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There are rogue planets that don’t orbit stars in our Milky Way galaxy, NASA says

Rogue planets don’t rotate around a star. But they’re out there. Somewhere out there.

The Milky Way glows above the 6856 meters tall Bhagirathi peaks as seen from Tapovan, at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, May 10, 2019.
The Milky Way glows above the 6,856-meter tall Bhagirathi peaks as seen from Tapovan, at an altitude of 4,500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, May 10, 2019.
Altaf Qadri, Associated Press

There could be several “rogue planets” in our galaxy that don’t rotate or orbit around stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and NASA may be about to find them.

What’s going on:

  • Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, NASA’s upcoming observatory, is expected to reveal “a multitude” of these rogue planets, CNN reports.
  • These planets move through the planet outside of any orbit. Researchers suggest the planets could reveal more information about how planetary systems form and evolve over time, according to new research about the planets.
  • Scientists have only found a few of them over the years.

“As our view of the universe has expanded, we’ve realized that our solar system may be unusual. Roman will help us learn more about how we fit in the cosmic scheme of things by studying rogue planets. Imagine our little rocky planet just floating freely in space — that’s what this mission will help us find.” — Samson Johnson, study author and graduate student at Ohio State University, in a statement.

What we do know

Per Science Alert, researchers believe these planets may form around stars before they are flung from their orbit.

  • Or, they might begin to form as a star before they become a planet, which allow them to travel outside an orbit.