Astronomers have used a unique method of observation to discover the presence of numerous planet-sized objects just beyond our galaxy.
Applying the microlensing method, which measures the changes in a star’s brightness believed to be caused by planets passing in front of them, scientists have said that such ‘microlensing’ has provided convincing proof of planet-like objects lying near the fringes of our galaxy.
According to experts, it appears that there are indeed an abundant amount of large objects , billions of light years away that are “floating through space without stars nearby”, writes IFLScience.
Microlenses are gravitational lens formed by giant galaxies that can amplify the images that normally would escape the notice of our telescopes. When a planet and star pass in front of each other, they cause a shift in brilliance, termed a ‘Doppler wobble’, that is noticeable to scientists.
IFLScience writes, “microlensing has allowed us to find a planet with the mass of Uranus 25,000 light-years away, a quarter way across the galaxy. In Astrophysical Journal Letters, Dai and Guerras announce they have left that achievement in the shade by finding a population of planets in a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years away.”
Those involved in studying the newly discovered objects have stated that the “combined mass of these planet-sized objects in the galaxy appears to be at least 0.001 of the mass of stars, suggesting either thousands for every star, or hundreds of larger objects.”
Current technology prohibits scientists from directly observing the objects, which is why microlensing is of such importance to those scanning the dark areas of our cosmos.
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