There are planets beyond Milky Way galaxy, says Scientists

2_5_Extragalactic Exoplanets

2_5_Extragalactic Exoplanets

But while we've done a good job of spotting planets hanging out around stars in the Milky Way, detecting planets in other galaxies has proven to be an incredible challenge. "This is the first time anyone has discovered planets outside our galaxy", said Xinyu Dai, of the University of Oklahoma, in a statement.

Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, researchers used microlensing to detect the objects in extragalactic galaxies that range from the mass of the Moon to the mass of Jupiter. As MIT Technology Review reported in 2009, Italian researchers investigating stars in the Andromeda galaxy found a star that had some variability in its light-a sign that a planet about six times the size of Jupiter might be orbiting it.

Until now, scientists haven't detected any planets outside of our own Milky Way Galaxy - it's simply been too hard to discern such small things from so far away.

'These small planets are the best candidate for the signature we observed in this study using the microlensing technique. He explained that they analysed the high frequency of the signature by modelling the data. "Quasar microlensing provides a means to probe extragalactic planets in the lens galaxy, by studying the microlensing properties of emission close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of the background quasar, using the current generation telescopes", the researchers also wrote in their study.

We tend to assume that other galaxies have planets - after all, why should the Milky Way be unique? - but this could be the first, albeit indirect, evidence for these distant worlds.

It's known what it looks like when just two stars are there, but when a planet enters the cluster, it creates further disturbance in the light which reaches us which help in spotting the exoplanets.

An exoplanet is one which orbits a star outside of our solar system. After all, our galaxy is a warped disc about a hundred thousand light-years across and a thousand light-years thick, so it's incredibly hard to see beyond that.

HIP 13044 b, dubbed by a planet in 2010 was detected around 2,000 light years away from the Earth. There may be trillions of planets in the center elliptical galaxy. To find planets beyond our galaxy, however, something a little more powerful than a star was needed.

Guerras called the study "cool science". "If you have only one planet, the chances of observing it twice is astronomically small". But a new study provides evidence that there could possibly be extragalactic exoplanets beyond the confines of the Milky Way.

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