New research infers that more than 100 billion rogue planets are floating across the Milky Way without being attached to a home star, a trait that allows them to travel freely across the void.
A new NASA mission aims to track down the exact number of rogue planets, and it is already thought that they could outnumber the known stars of the galaxy. It is also theorized that the universe may also be filled with rogue planets that haven’t been taken into consideration in the past.
A new telescope
The Nancy Grace Space Telescope, which should be launched in less than five years, should be able to provide high-resolution images of the Milky Way. With the help of new technology, the telescope could find planets located at thousands of light-years away from Earth.
NASA decided to name the device after Nancy Grace Roman, a former Chief of Astronomy who played an essential role in the development of the field of space astronomy. Astronomers will be able to harness the new telescope to take a look at distant sections of the galaxy, which have remained inaccessible or now.
While the existence of rogue planets has been uncovered in the past new information could be found, and some of it may offer new insight into the potential of rogue planets. The new telescope might be up to ten times better at finding planets in comparison to ground-based telescopes.
During the initial stage, the telescope will be focused on the Sun and the supermassive black hole that resides in the center of the Milky Way. Current data suggests that rogue planets would offer hostile environmental conditions since the lack of energy released by the star results in extremely-low surface temperatures.
However, some researchers argue that rogue planets could feature underground oceans filled with liquid water that may host life.