the largest sample of planets drifting in space.
Free planets are the result of the process of star formation, but their origin is still a mystery. These planets are celestial objects with a mass of less than 13 times the mass of Jupiter, which are not tied to a star, but simply wander between them.
In an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy, astronomers stated that ejection from planetary systems could contribute to the formation of these free-floating planets. The researchers looked for these objects in the upper part of the young stellar association of Scorpio, the regions of star formation closest to the Sun.
Astronomers have collected all the photographs and compiled the largest catalog of observations in the region under study.
“Identification of free-floating planets is a serious problem in many respects similar to the parable of the” needle in a haystack “, – he said in his blog, researcher and lead author Nuria Roig Miret (Núria Miret Roig).
Astronomers said the rogue planets discovered during the study are excellent targets for further exploration, such as with the James Webb Space Telescope. The newly discovered worlds will be interesting to study, since their atmosphere was formed without the participation of a star.
“By extrapolating some of the wandering planets that we have measured at the top of the Scorpio star cluster over the entire Milky Way, there should be several billion such planets,” says Nuria Miret Roig.
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