Rogue Planet

4 Oct 2020

At ... a rogue earth mass planet has been discovered freely floating in the Milky Way, without a star in attendance. Big news. The story is also at ... a study which comes with 20 co-authors cited as contributors. You can read it at ... lead author is Przemek Mroz of Caltech. Gravitational lensing is used to find tiny objects in the darkness of space. It requires a distant light source, usually a star, and a closer object, with enough mass to act as a lens, and to bend the light from source. In this instance the low mass planet itself acted as the lens, bending the light from the light source, a distant star it is thought. The researcher added, they could not exclude the possibility of a distant stellar companion. There were no stars within a reasonable distance, said to be 8AUs. However, planets do orbit stars at greater distances than 8AUs - which is perhaps why the paper is currently at arXiv.