A new study conducted by a team of US researchers has suggested that there could be at least 100 billion rogue planets drifting through the Milky Way. Interestingly, these rogue space bodies are not attached to stars, and as a result, they are floating freely, and aimlessly through space.
Study to Determine Number of Rogue Planets
A new NASA mission is now aiming to determine how many such rogue planets are there, and researchers predict that they could outnumber the number of stars in the galaxy.
"The universe could be teeming with rogue planets and we wouldn't even know it. We would never find out without undertaking a thorough, space-based microlensing survey like Roman is going to do," said Professor Scott Gaudi, an astronomer at Ohio State University, and the co-author of the study.
In this mission, scientists will make use of the data obtained by the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope that is set to take off in the next five years. Scientists believe that this telescope is capable of finding planets that are located thousands of light-years away from the earth, much farther than traditional planet detecting methods.
"There have been several rogue planets discovered. But to actually get a complete picture, our best bet is something like Roman. This is a totally new frontier," said Samson Johnson, lead author of the study.
Is Nibiru Such a Rogue Planet?
Conspiracy theorists have long been claiming that doomsday on Earth will be triggered when the blue planet gets hit by a rogue planet named Nibiru. As the new report has surfaced online, conspiracy theorists are again up in arms, and they claim that Nibiru could be one such rogue planet that is unattached to star.
According to these conspiracy theorists, Nibiru will one day hit the earth as it is floating freely across space. They also believe that the gravitational pull of Nibiru is so high, as its close approach will cause severe catastrophe on the blue planet.