November 30, 2021


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Researchers say a new planet has been discovered outside the Milky Way

Researchers say a new planet has been discovered outside the Milky Way

Astronomers have discovered the fascinating signs of a planet in a star system outside the Milky Way, which, if confirmed, will be the first to be detected in any other galaxy.

Discovery, The study was released on Monday. In the journal Nature Astronomy, it demonstrates a new technique for discovering distant worlds and significantly expands the search for so-called extragalactic exoplanets.

Roseanne de Stefano, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astronomical Center, the study’s lead researcher, said, “It’s always fun to find something like this first.

A potential planet has been discovered in a spiral galaxy called Messier 51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, 23 million light-years from Earth.

The first extraterrestrials, or planets outside the solar system, were discovered in the 1990s and required a combination of several complex detection techniques. Since then, however, NASA missions such as the Kepler Space Telescope and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite have discovered numerous worlds throughout the galaxy.

Over 4,000 Extraterrestrials Discovered and confirmed, but so far they have all been Milky Way. Most were less than 3,000 light-years from Earth. If confirmed, the planet in the Whirlpool galaxy would be a thousand times farther away than any other planet.

A box showing the location of a potential exoplanet found outside the Milky Way in a composite image of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Laboratory.NASA / CXC / SAO / R. de Stefano

A possible extraterrestrial world was discovered in the binary X-ray system, a type of star system that emits and emits X-rays and usually consists of a normal star and a collapsing star such as a neutron star or black hole.

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Astronomers often use so-called “mode of transport” to search for planets. Transits occur when a planet orbits in front of its parent star, temporarily blocking a portion of it and creating a visible gap in the star’s light. Di Stefano and his colleagues used the same basic idea, but instead of using optical light, they observed changes in the X-ray brightness of the binary star system in the Whirlpool galaxy.

Di Stefano, the area that produces the brightest X-rays is relatively small, allowing you to see the traffic blocking most or all of the X-ray emissions.

“This is a very obvious sign,” he said.

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Laboratory, Di Stefano and his colleagues observed that transportation took about three hours, and they were able to estimate the amount of material that would completely block the X-ray source. They estimate that the probable planet is the size of Saturn and that the Earth is farther from the Sun than its star.

Bruce McIntosh, a professor of physics at Stanford University who is not involved in research, said the discovery was exciting because, if confirmed, the planets would not only be spread across the universe, but they would be in impossible places.

“The good thing is, they discovered a planet orbiting a neutron star that went through a supernova explosion and is part of a system with a complex and interesting evolutionary history,” he said. “It’s exciting that a planet can survive when its star explodes.”

It may take some time to confirm the existence of a planet in X-ray binary. The distant orbit of the planet means that it will take 70 years for astronomers to see another orbit.

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“And because of the uncertainty about how long an orbit will last, we don’t know when to look,” says Nia Imara, an assistant professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, co-author of the study. Said in a statement.

According to Macintosh, the method of examining X-ray transits is “smart” but is unlikely to be used to detect hundreds of thousands of planetary candidates because it also depends on luck.

“You can only see traffic if there are objects between you and the object you are looking at,” he said. “You see it only passes the target object for a few minutes or hours.”

However, according to Di Stefano, he and his colleagues are pleased that the new method of searching for extracalactic exoplanets, first theoretically proposed in 2018, has led to such an attractive conclusion.

“We don’t know if we’re going to find anything, and we’re very lucky to have found something,” he said. “Now we expect other groups around the world to read more data and make even more discoveries.”