It turns out, however, that planets exist in other galaxies as well. While this is theoretically not a big deal for us, we haven't discovered any so far, so we couldn't be sure. Now that has changed. Astronomers calculate that there could be billions of exoplanets in the Milky Way. So far, we've only detected 4,000.
On the occasion of exoplanets in our galaxy, it is worth mentioning that the first one in 1992 was discovered by a Pole, Aleksander Wolszczan, an astronomer from Toruń. It is therefore time to discover planets in alien galaxies. Perhaps it is there that sooner than under our noses we will find signs of a flourishing life. At least that's what astrobiologists hope.
Very promising news comes to us from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Astronomers have discovered a very interesting object in the Vortex galaxy (M51). It is located nearly 23 million light years from Earth. The candidate for the first exoplanet from an alien galaxy was named M51-ULS-1b and, according to calculations, is probably slightly smaller than Saturn and orbits around a binary star system at a distance ten times the average distance from Earth to the Sun.
How did astronomers detect this exoplanet? tips beast is in close proximity to a neutron star or black hole that is rapidly absorbing material from its companion. This process releases so much energy in the form of X-rays that this area is one of the brightest in the entire Vortex galaxy.
However, part of the radiation source was dim for several hours of observation. For scientists, this meant that there was a small object on the line of the Earth and the neutron star and the black hole. It is almost certain for astronomers that it is a planet, because observing the object's transit is characteristic of the exoplanets we detect in our galaxy. Unfortunately, despite this fact, scientists currently do not have clear evidence that it is a planet and may not have it for a long time, because observing such objects is extremely difficult.
Astronomers now intend to look at the valuable data from the space observatory Chandra telescope for more of these objects and their transits against energetic objects. All indications are that the 1920s will be full of discoveries of exoplanets not only traversing our galaxy, but also aliens, millions of light years away.