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London: In a major breakthrough, an astrophysics team from University of Oklahoma has discovered for the first time a population of planets outside of the Milky Way galaxy.
"We are very excited about this discovery. This is the first time anyone has discovered planets outside our galaxy," The Daily Galaxy qouted Xinyu Dai, professor of physics and astronomy at University of Oklahoma, as saying.
"These small planets are the best candidate for the signature we observed in this study using the microlensing technique. We analyzed the high frequency of the signature by modeling the data to determine the mass", Xinyu Dai added.
Dai with OU postdoctoral researcher Eduardo Guerras, made the discovery with data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Chandra X-ray Observatory, a telescope in space that is controlled by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
According to Daily Mail, the breakthrough was made possible using a technique known as microlensing, which allowed researchers to spot objects in extragalactic galaxies that are too far to be observed directly.
Until now, microlensing has only been used to detect planets in the Milky Way, according to the researchers.
With quasar microlensing, they say it’s possible to see extragalactic planets inside the lens galaxy based on the properties of emission near the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of the background quasar.
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