Alien Planet Discovered in Milky Way

HIP 13044B and its star originated in different galaxy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2010 3:21 AM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2010 4:30 AM CST
An artist's impression of HIP 13044 and its star.   (European Southern Observatory)

(Newser) – As planets go, HIP 13044B is one hell of a survivor. Astronomers say the planet—the first one originating from another galaxy ever found in the Milky Way—is part of a solar system that once belonged to a dwarf galaxy that was cannibalized by our own. The planet has already survived its elderly star's red giant phase, which left it with an unusual orbit that drew it to astronomers' attention, Wired reports.

The intergalactic immigrant is the first concrete evidence that planets exist in other galaxies. "There's every reason to believe that planets are really quite widespread throughout the universe, not just in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, but also in the thousands of millions of others there are," one astronomer tells the BBC. "This is the first time we've got hard evidence of that." Researchers say the find provides clues about the likely fate of our own solar system.

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