For the first time, astronomers discovered in the cosmic space far from the stars a small stray planet whose dimensions can be compared to the Earth and other planets of the solar system.
Radoslaw Polski, a planetary scientist at the University of Warsaw, published an article on the matter in the Astriphysical Journal Letters, saying: “When we received the first signals sent by the gravitational lens, we realized that the light from a distant star is distorted by a small body. It is not a planet orbiting a star, but rather. A small planet whose dimensions can be compared to those of Earth or Mars, and we called it OGLE-2016-BLG-1928.
It is noteworthy that astronomers have discovered, in the past decade, in the regions of the universe far from the stars and close to the solar system, a few cold and non-bright space objects, usually called “stray planets.” Its nature remains mysterious.
Some consider them to be planets that were thrown star systems into the distant cosmic space by the influence of various gravitational interactions. Others believe that they are brown dwarfs, or rather small failed stars.
It is reported that the dimensions of all the previously discovered stray planets are much greater than the dimensions of Jupiter, so they can be described as failed stars. However, it is difficult to classify the planet OGLE-2016-BLG-1928, which is similar to Earth and Mars and does not resemble Jupiter or the Sun in terms of its dimensions and weight.
Astronomer Polsky has great hopes for the WFIRST orbital laboratory currently under construction, which will allow the discovery of dozens of stray planets similar to OGLE-2016-BLG-1928, which will help in understanding the mechanism of star systems formation in the universe.