Astronomers Discover 1st Planet In Another Galaxy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Astronomers Discover 1st Planet In Another Galaxy

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - A team of researchers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet located on the outskirts of our Milky Way galaxy. It is the first of its kind to be discovered, as it is believed that the planet (called HIP 13044b) and its parent star (HIP 13044) formed outside of our galaxy and were "captured" by the Milky Way some six billion years ago, Space.com reports.

"The discovery is the first proof astronomers have that planet formation can indeed take place in other galaxies," writes National Geographic.

Scientists at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile first observed the planet, which is now located 2,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Fornax.

Johny Setiawan, the team's head researcher told Space.com that the discovery of HIP 13044b was a surprise. "I was not expecting it in the beginning," Setiawan said. According to National Geographic, "Setiawan and his team inferred the planet's existence based on the way the gas giant gravitationally tugs on its parent star, causing the starlight to wobble slightly."

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