back to article Pack your bags – we may have found the first planet outside of our galaxy

Astronomers have for the first time discovered what looks like a planet outside the Milky Way, judging by a study published this week in Nature. Over 4,000 exoplanets have been spotted orbiting stars in our galaxy since the early 1990s when scientists confirmed the Solar System isn’t a unique formation. Our Sun is just one …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's move there!

    Such as the excitement when this happens

    No matter what!

    *clicks gun* Get in the shuttle.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Let's move there!

      I think x-ray binary is synonymous with the phrase "bad neighbourhood"

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Pack your bags"

    Fascinating stuff, but those bags are going to get pretty dusty while we wait for confirmation, let alone probably rotted away on arrival if we try to get there.

    The idea that we can migrate to other planets still seems a long way from fruition, even if it were a better idea than becoming less destructive of this one (which is right now our highest survival priority).

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "Pack your bags"

      Nah, eat and run is the way to go. The idea we don't really have anywhere to run to doesn't cross the minds of most people: Most expect to be dead when the shit finally hits the fan, so let the suckers deal with this when it happens. The rest expects somebody will eventually step in and save them (Batman, the government, their Faith, in short whatever replaced their parents).

      1. the small snake
        Alien

        Re: "Pack your bags"

        When shit really hits fan all will indeed be dead...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "Pack your bags"

          Haven't we got enough problems to solve in our own Galaxy before conquering others ?

          1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
            Go

            Re: "Pack your bags"

            What we need is a short, victorious, war....

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: "Pack your bags"

              Or, in contrast a long protracted war, against China, with sides of North Korea, and Iran... Just for fun...

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Colonization

    I love science-fiction, as I'm sure many people do. The idea that we can span the distances between stars inside of a human lifetime is tantalizing, to be sure, as is the idea that we can find other habitable planets that can support our specific life form.

    Unfortunately, I'm pretty convinced that, even if we could do so, we'd just bring the same amount of lazyness and apathy to preserving the new planet as we have shown with the old.

    So being stuck here right now is probably the best lesson we can get on the consequences of mismanaging planetary resources.

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Colonization

      Indeed, but extinction is a hard way to learn the lesson for future generations.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Colonization

        Nature is self-regulating, failed experiments self-abort.

        Besides, you don't really believe humans can really "learn lessons", do you. Humans are selfish and egocentric, we can be scared to caution for a while, but from experience that doesn't last more than a generation (ie. 25 years) at best.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Colonization

          Some humans are selfish and egocentric Not sure how we eugenicise them humanely but it may be possible.

          By the way nature is not self regulating, it just seems like that to people who dont look close enough.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Colonization

            > By the way nature is not self regulating, it just seems like that to people who dont look close enough.

            Depends on what you understand by "regulating". If a population of predators gets too big or too greedy they decimate the preys, and consequently starve to death. The lack of predators allows the surviving preys to thrive, which in turn profits any remaining predators. And so on and so forth.

            Humans avidly destroy (waste, destroy, pollute) everything they actually need to live, and this is bound to cause their extinction at some point, one way or another. Nature will maybe take a million years, but some other life form will eventually come to dominate, something we now have absolutely no idea about, much like dinosaurs could never had ever imagined the invention of humans (mammals at that time being rare marginal mice-sized creatures).

            Now obviously those who think we're the crown of creation, and masters of our destiny, are bound to feel insulted. Sorry to bust your bubble guys, it's a flimsy, fragile bubble which doesn't stand up to too much scrutiny.

          2. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: Colonization

            Yes 'cause rich people don't have kids.... As to euthanizing people.... With these holy prophets of climate change. 'cause lord knows they don't have any finacial stake in succeding, over the corpses of their victoms either.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Colonization

        Then perhaps the future generation of "humans" that had to re-evolve from the unholy union of cockroaches and waterbears will learn to read our ancient writings and will take a lesson from how we extincted ourselfs and most of the other species, from the planet. As a species, current humans never learn until they have no other choice.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Hope

    There is hope that our elites take inaugural flight and they won't have enough fuel to come back.

    1. RockBurner

      Re: Hope

      Shouldn't we be loading in the telephone sanitisers and hairdressers?

      After all - we all want clean phones and somewhere to get a good haircut when we arrive there....

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Hope

        "Shouldn't we be loading in the telephone sanitisers and hairdressers?"

