A ‘rogue’ planet has been discovered in earth’s neighbourhood. Rogue planets are planets that are found wandering the universe without being attached to any one star (for example, the earth is attached to the sun, our star). The newly discovered rogue planet is about 100 light years away. That’s equal to 1000 trillion kilometres – you may think that’s very far, but in space terms, where most objects are thousands of light years apart, that means the rogue star is almost our neighbour!
|A light year is the distance travelled by light in one year. It is used for measuring distances in space that are too vast for regular miles and kilometres. One light year is equal to 9,460,730,472,580,800 metres.|
Not much is known about the way rogue planets are formed, but the proximity (‘nearness’) of this one could help astronomers find out more.