Scientists believe they have discovered the first planet outside the Milky Way

NASA says a group of scientists may have clues to the discovery of a new planet beyond the Milky Way. The potential discovery could be the first planet found in another galaxy.

According to NASA, the potential planet, unnamed and roughly the size of Saturn, the Messier 51 spiral galaxy, or Whirlpool galaxy, has been seen at a distance of about 28 million light-years from Earth.

The researchers made the discovery using NASA’s telescope, called the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and using a new planet-hunting technique known as the X-ray transit method. Astronomers detect exoplanets, which NASA classifies as planets outside our solar system.

But using the new method, scientists were able to record the time when an object moved above a star and blocked its X-rays. The duration and intensity of the object’s motion can tell researchers more about the planet’s possible size and orbit.

This image represents the planet that is likely to be discovered in M51.

NASA/CXC/SAO/R. distifano

The astronomical scientists published their findings Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.

“We are trying to open up a new field for finding other worlds by looking for candidate planets at X-ray wavelengths,” said astrophysicist at Harvard Rosen Di Stefano, a strategy that allows them to be detected in other galaxies. Is.” Smithsonian Center, who led the study.

The discovery is exciting, but the researchers stress that more data is needed to confirm the planet’s existence, which could take decades. NASA has said that the potential size of the planet’s orbit is so large that it “will not surpass its binary partner for the next 70 years”.

“Unfortunately, to confirm that we are seeing a planet, we will probably have to wait decades to see another transit,” said study author Nia Imara and astrophysicist at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “Because of the uncertainty about how long it will take to orbit, we don’t know when to watch.”

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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