Published: Tue, February 06, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Growing Number of Planets outside Our Galaxy, Astronomers Confirmed

Growing Number of Planets outside Our Galaxy, Astronomers Confirmed

Xinyu Dai, an astrophysicist and professor at the University of Oklahoma in the United States, made the discovery using data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Chandra X-ray Observatory in space. More specifically, they think that there should be at least 2,000 objects, ranging from moon- to Jupiter-sized, per main-sequence star in the galaxy, based on how the galaxy's gravity warped the objects behind it.

Experts say it is still impossible to directly see the newly discovered celestial bodies with even the strongest telescope.

'These small planets are the best candidate for the signature we observed in this study using the microlensing technique.

Dai and Guerras published their discovery in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The gravitational lens RX J1131-1231 galaxy is at the center of this image among four lensed background quasars.

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It wasn't all that long ago that the thought of detecting planets outside of our own Solar System was nothing but a dream for astronomers.

The researchers found the planets in a galaxy located 3.8 billion years away. That means trillions of planets likely reside there, he said, consistent with the ratio found in free floating planets in the Milky Way that itself contains billions of planets.

In an astonishing find, scientists have finally managed to discover planets beyond our Milky Way Galaxy.

The phenomenon involves astronomical objects such as a star or a galaxy in the foreground that causes the light from an object in the background to bend. We analyzed the high frequency of the signature by modelling the data to determine the mass'. Directly viewing exoplanets within the Milky Way is almost impossible, so astrophysicists have to sift through data and use other detection techniques that give way to evidence of planet signatures. Astronomers have finally confirmed that there are more than 3500 number of planets lying out of the galaxy, as the number is observed to be continuously growing. "However, we are able to study them, unveil their presence and even have an idea of their masses".

Guerras called the study "cool science". As OU postdoctoral researcher Eduardo Guerras noted in the OU press release, this study reveals the potential for microlensing to expand our understanding of the universe beyond the Milky Way.

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