The galaxy may be swarming with several wandering planets. These Jupiter-sized planets do not orbit a known star, and seem to be free-floating. Not only that, but there may be billions of them hidden away in our galaxy.
They were discovered using gravitational microlensing: “Objects of large enough mass can bend light, as Albert Einstein predicted. If a large object passes in front of a more distant background star, it may act as a lens, bending and distorting the light of that star so that it may appear to brighten significantly“.
It’s fascinating to think that there are these ‘invisible’ wandering planets in our galaxy, and that there are possibly more of these objects than there are planets in regular solar systems. If we manage to get manned missions to explore space, and if we manage to find one of these elusive planets, who knows what we will find?
Exciting times ahead. Onwards!