NASA says a team of scientists could find out New signs of the planet behind the Milky Way. The probable discovery would be the first planet discovered in another galaxy.
NASA has reported the discovery of an unnamed, Saturn-sized planet in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 or the Whirlpool galaxy, 28 million light-years from Earth.
The researchers used a NASA telescope called the Lunar X-Ray Observatory and a new planetary hunting technology called the X-Ray Transit Method. Exoplanets classified by NASA as extrasolar planets are difficult for astronomers to find.
However, with the new method, scientists have been able to record the time it takes for an object to move over a star and block its X-rays. The length and intensity of the object’s motion can tell researchers more about the planet’s possible size and orbit.
Astronomers Published Their findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.
“By searching for candidate planets at X-ray wavelengths, we are trying to open up a whole new world of discovery, and this strategy allows us to find them in other galaxies,” said Rosen de Stefano, an astronomer at Harvard. The Smithsonian Center led the study.
This finding is interesting, but researchers emphasize that more data are needed to confirm the planet’s existence, which could take decades. The potential size of the planet’s orbit is so large that it “will not surpass its binary partner for another 70 years,” NASA said.
“Unfortunately, to confirm that we see the planet, we will have to wait decades to see another transition,” said study author Nia Imara, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “It’s not clear how long it will take to reach orbit, so we do not know exactly when to look.”
Download our free app
Download the free CBS News app for the latest news and analysis
Prone to fits of apathy. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Internet advocate. Avid travel enthusiast. Entrepreneur. Music expert.