28 million light years: Possible exoplanet outside the Milky Way – The infinite expanses of space still hold so many surprises in store for us humans. One of them could now have been discovered by a NASA telescope. It is possible that a first exoplanet has been found outside the Milky Way, a whole 28 million light years away from us.
If this discovery is confirmed, it would be a groundbreaking scientific sensation. This object was discovered by a team of researchers from the USA. The potential planet should be roughly the size of Saturn and be located in the star system M51-ULS-1. The object of desire is thus more than a thousand times farther away from the earth than any of the planets recorded so far.
Star in the spiral galaxy Messier 51
What is particularly exciting here is that the suspected exoplanet does not orbit around a star in the Milky Way like all previously known planets, but around a star in the spiral galaxy Messier 51. This has now been announced by the astronomers of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian in Cambridge in their report.
The possible exoplanet would be the record holder in terms of distance. According to the German Aerospace Center, the most distant known planets to date are 22,000 light years away from Earth. According to the scientists, the object was discovered because it is located in what is known as an X-ray binary star system.
Insight into external populations of planetary systems
These shine a million times brighter than the sun, but planets can block this intense X-ray radiation and can be seen on Earth, as in this current case. The team of astronomers was looking for such occurrences and systems in the night sky. The Chandra X-ray telescope from NASA was used here.
Study director Rosanne Di Stefano on the spectacular find: “Our discovery of the planetary candidate gives us the first insight into external populations of planetary systems and extends the range of the planet search to distances that are about 10,000 times further away. “
Verification of the suspected exoplanet difficult
Now it will be exciting, because verifying the presumed exoplanet as such will not be an easy undertaking. To do this, a further passage of the object must be observed, which, given the long orbit, could not be possible for about 70 years.
Either way, every new discovery in space is an impressive and captivating thing, after all, there is still so much undiscovered out there waiting for us.