June 26, 2022

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Scientists are monitoring the largest group of "floating" planets

Scientists are monitoring the largest group of “floating” planets

Astronomers have recently discovered the largest group of planets floating freely in the Milky Way, known as “rogue planets,” according to data from the American National Science Foundation (NSF) laboratories and several laboratories around the world. .

Researchers have observed a group of at least 70 free-floating planets – planets not orbiting a star – near the Milky Way, known as the Scorpius Upper Star Association.

The researchers documented their findings in a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy, where the author of the study, Nouria Merritt-Royk, along with a team of astronomers from the Astronomical Laboratory in Bordeaux, used observations and archival data from several large observatories. , South Africa and Subaru, including European surveillance telescopes to analyze 80,000 photographs in 20 years.

Free-floating planets are often detected by observing the possibility of a brief alignment between the exoplanet and the background star.

As for the new planets, they were discovered the other way around. Millions of years after their invention, sensitivity in large telescopes makes them easy to detect directly by cameras.

According to Sky News Arabia, the research team used 80,000 observations to measure the light of all members of the association over a wide range of optical and near-infrared wavelengths and linked them to measurements of its motion in space.

It should be noted that rogue planets orbit the universe without orbiting a star, hence they are also called floating or orphan planets, and they were first discovered in the 1990s, but recent discoveries have almost doubled the total known.