For the first time, we’ve found planets beyond the Milky Way. Astrophysicists at the University of Oklahoma discovered multiple extragalactic planets, confirming there are other galaxies that can accommodate planets like ours. The team utilized a technique called “microlensing,” an astrological effect caused when objects pass stars and bend light between its source and the earth, creating imagery we can interpret using equipment. We’ve only ever discovered exoplanets within the Milky Way, but we don’t have the proper telescopic technology to analyze the newly discovered planets.
However, the team thinks the finding makes a great case for using microlensing more frequently.
“This galaxy is located 3.8 billion light-years away, and there is not the slightest chance of observing the planets directly, not even with the best telescope you can imagine in a science fiction scenario. However, we are able to study them, unveil their presence, and even have an idea of their masses.” OU Postdoctoral Researcher Eduardo Guerras stated.
As dark as the void of space may seem, it always pays to look for the light. Thanks to some seriously amazing technology, we’re able to learn about worlds that are light years away — even if we can only glean that they exist.