Rogue Rocky Planet Found Adrift in the Milky Way

Rogue Rocky Planet Found Adrift in the Milky Way

If its rogue status is confirmed, the roughly Mars-to-Earth-mass object would be the most diminutive free-floating planet ever seen. At the “Hairy Edge”Most planets form from the gas and dust left over after a star is born. Detecting something like this at the limits of astronomers’ current capabilities suggests OGLE was either incredibly lucky or that small free-floating planets wander the Milky Way in astronomical abundance. If astronomers find very few free-floating worlds as technology improves, disk instability might gain stronger support as the dominant mode of planet formation. “Roman will find more free-floating planets at a higher rate than we are finding today,” he says.

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