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You are here News Science Astronomers discover what they think is first exoplanet outside our galaxy

Astronomers discover what they think is first exoplanet outside our galaxy

First exoplanet discoveredAstronomers may have detected evidence of an exoplanet that lies beyond the Milky Way galaxy for the first time.

Exoplanets are planets that orbit a star other than our sun. All known exoplanets and possible exoplanets so far have only been observed in the Milky Way galaxy, often within 3,000 light-years of Earth, according to NASA.

But researchers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have now identified a possible planet orbiting a binary star system in the spiral galaxy Messier 51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its shape, according to a study published in Nature Astronomy.

NASA says an exoplanet in this galaxy would be about 28 million light-years away from Earth, thousands of times farther away than any exoplanet in the Milky Way. It’s estimated the exoplanet orbits a neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the sun.

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