Astronomers have discovered the first planet in a nearby galaxy. The celestial body is practically a copy of Saturn.
Image via: needpix.com
The number of planets in the Milky Way is in the tens of thousands, and beyond its limits until now, astronomers have not been able to find such celestial bodies. This is due to the huge distance between galaxies, because of which only individual light “signals” of stars and black holes can be observed from Earth.
American scientists, with the participation of their Chinese colleagues, discovered traces of the planet's existence in the Whirlpool galaxy M51, which was named M51-ULS-1b. The object under study is located 23 million light-years from Earth. It is almost impossible to recognize the planet at such a distance, but in this case its unique properties made it possible to do this. The fact is that the celestial body is located in a binary system. At its center is a black hole that engulfs another star and emits a powerful X-ray signal. It was he who attracted the attention of astronomers.
Today, it is impossible to say with certainty that this is really a planet, since additional information is needed to assign such a status to a space object. So far, experts only know the size of M51-ULS-1b – it is comparable to Jupiter.
Earlier, Nikolai Zheleznov, an astronomer from the Institute of Applied Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, estimated when a meteorite like the Tunguska could fall on the Earth.