        It'll probably be major users of sunbeds that will migrate. As the planet is orbiting an X-ray binary it's an amazing opportunity to top up a tan very quickly.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Hope

          Its a step up on H2G2 quantum leaping the hosts clothes to the left - you just get to do a full body CT scan of them before you dissolve.

      2. the small snake
        Pirate

        Re: Hope

        Telephone sanitisers, or modern equivalent, and hairdressers perform useful functions. The very rich ... don't. Let us send them and they can cut their own hairs when they get there.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Hope

          So your smart enough to take on Elon Musk, Bill gates, and Jeff Bezos? Ok then smart guy, what have you contributed to the whole of humanity today?

    2. druck Silver badge

      Re: Hope

      There is hope that our elites take inaugural flight and they won't have enough fuel to come back.

      I love posts like this, if there weren't plenty of people only too eager to step in to be the next elites, you'd probably be left not knowing which hand to wipe your bottom with.

  5. sbt
    Paris Hilton

    What are the chances...

    ...we're still lined up enough with this star's planetary orbital plane for dimming 70 years hence?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: What are the chances...

      Thought this too. Or it could be obscured by something else by then. After all it's unlikely it's right on the rim of that faraway galaxy, with nothing in front and nothing behind from our point of view.

      I'm pretty sure the point here is more the novelty factor than he scientific importance of that specific faraway source of x-rays (we know nothing about and certainly won't ever learn more). There are similar things much nearer to us to study, but it was a first, and as such needed to be celebrated.

    2. the small snake
      Boffin

      Re: What are the chances...

      They are very high indeed. Oversimple calculation (assume source is pointlike, planet is size of Saturn, orbital radius twice Saturn's) gives distance for which transit would be visible here about 500ly. If you assume source is bigger than point (which it is, but stellar-mass BH is fairly compact, but then emissions from accretion disk not BH) then it will be larger than that.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What are the chances...

        TLDR 70years isn't very long when it comes to Galaxies

      2. sbt
        Alien

        Re: What are the chances...

        Does your calculation account for other rotations such as those of the Milky Way and Messier 51? Or relative galactic motion?

        1. the small snake
          Boffin

          Re: What are the chances...

          No but it does not have to: the orbital plane of the system does not change due to conservation of angular momentum and for the rest you can not shift by 500ly in 70y.

          This is really same argument as to why fixed stars are fixed: they are not fixed in fact but over human timescales they are quite fixed. Galaxies are even more fixed on these timescales.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alien

    Mankind is probably in exile as far away as possible

    We just weren’t told.

  7. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Pint

    Am I the only one to comment on the fact that they're resolving individual stars in other galaxies? To me, this is boffinry of the highest order.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      > they're resolving individual stars in other galaxies

      I'm not sure you can call that "resolving individual stars": They do spot an x-ray source from a direction which seems to point to another galaxy. Since those x-ray emissions are rare and specific, they can attribute them to a specific situation (binary with one undead member feeding off its companion). I'm pretty sure they are unable to say where exactly in that faraway galaxy it is located though, AFAIK x-ray astronomy doesn't have that great a resolution.

    2. the small snake
      Boffin

      They aren't, not nearly, as other comment says, although they are able to point well within size of M51.

      Chandra has resolution of about 0.5 arc seconds, so about 1/1300th apparent diameter of M51 (11 arc minutes by 7 arc minutes). So Chandra can identify quite well from where within M51 source came but nowhere near which star.

      However number of x-ray sources in M51 is fairly low – perhaps one, two hundred I think, so is quite possible for Chandra to know which of these sources it was looking at.

  8. adam 40 Silver badge

    In the million years it takes to get there

    at least we'll have the time to develop X-ray photosynthesis to grow our spuds.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could be part of a Morse Code signal.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Dot - wait 70 years - Dot - wait 70 years....

  10. mark4155
    Go

    Applications now open, no deposit required.

    Titanic Skyjollies are building the first rocket to see this planet at first hand. The launch date is early 2022 and the travel time is approx 69 years, 11 months and 28 days. The flight is currently only available on a one-way basis. Applications are now open, the following have already applied:

    1. Mark (Meta, no relationship to Facebook) Zuckerberg.

    2. Richard (Beardy) Branson.

    3. Jeff (Baldy) Bezos.

    4. Insert your name, or nominate someone you love, here.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Applications now open, no deposit required.

      4. Insert your name, or nominate someone you love, here.

      Given the company and the duration of the one way trip, I'd rather nominate somebody I would love to see go.

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