Until now, all planets discovered outside our solar system have been located in our galaxy, less than 3,000 light-years away from Earth.
The new exoplanet is believed to be about 28 million light-years away, which means it is millions of times further away than that of the Milky Way.
This is an interesting result […] It could be the start of a new era in the search for exoplanets at ever greater distances, Can we read in a press release you published Astrophysics Center | Harvard and Smithsonian.
- At least 4,538 exoplanets have been officially discovered in more than 3,369 planetary systems.
- Currently, more than 7,852 additional exoplanets are awaiting confirmation.
- According to the latest estimates, there are up to 700 million billion rocky planets in the visible universe alone.
- Approximately two-thirds of all exoplanets known to date, the Earth and super-Earths, lie in the habitable zone of their stars.
- Despite this abundance, it has so far been extremely difficult to understand the atmospheric conditions and characteristics of these potentially habitable planets.
Thanks to pass technology
This candidate exoplanet was found using the transit technique, which consists in detecting a decrease in the luminosity of a star when an object passes in front of it.
This method has confirmed the existence of the majority of exoplanets (77.4%) so far.
Astrophysicist Rosanne Di Stefano and colleagues used this method to discover exoplanets in the M51-ULS-1 binary system. This system contains a black hole (or neutron star) orbiting a star with a mass about 20 times the mass of the Sun.
The X-ray traversal they detected using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which time the ray emission dropped to zero., notes the press release.
Researchers estimate that the exoplanet would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbiting a black hole (or neutron star), twice the distance between Saturn and the Sun.
Difficult to confirm
More data will be needed to verify and confirm the existence of an exoplanet. But the candidate’s big orbit means she won’t cross paths with her duo partner again for another 70 years, which won’t confirm her vision for decades.
We know we’re making an exciting and bold claim, so we expect other astronomers to analyze it very carefully.Astrophysicist Julia Berndson of Princeton University explains.
We think we have a strong case, and this process is how science works.
Details of this work are published in the journal natural astronomy (A new window) (in English).
Last July, European astronomers announced for the first time the discovery of a dust disk that allows the formation of moons around a planet outside our solar system.
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