from Search for exoplanets Transcend the Milky Way. Astronomers using NASA Chandra Roent Southservatorium you have I found him Which may be the first signs of a planet in another galaxy. The team noticed a decrease in X-ray brightness, pointing to a planet passing in front of a star in the Messier 51 galaxy (also known as M51) 28 million light-years away. For context, all of the candidate exoplanets in the Milky Way are no more than 3,000 light-years from Earth – and this planet could easily set a record distance if confirmed.
The nature of the stars made this feat possible. Because the researchers had to focus on bright binary X-ray systems where the bright beam area is relatively small, the crossing was much easier. Conventional detection of nearby stars requires a more light-sensitive detection, because a planet can only block a small amount of light from a particular star.
The planet itself is thought to be the size of Saturn, but it orbits its hosts (a star 20 times the mass of the Sun plus a black hole or neutron star) at twice the distance.
Scientists didn’t think the dimming was caused by clouds of gas or dust, as it didn’t match the event they recorded in M51. However, the planet will agree with the data.
The challenge, as you might imagine, is to verify that data. The planet’s orbit could rule out another transit for about 70 years, and it won’t be clear exactly when astronomers should take a closer look. A three-hour transit of this candidate planet was not a huge window. This also assumes that a “living” star does not explode and flood the planet with radiation.
If there is indeed confirmation, the discovery will be very significant. While there is not much doubt about the existence of planets in other galaxies, it would be useful to obtain evidence of their existence. This could also significantly expand the search for future planets to include galactic neighborhoods, not just nearby stars.
All products recommended by Engadget are hand-selected by our editorial staff, independently of the parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
“travel. naughty. Pop culture fanatics. I can’t write with boxing gloves on.”
“Lifelong entrepreneur. Total writer. Internet ninja. Analyst. Friendly music enthusiast.”