Saturday, 10 February 2018

Billions of Exoplanets Outside our Galaxy

Have scientists found billions of exoplanets outside our Galaxy? A group of researchers at the University of Oklahoma has just announced the discovery of a large population of free-floating planets in a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years away. Their results were published February 2 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/aaa5fb/meta Detecting planets in our part of the galaxy using the transit method or spectrometry, however quasar microlensing is great for sampling more distant stellar populations. Quasar microlensing provides a means to probe extragalactic planets in the lens galaxy, by studying the microlensing properties of emission close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of the background quasar, using the current generation telescopes.

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