Scientists May Have Discovered Another Planet Outside Our Galaxy

Fareeha Arshad
Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

Astronomers may have discovered the signs of another planet outside of the Milky Way galaxy using the NASA Chandra X-ray observatory.

Located in the Whirlpool Galaxy, this exoplanet is about 28 million light-years away from Earth. Almost all other planets discovered in the past are less than 3000 light-years from our planet. The study is based on transits — an event during which when a planet passes in front of a star, the movement produces a characteristic dip and blocks some of the star’s light. By monitoring the dip in light, scientists hope to discover more planets in the coming years.

A star produces X-rays that stays within small regions. Thus, when any planet passes in front of a star, it easily blocks most X-rays produced and quickly discovers the planet. This way, more planets can be found, even those that are at enormous distances. The scientists used this method to detect this new planet. They estimate that this planet is about Saturn’s size and revolves around the neutron star or the black hole. The distance between the neutron star and the planet is around two times the distance between Saturn and the Sun.

The scientists further added that this planet must have had a turbulent history and perhaps even a complicated past to survive this long in the vicinity of the neutron star or the black hole. Also, the planet survived the supernova explosion that created the black hole in the first place. Regardless, its future isn’t safe either. If and when the neutron blasts again as a supernova, it may swallow the planet along with it.

The findings of this research were published in Nature Astronomy.

What do you think about this finding? Will this new planet play a pivotal role in studying other planets outside our galaxy? Do let us know in the comments section.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I mostly write about history and science.

Texas State

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