For the first time, scientists have been able to identify an extrasolar planet in a galaxy other than the Milky Way, using an innovative method. p>
The universe is vast, and we can expect to discover other planets not only in our own galaxy, but also in other galaxies and at great distances. Now, for the first time, astronomers have discovered signs of an alien orbiting stars beyond the Milky Way galaxy, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
The planet is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. This incredible discovery was made using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which opens up new avenues for searching for extrasolar planets far ahead.
Identifying extrasolar planets
Galaxy M 51 in the X-ray spectrum of the Chandra Telescope and the light spectrum of the Hubble Space Telescope
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. DiStefano, et al .; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/Grendler
This new finding relies on a transit method to observe distant extrasolar planets, which includes examining the reduction in starlight due to planetary shadowing between The star and we pass. Astronomers use space and ground-based telescopes, such as NASA telescopes on the TESS and Kepler missions, to observe the decline in stellar light intensity.
This method has so far enabled the discovery of thousands of planets. has done. On this basis, and in an innovative way, Di Stefano sought to reduce the brightness of X-rays coming from binary star systems rich in X-ray spectra. Such optical systems usually consist of a neutron star or a black hole that swallows the gas of a companion star.
In such stellar systems, material near a black hole or neutron star reaches extraordinary temperatures and thus begins to glow in the X-ray spectrum. But because the X-ray-producing region in space is so small, the planet that passes in front of it can block many, and possibly more, X-rays, simplifying the process of detecting transit.
This feature could be alien worlds. Recognize much farther away than those usually detected by light-transmitting observations. Unlike transient observations in the X-ray spectrum, transient observations require the analysis of small changes in light because the extrasolar planet can only physically block a small portion of the host star's light.
But Di Stefano and the rest of the team Using the X-ray method, they were able to detect an extrasolar planet in a binary star system called M51-ULS-1 in the galaxy M51. The system consists of a neutron star, or black hole, orbiting a companion star about 20 times the mass of the Sun. That X-ray emission was drastically reduced to zero. As a result, researchers speculate that an extrasolar planet about the size of Saturn orbits a black hole or neutron star about twice the distance from Saturn to the Sun.
This discovery is a surprising and historic finding for Astronomy is modern, and although more data is still needed to confirm the findings, it will be the starting point for studying extraterrestrial planets.
- The future of extrasolar planet hunters
Cover photo: Graphic design of an extrasolar planet orbiting a neutron star or black hole in another galaxy.
Credit: Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Source: Interesting Engineering