Billions of drifting planets, say astronomers

According to information given by astronomers day before yesterday, our outer space is littered with uncountable number of planets which had been thrown out from the planetary systems in which they were born and had been either on their own lonely ways or were only distantly bound to stars a minimum of ten times as distant as the Sun is from our planet.

A couple of planets with masses like Jupiter’s are floating around for every one of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, as measured and calculated by a particular international group of astronomers headed by Takahiro Sumi, hailing from the Osaka University situated in Japan, and also reported in the journal ‘Nature’.

For David Bennett, an astronomer from Notre Dame and a member of the above mentioned team, this piece of information came as a bit of a surprise. Prior to the research, the belief had been that approximately only 10 or 20 percent of the stars harbored planets having masses like Jupiter. It now, however, appears as if the number of planets is much more than that of the stars.

This, according to Alan Boss, Carnegie Institution, implies there are much more gas giants than had been earlier estimated.