Over last couple of years, exoplanet related research has come a long way as scientists are revealing more exciting discoveries on a regular basis. Now, astrophysicists from University of Oklahoma have used microlensing to confirm identify a number of exoplanets outside of our galaxy.
The latest news comes as the group of scientists recently published their findings in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. In the paper, the scientists have claimed that there are number of planets rather than one or two in the region as they estimated that there are several trillion planets in the region. Talking about the latest discovery, professor Xinyu Dai said, “We are very excited about this discovery. This is the first time anyone has discovered planets outside our galaxy. These small planets are the best candidate for the signature we observed in this study using the microlensing technique.”
In order to identify the exoplanets, the group of astrophysicists used observations from NASA’s Chandray X-ray Observatory. Afterwards, they analyzed the results using the university’s Supercomputing Center and came to discover the latest group of planets. While researchers in past have used microlensing to discover planets in our galaxy, the latest discovery marks a new era in space exploration. Eduardo Guerras from University of Oklahoma said, “This is an example of how powerful the techniques of analysis of extragalactic microlensing can be. This galaxy is located 3.8 billion light years away, and there is not the slightest chance of observing these planets directly, not even with the best telescope one can imagine in a science fiction scenario. However, we are able to study them, unveil their presence and even have an idea of their masses. This is very cool science.”