For the first time ever, scientists have discovered planets outside the Milky way Galaxy. The planets range from the size of the moon, to the size of Jupiter, and are located in a galaxy 3.8 billion light years away. The findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal last Friday, February 2.
Astronomers say they made the discovery through "micro-lensing, " which uses light and gravity to observe distant objects.
Experts say it is still impossible to directly see the newly discovered celestial bodies with even the strongest telescope. An exoplanet is one which orbits a star outside of our solar system, and researchers say that more than 3,500 of these have been discovered within the Milky Way using telescopes like the Kepler Space Telescope. These newly-discovered extragalactic planets, however, are located some 3.8 billion years away.
Xinyu Dai and Eduardo Guerras from the University of Oklahoma have used a technique called microlensing, among others, to find the extremely distant objects. Their final findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal.