For the first time in history, scientists have discovered a planet in another galaxy; They found evidence of a planet outside the Milky Way, 28 million light-years from Earth.
The possible exoplanet, called M51-ULS-1b, is located 28 million light-years away in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also known as Whirlpool.
Scientists speculate that this discovery may be just the tip of the iceberg, meaning that many planets The other outer space outside the Milky Way galaxy after this planet, according to what the official website of the US space agency “NASA” stated.
“We’re trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds,” Roseanne Di Stefano, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who led the study that found this object, said in a statement.
Tools Scientists Have Used to Spot a New Potential Planet
In this study, astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory NASA and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space telescope to look at 3 galaxies outside the Milky Way.
In total, they studied 55 different systems in M-51, or the Whirlpool Galaxy, 64 in Messier 101 (M-101), and 119 in Messier 104.
The team discovered the object in M-51 from transits, which occur when an object passes in front of a star. When it does this, it blocks some of the star’s light and creates a short dimming. Previously, scientists used this method to discover thousands of exoplanets from our solar system “but It was still in our galaxy.”
The first planet discovered outside the solar system
The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992, and since then, most of the exoplanets that have been found are less than 3,000 light-years from Earth.
But M51-ULS-1b, which orbits 28 million light-years from Earth, will be the first exoplanet found in another galaxy, found in the M-51 galaxy with a binary system orbiting two large objects: either a neutron star or a hole. Black orbiting a massive companion star.
The transit they witnessed lasted for about 3 hours and the X-ray emissions dropped completely to zero. This helped them figure out that the object was likely about the size of Saturn, and orbited around a neutron star (or black hole), at a distance of twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.
This work may be the first to confirm the existence of a planet in another galaxy, and potentially open a whole new era of planetary discovery and study, but for now, these observations do not confirm that the object seen using Chandra in this study is a planet, he said. The researchers said more data must be collected in order to confirm this.
However, the object will not pass in front of its star again for 70 years, so it will be a long time before scientists can make this observation again.
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