According to a examine revealed within the International Journal of Astrobiology, aliens may use rogue planets—wandering worlds which have both been knocked from the system they originated in like a snooker ball by some gravitational occasion, or had been fashioned externally—as options to spacecraft. 

The examine comes from a professor of physics and astronomy at Houston Community College named Irina Romanovskaya, who instructed Motherboard that, since rogue planets are arduous to detect within the interstellar darkish between programs, there could also be a considerable variety of them on the market. “This increases the chance that some advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, if they exist, might hitch a ride on free-floating planets,” Romanovskaya mentioned. “Which is why I call such hypothetical civilizations Cosmic Hitchhikers.”

While they would not be drawing power from a star like common planets, apparently these nomad worlds may nonetheless be liveable. They may need subsurface oceans, atmospheres with sufficient hydrogen to protect them, and sufficient residual core warmth to offer power for a considerable time frame.

Sounds like an ideal thought for a videogame, and certainly there have been video games about rogue planets. Starquake, first launched on the ZX Spectrum in 1985, had you attempting to stabilize a rogue planet earlier than it imploded, and Metroid Prime 2 was set on a rogue planet with a darkish extradimensional twin, which isn’t an idea that has fairly a lot foundation in science.

Romanovskaya’s speculation relies on sounder ideas: that rogue planets have benefits over spaceships like coming with their very own sources and habitats, and never needing synthetic gravity. They may additionally present an escape for inhabitants of an getting older system, who would possibly even use the push from a dying star to propel a world on the perimeter of their system into the depths of house.

From there, it is a matter of ready till you get shut sufficient to a different system with a liveable world, like ours, after which utilizing common spacecraft to make the shorter leap. As Romanovskaya mentioned, “There are no traffic lights in the Galaxy. If the Solar System happens to be in the way of some free-floating planet, the planet will not stop at the red light. It will fly right through the Solar System.”

One ultimate thought from Romanovskaya’s examine instantly suggests an intriguing videogame: a rogue planet utilized by alien hitchhikers who deserted it, or did not survive the journey, would possibly find yourself floating on the market in large orbit. As Romanovskaya writes, “If a free-floating planet carrying extraterrestrial species or their technologies were gravitationally captured by a planetary system with the help of extraterrestrial technologies, then the captured free-floating planet would keep interstellar travellers or their artefacts. Therefore, extraterrestrial artefacts might exist on some captured free-floating planet residing as wide-orbit planets in the outer regions of planetary systems.”

The thought of exploring a useless rogue planet on the perimeter of the Solar System to uncover alien tech appears like one thing right out of Mass Effect, or maybe Dead Space. Of course, if it ever occurred in actuality I’d reasonably it did not resemble Dead Space fairly a lot.

Thanks, Motherboard.