Scientists describe the planet with that name because it does not orbit a specific star, unlike thousands of other planets.
Several years ago, astronomers from the University of Warsaw Astronomical Observatory had provided the first evidence of such planets in the Milky Way, using relatively new methods.
And now the same team announced the discovery of the new planet in a more sophisticated way called a “microgravity lens”. The reason is not only the small size of the new planet, but because free planets do not radiate light as do orbital planets, which means that traditional research models cannot prove their existence.
The newly discovered planet, which was found in a central region of the Milky Way galaxy known as the “galactic gout”, is the smallest rogue planet ever observed, and its mass is estimated between the two masses of Earth, Mars.
The new discovery was announced in a magazine Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Astronomers believe that floating planets formed in elementary planetary disks around stars, like “normal” planets, and were ejected from the parent planetary systems, after gravitational interactions with other bodies.