A team of scientists says they have found an exoplanet in another galaxy. There may be billions of exoplanets in our galaxy, but it is very difficult to find them in neighboring galaxies. And now a team of Harvard scientists has found evidence that a planet-sized object in the vortex galaxy rotates in a binary system.
Over the years, scientists have found several signs of the existence of exoplanets in other galaxies, but unfortunately, none has been confirmed. The discovery may share the same fate, but in this case, scientists are very optimistic.
The vortex galaxy is 23 million light-years away from us. The planet found there, called M51-UUSL-1b, is most likely smaller than Saturn, orbiting the binary system, and it is ten times more distant from it than the Earth and the Sun.
“This is exciting, though not unexpected. There is absolutely no reason to believe that exoplanets could not have existed in other galaxies,” said Angela Tanner, an astronomer at Mississippi State University.
The planet’s binary system consists of a neutron star or black hole that absorbs a nearby star at tremendous speed. The stardust released as a result of this process, in turn, releases a huge amount of energy, making the system one of the brightest sources of X-rays in the entire vortex galaxy.
Unfortunately, it may take decades to confirm this discovery – the exoplanet will not be in front of one of its stars for decades.
“It is also possible that something went wrong in front of the system that will never go back,” Tanner said.