For the First Time Ever, Scientists Found Alien Worlds in Another Galaxy

Scientists Just Found the First Exoplanets Ever Discovered Beyond Our Galaxy

"It is natural to hypothesize that planets are common in external [non-Milky Way] galaxies as well", the authors write in the paper, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Now, astrophysicists from the University of Oklahoma have reported, for the first time, evidence of much more distant planets-wandering through an elliptical galaxy some 3.8 billion light-years away. Some would be as small as the Moon and others as large as Jupiter.

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

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While the planet is orbiting a star, the gravitational field of the system is able to bend the light coming from a distant star which is behind it. Astrophysicists successfully identified 53 exoplanets within the Milky Way thanks to this technique. "We analysed the high frequency of the signature by modelling the data to determine the mass", Dai said.

The planets outside of our galaxy were instead found using a technique called microlensing, which involves two moving stars or objects aligning from the vantage point of Earth.

Astronomers Xinyu Dai and Eduardo Guerras from the Oklahoma University analyzed a quasar six billion light-years away dubbed as RX J1131-123, which is known as one of the best quasars present in the sky. The team then applied a formula to the data they gathered and determined that the only explanation for the particular energy signatures they were seeing was the presence of thousands of planets.

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The Milky Way, the galaxy containing our solar system, has hundreds of billions of stars, according to NASA.

"This is an example of how powerful the techniques of analysis of extragalactic microlensing can be". 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.

Researchers used microlensing to detect these planets. This is the first time that planets are being located in other galaxies. "However, we are able to study them, unveil their presence and even have an idea of their masses".

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In the university's announcement, Guerras said "there is not the slightest chance of observing these planets directly" because of the distances involved. "This microlensing is amplifying something that is very small and changing colors, which makes no sense, or it is amplifying a small region of a bigger object, and that object has different colours", Guerras said.

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