Astronomers find first evidence of an exoplanet outside the Milky Way galaxy

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,615   +139
Staff member
The big picture: Finding an exoplanet candidate outside of the Milky Way is a big deal, but it shouldn't be all that surprisingly considering the vastness of space. According to a 2016 study, there could be as many as two trillion other galaxies in the observable universe. Even in the Milky Way alone, there are believed to be upwards of 100 billion other planets.

NASA believes it might have evidence of a planet traversing a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy.

Exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system, aren’t anything new. Astronomers detected what they thought might be an exoplanet way back in 1988, and confirmed their suspicions a few years later. Since that time, more than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered and are considered “confirmed.”

Unsurprisingly, all of them reside within our own Milky Way galaxy, and most are within 3,000 light-years from Earth or less.

A team of researchers led by Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, used the Chandra X-ray Observatory to witness a transit in a spiral galaxy called Messier 51 (M51), also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy due of its distinctive profile, that’s about 28 million light-years away.

A transit occurs when a planet passes in front of a star, blocking some of the star’s light. In this instance, they were specifically looking for dips in the brightness of X-rays. The transit they observed lasted roughly three hours. Based on this and other information, the team estimates that the exoplanet candidate could be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit a black hole or neutron star at about twice the distance that Saturn is from our Sun.

More data will be needed to confirm the exoplanet. Unfortunately, due to the candidate’s large orbit, it isn’t expected to cross in front of its binary partner again for another 70 years. And even then, they wouldn't know exactly when to watch for the short transit.

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JamesBlond

Posts: 152   +99
Here God is sitting watching man discover some of the things He made and be so blown away when the greatest of all His creation is on the planet looking out... if only man had the insight to look inwards and find who he was and is, the world would be less dumb... but Well done on finding it... good job, I mean the earth has no problems so keep looking else where for nothing at all and wasting tax payers money
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,741   +5,185
Here God is sitting watching man discover some of the things He made and be so blown away when the greatest of all His creation is on the planet looking out... if only man had the insight to look inwards and find who he was and is, the world would be less dumb... but Well done on finding it... good job, I mean the earth has no problems so keep looking else where for nothing at all and wasting tax payers money
The more humanity looks out into the universe, the more humanity finds within.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,741   +5,185
Here God is sitting watching man discover some of the things He made and be so blown away when the greatest of all His creation is on the planet looking out... if only man had the insight to look inwards and find who he was and is, the world would be less dumb... but Well done on finding it... good job, I mean the earth has no problems so keep looking else where for nothing at all and wasting tax payers money
With all the political discord right now in not only the US, but also the world, do you really think humanity will be able to solve its problems when the sides are so diametrically opposed that they think the solutions to the problems are at the ends of polar extremes? As I see it, the problems will only start to be resolved when humanity finally figures out that we are all humans.

To a certain extent, I agree with you. Without solving the problems of humanity, humanity will be followed by those problems no matter where in the universe humanity finds another home.

However, to throw out discovery like this is something that I do not see would further resolution of humanity's base problems.